Wednesday, December 21, 2011
As we watch another year wind down and celebrate the Christmas season and the beginning of a new year, I want to extend a simple thank you to friends and clients (they are one in the same) for another satisfying year of business challenges opportunities and friendships. It has been my privilege to contribute to your success and to have grown together.

Over the past 18 months I've been working with a select group of PT private practices from around the USA in a new business collaborative called InVisage. It is a close knit group that is quietly redefining how physical therapy is practiced and the opportunities that build on our competencies. If you are a PT private practice owner you might be interested. 

Because of my time commitments to the InVisage practices and other select physical therapy and personal training clients, I'm finding less and less time to blog for "public" benefit. Instead, my daily blogging and twice a week webinars are be directed toward creating prosperity for the committed few. Doing so also protects my personal time with family and friends.

The several hundred timeless blog posts that are contained here have been gathered over the years and are here for your exploration and use - I'm confident you will find benefit as a practice owner and countless others. I would particularly call your attention to the Matrix series (see select post topics in the lower left column).

 I'll be back from time to time with posts as time allows. In the meantime, feel free to contract me if I can be of service.

All the Best,

(c) 2011
Performance Builders

Friday, October 7, 2011

Welcome Gray Institute Live Symposium Participants

I have the privilege to speak at the Gray Institute Live Applied Functional Science Symposium in Chicago today. There will be dozens of speakers presenting on one stage with hundreds of therapists, trainers, and coaches participating. WOW!

My topic topic is "Tweakology ...Consider the Possibilities"

There are just 3 primary colors - red, blue, and green; yet when combined they produce infinite color possibilities - think rainbows, sunsets, and art. And, that's just the visible spectrum that our eyes can see... there is also the infrared and ultraviolet portion of the spectrum. The visible spectrum represents our body, the infrared our minds, and the ultraviolet our spirits - all three are a part of the spectrum and a part of life.

So too, exercise involves 3 primary elements - a person, a task, and an environment that engage 3 primary variables - movement, force, and time. When combined, they too produce infinite possibilities that touch body, mind, and spirit - that which we see and that which we don't see.

These elements and variables are what put the Magic in the 3-D Matrix.The possibilities are endless.

In preschool children are given a blank piece of paper and crayons (affordances) and invited to color. They predictably choose their favorite color (attractor well) and scribble (emmergent patterns) randomly across the paper (environment). Over time kids learn to draw lines, shapes and images (constraints). They learn to color (move) within the lines with purpose. They learn to mix (integrate) color and to introduce shading, texture, and perspective. Every child is unique. Every drawing is a unique reflection of the child who drew it.

So too it is with exercise. People tend to choose a few favorites and apply them randomly and even recklessly. But exercise like color can be evolved, refined, and customized to reflect the unique needs and aspirations of any person at any time.

As therapists, trainers, and coaches we are artists. We don't paint on canvas but rather sculpt in the flesh and bones of our patients, clients, and athletes.

Tweak! ...Put the magic in the matrix. ...Put the magic in living!

Enjoy this celebration of kids, color, and movement and remember you have the power to create perfect exercise for each person you engage... The Crayola Song (~4 min.). 

Consider this Matters That Matter Reflection "Creatures" on the art of sculpting movement.

Search for the magic! Become the artist you are meant to be!

All the Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Vote Yourself Off the Island

I talk to a lot of Private Practice Physical Therapy Owners every week. Most describe feeling like a cast-away alone on a desert island, under the hot sun of regulations without shade, insufficient resources, and surrounded by sharks (declining compensation, rising costs, staffing challenges, productivity issues, moneyed competition, an un-level playing field, and more...). It seems the harder they work the less they have to show for it. Time for family, friends and the rewards of success continue to erode.

As long as PT practice owners continue to play a defense game alone, they WILL continue to lose and lose BIG!

It's time to take control, team up and go on offense!

All The Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

We're Breaking-Out...

The practice of physical therapy is controlled by payers not patients and professionals. Insurers (private and government) define PT practice. When you play a game defined by someone else, on their field, with their equipment, rules and referees, who do you think is likely to win? For decades PT has built walls to protect the interests of consumers and qualified providers. Today those walls are feeling less like a castle fortress and more like prison walls.

It's time to break out!

All the Best!
(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Sunday, September 25, 2011


The following from Seth Godin crossed my desk this morning and I thought it worth sharing...

Marketing of the placebo: Everyone gets their own belief

"The placebo effect isn't a lie. In fact, if you believe something is going to help you get better, it may very well do just that.

This very same effect works with stereo equipment, wine, politicians... just about everything where our belief intersects with reality.

You can believe that Ford is better than Chevy, that California reds are better than French ones and that your particular tribe is right (and that everyone else is wrong.)

Marketers love the placebo effect because it opens the door to stories and fables and word of mouth and varied perceptions. It gives marketers room to sell more than price and features. The first cultural byproduct this benefit creates is the notion that everyone is entitled to believe what they believe, and it’s rude to question it.

The second, is a real problem, though. If you spend enough time experiencing your own take on reality, you come to believe that what works for you might actually be a universal truth. Marketing plus psychology might equal science, it seems.

For the placebo to work, you have to believe it, but sometimes believing requires suspension of your connection with verifiable fact.

When that happens, we might believe that we’re entitled to believe things that conflict with demonstrable truth and an understanding of reality. With enough internal spin, you can believe that the moon walk was a fake, that levitation is possible and that the world is only 6,000 years old. You are welcome to believe that aqua metals will improve your sports performance and that z-rays will cure your arthritis, but only until it collides with things that are actually true. Placebos are a good thing, and everyone is entitled to their own beliefs, but they're not entitled to their own science.

We now have to deal with the fallout from personal science. We've so blurred the lines between stories we tell ourselves and our perception of the outside world that it's easy to be confused and easier still to confuse others if it advances your cause...."

As the saying goes, "The problem is not in what we don't know, but what we do know that just ain't so." Where is the placebo affect holding back your performance, career, practice, relationships, potential? What is it that you believe that just ain't so?
Saturday, August 13, 2011

InVisage InVitation

Over the past few months I've hinted about a group of progressive physical therapy practice owners that have come together from across the country to redefine competitive advantage and in doing so create new possibilities and prosperity for their practices. They are clear-eyed professionals who understand one does not take the lead by playing follow-the-leader or running with the crowd. 

When everyone is zigging there's a lot of value in zagging. They are zagging - big time! 

Maybe you should too...

Each has purpose, autonomy, and mastery in their clinic practice, business operations,  marketing, and in themselves as leaders. Each is practicing differently, each is practicing better, each has taken control of their own future and reward is seeking them out. 

Times have changed. Old patterns of practice are no longer adequate.Old patterns of professional association have lost potency. The playing field is not level and will not become level. Risks are greater as are their consequences. The rules and economics of practice have changed forever.

This coming together of like-minded private practice owners is called InVisage. It is doing together what no one practice could do alone. InVisage is a game changer. It is an exclusive collaboration of premier practices in exclusive markets that are innovating fast, gaining momentum, and getting results. InVisage is not out to change the profession; but rather to progress beyond the profession. Its not about surviving. It is about thriving.Invisage is for progressive physical therapy private practice owners who belief there is more, much more, than the tightening constraints and frustrations of traditional PT practice.  

Interested? Contact me. 

Perhaps InVisage is in your future...

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011 
Performance Builders
Friday, August 12, 2011

You are the Gold

"Recent fluctuations in the stock market have driven the price of gold way up. Many people believe that when currency weakens, gold is a standard that you can depend on.
 I’m not an economist, so I cannot say if this approach is correct. Yet whenever I hear about people flocking to buy gold, I remember the advice I once heard a spiritual teacher give a student who could not seem to get a handle on prosperity. “You are the gold,” he told her.
We all like the idea of what money can do for us, but few of us recognize what we can do for ourselves. Spiritual guide Bashar predicts that, at some point, our economy will shift from a standard based on commodities such as gold or oil, to a standard based on the value of people and the skills and talents we have to offer. We will cease to trust in stuff and begin to trust in spirit.
This makes a lot of sense to me. There is much strife in the world as people fight over commodities with limited resources. Meanwhile, human beings are the ultimate renewable resource. The most successful people are those with good ideas, which are infinite and eternal. Stephen Jobs, for example, has commandeered ideas that have revolutionized the computer, audio, and PDA industry. He is wealthy, not because of what he gathered from outside himself, but because of what he brought forth from inside himself.
 Buy gold if you want to, but don’t overlook the gold inside you. You are precious and powerful beyond measure and not at all subject to fluctuations around you. Bashar suggests, 'Take stock in yourself.'" - Alan Cohen

All The Best!


Performance Builders
Monday, August 8, 2011


David, in response to your question about negotiating compensation...

Fair question... here are my thoughts.

The underlying principle is fairness - win/win. When a one time transaction is involved, the issue of fairness is transient and short lived. But when the transaction is ongoing as with employment or service contract, the matter of fairness is always on the table and is likely to shift due to changing circumstances - what was fair yesterday may no longer be fair going forward. Thus periodic review is warranted.  Employment is about mutual exploitation of value. When the value is no longer mutually beneficial or overly constraining it will end.

Compensation is all about contribution. At the heart of mutual value exploitation is the fairness of compensation relative to contribution. Increased compensation assumes there is a proportional increase in the creation of value. If one desires more compensation, one must be willing to contribute more value creation. Since one's compensation is assumed to be economic (i.e. not just heart felt gratitude), then one's contribution must also be economic. Just because someone is handsome, really liked, and smart does not mean they contribute economic value. The value of knowledge is proportional to its fruit. I frequently see GIFT Fellows who expect higher compensation because of the knowledge they have acquired. That knowledge is worthless in an employment situation unless it is translated into economic value - more clients, more revenue, better profit. That's just the way it is.

Professionals are not motivated primarily by money. Compensation needs to be adequate but it is not what drives knowledge based workers. In fact, financial incentives only work in manual labor. Financial incentives actually have a negative impact in knowledge based work. Professionals are motivated primarily by Purpose, Autonomy and Mastery. 

Tenure has little economic value in employment. People are not worth more simply because they have been with a company for a long period of time. Their value is determined by their current level of contribution. As such annual increases make little sense unless they correct a market inequality or contribution has increased.

The first responsibility of a business owner is the survival of the business. Employees who demand too much compensation can and often do undermine the vitality of the business, reduce job security for all who are employed, and reduce the company's ability to serve its customers. 

So with compensation there is the matter of contribution and business vitality. 

Shift gears...

If I'm an employee and I want to earn more, first I must demonstrate incremental, or even better, exponential financial value creation. That is what justifies higher compensation. I need to be willing to give it before I get it. I need to prime the pump. Oh, and I also need to practice good loyalty, team work, and good company citizen ship. Employees with low productivity, who are  high maintenance, demanding, or generally a "pain in the ass" are in a poor position to negotiate anything.  

Next I must find out what I'm worth in the market place. To do that I can: ask around, seek other job offers, and research compensation databases (many available on the internet and through professional associations). This is all about benchmarking - where do I stand in comparison to others and how do I contribute in comparison to others. Keep in mind that compensation involves wages, benefits, working conditions, growth/advancement opportunities, flexibility, etc - compensation is the whole package. There is always variation across employment situations. Sometimes these are negotiable and sometimes not. Employers do have certain legal and practical fairness obligation. 

As to actual negotiations, I'd recommend stating what financial compensation you want and why you deserve it - value creation, economic contribution, comparative compensation, commitment/loyalty, and willingness to share financial risk Then talk about the time line for achieving your financial goals - it may not be possible tomorrow, but can you at least launch on on a favorable trajectory. Be creative - what can you substitute for dollars, how else could you contribute, how much risk are you willing to accept in exchange for greater opportunity? For instance, would you be willing to risk a 20% reduction in compensation in exchange for a 20% upside opportunity depending on your financial contribution to the business?

One thing is for sure - if you go into a compensation negotiation with attitude, anger and threats it will backfire eventually. Conduct your negotiations professionally and respectfully. Be factual. Be creative. Be accountable. Be patient. Be fair!

I hope there's a nugget or two in all of this that you can use.

