I went to Marilyn's funeral this past Saturday. It was really nice, and a lot of her close friends from the hospital showed up. I was sitting next to Cindy, and we had a conversation the previous day regarding dedication of employees and the definition of the word "it". (as in "she gets it" or "he doesn't get it") We've had this conversation for years and have tried to figure out our meaning of the simple two letter word. At Marilyn's service, Cindy leaned over and said "'it' means commitment". Pow! Absolutely. I think it was Marilyn's spirit and love for the organization that cemented this word and clearly showed us that whether or not Marilyn was paid at all or lived 100 miles away; above all else she demonstrated a level of commitment to the organization. Whether or not she agreed with me or Carla or anyone, she was passionate with her perspective that the right things happen at the organization ... she was committed.
As we've gotten larger and more complex - a contingency of folks (myself included) felt that commitment had a geographic component. "She doesn't live in Clarion - so obviously she is not committed to Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics" ... gosh, I'm sorry, I was wrong. I now realize that you could live across the street from my office and have absolutely no commitment whatsoever. The degree as to your engagement and commitment has nothing to do with where you live. Looking at the rooms of people learning EPIC and hours of training (whether you are regularly scheduled for those hours or not) and response to traumas and volunteering and on and on ... the citizens of Clarion aren't necessarily that much more committed than the employees from Franklin county.
According to Webster's dictionary: the definition of commitment is: a promise to do or give something, a promise to be loyal to someone or something, the attitude of someone who works very hard to do or support something.
Sounds like our Standards of Behavior doesn't it? A dedicated attitude bathed in loyalty. In the past couple of years, I've had some situations in my life (outside Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics) that required me to examine my loyalty - Was I going through the motions because of obligation and not because in my heart of hearts I was truly loyal? And even though it took me awhile to unwind myself from the situation (be it a friendship or grounded or a service group or committee ...) in the end, my exit helped both parties because my lack of commitment colored the situation in not a great light.
Marilyn glowed. She colored the situations she was involved in, in hues of red and purple (usually sparkling). Her commitment was palpable. She made me smile.
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO