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Today’s post is both personal and, hopefully, a bit of a leadership teaching moment.

Sometimes we feel like we’re at a crossroads in our lives, our work or our careers. I’m in that spot right now as it pertains to my career. Let me explain.

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Tired me…

I’m 55 years old. My most recent contract had me going back and forth to Memphis from Syracuse for 18 months. It wasn’t a bad gig but I have to admit it was pretty tiring.

It wasn’t the travel so much that was tiring; it was the feeling that I wasn’t really doing what I wanted to do. This particular assignment needed someone with my particular set of skills (I feel like Liam Neeson) but I wasn’t doing what I’m used to doing.

It wasn’t needed this time around. I didn’t have to help anyone solve problems. I didn’t have to teach any lessons. In essence, I was support; I was there doing work so that others could learn and implement a new system.

Sometimes as an independent you take gigs that aren’t quite what you want to do because you get paid. Actually, most of the time that’s fairly exciting because you can get paid a lot of money for a short term gig.

In this case, I didn’t get paid what I normally do because it was supposed to be shorter than 18 months; way shorter. And I stayed with it because… well, it was pay. If I’d been getting my normal rate and it lasted this long… whew! :-)

Add to this that I actually got sick last year, the first time I’ve been sick in 15 years… wow! I was tired, as I was getting close to the end of the assignment, but I had a lot of travel over the course of two weeks; Memphis to Syracuse to Orlando to San Diego and back to Syracuse then back to Memphis. I started getting sick on the way back to Syracuse and remained sick for three weeks, where the first weekend I was finally home for good I pretty much had to spend totally in bed taking pain pills and cold medicine and having my glucose going crazy (I’m diabetic); ugh.

That started me thinking that it was time to look at my business model with a bit more circumspection. I realized that overall I’m more mercenary than consultant. That’s not so bad because it can pay well, but it’s a bit less consistent; I can work for a couple of years straight and suddenly I have nothing for the same period of time.

That just can’t work as well at my age. I don’t ever want to retire but I also want to have the option to slow down on my own terms when I get to 65… if I make it. lol

Before I go on, let me talk about how this relates to people in business today, especially leaders; can’t have it all be about me right?

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Most people go to work every day expecting pretty much the same thing as the day before. They work their 40 hours for 50 weeks a year to earn that 2 weeks of vacation and then… well, it’s just not always enough is it?

Sometimes it can be if you’re doing the work you love. But it’s just not like that for the majority of us; what’s why we read so much about the 1%.

What if you’re in a leadership position? Is your life dull? Probably not in the same way as it is for your employees but it can certainly be more stressful can’t it?

You know what? When I was an every day director, I loved going to work. It wasn’t the same thing for me every day either. Why?

Because I changed the business model that was in vogue at the time. I was all about that because I wanted to take on a lot of other responsibilities to make my hospitals successful. I wanted to be seen as the most valuable employee in the organization. It may not have totally worked out that way (although it seems that every time I left a position within six months I was being missed; I was hard to replace after all lol), but that was my goal.

As a leader I worked hard to train leaders. That means I evaluated the employees I had, put some of them in leadership positions, and gave others responsibilities that in essence made them independent in some aspects but gave them opportunities to shine.

What did that allow me to do? It allowed me to learn things about revenue cycle that no one at other hospitals had time to learn. It allowed me time to help other directors at the hospital not only learn more about how charges worked in their departments but also how to be better leaders (hey, they asked), because they saw how my departments worked.

That’s a lesson more people in leadership positions need to learn. It’s called “training and delegating.” If you know how to evaluate people, then how to train those who you know can work independently, and then give some of them leadership training, you get to branch out and learn more and do more… if you have the initiative to do so.

Thus, that’s changing the business model in the workplace; you feel better, your employees feel better, and live isn’t so bad.

The one problem with that… you’re still not in control. That’s when being an entrepreneur can work for you. It’s not easier, but if you have the chutzpah to push through the mental anguish of people ignoring you or asking you not to bother them and the phone calls and the letters you produce to hopefully get a client… sometimes it can all come together.

Let Mitchell Handle It

Now, back to me. I want to change my business model somewhat. It doesn’t mean I won’t do some of what I’ve done before. It does mean I want more control over it. To whit, here’s what I’m going to be working towards:

1. Trying to eliminate the middle man. Most of my longer contracts involve someone else who needs a body somewhere, thus gets a piece of me instead of me getting it all. That’s not bad but sometimes the other person gets more credit for sending you than for you doing the work. Sometimes they get half of what you get; that’s not so much fun.

2. If I’m not eliminating the middle man, then I’m getting paid what I’m worth. I’ve actually had a couple of calls since I’ve been home, but what I was offered was insulting; it was less than “job money”. If I wanted job money I’d have a job; the benefits bring me more than that.

3. I want actual clients. The model says that I want clients who pay me a monthly fee to work with them in some capacity. The capacity will determine the rate, with the understanding that I’m not an exclusive to them. Unless the rate is extremely high I’m not going to be there 40 hours a week for a month for six months. I can help you make improvements, maybe not at a $730 million a year level but at a level that can help you get over the hump.

4. I want to work from home more. You know what? We have phones and we have cameras and we have computers these days. I could have done more than half the work I flew to Memphis to do from home, done it faster because of the 30MBPS internet connection I have and saved them a lot of money. Course I wouldn’t have earned all those hotel and airline points but I could have gotten paid better and produced more.

5. I want to get those speaking engagements going again. Five years ago I said that was the goal I wanted to strive for as I grew up. I’ve put that on the back burner but I haven’t given up on it and I’m going to push that again.

6. I’m about to be a bit more irritating… a bit more that is. Last week I wrote an article on LinkedIn titled Unbury Your Marketing Efforts, where I talked about ways to reach out to people you want to do business with, while realizing that it’s business so you have to reach out to people. I have never done this all that well but I’ve done it, and now I need to step it up some.

7. Push the leadership/mentoring part of my business. Most of the articles I write on this blog are about leadership, but it’s been a long time since I’ve actually tried getting any of that work. Meanwhile I’m editing my second book on leadership so it’s a good time to work on that effort a bit more.

I think that’s enough. As I said earlier, this is for me but not only for me. One of my other friends has been going through the same type of metamorphosis, where she’s determined that she needed to change her business model to better represent what she wants to do. It’s working well for her as she’s established a series of seminars and has received a keynote speaking opportunity in North Carolina; now that’s what I’m talking about!

How do you feel about your present business model, whether you’re working for yourself, own your own business, or work for someone else? Is it time to think about it? Let me know.
 

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I’m not a coffee drinker, and since that’s the primary product of Starbucks, it looks like I won’t be taking them up on their offer to talk about race.

Cheers to you from Starbucks - Coffee shops 2008, #53
Earl via Compfight

Last week’s announcement that they were going to “ask” their barristas (I didn’t even know that’s what they were called) to talk to some of their customers about race, based on a campaign they’re calling “Race Together”, was met with a lot more vitriol and derision than even I thought was possible. When I was thinking that this project was a bit naive and probably didn’t have a chance, others were calling for the head of CEO Howard Schultz. It got so ugly that he and some other high level staffs had to shut down their Twitter accounts.

Strangely enough, it wasn’t the racists who were the main writers of hate. Instead, it was regular patrons, true customers of the store who basically said that they didn’t want any kind of conversation at all with their morning coffee. They just wanted to get their coffee and move on. As someone who’s not close to a morning person, I can understand that… to a point.

The thing is that Starbucks isn’t only open in the morning but all day. I’m not sure how much coffee drinkers need their coffee later in the day but is the topic of race off limits to them all day?

Personally, I still think this is naive, and potentially harmful for the people selling the coffee. From what I understand there’s no real training for them to initiate this conversation. So, if you’re someone who’s never even had the conversation before what to you say? “Sir, would you like to talk about race?” “Sir, what do you think about racism?” “Ma’am, do you have bad feelings towards Muslims?”

I get it; talking about race is really tough. Back in 2008 on this blog I wrote a post asking is a conversation about race possible? Last year I did a video saying Why We Have To Talk About Race . So I’m certainly not one to dodge this issue.

Still, I’m not sure that bringing it up when someone isn’t prepared to talk about it is a way to do business. Imagine being asked the questions above when your mind is elsewhere; what do you say? How do you react? What if the barrista said something like “Did you know Starbucks doesn’t support racism?” What can you say other than “that’s nice”?

This is a conversation that has to be had. But the participants must be willing, otherwise it’s just a waste of time. But I’ll admit that my thinking isn’t congealing well on Starbucks efforts. I’m trying not to be cynical or unsupportive, but I can’t see this as all that positive a move.

So, I’m asking you what your opinion is? Do you have one? Do you just want to get your cup of coffee and move on? Will you avoid Starbucks for fear you’ll be put on the spot? Or are you ready to talk about it, no matter when?

By the way… they also decided to end the conversation on race yesterday. Just thought I’d pass that news along. :-)
 

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Below is a true story. It happened to me last week. It’s a story that will have kind of a moral at the end; actually, you’ve seen the moral in the title but go with me here and just enjoy the story first.

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This doesn’t look like much more than a sink, does it?

Last Sunday night it was full of water. It wouldn’t drain, and it seemed like it was getting more and more full.

A quick trip to Wegmans for some Drano, the heavy stuff, produced nothing; it just didn’t work. I went to bed hoping it might drain in the morning, after siphoning some of the water out and pouring in the rest of the stuff in the bottle.

I woke Monday morning and went to check the sink; nothing. I was a bit downcast; I had a day of marketing planned; all out the window.

I just didn’t know what to do. I mentioned it to my wife, who’s out of town; she didn’t know what to do either. I needed to think; I went back to bed.

That sounds goofy but sometimes it’s just what I need to do. Remember, we’d just changed the clocks. My mind was muddled because I hadn’t slept much, not used to the time change yet, and I had the stupid sink on my mind.

Sleeping helped my mind think clearer. In what was my last little dream… I decided what I was going to do, and it woke me up.

I got up, got dressed, and went to the “helpful hardware store” to buy a drain snake. I figured 25 feet might be overkill, but I was going to get it done, get that drain open.

Came back home, went to the snake… and nothing. Discouraged? Not me!

I went to YouTube and watched a video telling me how to potentially fix the sink. Those of you who know me know I’m not Mr. Handyman, but I was willing to give it a shot.

Without the proper tools, I still figured out how to loosen the things that bind the pipes (plastic pipes; they might be washers but I’m not sure). Since I’d previously drained most of the water, the little bucket I put under there easily handled the rest of the water.

I pulled out the little pipes I’d disconnected and looked into them; nothing. So that wasn’t the problem.

I got my snake and popped it into the pipe I knew ran into the basement; it wasn’t happening. No matter what I tried, I just couldn’t get it to go in too far.

BioWaste Inc. II/II
Me2 via Compfight

What to do, what to do… I didn’t want to call a plumber out of the phone book (how many folks still use those?) because a few years ago it cost $80 just for the guy to show up and another $80 to repair something that took less than 5 minutes. I knew this was going to be bigger than that and it was going to cost a lot more. What to do…

Got it; check Craigslist! I couldn’t remember the last time I’d been there but I didn’t care.

I looked there and found one guy… just one guy; stunned by that. I called him and he agreed to come over after he ate dinner; I thought that was pretty nice since it was after 6:30 in the evening

He finally showed up around 8PM with his snake and drill (I don’t have a drill; my wife has one that she’s hidden from me; another story for another day).

The sucker churned and churned but fought him all the way. Eventually we went into the basement where he was able to determine that the entire pipe was clogged; so it wasn’t anything I did (whew!).

Through lots of finagling, an idea I had that ended up helping, then some other testing, he was finally able to get it all cleared; whew! He was there almost an hour, and you know what it cost me? It cost $80, plus the $20 tip I gave him. I was happy to give it to him.

So, the sink is clear, the pipes are cleaned out, and I could finally eat, as all I’d had all day was a medium Mickey D’s fries. I couldn’t cook because I couldn’t clean anything; that’s how my mind was working.

Sometimes you just have to work through your problem. When you finally figure out what to do, you have to take action. It might not work out perfectly, but taking action breeds more ideas as things either work or don’t work. Once you get going, if you’re persistent and driven, things will get done.

Someone said that stuff never seems to break down when you’re ready for it. So true; but I got it done, and treated myself to a cookie!

What action will you take today to get through a problem you’ve been having?
 