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Sunday, July 31, 2011


It's been a tough week to escape the federal financial debate, no correct that, "Debacle". The country is less faced by a debt ceiling than by a leadership deficiency. At the heart of every conversation is the issue of entitlements. Nearly half of Americans pay NO taxes, but all want what is "entitled" to them... think social security, medicare, medicaid. The federal government more than doubled since 1965 - of course state and local governments have also grown. None of this is a surprise. The financial implications of baby boomer retirement has been well documented for decades by the Menniger Foundation and foretold by Kotlikoff in his book The Coming Generational Storm (2004). But somehow the inevitable is conveniently pushed aside.

There is another entitlement issue. It is one faced by nearly every physical therapy practice in the country. It is the entitlement of compensation driven by labor shortages but supported by third party reimbursement. Over the past 2 decades, I have had the pleasure of working with over 100 hospital systems, and several hundred private practices. Interestingly, I've never found a hospital based PT service that knows what its profit margin is - yes they know how they compare to budget with all its arbitrary and rationalized allocations but not whether they in fact are creating economic value or even covering their own expense. Likewise, it is rare indeed to find a private practice PT owner that can simply answer the same two questions. Then there are employed PTs... are they creating financial value for their employer and for their own job security? Is that value proportional to their compensation? 

The US federal government will be paying over half of the entire US health bill by next year - that's even before national health insurance (2014). Do you think that the federal government solvency might impact Medicare spending? Do you think Medicare spending might impact PT provider reimbursement? Do you think PT provider reimbursement might impact PT compensation? 




Are you entitled? Think again!

All The Best!


(c) Copyright 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Trial, Error and the God Complex

Wednesday, July 13, 2011


Every professional runs into issues from time to time, forcing uncomfortable confrontations. This happened to a client of mine recently. Here was my advice...

  1. Attack the issue not the person. Doing this reduced defensiveness and enables alternative endings other than win/lose.
  2. Make your points in questions rather than statements. Doing this keeps you off the defensive and support #1 above.
  3. Approach the issue as if you were discussing it on behalf of someone you care about rather than yourself. Doing so reduces your emotion and positions you to speak on behalf of what is fair, just, and right.
Don't avoid confrontation when it is necessary; instead position it for success.

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Saturday, June 11, 2011

Breeding for the Future

“Breeding is a way to brainstorm fast and loose; engineering is a way to fine tune and control”
-Kevin Kelly

Health related practices tend to focus on fine tuning what is - design a new form, save a minute, reassign a task, comply with a new rule, refine a technique, teach an old protocol.

You know the routine...

But what if the future will be different from the past? 
  1. What if we had 6+  billion people on earth rather than the 2 billion that were here when I was born? Hint - we do!
  2. What if they all want what we have? Hint - They do!
  3. What if the earth lacked the resources to achieve that? Hint - It does!
  4. What if health was more impacted by lifestyles than disease? Hint - It is!
  5. What if government funds were inadequate to meet financial obligations? Hint - They are! 
  6. What if  healthcare spending couldn't keep up with healthcare expectations? Hint - It can't!
  7. What if new health legislation were to slash entitlement healthcare spending? Hint - It will!
  8. What if all of this were not far off into the future but just around the corner? Hint - It is!
Then, fine tuning what we do will not be enough. 

It's time for breeding not engineering. It's time for innovation, experimentation, and iteration.

It's time to get real! It's time to see ourselves differently. It's time to think differently. It's time to seek new solutions. It's time to embrace new opportunity.  It's time to reinvest in our future.

Is your practice breeding or engineering

What are you investing toward thriving not just surviving tomorrow?

Tomorrow is today!

All the Best!


(C) copyright 2011

Thursday, April 28, 2011



I'm taking a little time off from blogging. Should be posting again mid June.

Two reasons:
1. Celebrating our 40th wedding anniversary.
2. Launching a new venture that will transform how Physical Therapy Private Practice is conducted and rewarded. We have begun with 6 independent practices from across the USA and will be inviting a second round of practices to join us over the summer. If you are a private practice owner, particularly one with Applied Functional Science interests, please get in touch with me SOON.

