Michael Zervas 0:01 Hi, welcome to another episode of the Healthcare Huddle. I’m your host Michael Zervas. And today’s guest, Shawn Evans gives us a real insight in how to build leaders, how to build teams, and how to get the most out of those two entities within a healthcare environment. It’s some really interesting stuff. So stay tuned and I hope you enjoy it.
Narrator 0:30 It’s time for the Healthcare Huddle, simplifying the business of healthcare, presented by encompass medical devoted to helping organizations succeed with customized medical practice management services, visit encompassmedical.com today. Now, here’s your host, Michael Zervas.
Michael 0:57 Today’s guest has a deep reservoir of knowledge and experience around organizational development performance across a variety of industries, including and maybe most importantly, for us healthcare. Nationally, he is a sought after speaker, consultant and coach, if that’s not enough, he also has a PhD in Organizational Performance and Changes, is a principal at the firm Live Best Work. Shawn Evans Welcome, sir.
Shawn Evans 1:22 Michael, thanks. Great to be here.
Michael 1:24 Well, I appreciate you taking the time today. For the listeners. I will, in full disclosure, say that I’ve had the good fortune to work with Shawn in a variety of capacities, which is, he’s great at what he does. And he brings a unique perspective to it. And it’s why I kind of pushed him to come on the show today, he’s got a unique journey. And Shawn, maybe I’d like to start there. Because knowing a little bit about your personal story, you grew up in rural Colorado, around farm country, and you’ve navigated somehow to be this nationally sought after expert. I’m not laughing because, it’s just – that’s an unusual journey. So maybe you can help us understand how you go from bumping around on farms to flying on jets telling people how to build, you know, great teams.
Shawn 2:14 Yeah. It’s funny, isn’t it? and I’m laughing right along with you. Because sometimes I’m not sure how I got here, either. I would say it’s a lot of luck, a lot of good timing, and then just a willingness to always explore and push forward. People who I think are successful in life or have some success in life can always look back at two, or three, or four moments in their life or two, or three, four people in their life that had really had a massive impact on them. And, besides my immediate family who obviously had a significant impact when I got to college, there were really two people their professors, Denny Philips and Aunt Gil and in their own unique way, pushed me to think differently and really pushed me to be on this journey I am now and really without them. You and I wouldn’t be talking. It’s really that distinct of an impact that those two had on my life. So how did I get here? I don’t know, hard work, really lucky. And just having the fortune to run into some really cool people over the last 30 years.
Michael 3:26 It’s interesting, because you know, you’re touching on mentorship and leadership, as demonstrated to you right, I know that you were at the university extensively to play baseball, and turned into this career and ended up getting a PhD. And so tell me a little bit about how that early mentorship maybe influenced you, how growing up on that farm area influenced you, and how maybe some of that creeps into what you try to teach or look to talk about, is there a correlation? Or am I drawing a connection where one doesn’t exist?
Shawn 4:02 No. And I’ve thought about this a lot. It’s a really interesting question, because we’ve all got some pieces in our world that are influencing us. And when I think about growing up on a farm and ranch, and what all that meant for the first 18 years or so of my life, here is where I’m at now with that question. I think, obviously, there’s a work element, work ethic element of it, that comes to play that you just kind of roll up your sleeves and go to work and that was kind of the ethic that my family had and all of that the other thing that I had that I think when is my favorite was my father, who was an incredibly intelligent man, for whatever reason, circumstances in his life never allowed him to go to college, but he knew the value of it and both he and my mom would kind of preach that to my sister and I about going to college and I’m not sure they knew exactly what that meant, but there was always this idea that we were going to go to school. And you’re right. I wasn’t that interested in academics in high school at all, I went to school to play baseball turned out to be a lot better student than a baseball player in college. And it just turned out to be the right thing. And, you know, it’s funny to me when you look at that, that piece of growing out here, here’s a good story of my dad, right? So I said, you know, Dad, I and I remember this clear as day I said, Dad, someday, you know, there’s a good chance I’m gonna have a PhD, and I have no clue. At that point in my life, you know what I thought about having a PhD or what that meant. And my dad said, you know, son, I hope you do. But right now Ph. D stands for post hole digger. And we’ve got a lot of work to do. So let’s get to work. And, and I still remember that, and even today is like, you know, at the end of the day, we roll up our sleeves, we get to work, and we just try to make it life a little bit better for folks.
Michael 5:51 It’s funny, because I had heard that PhD stood for piled higher and deeper. But maybe that’s because I never got mine you know, it’s interesting. You mentioned a couple things in there, Shawn, and about that work ethic. And, you know, I’m a kid that grew up influenced by Chicago by the city almost an exactly opposite experience to you yet, there’s some commonality in that my parents pushed hard on education, and this idea of working hard, and I have a good friend of mine, who happens to be an admissions director at Harvard. And he told me once that, you know, once the kids are applying to Harvard, they kind of all look the same on paper, right. They’re the outliers. But he told me that they tend to pick if they can, the kids that come from rural environments, because they have an embedded work ethic. And so it’s interesting to me that they know that that’ll help them succeed in this highly competitive environment, right. And you’ve identified that same thing, that grind that takes to run a farm is part of what you do and how you got to where you are. And I’m wondering now, how you translate that hard work, the world is changing, right? And it seems to me anymore, that hard work is only the it’s kind of how you get in the door, but it’s not the end of it. So I’m wondering, as you’ve been working over the last 25 years, do you see changes? Or have you changed in the way that you work or work with your clients, whether they’re, you know, large health systems, or individuals coaching them within a health system environment, has the way that you were changed with them? Either because they’ve changed or, you know, it’s not enough just to work hard anymore?
Shawn 7:34 Yeah, another great question, I’d love to hear more about yours, because you’ve got a heck of a strong work ethic today from working with you. So even though, you know, you may not be able to see a farm from where you grew up is really the same thing. Maybe, maybe that’s the common denominator more than maybe, you know, but it’s funny to me that you asked that question about how my work has changed. And I, I think as all of us get maybe a little older, a little wiser, if that’s ever an option, my work has definitely changed. And, I’ve always had maybe a little bit of a different ability than most to see the whole organization. When I go in and work with an organization. And part of that does come from that farming thing where you’re, you’re nurturing the entire animal of your entire plan. It’s not just a single thing, there’s a lot that goes into making something successful on the farm scene with an organization. But now I’m much more patient and I’m much more understanding that there is a cadence to things and a cadence to change. A lot of what I do is, you know, working with change, and helping either individuals or organizations get better, there’s a cadence to change. And, and that’s important. It reminds me one of my first clients, when I was just getting out of my my bachelor’s degree, which all know the story was a boat builder, in Amsterdam. And they were really trying to go through some training and development things. And, and I don’t remember much about that engagement, frankly, about what I did with her except, you know, I couldn’t understand a lot of what they were saying. But what I did remember, and I probably, you know, I’m gonna tell you the story. And I probably missed the whole point here, but it’s really worked well for the last 30 years for me, but what I learned from them was as you’re building a boat, the boat will only go as fast as the hull, the hull allows it to go. It doesn’t matter how much of a motor you have in it, or biggest sales are orders that can only push the boat so hard, the boat cannot push against the water. It’s the hull and that hull speed was incredibly important. I remember thinking there that’s just like an organization doesn’t matter how much you do to an organization, you could be the very best at whatever it doesn’t matter how hard you push. If that organization isn’t ready or that individual if you think about from an executive coaching isn’t ready, and they haven’t really trimmed that hull and done that differently. It doesn’t work. So when I go into an organization or work with individuals now, I know what the end is, I know what we’re trying to get to. But I only spent 35% of my time on that the rest of it is how do we adapt the hull or the organization or the individual, so that they are ready to take whatever change we’re giving them or whatever advice we’re giving them. So that’s, I think that’s a major change.
Michael 10:31 That’s really interesting, because I had a bunch of thoughts run into my head. I’ve never heard you talk about that before. But one of the questions I wanted to talk to you about was the unique challenges of building that change and that leadership in health care organizations, and as you talk about this ability to have a cadence and a rhythm, I’m reminded that a lot of our leadership in healthcare is either driven by it’s all type A’s, right, it’s either hard driving CEOs or directors of large divisions, or physician leaders who by definition, are hard driving. So it’s almost what you’re saying is counterintuitive to the skill set naturally, or learned that all of those leaders bring, which is push hard push fast and lean. Right. And I’m hearing you say that that may be almost, can be counter intuitive. Is that just in healthcare? Or is that across all industries that you see?