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Some of you may know that I’ve been thinking about changing my business model. I figure that at my age it’s very important that I at least consider it, because the way I have earned the bulk of my income over the last 13 or so years has meant I’ve had to spend a lot of time away from home. It also means I’ve had long periods inactivity, where I’ve had to do other things to keep money coming in the door.

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l a b e t e via Compfight

One of things which I’ve had to consider in changing my business model is that there aren’t that many people or companies who are doing it the way I want to do it. I’ve given it a lot of thought, written down what I hope to do, but I also decided that I had to branch out and talk to some other people to see if I was thinking about it correctly.

The problem I had is that there’s very few people in health care or leadership that I could talk to about this particular model. So I have had to go outside my field for the most part to get the opinion of those who are in other industries.

What that means is that I had to figure out a way to ask my questions so that, while still being prepared to give an explanation to people who aren’t in either one of those fields, I would get the kind of answers I needed to help me think about the process better.

To this date, I have talked to a good number of people about this potential change in my business model; just enough so far. I’ve had to explain to them exactly what I do, at least in health care, the type of stress my present model creates, and how I hope my new business model would create a more steady rate of income and bring my mind some peace.

I haven’t had a single person tell me that what I want to do can’t be done. There has been some very interesting questions, but what I’ve really gotten is some pretty good advice about monetizing the new business model. Truthfully, even though the new business model would bring in a nice bit of change on a more consistent basis, what many of these people have basically pointed out is that in its own way it looks like I’m setting up more of a job than a very successful consulting business.

I actually fully understood what everyone is saying. I get calls from people all the time asking me if I’m available for a particular assignment. Where things usually break down is and how much they want to pay me.

Some of the rates I’m quoted are actually kind of embarrassing. I have taken to call them “job money”. By that, I mean the the rate is akin to a very well paying job without the benefits. This means that as soon as I would be done with the particular project, I would have to immediately start scrambling because in essence, if I’m lucky, I would be left with the amount of money someone might be left with if they were terminated from their job and got four weeks of severance. That doesn’t carry you far when you’re an independent consultant.

Getting back to how to ask for advice, I tend to believe that the reason I’ve been getting the responses I want in a way that he can help me is because of how I have posed the questions. Instead of just putting everything out there and leaving people to their own devices in trying to figure out exactly what I’m asking them, I’ve been very specific in what I wanted answered.

For instance, I couldn’t ask them how they would do health care consulting because none of them are in health care, and I couldn’t ask them how to do leadership consulting because none of them are in leadership. Instead, I asked specific questions about business model and income, while mentioning this goal I have of being compensated properly for what I can offer.

I have also been specific in asking how I could market the service better when it is something that almost no one else is really doing right now. That advice hasn’t been as tight, and yet a couple of people have offered some really good suggestions that I’m going to try or research further.

The way I see it, advice can be a slippery slope at both ends. You can be requesting advice, but if you don’t explain exactly what you need you’re never going to get what you need. If you’re the person giving advice, if you don’t understand what’s being asked for and instead of asking some probing questions you just give advice based on what the person has said, you’re going to look like you don’t know what you’re talking about and nobody is served.

This is a good communications lesson to learn, and not only about asking for advice. It’s always better to make sure the proper information is on the table before any answers are given. It’s not always easy, but it’s definitely always necessary.

I have to thank those who have been able to help me as I look to change things for the betterment of my business and sanity. Salute!
 

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I sometimes wonder if people think that I am hard on hospital leadership. I want to stress that there is nothing further from the truth.

Girls' Night Out for Women’s Health, hosted by Christiana Care
Christiana Care via Compfight

The reason I talk about it from time to time as being somewhat different than almost anything else is because health care is a different animal than any other business. Whereas most of us get to decide which store we want to go into and when we want to go, and then purchase whatever we want to and go home, health care doesn’t work like that.

Why? Because other than the people who work there, nobody ever wants to go to either the doctor or the hospital. Even if you’re only going to a doctor for a physical, you’re basically taking yourself out of your comfort zone and going somewhere so that some person can touch you all over your body while you’re naked, and then make you get blood drawn or sit through an x-ray. Who thinks that’s any fun?

