A Monthly Publication from Citrin Consulting
November | 2010


Courageous Leadership

TED Talks

The Health Care Corner

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Courageous Leadership

I am pleased to announce the launch of my new website, www.citrinconsulting.com along with this inaugural issue of "Courageous Leadership". When you go to my site you will find useful resources, my Blog and ideas about how to create greater success in your work. Thank you for your continued support and I look forward to working with you in the future.

When I first started to talk with people about naming my newsletter “Courageous Leadership”, I received a fair amount of pushback from colleagues and clients about whether leadership actually entails much courage. They tended to think about courage as being physical in nature and that in some ways, perhaps, we are being disrespectful of police officers, soldiers, firefighters and other professionals who may put their lives on the line for the safety and security of others.

Of course, what they are talking about is “Physical Courage”, which is the ability to be brave in the face of pain, death, deprivation and danger. “Moral Courage” is the ability to act rightly to popular opposition, discouragement, hardship, and standing up to principles that you believe in and care about.

Over the past ten years or so, there has been another movement afoot to look at the everyday courage that each of us possesses but which may not always be easily apparent. This idea stems from the “positive psychology” movement that shares the belief that for too long we have focused our attentions on what people do wrong instead of what people do right. This approach attempts to affirm the good in each of us and provides another path to dealing with our work, family and ourselves. The prime movers, Chris Peterson and Martin Seligman identified several elements of courage as a human capability, These include:

Bravery: Bravery is the quality that most of us attribute to courage and while bravery certainly can have a physical connotation to it, bravery can also be defined as the ability to get done what needs to get done despite fear or worry about the consequences.

Perseverance: Perseverance is about stick-to-itiveness. Continuing to move ahead when times are things get tough.

Honesty: Honesty is more than telling the truth and speaks to the broader idea of integrity. It is an this concept that entails being true to not only others but also to oneself and in the role you play in the world whether it be as a parent, employee or regular old citizen.

Zest: Zest is the quality of exuberance and feeling alive. Zest encompasses the ability to live life fully and to take the ups and downs as they come. Having a sense of humor, being able to see alternatives and having a positive attitude in the face of challenges are all a part of zest.

Being courageous is something each of us does everyday. We may not be saving lives, preserving freedom or righting a wrong but in our small ways we can demonstrate our small acts of courage help us take small steps toward making a better world.


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TED Talks

Are you familiar with TED Talks? If not, let me share the gift of TED with you. Here is the description from their web site…

“TED is a small nonprofit devoted to Ideas Worth Spreading. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment, Design. Since then its scope has become ever broader. Along with two annual conferences -- the TED Conference in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, and the TEDGlobal conference in Oxford UK each summer -- TED includes the award-winning TEDTalks video site, the Open Translation Project and Open TV Project, the inspiring TED Fellows and TEDx programs, and the annual TED Prize.”

What is especially cool about TED, is they record and then post all their presentations so they are available to everybody. Some of the most brilliant, thoughtful and persuasive speakers share their wisdom with the rest of us. Each month, I’ll pass on one of my favorite TED’s for your view.

This month, I want to share Aimee Mullins TED talk about her 12 pairs of legs. Aimee is a Paralympics Gold Medalist who has become an advocate on behalf of the disabled. Aimee wears prosthetic legs and while she displays a dozen of her legs in this video, her real message is about how we view disabilities and why we should change our thinking about it. My favorite line from this video – “Pamela Anderson has more prosthetic in her body than I do, but nobody calls her disabled.” As with all TED’s, this is a great presentation.



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The Health Care Corner

I care deeply about health care and work with companies and organizations to develop strategies to improve the engagement of employees in the management of their own healthcare. My commitment to this work goes back to when I was a practicing psychologist and observed the power of healing that occurs when people take care of themselves, whether physically or emotionally, or both.

After practicing for 10 years and having built one of the largest mental health clinics in the Southwest, I was able to sell my practice to a national health care company. This allowed me to begin working with larger populations of people, to develop health and wellness programs for state governments, teacher groups, and corporations. I saw in these situations where, with employer’s help, employees could improve their own health status and in so doing, reduce health care costs.

Today my focus is on improving employee and individual’s engagement in the management of personal health. For too long, we have relied on other people to help us manage our health and our healthcare; from our doctors, to our health insurance companies, to our employers. Now is the time for each of us to become informed consumers of healthcare and to take responsibility for our own health.

So what is an “engaged” healthcare consumer? How do you know if you are engaged in the management of your own healthcare? The Gallup Organization has a program related to healthcare engagement and they say that an engaged patient is not just someone who is satisfied with their healthcare but also someone who feels an emotional attachment and connection to their provider’s brand or services. That means if you are really connected and trust your doctor, pharmacy, or dentist, then you are an engaged patient.

But I would take this a bit further. How does someone become an engaged health care consumer. Here are five strategies I promote:

  1. Knowledge: You know your family medical history and the genetic predispositions that may run in your family. You also know and track your “numbers” such as your blood pressure or cholesterol levels.
  2. Partnerships: You see your doctor and other healthcare professionals as partners on your healthcare team and recognize that you are the quarterback.
  3. Self-care: You do good things for yourself such as exercising, getting enough sleep, talking to friends and family members regularly, and once in a while, you eat dessert first.
  4. Consumer: You know that healthcare is not free and that you pay for it through premiums, co-pays and taxes. You are a careful purchaser of healthcare services to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
  5. Inquiry: You keep asking questions until you are sure you have an answer you are satisfied with about your own health, and the health of your loved ones.

Being an engaged healthcare consumer is not without effort, but I believe it needs to become the norm for all of us in the not too distant future. Take steps to find out more about how you can become the Master of Your Health Care Universe.


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