Shawn 11:28 Yeah, great question. Again, that’s across all industries, and we so you, there is definitely a time and a place for that harder driving, you know, stereotypical type A personality, there are times in organizations and times in individuals lives or, you know, times and whatever that you need that drive and energy just to get things done, and right, and that will absolutely create some change. The problem is when we look at organizations, especially healthcare, because in healthcare, it’s called a complex adaptive system, which simply means anything you do in healthcare somewhere is going to have major or minor impacts somewhere else along the system. And it reverberates constantly. So, quick change may be a very good short term solution. But then it causes all kinds of drag, if I go back to my boat analogy, within the organization, so you may see some benefits somewhere. But really, within the organization, you just see a massive amount of drag and, really decline. So a lot of what we do with leaders is kind of the things that got a leader, whether they’re a C level leader, a VP, whatever, a lot of things that got him to where they are now, which were you know, maybe more project management, things that really can use that type A are not going to serve them as well, when they’re in a position where they’ve got a lot more influence scope in an organization.
Michael 12:56 I’m going to drill down on that question, because that’s interesting in healthcare and doing that leadership. Are there any unique challenges in healthcare in working on building high functioning teams, high functioning systems, high functioning leaders? Are there any differences? Or is it pretty much not? It’s the human condition, and wherever you go, they’re humans. And so that’s what we’re working with?
Shawn 13:17 Yeah, that’s, you nailed it. So I, that’s it, and anywhere you go, organizations have, really an organization’s not going to run without people. And that’s been, I think that the biggest learning for me is that maybe it should be more clear, but you really don’t get anything done in organization by yourself, you, you work through and with people and you really have to understand, you know, all the dynamics that go into an individual and some of its professional, some of its personal some of its, who knows what, and without those elements, things just don’t get done.
Michael 13:53 So is empathy is a high empathy quotient, critical to good leadership, that ability to understand and understand what someone else is doing and going through is that important?
Shawn 14:07 I think it’s critical, I’ve got like, three, three things that I always talk about, you know, these great leaders that I work with, always have these kind of these three areas and, and the first one is humility. In order to be humble, I think you have to be empathetic, but you’ve got to have this empathy and understand what’s going on. So humility is number one. Number two, you’ve got to have courage because, you know, you know and, and I know and every leader in the world knows that a lot of times you’re out there on an island and its scary man, you know, everybody’s looking at you to make a decision and you’re not even sure you understand the question and and we’ve, we’ve all been there. So you’ve got to have that courage. But the third one is that perseverance and that ability just to slog through when it’s hard and you know, you slipped and you found whatever else. So I think those three areas are key. And empathy back to your question is just the foundation for being humble, to be honest with you, at least that’s kind of my thought process on it.
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Michael 16:21 That’s an interesting take to continue with the boat analogy take into a little bit of deeper water and but I’ll take the heat and what I’m about to say, you know, my experiences and I don’t think I’m saying anything too controversial, but that humility in physicians isn’t necessarily they go hand in hand, right. And, in fact, I would argue that the system of building a physician to some degree breeds out the overly humble person and can favor disproportionately those who are maybe less humble. And so do you find that that’s a trait that you’re having to teach physician leaders, or maybe I’m being unfair, but I, I see a disconnect there with some of the physicians and physician profiles I’ve worked with over the years.