For the most part, it’s a flawed business model. Both hospitals and physicians often have to take chances with how they’re going to get paid. Sure, they can ask for co-pays upfront, and then bill your insurance company, but there’s no guarantee that the insurance company is going to pay the bill, let alone pay the bill on time. The expectation is great, but that’s about it.

Also, health care is the only business where you have a set fee for providing certain services that you’re never going to get paid by almost anybody. Insurance companies have fee schedules where they will only pay a certain dollar amount regardless of what you’re charging. The days where you got to bill patient’s 100% for services done, which has never been fair by the way, have changed to a point where almost all hospitals in the country now (if they have any sense) are discounting self-pay amounts in some fashion.

Finally, at least on the medical end, there’s this expectation by its consumers, aka patients, that everything is going to be 100% error-free, no mistakes, everything fully up to snuff. In health care that’s critical because even the smallest mistake could result in someone’s death; deal with that for a moment. However, everybody knows perfection is a myth, but that’s still the expectation.

This means health care leadership really has a lot of things on its plate. Add to that the problem of leadership skills and you’re faced with a daunting problem.

Patients don’t care so much about leadership skills, but hospitals need to. Hospitals need to know that they have hired not only people who are technically skilled, but inspiring leaders who can get their employees to do the best work possible while making sure that no shortcuts are taken, that everything is washed as thoroughly as it possibly can be, that patients are treated with courtesy and respect, and that their revenue not only maintains at a sufficient level but finds a way to increase.

As someone who has been in health care for more than 30 years, I know what the problems are but also know these are the types of things that need to be in place but aren’t. So I talk about it.

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Amine GHRABI via Compfight

You know who always has leadership training? Chief executive officers, that’s who. And they should because the job they have is really difficult. Not only do they have to oversee all aspects of the hospital, but at varying times they have to be great politicians, cheerleaders, marketers, principals, number crunchers, teachers, and reporters. They have to work with a diverse group of people, sometimes stroking egos, other times laying down the hammer, but the buck always stops with them.

All other positions in the hospital? There’s no guarantee that any of them will have the proper leadership skills to get the right things accomplished. That sounds scary on the surface until you realize that most businesses and companies don’t have people in leadership positions with that skill. At least in health care the person at the very top has been given some leadership skill training; there are plenty of businesses that have a CEO who has never received any leadership training nor cares to. Also, at least in health care you know that every department director has some technical skill over a portion of their area… we’ll leave that alone for now.

I believe that no business runs well if its leaders don’t know the basic leadership skills it takes to work with other people. It might work well for a time, but it can’t sustain itself. Steve Jobs himself learned that lesson the first time he was let go from his own company, and even though when he returned he was still a driven man, he had learned some humility and that it was better to work with people than it was to try to do bully them into doing it his way.

So, it’s not that I pick on leadership in health care as much as I advocate for better leadership in health care. Based on what I’ve seen over the years, I don’t think the message gets through.

Whenever you take sales training, those folks are always saying that sometimes it takes as many as 16 initiations of conversation with prospects to get them to even notice you’re there so that you can begin the process of trying to market to them. I’ve spent portions of the last 13 1/2 years on this topic because I’m hoping that more people at the top levels of health care leadership will hear this message, understand it, take it seriously and then hopefully work to do something about it.

In today’s climate health care is taking a beating in the public eye. In my opinion, having more leaders who know how to lead rather than just how to technically take care of things can go a long way towards eradicating many of the issues. Empowering more people and getting more ideas for improvement is always the best way to go.

After all, the best people to help get things accomplished are the people who are already doing it on a daily basis. But if you don’t work with them they’re just going to stay silent, and leadership can’t fix things if they don’t know what’s broke.

Who out there really think this is unreasonable? I hope to hear from you as well as the people who think I might be onto something.
 

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Some years ago, I had a conversation with a potential coaching client. It was the exploratory session, the free one, where I listen to what the other person is telling me they want to work on and gives me some information on their life. I wasn’t sure how or where this person had heard of me, but I knew this person had heard of me somehow, and had read some things I’d written; guess I’m in some odd places on the Internet.

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The conversation was going along pretty well, and then out of left field he said this: “I believe you’re the person to take control of my life and tell me what to do, step by step, so that I can be a better person.”

I paused at that, because I was caught off guard; that doesn’t happen every day. But it has happened many times in my past, in my role as a manager or director.

I tend to generate pretty intense loyalty sometimes, which is a nice thing. During one two year period at one of my positions, I only lost one employee, and that was due to her husband, who was in the military, being transferred to another state. It’s never bad to have people who like working with, and for, you.

But every once in a while, it goes beyond the normal employee-manager relationship. I’m not talking romantic; I’m talking along the lines of idolatry. And trust me, when it gets to that point, it’s uncomfortable, and it’s something you need to try to address as soon as possible.

I had one employee in particular who wasn’t having it. She saw me as her mentor and ultimate protector within two or three weeks of working for me. She was in my office at least once an hour, if not more, talking to me and asking me all sorts of questions that were unrelated to work. I finally had to mention it to her, telling her that she needed to use her time more wisely in trying to learn her job.

I also took what turned out to be a very prudent step; I mentioned it to the director of human resources. As usual, this director thought I was making a mountain out of a molehill; why is it that when certain things are happening, no one else seems to see it? In my case, one of my supervisors did see it, so I had someone to back me up if needed.

She took what I had to say and stopped coming into my office all the time. However, within a week, I started receiving letters from her; long letters. The longest letter I received was 15 pages, hand written, both sides. I kept the letters, made copies of them, and kept the originals in my desk, which was locked every night (along with my office; I hadn’t done that before), gave one copy to the director of human resources, who now realized how serious it was, we shared the information with the vice president of finance, who I reported to, and I took a copy home to my wife.

This last one could have been considered dicey, because I was taking what might be deemed as privileged information out of the workplace. However, I had this sense of protection that I knew I had to uphold, both mine and my wife’s. After all, I had read the letters, and suddenly she was mentioning my wife and using the same kinds of terms she was using for me, and of course they had never met, since I lived over an hour away. I felt my wife had to know, in case one day a strange woman showed up at the door.

I realized I had to have a talk with her, so I had her come into the office, and had one of my supervisors come in as a witness. I truthfully told her that her job performance was subpar, which it was, and that I was going to have to put her on probation for an extra 30 days, as we only had a two month probation period at that time. Though my supervisor knew about the letters, I didn’t want to bring that out into the open with her in my office.


Girish Gopi via Compfight

I then told her that she needed to go to human resources to talk to them, which wasn’t the norm, but she didn’t know that. While in human resources, the director there told her he had copies of the letters, and that she was bordering on harassment and could be subject to immediate dismissal if she continued the behavior.

The letters stopped, and her behavior was more professional in general, but her work performance wasn’t coming close to the level we needed her to be at. I ended up getting lucky; on a fluke, she ended up not showing up for work for a couple of days without calling, and when she did call to try to explain I told her she was terminated.

She never did come back, but she sent me a few letters, which I never responded to, and then she used my name as a reference for other positions for the next four years. Strange as it sounds, I never really felt worried personally by her behavior, which is probably why I acted the way I did, but I always felt that there was a vibe that had changed in the office during the time she was there, and it seemed like the entire area breathed a big sigh of relief when they knew for sure that she wasn’t coming back.

And that brings us back to this person on the phone. This time, I didn’t have someone sitting right in front of me, or someone who knew where I lived (we were in different states) or someone who I had actually met.

So I told him that the business of coaching wasn’t about taking over anyone’s life, and that I wouldn’t be accepting the responsibility. I said that every person was responsible for their own lives, and that, with coaching, he would learn how to find ways to take control of his own life, as well as learn how to work better with others.

I finished by saying that, during the process, we would always be friendly, but we would never be friends. We didn’t end up working with each other, but I gave him some tools that, if he took advantage of them, would help him to learn some things about himself, as well as offer the opportunity to take some steps towards positive change.

Like leadership and management relationships, the roles need to be defined up front, then on a consistent basis. It’s fine when someone feels comfortable enough to confide certain things to you, because that’s going to happen. You can’t work with someone 40 hours a week and not feel some sort of affection with some people.

But one has to always be cautious not to let it go too far, because, at that point, there are way too many things at stake, and, as a manager, you only get one chance to get it right.
 

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It had to come eventually and today is the day; yay!