All The Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Leadership - Matters

Leadership is not about being important or influential. It's about helping people to realize their potential, to remember the values that are shared, To focus on the purpose to be achieved, to realize what it is they are building, and why it matters.  

So what matters?

All The Best!


(C) copyright 2011
Performance Builders 
Sunday, April 10, 2011

Leadership - Getting Personal

Leadership is about change. If change isn't the priority, a good manager will do.

Change involves both individuals and a collective community. 

Individual change always precedes community change. 

Individuals change when provoked at an emotional level. But most change initiatives are premised on rational information - facts and figures, the bigger the better typically. Most such initiatives fail to deliver change.

Change is driven by emotion not rationality. In fact, we might say that change is driven by irrationality. Science and history has demonstrated that repeatedly. 

People are first and foremost emotional creatures. They need to be emotionally changed to support change.

Change occurs one person at a time. Each person wants to know just one thing - how will the change affect ME. It's not selfish, its just human nature.  

Whether we are changing policies for a handful of people or changing lives on a global scale, there is one important understanding to never loose sight off...

To be and effective leader, Get PERSONAL...with yourself and others! 

All the Best!


(c) Copyright 2011 
Performance Builders
Sunday, March 27, 2011

Leadership - Putting the Pieces in Place

Have you ever tried to put a puzzle together when some of the pieces were missing - particularly the corners? ...Ever tried to put a puzzle together whose pieces were randomly gathered from multiple puzzles? ...Ever tried to put a a puzzle together that whose pieces were contained in the wrong puzzle box - i.e. that had the right pieces in the box but the wrong picture on the box?

It's not that such puzzles are difficult to put together, they are more likely than not impossible to put together! ...IMPOSSIBLE!

Picture puzzles are two dimensional and static. Life is three dimensional, dynamic, ever changing and evolving.

What are the puzzle pieces that leaders have to work with? 

They have an intangible vision - consider it the picture on the cover of the box. It's a picture that only the leader can see. It's a picture others will need to assemble.  

They have passion, strengths, competencies, values, voice, and purpose.

What they need are resources, rules, behaviors, and consequences. They will need to be created or acquired. 

Every piece is important. Any piece can prevent the whole from coming together. Its an all or nothing proposition with real risks in play - its all on the line. 

If the leader has never worked with these pieces before the effort is uncertain, the risks are exponential, and the results incalculable.

Successful leadership is about getting all of the pieces and getting them just right.

What's your vision? Got pieces?

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Monday, March 21, 2011

Leadership - Key Questions

13 Important Questions for Leaders...

  1. What's more important, your success or the company's?
  2. Are you in it for yourself or those you lead? 
  3. Do those around you flourish by your leadership?
  4. Are you really worth your compensation visa-a-visa other stakeholders?
  5. What's more important, getting it done or who gets the credit?
  6. What's more important, getting it done or how it gets done?
  7. How transparent are you really willing to be?
  8. How responsible and accountable are you personally willing to be?
  9. How willing are you to admit you're wrong or change your position?
  10. How willing are you to be challenged personally for the good of the company?
  11. How much control are you willing to relinquish for the sake of innovation?
  12. What are you giving back to society personally and as a company?
  13. Are you trusted by stakeholders; and is any of that trust misplaced?

These questions are not hypothetical.

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Leadership - Drive-by

Leadership is about vision, nurturing, growth, and sweating the details to get things right. Its about the big picture, the big rocks, persistence, how things fit together, and what doesn't belong.

This morning's email finds more drive-by solutions promoted by everyone from the wannabe marketing guru to a Top 5 consulting firm... "Five quick tips to ____", "Three easy steps to _____", "Ten reasons to ____". 

....Drive-by leadership is bait (can you smell it?) that is sent via email to a massive distribution list that includes all of your competitors. Well if the idea was worth something initially, its not worth anything now. There's a reason why those great ideas are free! But that's not saying they don't cost one something by way of lost time, wasted effort, disruption of work, and evidence that management really doesn't have a clue...

Leaders don't want quick and easy because they understand there is no competitive advantage or enduring value created by the quick and easy. The response to drive-by solutions is for smart leaders to simply drive-by.

Too often the same drive-by attitude demonstrated by leadership takes root in the team that's delivering services to patients and clients. ...Ops now there's a problem. 