Shawn 17:08 Yeah, so it is, if I go to the ER, and I’ve got life threatening I, you know, humility is probably not one of the traits that, that I’m going to value as a patient at that point, you know, I want to have somebody not me. And, so I think that’s incredibly valuable. So when, and there is kind of that stereotypical physician leader, that the physician especially, you know, prior to maybe four or five years ago, physician training was really about disease states and, and really making sure you go through the diagnostic process and, and really having a, you know, a deep well of knowledge on the human body, all of that stuff. And that’s incredibly, incredibly important. And so now, when we see physician leaders, we don’t take for granted that that person truly knows how to lead in an organization. And I always start with saying, hey, leadership is your ability to influence people and processes, and remove barriers, so other people can get things done. And I’m very intentional about my definition of leadership, because it puts the onus on, not you as an individual doing it’s you individual creating an environment where others who might be actually smarter than you, which is another thing, you know, that hyper competitive environment has been maybe smarter you that they’re doing, and, and when physicians there’s, there’s usually a breakthrough, and we’re, you know, stereotyping physicians a little bit, but there’s generally a break that you can almost see the weight of the world come off their shoulders, when they realize they don’t have to have all the answers to organizations and I say, Look, I’ve been working in organizations for 30 years, and I, heck, I half the time, I’m not even sure what the heck’s going on in this organization. So there’s no you know, there’s no pressure on you to know this. here’s, here’s why you’re here, though, you really are good at at diagnosing you’re really good at when you ask a question to really hear an answer and, and figure out if there’s other things and, and you know, what, you’re really smart about how the system works. And yeah, and also, you know, you’ve really got a keen eye on what patients are going through and what staff are going through and, and what the physician is going through with all the changes. That’s the knowledge we need. Let us help you use that knowledge to influence in an organization.
Michael 19:22 It’s a wonderful reframing. And I would echo what you said that when I work with practices or physician groups, and they’re, they’re so conscientious and they work so hard, and again, I’m stereotyping, but I’m just speaking to the people that I’ve had the great good fortune to work with that. They’ll try like crazy to do. Yep, you point them in the direction and they’ll go through, they’ll go to hell and back to get to make it happen. And I’ve seen the same thing when you could say, It’s okay, we’re here we got a team and you can count on them. That they really do start to relax and can kind of ease into that. And I’ve seen that also, in other leaders to get off the soapbox about physicians, but other leaders who have to learn how to be the facilitator. They’re the point guard, they’re not the scoring forward there, it’s okay. It’s, if you can make everybody else do their jobs really well, and you can help them. That’s a multiplier effect. But I also see that that’s a really hard thing to get people to see. And that’s what interests me, because when I was younger, the very technique that I would get to try to get people to see that would be to bulldoze it. The very thing I’m telling them not to do or doing. Right, of course, because I’m not that bright. But so it’s almost like you have to wield soft power in order to get them to understand the wielding of soft power. Right?
Shawn 20:58 Yeah, it’s exactly right. And you nailed the word that I was looking for that facilitator, somebody who, who helps two or more people get to some common ground, or whatever that definition is. And what we do a lot with physicians is we, we bring them into environments that are not known that are scary, and just have them sit there. So you’re the only reason you’re here is I just want you to see what else is going on in the organization. And I just want you to hear all of the challenges. And, and the intent is not to ask you for your thoughts or opinions, but just to so you can see the scope of everything going on. And then we’ll go back and say, okay, talk to me about what some of your thoughts were, as you’re hearing the nurses talk about XYZ or the red tech, and in almost inevitably, they’re gonna like, well, I, you know, I had some ideas to fix it. I said, Great. So what questions were you going to ask the nurse, or the RAD tech wherever else and they don’t, they’re just ready to fix. And so that’s when we get to the point of saying, hey, one of the techniques that you need to start doing is before you make a suggestion, and we’re this. And so the other thing with leaders that are run through a wall, like you said, they’re really good at taking that taking, you know, very specific advice. Here’s the deal. When you have five questions, and you’ve asked those five questions of people, then you can give an answer, but not until then. And for the next week, you can’t give any answers until you ask five questions. And of course, it’s a little tongue in cheek and everybody are laughing. But the point is made that hey, real good leaders ask a lot of questions before they ever make a suggestion or do anything because they know how complex the issues are.
Michael 22:34 You know, it’s that Dunning Kruger conundrum, right, is that the true experts are quiet, they ask a lot of questions, because they know there’s a mountain of stuff they don’t know. And the people who aren’t experts, right, see the problem set in a very simplistic way and tend to want to jump in and give answers and like you said, in a complex ecosystem and healthcare, if you have leadership that is jumping in and giving answers and not seeing all of the both intended and unintended consequences of every decision that you make, as it ripples through that, that ecosystem. That’s how things get going south pretty quick. And it’s, it’s hard to help people see that Dunning Kruger effect, because the experts tend to be quiet.
