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Friday, October 23, 2009
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The following post is from the BLOG of Ichak Adizes chairman of the Adizes Institute. For years I thought my customers really missed the boat on the concept of expressing gratitude. I just thought the expression of gratitude would have been a behaviour that would have gotten a lot more out of me and my team
Glad Ichak put it in this perspective....somehow validates my thinking. (By the way, I'm getting ready to attend a course at the Institute in November which will be very exciting).
I have heard a great lecture by Dr. Douglas Lisle, an evolutionary psychologist who is also training to become an Adizes Adjunct Associate. It was about “Stone Age money” and how it impacts our behavior today.
The lecture gave me some insights I want to share with you.
In the Stone Age, and for a long time thereafter, there was no money or any other means of exchange for barter. So if I did something for you, how would you pay me back? With gratitude, a sense of “I owe you”, and I would expect you to reciprocate.
Those who did most for the village-who hunted the best, and thus fed the village-got the most recognition and became chiefs, or something similar.
This went on for thousands of years. The result is that we have developed this “chip” in our heads, a storage mechanism like a bank account, to receive, store, and pay gratitude.
We need gratitude. Period. It is deep in our subconscious.
Now, what does this need for gratitude mean for management?
It means that merely getting paid for work is not enough. If you just got paid, but the paying party did not show gratitude, you would feel as if you did not get paid at all. You would feel like a prostitute.
Whoa! This was news to me. How often do people say: “You got paid, so what are you complaining about?”
The highest rate of suicide among the medical professionals is among dentists. They get paid in money only; no gratitude for drilling into your teeth.
The highest rate of turnover in the human services industry is among consultants. They just get paid money. No gratitude. Thus, when the question is asked, “what is the oldest profession?” the answer is not always prostitution. Often the answer is consulting.
Hello managers. Wake up. If you only pay your workers money and fringe benefits, you did not pay them in “Stone Age money” and they feel gratitude deficient. Not strange that they are not cooperative. Their deepest need-something that developed and was nurtured for thousands of years-is not getting fulfilled. This can sometimes produce dysfunctional repercussions for the companies we manage manifested in lower morale and productivity.
Always say “thank you,” your mother told you. Listen to your mother, and don’t stop listening for ever.
Dr. Ichak Kalderon Adizes
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Laura..Dave...Michele...Tom in corridor in St. Vincents...on the way home.
OK….now where were we……Started out reflecting on my experiences involved with public health care….see the previous two entries. Now….would I have rather been home, in America. No question. Did it really matter that much to me what the expense was? Not really. The way our system works is that the expense….let’s project that it would have been easily $175,000 not $21,000…is an issue for the insurance company to absorb.
But, obviously, society ends up paying this price. In England and Ireland, everyone gets health care and clearly this has something to do with this delta. There are differences in the systems…which I got from my roomies. For a lot of procedures and tests, you have to wait and this can be for some time. The facility worked, but I wonder if Americans can ever get used to a six bed ward. Now, I liked it because I’m interested in people and…as I was sort of the sickest guy on the block, they all looked over me. This is not a bad thing and there was a sense of community that was established. I don’t think the public health system cares too much about who you are and/or how much money you have. So….it’s hard to jump rank. I’m not sure how I’d like that on a long term basis but I hope I could successfully adapt…particularly if it meant that everyone in my community (define community however you wish) had coverage.
Enough….on to the next chapter. We were flying Delta and were in business class. When we arrived at the airport…recall it is December 24, our plane was delayed. Anxiety began creeping in. We were flying to Atlanta and only had about 2 hours to clear customs and catch our plane. We finally got airborne. At this point, I was only living with about 5 feet of small bowel. What that means, functionally, is that I had a very difficult time staying hydrated. I’d drink quarts…literally…of sports drink and had to force drinking. While I was hospitalized, I was being given a drug called Sandostatin. This drug is injected subcutaneously in your stomach twice a day and helps with the absorption. Eventually, Laura and some nurse and doctor friends would come to the house and do this (I was too wimpy to learn how to do it). Looking back, they should have coached Laura and sent us out of the hospital with this drug and equipment. The upshot of this all was I got really dehydrated on the plane.
I’m guessing this was likely the second most stressful day for Laura. She was on the verge of crying a good bit. This was tough. We finally landed in Atlanta and had maybe 45 minutes to make the connection. The airport is loaded…Christmas traffic and bad weather. I get seated in a safe place and Laura goes hunting for help. I think she breaks down and a Delta supervisor (angel) takes over. We abandon the customs deal…the bags can just catch up. She gets a golf cart, puts me on it, and before we know it, we are on the tarmac (!!!) driving to the gate…the only way she could figure out to make this work. The plane to Charleston is slightly delayed. We make the connection!!!!!
Now…this is small commuter plane. I’m really fading…but finally we land. They get us off the plane. We have several folks waiting for us…but the only one I really recall was my precious son Josh. I fell into his embrace in the airport. Man….clearly one of the most touching memorable moments in my life.
