Day 2 (see last week’s post for day 1 summary) of the Global Leadership Summit started with 3 incredibly different sessions highlighting 3 individuals who have done great things in their own sphere of influence while facing different obstacles. The message I came away with is this: We all face obstacles every day and it is how we view these challenges that makes us leaders and makes us accomplish great things.
The first speaker was the President and CEO of Compassion International, Dr. Wesley Stafford. Compassion International (www.compassion.com) is an organization that partners with church members all around the world to fight against poverty affecting millions of children around the world. Children are helped through child sponsorship which allows individuals to link to a specific child in need through the kid’s local church. Their church serves as their safe haven in a very difficult and often dangerous environment. His take home message:
1. Dedication to a cause, the one thing you find drives you to stay the course, to get up each time you fall down, is not easy and often may involve sacrifice.
Next up was Mama Maggie, the Mother Teresa of Cairo and Nobel Peace Prize nominee. She has spent more than 20 years serving the poorest members of Cairo. She works with kids living and sleeping and eating in trash dumps! She profiled families with nothing, absolutely nothing. Mama Maggie was quiet yet strong. She was the depiction of faith. She is a very strong leader as a consequence. She held the podium with ease in her calmness. Indeed, this is a woman who is the Founder and CEO of Stephen’s Children Ministry. What did I draw from her message?
1. Life can be hard but with faith we can all persevere.
2. The world around us needs people who are willing to give of themselves, to listen to others in need and to care.
3. We don’t choose where we are born but we do choose what we do with our lives.
4. Her guiding thought in parting:
“Silence your body to listen to your words.
Silence your tongue to listen to your thoughts.
Silence your thoughts to listen to your heart beating.
Silence your heart to listen to your spirit.
Silence your spirit to listen to His spirit.”
How does this relate to physical therapy? Clinicians need to be compassionate towards their patients. We must listen to them. There is not enough listening and too much “telling” in the healthcare environment these days. Patients must know they are going to get better if they give all they have got to the process. This means we need to have faith in what we do and who we interact with.
Next up was an interview with Michelle Rhea who, at 37 years old, was appointed Chancellor of the Washington D.C. Public School System. She founded StudentsFirst.org, a non-profit organization, with a mission to promote the interests of children in public schools. Check out her web site: www.studentsFirst.org. (She served as a consultant to Washoe County School District this past year, if my memory serves me correctly). Here are some of her words of wisdom:
1. You cannot lead if change isn’t happening.
I think this applies to all of us in leadership positions. Our job is to create change and take people through it by addressing their fears. Physical therapists lead their patients from the challenging position of lacking function due to pain into a new place which frequently requires a change in habits. It’s our job and we love it.
2. “I’d rather deal with anger then apathy!”
We see a lot of people who the healthcare system has failed. They have seen multiple physicians, had numerous expensive tests done, had various invasive interventions, had physical therapy which did not result in any benefit and are not happy with still being in pain months or even years later. As with Michelle Rhea, I would rather deal with patients in this situation that have been angered and have taken charge of their care. As I wrote in the blog posted on 18 July, 2011), patients often recognize that they need to get involved after the healthcare system has failed them. I suggest you get involved by being educated and asking questions and demanding better care before you get angry.
Dr. Henry Cloud, a clinical psychologist, author and leadership consultant then took us on a journey through the different kinds of employees a leader may need to interact with. The categories may surprise you: The wise, the fool, the evil!
1. The Wise: They respond well to critique and appreciate the feedback which they use to better themselves. Strategies to help the wise? Talk to them, coach them and challenge them.
2. The Fool: They shoot the messenger, don’t own the problem and get angry following critique. Strategies? Get them to come up with their own solution to a problem or behaviour you need corrected within a set timeline. If this does not correct the problem after they have addressed it their way …… see you later.
3. The Evil: These people have organizational destruction in mind. Watch out for lawyers, guns and lots of costs.
Up next was John Dickson, author of the just published book, Humilitas: The Lost Key of Life, Love and Leadership. He is the Director of the Centre for Public Christianity in Sydney, Australia. His 5 points on humility seem easy so let’s make you think about your own humility and list them:
1. Humility is common sense.
He stated, what you know and can do is far less than what you don’t know and can do.
2. Humility is beautiful.
Think of a truly humble person and tell me that they are not beautiful. Think about someone who is not humble.
3. Humility is generative.
Truly humble people are in a place of flourishing.
4. Humility is persuasive.
To persuade someone you need to be trusted. To be trusted you must have a character full of humility.
5. Humility is inspiring.
I think of my hero, Nelson Mandela, a truly humble man of immense greatness. What of Mama Maggie!?
How are you doing with humility these days?
Patrick Lencioni, a very dynamic and funny speaker, kept us riveted on “Naked Service.” His book, Getting Naked, must be a very interesting read. Getting naked refers to allowing yourself to feel vulnerable by being who you are. We all have difficulties being ourselves sometimes for some reason and he listed some of them.
1. Fear of rejection.
Be vulnerable and go for it. Tell the truth.
2. Fear of being embarrassed.
“Do not edit yourself to manage your image.” Celebrate your mistakes as you learn from them. Ask lots of questions to gain understanding and hence educate yourself.
3. Fear of feeling inferior.
You must have a genuine desire to serve your clients. Honor your clients work. As a leader, be willing to do some of your employees’ dirty work.
Overall, you cannot enjoy success without the potential for some pain.
Finally, Edwin McManus gave a high energy talk entitled “Chasing Daylight.” Think about this one. Why do we wait for someone else to create a better future? As leaders or, I might add, as members of the human race, we should cultivate human talent. How can we interact with others to make them better people for no other reason than to help them have a better day? He said something similar to Cory Booker (see last week’s post). “There has never been an ordinary child born on this planet, ever! Most of us die ordinary!”
YOU CALL TO ACTION:
1. Look these speakers up on the internet and buy one of their books. You will not be disappointed.
2. How well do you “play yourself?”
3. How might you be more real to yourself?
4. Are you giving yourself “Naked Service” in your quest for better health, better happiness, a better life?