Our Turn

It’s been a difficult week in Pittsburgh. The horrific shooting at the Tree of Life Synagogue on Saturday has tested the steely resolve of this City and all of her inhabitants, Sheila and I included. I’ve told myself that it is just like the other tragedies that Las Vegas, Orlando, Parkland, Sandy Hook (and unfortunately others) experienced. Even though I am Jewish and this happened in my community, I saw this event as just another in the long string of what has become ridiculously normal for our country. I was wrong. When you know exactly where the building is located, know people who had their Bar or Bat Mitzvah in that sanctuary, have your own remembrances of religious experiences, and Read More

Burnout 2: Sales Men and Women

Last week’s RW on Physician and Nurse Burnout provided quite a bit of interest from several physician colleagues and other health care professionals. I was surprised, however, to hear from folks in other fields who felt their burnout levels were pretty high, although they all acknowledged that medical professional’s concerns took it to a higher level. Among the most vocal were sales professionals. They pointed out that their challenge to deliver is a daily battle that cannot be won but only played. “Delivered a big deal; Great, now what?” Like other successful professionals, burnout in the sales industry is a common problem and research from DePaul University showed that there is a 26% turnover rate for sales teams at an Read More

Concern, Aggravation, Grievance: Don’t Do This to Your Customers

I’m attending a high-end conference event at one of America’s finest resort hotels and if I shared the name of this property, most everyone would identify it as a place with a reputation for impeccable customer service. That is what I thought too, but a funny thing happened the other day. My room didn’t get cleaned the entire day. I was a bit surprised when I came back to my room for a little rest over lunch to find that the room hadn’t been made up. Understandable, but a bit concerning given the fact that the Hotel was not that crowded. I came back at 4 PM…still no service. Now, I was a bit aggravated and called the front desk. Read More

Physician and Nurse Burnout

I’ve been working with healthcare professionals for the past 30 years and when I talk to my healthcare colleagues, I hear the same things I’ve heard for all those years. “Healthcare is really crazy right now.” The truth is that healthcare professionals are smart, highly dedicated, and hard working. The challenge for them is all about the shifting business requirements and expectations that have happened as healthcare has become industrialized. A recent study in the Harvard Business Review, discussing physical and nurse burnout, pointed to two factors that contribute to whether or not a health care professional experience this phenomenon. The first is referred to as “activation” which is what motivates a physician or nurse to find their work meaningful. Read More

Leadership Endurance

I was scheduled to meet with the CEO of a billion dollar company last month when he sent me an email explaining that he had to cancel our meeting. He was overwhelmed with budget and operational issues and was not in a place where he could talk about his own leadership style. I suggested to him that he not worry about our meeting right now and that his emphasis was absolutely on the mark. After all, making sure that 2019 budgets were completed should be his highest priority. He appreciated my understanding and I know he was pleased that I affirmed the correctness of his decision. When we do get together, I want to share with him some of the Read More

The Problems of Democracy

It probably won’t surprise anyone to find out that in a recent survey by the American Psychological Association, 57% of Americans reported that they were stressed by our current political landscape. Last week must have seen that number skyrocket. If you are an involved citizen, there is no way to avoid being concerned about all that is swirling about us. It’s more than politics, however. It is about your patriotism and belief in the values of our country. After all, as John Dewey once said, “the answer to the problems of democracy is more democracy.” That probably means more stress for all of us. In the Resilience Advantage, my co-author Alan Weiss and I write that stress is unavoidable and Read More