And, the drive-by leader looks again for the next easy answer that finds its way to the inbox...

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders

Friday, February 25, 2011

Leadership - Recognition

"I had the privilege the past couple of days to participate in a US Navy briefing in San Diego in connection to a global safe water initiative I'm involved in. We explored seemingly unnatural collaboration opportunities involving: national defense and international humanitarian aid, government and non-government organizations (NGOs), and for-profit and nonprofit companies. It was visionary, invigorating, and happening.

Amidst all of that high lev
el discussion, there was a pause each day for two brief ceremonies... 

The first was the playing of the national anthem each morning complete with military brass ensemble. Military and civilian participants stood together in a few moments of reflection to remember our heritage, our privilege, our responsibility, our opportunity, and our gift of freedom. It was incredibly poignant as the news of Libya's revolution continued to stream across my cell phone.

The second was the Admiral's formal recognition each day of an individual that had contributed to the success of the Navy's humanitarian mission by simply performing his / her assigned and assumed role / duties dependably with integrity and excellence. We stood together in recognition and respect of the person's contribution and applauded the presentation of a simple service ribbon. 

I was struck by two things.

First, the value of being continually reminded together of our shared purpose and priorities; but how seldom we do that in businesses and practices.

Second, how seldom we pause together in a meaningful way to simply recognize, respect, and celebrate the reliable contributions of individual team members who do what needs doing.

What opportunities we miss to build loyalty, character, and teamwork!

What an opportunity we miss to model effective leadership by our example!

Who in your life deserves recognition? Who in your life needs recognition? 

As a leader, who will you recognize this week?

All the Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Leadership - Stories

Stories change our world.

Consider recent stories about the people of Tunisia and Egypt who seek freedom, justice and better life. 

Good leaders tend to be story collectors and frequent story tellers. 

Stories retell lessons learned. They forecast danger. They focus energy. They imagine a better future. They inspire. 

Statistics and Stories are fundamentally different. 

Statistics are heartless, easily manipulated, poorly understood, commonly ignored, and predictably forgotten. 

Stories have heart,  establish authenticity,  elicit empathy and emotion, and beg to be retold over and over again. Good stories begin with a situation (once upon a time...), establish tension (good vs. bad), then resolve it (The End). 

Great stories elicit a response.

Stories are powerful in motivating and marketing. Stories change opinions, decisions, and outcomes.

What are the stories you are listening to? What are the stories you are telling?  Which of your stories are being remembered and told over and over again. Which of your stories are changing people's lives for the better.

Leaders who are not telling stories are not leading to their potential!

All the Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Thursday, February 3, 2011

Leadership - Fit 2

Adrea, thank you for your comments. You bring up an important leadership point that originated with Jim Collins (Good to Great). 

His metaphor of "getting the right people on the bus" is often used within organizations in a context that the company has established a vision and destination and now it time to see who's committed (on the bus) and who is not (off the bus). 

But that's not how the metaphor was intended. 

The actual intent was that companies recruit and retain people (the "who" not the "what") that are  talented and embracing of change; realizing that given rapidly developing markets, economies, and technologies, companies can never really know their destination. 

The best any company has is aspirations and a direction that may require ongoing course corrections by an energized team. 

Today, companies are dealing with a journey through constant change, not a destination despite change. With capable and accommodating people, roles, priorities, products, and processes can change with the times. 

Going back to the young women who needs to change "Her" environment'...

She needs to engage an organization that is building a team with a growth mindset rather than a fixed mindset. Getting on the right bus with the right people is much more gratifying (and usually rewarding) than throwing people off the bus. Its also worth noting that with fixed mindset companies, its too often the change-agent that ends up under the bus.  

All the Best! 


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Saturday, January 29, 2011

Leadership - Fit

I just finished  a conversation with a young woman  with exceptional and well proven leader skills. She finds herself in an organization where mediocre is good-enough. Her talent will never be appreciated, leveraged or rewarded; and she will undoubtedly burn herself out trying. Change-agents/leaders need to be in appropriate/receptive environments. Her priority needs to be to change HER environment not THE environment.

