I had a lot of time to think this past weekend as I put about a hundred miles on my bike; rode a couple of trails down around Des Moines. As I pedaled I came to the conclusion that I’ve been wrong about a lot of stuff in life. Don’t get me wrong, a lot of great things have happened, but I think I wasn’t necessarily the one behind making those decisions – some call it luck, some call it divine intervention. When I went against the “little voice in my head” and made an ego based decision, it usually was wrong.
I think when we listen to our heads and ignore our hearts, we end up in trouble. “I know the answer, but where is the ROI?”Sometimes a return or profit leads us down the wrong path. Sometimes just doing the deed is reward in itself.
Let’s think about our journey at Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics. When we embarked on this ride 17 years ago and were told to “ignore the financials – focus on service and quality and the numbers will follow” … this went against all conventional wisdom of running a hospital. We trusted though, and it paid off. I think sometimes we forgot about the financials too much (and got in trouble), and there were times when we focused too much on the numbers (and got into trouble), but in the end, when patient and staff engagement took center stage, we couldn’t help but succeed. Doing the right thing – from a quality and service perspective always rights the ship.
A preacher once told me to “doubt my doubts”. When I allow my ego to create doubt in a decision, I need to re-reflect. As a certified, red blooded human, my ego is in place and fully functioning so it will naturally question each and every decision with the thought “what’s in this for me?” This is where I am usually wrong – “what’s in it for me?” usually changes the correct answer into a selfish one.
Quality and service aren’t usually self serving and it makes it for a harder path; but in the end it is the right and lasting answer.