Shawn 23:20 They do, there’s a kind of a term that we use a lot. And that’s the, you’ve got to develop the confidence to question and if you don’t have the confidence in, in not knowing, which seems like a weird thing, you can’t question. So some of the things we do with physicians that say, Hey, you know, go ahead, and you know, be proud of what you’ve done. But also it’s okay to be humble and be open and let people know what you’re still learning. And when you do that, you and I both know, if somebody says manner, hazy, I’m really trying to learn this thing, do you think you could help me, you’re gonna jump right in and give them 120%? to help them you, you go for it. And that’s what people do. So it’s another technique we use with physicians and leaders in general, again, we’ve kind of characterized physicians here, but other leaders the same way it’s you can develop the confidence to question then that’s a boy, we know, we’ve made a big step and in somebody’s leadership ability,
Michael 24:20 Well, how important is it either positively or negatively? As a leader to say you don’t know.
Shawn 24:30 Yeah, it’s incredibly important. And we oftentimes will force leaders to say that, and part of it is when you can say you don’t know, what you’re doing is you’re creating an environment for your team, which is actually more important than you as an individual, for your team to say, Hey, I’m not sure we don’t know. But, you know, give us a little bit we’re gonna go figure out the solution instead of a bunch of people throwing out kind of answers and thoughts and opinions that really are not based on anything. So we’ll always go back, say, you know, I’m not sure that, hey, that’s not reflecting on me as a leader. In fact, that’s my job is to say, I’m not sure let’s look it out. But your team really, really, really will appreciate that, as a leader, when you’re able to say that.
Michael 25:20 I’ll tell you, Shawn, it was eye-opening to me. The first time that I was leading a team, I was pretty raw and green, and felt like I had to know all the answers. And finally, one day, I just said, You know, I don’t know. And in that almost, I could watch the team take a collective like, whooo, okay, the pressures off from this maniac who’s, you know, everyone’s got to know everything all the time. And I’ve carried that with me as one of the tools, especially when I go into organizations to do turnarounds is to make it okay, that we don’t know, like you said, and it’s not okay to keep not knowing, but it’s okay to not know, and then let’s use the tools we have. So that we can know, because the opposite of that is for organizations that I’ve found, and I’d love to get your opinion on this is feeling like you need to have an answer. And so you give an answer. And inevitably, with more information, you would have made a different answer. And then that keeps this dysfunctional cycle for this group, whatever that group is perpetuating, and it starts feeding on itself.
Shawn 26:30 Yeah, you nailed it, DNA, and I’ve watched you work too. And in some of the turnaround stuff, and, and your strength is going into an organization. And, and obviously you’re projecting kind of confidence as an individual, but your biggest strength is to really allow that team to collectively come up with solutions to real problems, not answers to, you know, make believe. And I you know, I watch you and you say, hey, look, here’s where we’re trying to get to, you know, we’re trying to get to this point. And this time, I’m not exactly sure how we’re going to get there. Let’s talk to some options. Let’s talk through some solutions. What do people think, and you turn it over to your team? incredibly quickly. So you’re brilliant at it. And and really, you start to you multiply a bunch of people’s brains instead of just your own in solving a problem, which is true kind of lean to lean thinking anyway, if you can, right?
Michael 27:23 Yeah, I agree with you. Do you think it’s important for leaders to have a clear eyed assessment of their own abilities?
Shawn 27:35 That is a loaded question, as so. So you will only see improvement in your own leadership, or others leadership, when there’s an ability to get a good accurate assessment of reality. Now, that same thing happens in organizations. So I always say, hey, as an organization, it’s really hard to audit yourself, you know, how are we doing? Well, gosh, we’re just doing so good, you know, maybe compared to where we were last quarter. But if you compare yourself to the other organizations that are in your market, and you’re still running at that, that that’s really not doing any good. So, so it is incredibly important for leaders to get an assessment. But there’s a dual piece of this that is just so interesting to me, and something that just the rest of my career I’m going to be focusing on when a leader says, Hey, I don’t know, or, you know, what, I got some, I’ve got some work to do on myself my own leadership ability, they have just nailed that first component of leadership, which is that humility, humility, and when somebody doesn’t ask that, I’m like, boy, you know, you can only take this person so far, until they say, I’m just not sure I got to find out, you just don’t, you cannot go. And I’ll be very blunt with leaders with that. And, and about half the times, when I’m coaching a leader, I’ll say, look, at some point, you’re gonna have to admit that you don’t know. And it’s after that, that you’re really gonna make some breakthrough. But until then, we’re probably done. I’m just not the right person for you at this time. And, and of those half 90% of those leaders will come back at some point in the next year or two, and say, All right, I’m ready. And there might have been an adverse event that happened or they got and and they’re, they’re ready for it. So it I think it’s just critical.
