I'm often asked what I do for business. I answer that differently depending upon who I'm talking to. If I'm talking to people in health care, I mentioned that I'm a health care finance consultant. If I'm talking to people who work in large organizations, mentioned that I am a leadership and diversity presenter and trainer. When I talked to the general public I mention that I write, blog, and talk a lot about social media.

learning and educating

I mention different things to different people because I try to ascertain what the person I'm speaking to might be most interested in. If I'm talking to someone who owns a pizza shop, they're probably not going to care that I work in health care or leadership, but social media might be something they're interested in because they may be thinking about doing an online campaign. If I'm talking to people in health care, I never talk about writing or blogging because I know they couldn't care less.

Truth be told though, as I think more about what it is I do, there's one thing that binds all of these things together. Overall, I educate.

In the two books I've written on leadership, my goal was to educate.

When I go into a hospital and I do either a charge master review or an interim leadership gig, my main goal is to try to make everything better by educating others based on the knowledge I've garnered over almost 35 years.

The purpose in writing and blogging and learning more about social media is so I can share that knowledge with others, aka educate.

What I've realized is that over the years I have actually taught a lot of C-level executives in hospitals about billing, charge capture, charge master and a host of other things. I've also realized that billing people who have reported to me have not only learned things from me but have taught me a lot.

When I've spoken at conferences about leadership or diversity, I stand in front of people as an authority on the subject and yet I have to step back and realize that I have learned a lot when I presented. Every time I think down to write a blog post or article and then put it out to the public, somewhere along the line someone reads it and offers me feedback and it gives me the opportunity to be educated about something that I thought I knew a lot about already.

lil_foot_ / Pixabay

All of us are being educated whether we want to be or not. I say it that way because one of the things I've heard often in all these years I've been self-employed is that executives don't like it when someone presents things to them as if they don't know it, even if they don't know it. Supposedly they're ready to bite back at anybody who presumes there's something they don't know, and they feel that because of the position they hold no one should be left thinking that there's something they don't know that goes on within their company.

This of course is ridiculous thinking. Hasn't anyone ever heard of Undercover Boss?

How many CEOs are there that go from company to company, which have totally unrelated businesses, and assume the mantle of responsibility and sometimes do a really good job without knowing a single thing about the organization when they got there? They may have heard the name, and may have a general idea what the company does, but quite often they don't know the ins and outs of the particular industry that there getting themselves into.

What does that mean? It means they have to be educated, and they're going to get educated by people whose position level is below theirs.

As a consultant, I know going in that I'm being asked to be there because I have a competency and knowledge base they don't already have. It doesn't mean they're unintelligent; it just means they've recognized there's something missing or something that needs to be taking care of by someone with a skill or knowledge level that they don't already have and don't have employees that have that knowledge or level of expertise.

There's nothing wrong with not knowing at all. Trust me, I had to come to this conclusion and many years ago and I didn't like it one bit. lol I realized that I had way too many interests to even have a chance at knowing at all.

When it comes to my business, every day there is a new leadership book or three that hits the market. Quite often during the year there are new procedure codes that I have to learn in order to do my health care work. Seemingly every day there's a search engine messing something up for the little guy and I have to learn how to navigate that so that I can try to be successful with my online writing.

We're always learning, and we need to be. If someone else has the knowledge we need, there's no shame in going to that person and getting that knowledge. If they're willing to share that knowledge, even if it comes at a price, and it can make you better, go for it.

And I'm not just saying that because I'm a consultant. 🙂