Book Review: Management Lessons From Mayo Clinic

Management Lessons from Mayo Clinic: Inside One of the World's Most Admired Service OrganizationsManagement Lessons from Mayo Clinic: Inside One of the World’s Most Admired Service Organizations by Leonard L. Berry

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I loved this book! Healthcare can be a discouraging and even depressing industry to work in. It’s so refreshing and encouraging to learn about about a healthcare system that places high importance on culture and people.

Mayo Clinic is an incredible success story and I thought it was fascinating to dissect their methods and learn from their success. I would love to work at a place like Mayo.

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The Power of Happiness

I just wrote a research paper for my organizational behavior MBA class about happiness. Apparently happiness and positivity are more important and more rare than we ever thought. I’d love to get some thoughts/feedback on my paper. this is a topic I find absolutely fascinating.

Proceed to the aforementioned paper by clicking here: The Power of Happiness

The Business of Spaghetti Sauce

Is there anything better than your favorite spaghetti sauce? Ok maybe. But, spaghetti sauce has to be in your top 10 at least! The only question is ……. Prego vs. Ragu?

Check out this informative (if not life-changing) Ted Talk by Malcolm Gladwell and see what conclusion you come to.

Malcolm Gladwell on Spaghetti Sauce

Galatians 5:22 “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith”

Tired of Chasing Dollars? There’s a Better Way

Happy Test Week* everyone!

Leadership Principle
Have you ever thought, “I like business but I hate how everything revolves around money?” That’s exactly what I thought when I started my college education as a business major. That was even the line of thinking I used when I switched majors from business to biology (pre-med actually). I had only taken two business courses (accounting and economics) and I came to the conclusion that all of business revolved around money, money, money! I was wrong of course. I would learn later that business involves strategy, creativity, inspiration, caring, values, and many other topics that peak my interest.

The following link is a “Ted Talk” by one of my favorite guys, Simon Sinek. He is the author of Start with Why which is currently my favorite book. Listen to this talk (click on the link below) and you will gain profound insights into the passion and inspiration side of business and leadership. Learn how you can finally stop “chasing dollars” and focus on what you really care about. (Spoil Alert: Count how many times he says “people don’t buy what you do, they buy why you do it.)

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action

Scriptural Support
Matthew 6:21 For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.

*Test week is a popular phrase in med school that roughly translates into “a very stressful and important exam is coming up, the preparation for which will require 150% of my time (yes, that’s right, there is absolutely no way possible to ever be fully prepared)”

Anyway, during test weeks I will probably keep my posts brief and to the point. They may, in fact, prove to be more interesting and effective that way 🙂

Martin Luther King, Jr: The Great Communicator

Leadership Principle
He’s known throughout the world as THE great civil rights leader. He influenced presidents, politics, media, education, and the entire way we think about freedom and equality. As a result we have a holiday and about 10,000 roads (ok maybe that’s an exaggeration) named after him. No matter how you slice it, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was an incredible leader. But why was he such an effective leader? He wasn’t the only educated leader of the day, and he certainly wasn’t the only one who suffered in a pre-civil rights America. The answer is, in part at least, his ability to communicate. He caught our imagination and painted a picture of how things COULD be. He inspired us when he spoke and made us want to take action. We can learn a lot from Dr. King and how he communicated.

Communication is a vital (and often overlooked) ingredient for success. Dr. James Wetherbe of Texas Tech University asserts that eighty percent of our problems (individually and collectively) are not problems at all, they’re just MISUNDERSTANDINGS! Think of it, if you could communicate perfectly you would eliminate EIGHTY PERCENT of your problems. The American Assembly of Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB) asked the most successful graduates from the top ten schools of business what the single most important leadership skill that lead to their success was. Their answer: interpersonal communication skills.

Scriptural Support
If something is important for leadership then you’ve got to assume that Jesus was amazingly good at it. And that is exactly the case with His communication skills. His teachings, stories and parables were timely, illustrative and inspiring. So much so, that we still quote them two thousand years after His life. And they are as relevant now as they were back then. I’d say that He definitely passed the communication test.

So What?
If you want to be an effective leader, you HAVE to be a great communicator. A fantastic resource for this topic (and my favorite book ever) is Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People.

Comments: What do you think? Is communication really that important?

Who’s on Board? Part I

Leadership Principle

I was once working for a very successful organization and had just been made a leader. I oversaw only a small group of people so I thought, “How hard can this be?” It turned out to be much harder than I ever could have imagined. I was younger and less experienced than everyone in the zone that I was leading, and they were all bitter because of that. I tried everything I could possibly think of to boost morale and improve results, but to no avail. The zone members were unproductive, uncoachable and even rude at times. I was incredibly frustrated (especially because I was working harder than I ever had up to that point). Then something happened that changed everything, new assignments were made by the administration and almost everyone in my zone was replaced. These new “teammates” all had about the same credentials as the previous group but there was something different, they were AWESOME! They were hardworking, respectful and coachable. It was amazing to see how all my problems disappeared overnight. Results and moral saw significant improvements and I was happier than I had been in a long time.

Jim Collins in his book Good to Great addresses this issue and calls it “getting the right people on the bus.” He argues that this is the most important thing an organization can do. In fact, the WHO is more important than WHAT the organization actually does. Some companies (like SONY for example) didn’t even know what their core business was going to be at first, they just knew who they wanted to have on the bus with them. Just as important as getting the right people on the bus, is getting the wrong people off the bus. Nothing harms an organization more than the wrong person/people on board.

Scriptural Support
We see this concept very clearly in the New Testament. When Jesus put together His “team” of disciples some of them contributed more than others. Peter, James and John were a solid force for good their entire lives. They worked hard, performed miracles and built Christianity into an incredible movement. And no one can dispute the effectiveness that Paul eventually had when he was made part of the team. Judas Iscariot, on the other hand, was less than effective. He was constantly arguing and criticizing, and eventually betrayed the whole team.

So What?
No matter where you’re working or what you’re doing it’s imperative to have the right people on your team and the wrong people off your team. Nothing will have a greater impact on the organization than the people who are a part of it.

Comments: Is this really the MOST important thing an organization can do???? Do you have any other examples of getting the right people on and the wrong people off the bus?

What’s Your Why?

Business Principle

I’m currently reading the book Start with Why by Simon Sinek and LOVING it (which means there will probably be a whole bunch of future posts on it.) I have a love/hate relationship with those “duh I should have known that” moments, and this book is providing me with plenty of them. Sinek has it spot on when it comes to inspiring leadership, company culture, effective marketing and incredible long-term success. He dissects the successes of Apple and Southwest Airlines, so if you love those companies (and who doesn’t) then you will love this book.

Senek illustrates the power of starting with “why” by using examples like Steve Jobs, Martin Luther King Jr. and the Wright Brothers. They were all excellent at communicating their “why” and that lead to their inspiring success. They had a cause, a belief, and a passion that attracted like-minded people to join them. Advancing that cause was more important than anything, including turning a profit (which almost always follows as a result). Decisions were made based on the “why” and not based on ROI or earnings per share.

Scriptural Support

There’s another great example of someone who started with “why” and created a movement. He is an influential leader from the Bible who taught this same principle – Jesus. His cause was well articulated and he always made it His first priority. In fact, He put it ahead of His own personal comfort and safety. His message resonated with people and he gained a tremendous following. In Mathew 6:33 he teaches the principle like this: “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” In other words, when you put your “why” first everything else (profits, ROI, etc.) will fall into place. Anytime we follow the Savior’s example we can’t go wrong.

Comments: What do you think? Do you know of any other inspirational leaders that start with “why?” What happens to the culture of a company with a deep cause like this?