Leadership is all about FIT. How's your fit?

All The Best!


(c) Copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Leadership – Are we there YET?

It seems leaders have two choices – protect performance or provoke potential. Leaders with protection priorities focus on compliance. Leaders with provocation priorities focus on alliance. The difference is a fixed mindset vs. a growth mindset.

If all one has, is all there is, then the priority is likely to “protect it” – avoid risk and vulnerability …to conserve, constrain, compete,  and comply with others. On the other hand, if all one has, is all there is YET, then the priority is to “provoke potential” – take risk and be vulnerable; to experiment, learn, collaborate, and align with others.

The difference is an attitude of scarcity or abundance.

It seems the prevailing attitude amongst health providers these days is the fixed mindset. That attitude is self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling. “That’s all there is.”

Yet, in a “market- on-the-move”, whether up, down , or to the side, there is always opportunity – lot’s of it! It takes a growth mindset attitude to dare move to the market or better, get ahead of the market. It too is self-reinforcing and self-fulfilling. “That’s all I have, YET!”

As Henry Ford said, “Whether you think you can or can’t, you’re right!”

All The Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Sunday, January 9, 2011

Leadership - Anyone Can

I visited my daughter recently on the upper west side of Manhattan. While there, I stumbled across an old statue of Joan of Arc, sculpted by Anna Vaughn Hyatt Huntington in 1915. ...If you are interested, it stands at the far west end of 93rd Street on a hilltop in a small park.

At age 17, Joan of Arc, daughter of a farmer with no military training and wearing borrowed armor, lead French forces into a series of astonishing and decisive battles late in France's 100 year war with England (1429). A year or so later she was captured in battle by the English. There was a show trial and she was executed (burned at the stake) at age 19. She is recognized as both a French heroine and a Catholic Saint. Her story is fascinating.

The statue was sculpted by a little-known sculptor, Ann Huntington while in her early 30s and was erected in NY in 1915. It was Huntington's first figurine to be exhibited and the first statue in New York to memorialize a woman.  

Which brings me to the following quote...

“The Jewish people, ever since David slew Goliath, have never considered youth as a barrier to leadership.”

... A valuable insight for all of us, and a reminder that anyone can become a leader. 

...Just keep doing the next right thing at any cost!

All The Best!


(c) copyright 2011
Performance Builders
Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Leadership - Walk the Talk

I've had the privilege to lead an ongoing conversation over the past several months involving a half dozen private practice owners whose practices are scattered across America. Each owner is both my client and a dear friend.

Each is a gifted professional with advanced clinical skills who walks the talk of commitment and excellence in the care they provide their patients every day. 

Each also walks the talk in nurturing and mentoring staff members who daily juggle the complex realities of balancing personal, family, and professional responsibilities.

Each walks the talk through generous contribution of time and wisdom to schools, churches, and civic groups in communities they serve, and by facilitating volunteerism by staff members.  

During those conversations, the owners each honestly shared their own pain associated with the  the challenge to provide job security to staff and innovative personal care to patients within  an environment where care needs were growing, costs were escalating, reimbursement was eroding, and competition was increasing. In their candor each was again walking the talk. 

In that candor, it was apparent that though their practices were thousands of miles apart they were on the same journey and facing the same challenges. 

Each struggled with the reality of the increasing gap that separated their aspirations from their resources. Each acknowledged soberly that the future held more, not less, of the same.

In the end, they came together with one voice and one path. They announced that they would walk the talk boldly together - in doing so they would pickup the pace - they would run, not walk; and rather than just talk, they would put their money where their mouth was. They came together with a shared vision and goal - to become nothing less than the North Star of innovation in an increasingly ordinary industry. 

Now that's leadership! 


They acknowledged that they don't have all of the answers - YET! 

BUT, they will!

They are smart and creative - together they will figure it out! I love their spirit, determination, and resolve. My money is on them! 

Now they are running together, not alone. Now they have a bold vision and a promising destination.  No longer are they in a reactive mode waiting for "the next shoe to drop". Now they are crafting their own futures! For them its not only a New Year, but a New Future!

That's what I call  walking the talk!

All The Best!


(c) 2011
Performance Builders