Who’s got the lead? The head or the heart?

Posted by Kristin Baird on May 22nd, 2012 • No Comments »

I was recently talking to a fellow entrepreneur about my business, and, following her line of questions, I summarized the type of clients we work with, a bit about revenue streams, growth trends, and goals for the future. Frankly, it was a bit boring until she asked me why I choose to do this type of work. I told her about my deep connection to the patient experience and how it aligns with my values. I then talked passionately about the need for a better, more compassionate patient experience. I told her that it’s important for me to make a difference in the lives of patients and the people who care for them. I emphasized that I wanted to help create a more patient-centered delivery system and nurture that spirit among like-minded providers and leaders. As I went on, my colleague just sat back and smiled, then finally laughed out loud.

She pointed out that when I was talking about the numbers, although it was all good news, my affect was detached, but the minute I started talking about my purpose and mission, my energy shifted to a much more positive place. She said it was so obvious that my passion is the driving force for me. Yes, the business is a success, but what really drives me is the sense that the work we do is making a difference in the lives of others. As I thought about her observations, it became evident that I am driven by the heart. Yes, the numbers matter but nowhere near as much as the impact on a personal level.

This made me think about the importance of the messages from leadership to the frontline. If the majority of the messages you send are about the numbers, you may be missing a huge opportunity to help them connect to purpose and passion. My guess is that most of the frontline staff are going to engage more and produce a better patient experience when their hearts are involved.

Remember to talk about the purpose. Tell stories. Ask for stories. Share the financial information but don’t make it the focal point. We are blessed to serve in an industry that makes a real difference in the lives of those we serve. Make it the focus and great things will happen.

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Baird Consulting

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