Newsletter by Barbara Mintzer

Barbara Mintzer's Newsletter
The Power of a Vision... a Leader's Journey

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September 2003
Meeting Resistance to the 15-Minute Vision Meeting

I gave you a lot to think about in last month's Newsletter.  I hope you have started the 15-minute Vision Meeting with your staff. Remember, it takes about three months for this strategy to work, but you will be rewarded with a more energized, focused and "willing to commit" staff. 

I received an e-mail from a reader telling me she was encountering resistance to the 15-minute Vision Meeting. You can expect that at first, but if you encourage your staff to be innovative and creative with ideas and solutions, and they do not fear punishment or ridicule for what they bring to the table, they will start to come around. Keep the environment supportive and, most of all, stick to the framework I gave you last month. In order for this to work, you must keep everything the same from week to week. It is the structure that makes this such a powerful strategy for getting buy-in and accountability from your staff.

I received another e-mail from a new manager in health care that I would like to share with you. I felt very uplifted after reading this e-mail, and I believe you will, too.  "I am a new manager.  I took over a floor that was having serious problems.  No one wanted to work on the floor. Physicians were irritated and patients were dissatisfied.  They had three managers in 18 months.  I hated to see a group of people I like continue to leave the area, so I left a job I loved, to work with these people.

The first thing I did was tell them all the things they were doing that was right.  We focused on the positives.  Then I privately interviewed everyone on the floor to see what their thoughts, dreams, and vision for the unit and themselves were.  I asked what they would like to see fixed, and I worked on the quick fixes.  I worked side by side with them on the floor and I shared my vision for the unit with them.  That vision was simple.  I wanted them to be THE Premier floor!  The one where staff wanted to come and the one where patients were happy with their care.  

Well, it has been nine months now.  The vision has become contagious.  The staff is happy, complaints are down.  Customer satisfaction is above the mark.  I get positive comments from customers, other departments and staff who float to us. The floor has become the unit to model after. It has been so much fun to see them rise to this level of care.  It is great to see them work as a team and be happy at work.  I would summarize by saying that having a vision and working side by side with the staff to obtain that vision (not asking them to do something I wouldn't do) is what makes a difference.  Be daring, make the vision a lofty one and focus on the positive while you make the climb."

That e-mail did my heart good!  I was delighted to see what can be achieved when a manager works side by side with his/her staff in a spirt of accomplishment and mutual respect. While this particular e-mail comes from a manager in health care, the prinicples she followed and strategies she used apply to any industry .  I would love to receive other success stories that I can share with my readership.  We all learn from each other.  I will end this Newsletter with a quote that I gave you in the July Newsletter.  I believe it bears repeating.

"Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have." 

Margaret Mead

Think about that, and have a positive and productive month.

About the Author

Barbara Mintzer is an expert who speaks professionally.  With over 30 years in business and health care, she speaks from experience!  Her how-to programs provide participants with immediately applicable skills and strategies for getting buy-in and commitment from staff and staying on top of their professions in today's competitive and constantly changing workplace. Barbara presents keynote talks and breakout sessions for conferences and conventions, management retreats and in-house seminars.  She also facilitates panel discussions and roundtables.  To explore the possibility of having Barbara work with your leadership team or speak at your next event, please contact her office.

Phone: (805) 964-7546
FAX: (805) 964-9636

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