Four dogs rushed me as if to bite me, last night on my run at 7PM. The owners ran after the dogs as if embarrassed. I just stood still and fortunately didn’t get bit. I think I shrieked a bit when I reminded them of the leash law … sigh. It pumped up my endorphins, and I ended up having a great run – who needs coffee when you’re about to get chomped by a Pomeranian? (Actually, only one of the dogs was a little yappy thing – the others were large and decidedly vicious …)
This got me to thinking of leadership things. One thing that came to mind was the “sense of urgency” concept. John Kotter said in his book Leading Change, in essence that we need a burning issue to drive us to our successful outcome. Get everyone on board- “We need to win this game if we want to go to state!”. Last night’s run – my motivation, my sense of urgency was a desire not to get bit. I was successful. What if our sense of urgency at Iowa Specialty Hospitals & Clinics was like getting chased by dogs (insurance companies, regulations, ACA, Obamacare …), and we just needed to be calm and collected, and understand what to do to avoid the pain and suffering that a bite would bring. I mentioned this to the barber today while I was getting my haircut and he suggested dog mace. If possible I would like to respond in a loving way as opposed to macing the dog. Same with our “dogs” (insurance companies, regulations, ACA, Obamacare). My dad* used to say when on ice and sliding, turn the wheel into the slide to avoid a wreck. (I think? I really never got this concept). The thought is to basically think through the reaction and don’t overreact … run screaming from the dog (they’ll definitely bite you) … sue the insurance companies and post all sorts of rants about the government (you’ll be audited and all sorts of bad stuff will happen).
“So Steve, are you saying that calmness and love will be your leadership drivers over this next year? Appreciate the sense of urgency, but react in a manner that is more chill than shrill?” Yes, nicely put. More chill than shrill. That will be the new Steve for Fiscal 15/16. (Happy New Fiscal Year by the way!)
*driver’s ed teacher
-Steve Simonin, President & CEO