Mitch’s Blog, aka the blog of T. T. Mitchell Consulting Inc, has hit 10 years of existence. Of course, multiple times I’ve told the story of this blog, how I didn’t know what I was doing, how some posts were really just quick thoughts, how I lost it & my website and had to start it all again from scratch after recovering many early posts… Ah, the tales I could tell!

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Of course, there’s the one disappointing thing about this blog. While it’s actually gotten me a speaking engagement and is listed on Robert Kiyosaki’s Alltop page (which is a major honor by the way), it’s never generated the kind of interest that my I’m Just Sharing blog has.

Maybe it’s because I’ve written fewer articles on this site (around 1,180 to almost 1,600). Maybe it’s because the topics here, related to business issues for the most part, aren’t as sexy as blogging, social media, or just my thoughts about all sorts of things.

Regardless, I’ve now been plowing along at it for as long as I wrote my business newsletter. The biggest difference is that I ended the newsletter, while I have no intention of stopping this any time soon. Sorry to those of you who just might wish it would go away. lol

I came into this post with all sorts of thoughts about what to write on. Should I do a “10 things about…” type of post? Nah; I did a 13 leadership lessons post in June, followed by a 13 business lessons post in July highlighting my 13 years in business. In 2014 I even wrote a post highlighting the fact that I’d hit over 3,500 posts on all my blogs and other blogs I’ve written combined; whew!

Instead, I thought I’d highlight some of the most popular posts on this blog over the years, including only one from 2014 (where my peeps at?) and one from the year I actually started posting articles on this blog after my server crashed in 2006.

So, below are 15 posts; hey, I’m trying to deliver more value here okay? :-) I have no idea why these caught on and others didn’t but I’ll take what I can get. I’m not going to say a lot about any of these; I might not even say something about all of them, though I’m not sure yet.

They are what they are, and they cover the gamut of what I do, as well as one personal post. With that said, let’s look at these 15:

10 Reasons Harry Potter Is A Great Leader; this is my most popular post ever! Since I write it in 2011 it’s always at the top of the list each month; probably because of Harry Potter and not my brilliance. :-)

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Ten Affirmations; I wrote this post in 2006 so it’s the oldest on the list. I started getting into affirmations in 2004 and I believe this was the first time I’d written about it. This post came after I added all those posts I’d lost and had to recover.

True Courage, Courtesy of My Great Grandmother; this is the only post from 2014 and proves that people really do love posts that tell a story.

RAC Audits; A Commentary; I wrote this post in 2008 and it still gets lots of visits after many years. For those of you not in health care RAC audits are audits of hospitals by contracted companies looking for what they deem is billing fraud; hospitals don’t like it one bit. One of 3 posts that have received the most comments ever, though that’s not really saying much when compared to my other blog…

Black People Are Too Sensitive?; written in 2010, a guy wrote me saying black people were too sensitive about things based on a customer service issue I was having, I debated it with another guy for a bit, then the original guy stopped by and we settled the difference; still, it was a bit of fun. Tied for most comments ever…

Can Self Help Really Help?; written in 2012, the third article tied for the most comments…

The Biggest Cause Of Leadership Failure; can you guess before you check it out? Written in 2011

When You’re Not Respected As A Professional; a post I wrote in 2011 when all I was trying to do was get paid for services. I eventually was…

Why Do Restaurants Get Customer Service Right?; I eat out often so in 2011 I wondered why they get it right when so many companies mess it up badly.

Think Like You’re Awesome!; motivational post I wrote in 2011

How To Deal With A “Yeller”; I hate people who feel they have the right to yell at someone because they’re in charge and wrote about it in 2011

10 Customer Service Lessons In 2 Minutes; written in 2012 because people like quick & easy things to read sometimes

10 Motivational Points In 2 Minutes; ditto to the above, in 2012

What Is A Charge Master?; written in 2011, it’s a health care thing that lists every procedure, supply & pharmaceutical hospitals and doctors can charge for, pre-coded to make the process go smoother. If you want more information, which you probably don’t, check out this link, where you can watch my most popular video ever (it just hit 1,000 views lol) that’s talking about the subject.

Why Managers Treat Employees Badly; written in 2011, pretty self explanatory.

Will I be around for another 10 years of blogging? Well, I’m 55 1/2, and since I don’t plan on retiring any time soon (unless I get that $10 million in the bank that I’m striving for), it’s possible… ;-)
 

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