Michael 29:26 Gosh, that’s really interesting. I always felt that that is a good trait. But it feels counterintuitive to me emotionally. It’s almost like, well, I shouldn’t be in this job if I don’t know or I can’t figure it out, or I’m unsure right so that you feel like an imposter. And it kind of leads me to the to the next question that I have for you. Do you think that can i leaders made or born I mean, do you get that person and they’ve got that innate ability to be humble? Because of how they grew up and what they’ve been through, or can you bring somebody that along the way to to become an outstanding leader? Or is it like you said, you got to leave them and wait till they’re ready?
Shawn 30:15 Yeah, this is another great question. Because the first part of my career was spent in leadership development. So I was making the argument that leaders can be made, right, so here’s where I’m at now, I think great leadership, gifted leadership, whatever we call it is absolutely a an element of the environment that the leader is leading in. So you and I have very similar leadership skills and, and techniques, you and I are going to be great in a certain context, but you put us in an organization that’s just going to wants to stay the course, you know, not do anything different, just don’t screw anything up, you and I are going to get bored pretty quickly and, and probably go off the rails, you know, and yeah, we’ll get in trouble. So here’s the here’s where I’m at I there’s very few personality styles that don’t work with leaders, you get a narcissistic, individual, it’s very hard to make them the most effective leader they can be, they may be an effective leader. And that’s what I tell people is that, you know, just because you’re an effective leader, it doesn’t mean you couldn’t be just a super a great leader. So I think there’s a couple of things I, I have seen leaders from every single walk of life, I’ve seen leaders from every part of the country, you know, everything and everybody at one point or another who goes over truly great leaders, has had some ability or something in their world where they have truly taken on some learning and some education, they’ve had that experience, it’s kind of humbled them and made them receptive to learning. So in that case, I think, you know, they’re made, but they’re born with maybe an ability to open their eyes. So it’s really a, you know, it’s a chicken and egg question for sure. And I don’t have a good answer, without a doubt, but.
Michael 32:05 But it’s interesting to me to Shawn, that you touched on the idea that part of being a gifted leader is also making sure that you’re in the right environment that you can excel and that that same idea, right, goes down to your team members. Yeah, you have each team member working towards their values and their strengths, or are we you know, putting them in the wrong spot and then beating them up? Because they’re not meeting objectives? Right. And so that’s a big part of that leadership, too, is being able to read your team and yourself and knowing how to slot people I know that sounds horrible, but helping them find their place.
Shawn 32:42 No, I think that’s the number one of the number one tools of a leader is to understand your team or the people that are going to help you achieve whatever success it is and operate from a position of strength and really putting people into different areas and and sometimes that takes a take some challenge on your point because you know, somebody may not be seeing the same thing in themselves that you are seeing it I mean, I know you’ve done that with with some of your folks, you’ve kind of promoted them into positions that would not be kind of a traditional career ladder, but you are definitely seeing something in them and, and they just excelled. I think that’s absolutely critical without a doubt.
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Michael 34:36 It’s so hard because personally I when I’m working with team or teams or team members, I don’t have an absolute belief that what I’m seeing is 100% accurate. And so that’s being out on a limb a little bit too is to you’re taking this leap of faith to say hey, Shawn, I think you might be you seem to do this and your work do well at this in these areas of your work. You’re just amazing. Here’s a job that is kind of more than those basic skills, that’s still a leap of faith. And it’s scary because for me anyways, I’m, I’m messing with people’s lives. That’s how I think about I take it very seriously. Because if I’m wrong, and i or i think I’m right, and I don’t assist them, and help them and nurture them on that journey, and they fail, ultimately, that’s my failure, is that the right way to think about that?
Shawn 35:25 Yeah, a little bit, I, you know, not everybody’s gonna succeed in that. And some of this I saw, I get an opportunity to work with some military folks and, and things like that. And they’re, they’re really good at, at being at delineating work that needs to be done within a team, everybody’s got a series of jobs that they need to do and, and one of the processes there, and in some of these instances is, you know, at the end of the day, we don’t all get to do exactly what we’re great at or want to do, we first say, hey, there’s jobs that we have to do. And we’re going to get these jobs done. And I’m gonna, and I’m going to be as supportive as possible. So so I would maybe reframe your question a little bit. So you absolutely, I’m going to assess my team, the best I can. But I can only assess that team and put them in things that need to get done within the organization that are going to get whatever this thing is done. And I had that conversation with people to say, hey, Z, you know, what, Look, I know, that may be sitting down and working through a spreadsheet for eight hours isn’t going to really throw you in it. And you know, and I’m gonna put you on a first floor. So you don’t jump out the window, and then I have to, but But look, I really need to get this done. Is this something you can do for me? And? And if so, what do you need for me to help you and, and when you can engage people in their own success? Boy, they’re gonna thank you for the opportunity, as long as you don’t, you know, make them do something for a long time and just be better on forward and then you can then you can move on.
Michael 36:53 So it’s interesting if, as I listen to you talk, it’s so natural for you and so intuitive to navigate these spaces. And I’m reminded how it’s wildly less intuitive. And I’m less skilled at it than you are. And I think about that space is hard to navigate, because it’s a different language. And I see that what you do as you help people is you help them learn that language, so they become fluent. And I’m impressed by that, because it’s even now and I’m trying to work on leadership, and I’m working on it all the time. I feel like I’m a clumsy, you know, big old knocking stuff over in a small room, you know, and there’s this, you demonstrate an effortlessness in a way, that rhythm and a guy and just this, it’s almost like a dance, we’re not even dancing and trying. And so it’s very natural and authentic. And I would argue that which I’m speaking to what you just demonstrated, is not teachable. I mean, you know, that I just don’t think it is I think you can spend 30 years on that, and you still aren’t necessarily going to be that fluent. So yeah, your insights are great. And watching you work is, is even more pleasurable, because every time I’m sitting with you in a meeting, I’m learning something I’m stealing from you. I’m picking something up. I’m watching and going, hmm, how you phrase that, huh? That was? Huh. You know, it’s it’s a it’s a masterclass? I’ll tell you, for sure. So, I appreciate all the free mentoring. You’ve been? So hey, I want to ask you a couple more questions. And then I’m going to let you go because I’m looking at and I’ve kept you here quite a while but your insights are great. How is the pandemic affecting health care and leadership and health care? Is it we’re going to see a winnowing out of people who couldn’t rise to the crisis? And maybe their leadership flaws were more starkly exposed or not? You know, it’ll settle down? What’s your perspective?
Shawn 39:01 Yeah, it’s a great question. And so that the pandemic is terrible and nasty as it is, has been a really interesting opportunity for me to, to see leadership and more of a, we don’t get to see leadership and true crisis necessarily, and it’s a good thing. I don’t think it’s necessarily a bad thing. But we’ve definitely seen it in crisis over the last seven or eight, nine months. And to your point, the organizations who have leaders who can facilitate because none of us, none of us has the answer to COVID, right? We this hit all of us by surprise, this isn’t anything any of us went to school for, we don’t have an answer. So what it has allowed people to do is stand up and say, I don’t know. And the leaders who say, I don’t know, but we’ve got patients to take care of, we’ve got an organization, we need to make sure staying safe. We’ve got maybe some economics that we got to deal with. Let’s all work on this collectively and facilitated. Those are the organizations that are really starting to see some distance between themselves and others and some examples. So you know, how has it changed the amount of telehealth we’re doing now? Well, yeah, push that forward by decades, you know, evergreen dabbling in it, but nobody really wanted to start with it, because it took time. And if you took time, then you weren’t doing the other things. But jeez that is just pushed this forward by decades. And I think we’re all learning that we can do a lot more differently, you know, video or whatever else, and we ever could, the hospitals and in organizations who are separating themselves have got a great preparedness plan. And they may have had a good preparedness plan before, but now it’s really solid, they’re looking at things out that are just impressive. I was in a meeting yesterday, and, and the head of supplies was talking about things that he was looking at, based on, you know, a vaccine, so the fact that he was looking at 6, 7, 8, 9 months, hopefully, out, right, I was pretty impressed. So I think that’s cool. I think it’s an opportunity from a leadership perspective to give other providers, whether they’re nurses or, or NPS, whatever more opportunity to provide care, because you just can’t handle everything as physicians and and hopefully, you don’t, again, this is me in the in the the pie in the sky. But we also know that as a society, if everybody can get the care they need when they need it, regardless of where they live, or anything else, we’re better off as a society. And that’s a mass out of doubt, that’s a massive hill to climb. But the pandemic demonstrates that, more than anything that you know, some people who are not getting care, not lucky enough to live in the right place, or whatever it is, we got to take care of that. Because that’s a that’s not good as a society.
