Ever feel like your problems are so big that you can’t even understand them, much less deal with them? Ever feel impotent to grasp others’ problems, much less help them with them? Approaching the topic first from a medical and then from a larger perspective, the attached article may provide some insight.
A fellow student from the public health program at Johns Hopkins came to me with a research idea many years ago. Performing publishable research is a requirement of the program, and we were struggling with the most fundamental issue; thoroughly understanding the problem that you wish to address. Our team wrestled with the possibilities, explored lots of dead ends, and sought guidance from more experienced researchers. Eventually a reasonable, although not groundbreaking, plan took shape.
Continue reading “Understanding Problems” →
It is true that no one cares how much you know until they know how much you care
- A husband and father earns the right to lead his family by caring for his wife and children.
- A minister earns the right to preach by caring for his congregation.
- A physician earns the right to teach medical students and residents by caring for them, and the right to influence and even direct his patients by caring for them.
- A commander earns the right to command by caring for his soldiers.
- A manager earns the right to lead by caring for his employees.
- A teacher earns the right to teach by caring for his students.
- A king earns the right to rule and a prime minister or president earns the right to preside (exercise authority or control) by caring for his citizens.
Caring is not merely feeling benevolent emotions. Actually, since emotions are merely a side effect of thoughts and actions, benevolent emotions are an outgrowth, not a cause or a definition, or caring. Leaders who care do the following for those who follow them:
- Learn about them
- Pray for them
- Encourage them
- Talk to them
- Listen to them
- Rebuke them
- Mentor them
- Teach them
- Be accountable to them
How important is integrity, really, in leadership? Why? How can we find leaders with integrity? We must begin with integrity in ourselves.
In the fall of 1996, several allegations of sexual misconduct between Army leaders and their subordinates became public. The ensuing investigations found many cases in which the allegations were true, and trust began to erode within and towards the US Army. As a result, the Army sought to clarify and promote the values which have been at the heart of American military service for over 200 years. Leaders felt that by emphasizing the values that we held, fought for and died for, they could produce a better fighting force. The mnemonic “LDRSHIP”, pronounced as “leadership”, communicated what the Army was all about.
Continue reading “Integrity and Leadership” →
A comprehensive and highly useful military model for analyzing and addressing problems that does well in non-military settings as well. From medicine to business to non-profit work, DOTMLPF-P covers all aspects of common difficulties.
By Mark D. Harris
My staff and I were meeting at the end of a long day. As representatives of the regional headquarters they had been working with their counterparts at our subordinate medical facilities on an important project with a tight suspense, and they had met resistance. One exasperated lady at a hospital said, “Tell your boss that we have full time jobs already!” Another one said, “This regional initiative just isn’t my top priority right now”, and one of my staff said “Sir, there just aren’t enough hours in the day.” Everyone who has worked long in leadership and management has heard these complaints time and again.
There is always a temptation to ignore such concerns and keep pushing, but that is rarely the right thing to do. One concern from my staff is that they did not feel as though their counterparts in the clinics and hospitals considered them value added. They wanted cooperation on these vital projects but did not perceive that they had much to give in return. This is a perpetual problem and when I worked in a hospital, I felt the same way about the regional staff.
Continue reading “DOTMLPF-P Analysis for War and Peace” →
How to have the most effective visits to outlying sections in your business, and how to have the most effective town hall meetings with stakeholders.
Management gurus since the 1970s have taught leaders to “manage by walking around (MBWA)”; getting out of the office and into the workplace to see for themselves what was going on in their organization. It is a very old idea. Generals such as Napoleon Bonaparte and business tycoons such as Henry Ford were legendary for getting first-hand information about their organization and its environment, but MBWA has been around since before Moses walked among the people of Israel during the Exodus (c. 1400 BC).
Most MBWA is informal, with the boss walking from department to department or store to store, meeting people, talking, and most importantly listening to them. There are times, however, when leaders need to interact with their organizations and with other organizations more formally. My leadership team in the Joint Task Force – National Capital Medicine (later National Capital Region Medical Directorate (NCRMD), part of the Defense Health Agency), routinely met with leaders and workers at military hospitals and clinics throughout our market. We also visited Federal Facilities such as the Veteran’s Administration, and major regional partners including the hospitals and clinics of the Johns Hopkins, Medstar and INOVA systems. Sometimes formal trips to universities and other non-medical facilities were required, and often my team and I addressed groups of stakeholders in a town hall or public forum.
Continue reading “Formal Business Visits and Town Halls” →