My last posting proposed five required leadership constants necessary for leading a management system transformation. That posting came to life after I read an excellent article by Dr. John Toussaint titled “A Management, Leadership, and Board Road Map to Transforming Care for Patients” in which Dr. Toussaint outlines the behaviors and leadership characteristics necessary for creating and leading a management system that is focused on processes.
Following that posting, I had the opportunity to explore these constants further with colleagues, clients and a distinguished group of health care leaders. Through these exchanges, there have been several adds to the list including empathy, respect for people, compassion, openness, authenticity, self-awareness, vulnerability…
I agree with all the additions. And I want to come back to the beginning: Willingness. Willingness to think, act, behave and lead in ways very different from what has gotten us to where we are today.
In the recent conversations, one executive stated: “I start the day with good intent, but it doesn’t play out that way”. My coaching question: “Were you able to find time at the end of the day to reflect on what happened that knocked you off track?” “Were you willing to go at it again the next day practicing the critical leadership constants?”
My obvious bias is that Willingness, without Reflection as the enabling behavior, is pretty tough. Reflection, on a daily cadence, is necessary for learning and therefore a strong lever for maintaining the willing spirit.
Reflection at the end of each day: “What went well?” “What could I have done differently?” “Any adjustments for tomorrow?” Reflection at the start of each day: “I am ready for the day/week/month?” “How do I want to lead today?”
I think that we all start each day with good intention. The question is are we willing to reflection and learn? Are we willing to apply those reflections and learnings with intent?