Michael 42:15 You know you are right and it’ll be interesting to see I think that the truly great organizations will find ways to find their team even further around this challenge, and this needs to deliver that care and to take care of the communities they serve. And you’ll see those great leaders shine even brighter, as they rally to this challenge I can tell you that. I’ve never continuously planned for a black swan event like this, I think, when the dust settles you’re going to see a clear group of institutions and organizations that have far outstripped their competition, because it was very things you discussed we are in complete agreement on that.
Shawn 43:10 Let me give you an example and I don’t interrupt you. I’m sorry. Now I was with an organization in a different state and, and, and I wasn’t here when this happened but the CEO stood up and she said at townhall type events that day you know the same thing we’re facing something we’ve never faced, we’re all trying to figure this stuff out a couple of things we’re really trying to figure out now and one of them was testing. How can we get, you know, people in for testing and at this point did indeed have all the testing supplies, and in this town hall where maybe you know a couple 100 people, a nurse stood up and she said it, thank God for her confidence and this is when I see this in an individual I don’t care what they’ve done before, what they’re doing now with their time is I’m thinking, Okay, here’s my next leader right somebody who’s she stood up said you know there was a here’s kind of one of these quick lube and I don’t know what the, you know, quick lube that went out, they all went bankrupt. So there’s all these buildings all over town that that really is made for drive thru in. These places to make these drive thrus and they had their employees out there you know getting stuff ready doing some ain’t getting everything else and. And the funny thing was the CFO that stands up and says, Hey, wait a minute. So, so wait we can do testing can change people’s oil. Of course, he was joking but that’s another part of leadership as you say. He. What a great idea you know and so that’s, that’s an example of a leader who did not have an answer but facilitated and for some reason that nurse felt comfortable enough and confident enough. It’s, they’re nailing it, they’re testing. They’re nailing it absolutely nailed that
Michael 45:15 She felt confident and empowered to talk to the CEO, but also to the public. Yeah, that’s pretty awesome. That’s awesome.
Shawn 45:30 That’s great work that leadership team has done a phenomenal job of saying, I don’t know, it’s okay for me not to know. Let’s all work on this together and we’re gonna, it’s a safe environment. There’s not a better example I can think of.
Michael 45:55 It’s a great example of culture and leadership and team, it’s a great way to wrap up, and I’m gonna wrap up because I know on the budget we have for this show I couldn’t afford even by 10 minutes of shots time, it has given us close to 45 minutes today so thank you sir and thank you for all the knowledge you share with us today and personal note, thanks for all the sharp knowledge you’ve shared with me over the years I’ve tried the best I can to put to good use. If you want to reach out to Shawn directly ask him a question or follow up, you can reach him at Shawn@livebestwork.com and that spelled firstname.lastname@example.org, all one word, Shawn thanks for joining us today and hopefully you’ll come back and we can talk about maybe interpersonal motivations value propositions how to spark creativity, all that good stuff on an individual basis.
Shawn 46:20 Michael, you’re one of my favorite leaders and ever get to work with yours, you’re a pretty humble guy but you’re very good at what you do so. Anytime you ask anything you need to figure out a way and then we’ll get the real people to figure out how to get us together, which we know is the important piece with you and I.
Michael 46:30 Exactly right. Stay safe, my friend.