Down to CAMC General we go. There is very little activity Christmas Eve in a hospital. My great friend Dr. Dave Seidler is there to make this all go quickly. Up we go…private room. They bring in the scales…I’m down to 141 pounds (from 170). I get hooked up to an IV and they run 2 bags thru me. I get the other drugs start flowing…..Laura and Josh make it home and she gets some Granny juice going (this is what granddaughter Zoe calls wine).
I got to admit…this all felt like the Four Seasons. Private room, special attention from the medical staff, family and friends nearby, and TV!!
I sent a letter eventually to Delta. If we had not made that connection, I would have had to go to an ER in Atlanta. I’m sure we would have made it but that was one chapter I did not need to write, if you know what I mean. Our love and eternal thanks to that Delta supervisor.
It’s been interesting to me sort of semi-publically reliving this experience. I’m guessing there is some sort of closure happening. Isn’t the whole new media thing interesting?
There are so many people that helped us. You know who you are or maybe you don’t but thank you! We’ll never forget you.
I eventually end up in the Cleveland Clinic. If I have the energy...I may write that chapter one day. Thanks for reading and for the many off-line comments. Bottom line...somehow....we need health care for all.
Friday, October 2, 2009
This photo is taken the day before I leave for America! Happy!!!
Ok...so where were we??.....OK....St. Vincent's University Hospital in Dublin, Ireland. I'm fresh out of the ICU where I've been for the last 24 hours after life saving surgery. Big point....I was not at all aware that I came that close to dying....didn't get it. About 3 years prior I'd been in a very bad bike wreck that sent me to the hospital for two weeks. You might say I am experienced and I inaccurately equated the two events I guess. Laura on the other hand, had been told...point blank....50/50 if I was coming out of surgery alive. So...the trauma experience was not really pointed in my direction.
Back to health care....so, the hospital does not have room for me in post surgical care, so I go to the lowest level of care. I show up in a six bed ward...meaning one room...six beds....very simple cloth screen that is occasionally pulled between the beds. Camp like....but with sick folks. I'm unique...i.e. non Irish...so a bit of a celebrity but really not much.
When I show up, I'm basically telling Laura to get me out of here....just what she needed. I was honestly scared. I was not at all sure they would take care of me. It was so different than my previous experiences. We were all equals and there was no pulling rank. I had a good friend that is a prominent citizen in Ireland and the care is all equal. There are private hospitals that I guess are better looking facilities...furniture, privacy, food...but the good docs are here and that's what I need. So I'm here...with my roomies. No TV...all pretty basic.
Here are some bullet points...Roomies....James...age 75....3 packs a day..dying....a wonderful man. An obsessive compulsive character...washes his hands like 15 times a day...had some medical issues but I think it was mostly mental.....a fellow that was there I think because he needed a good meal and a bed...it was like that...he'd go outside to smoke and then one day just walked out.....methadone addict in bed 5......would get VERY cranky if the drugs were not there ON TIME....and a teenager that had very serious kidney problems...a good guy...there were others that came and went. James and I were the old timers. Now I know this would be a BIG ISSUE for a lot of my friends. Honestly, it was all quite entertaining. It was way easier for the nurses and we sort of looked out for one another....or the other roomies did for me as I was the scary sick one.
I'm focused.....if I'm coming out of this...I need to step up and do it. Be a big boy and I think that mind set is important. I really think you need to...if you will...be strong...and I think that singular mind set helps with all the other "stuff" that might be a distraction if you allow it to be.
The facility was just older. Checkout the beds in the photos. There was a pretty good range of skill with the nurses. the day nurses were frankly just great. Felicity, Candy, Penny.....Irish....good looking (sorry...sexist pig present)....fun and kind. I had so many tubes coming in and out of me...I'm not kidding. My abdomen had been opened up...just had to count the sutures...55 and staples. For a few days this would cramp and it was very painful. I had tubes in my nose into my stomach...got pissed one night and pulled em' out. Bad move cause they came and stuck back in.
The night nurses were not as skilled....not as well payed I think...not always Irish...there were plenty of Africans around which was OK but they were just not quite as well educated. I was scared at night early on.
The big time docs are not addressed as "Doctor Smith" they are called "Mister Smith"....now the Misters were a pretty sharp crowd. I was in the unusual position of being an interesting case, so all the big boys stayed in touch. I think I received very good care. I was being anti-coagulated and pumped with expensive antibiotics. There were a few tests too that were happening and there was no communication about letting me out. Christmas was coming and I wanted out....So Christmas is on like a Friday...on Monday I tell Laura....either we get out this week or I'm leaving. Hmmmm.
Well.....and god bless David Seidler my good friend and the Director of Emergency Services at CAMC....Dave worked out a transfer...they would not release me but they would transfer me...Once I agreed to pay 'em and my "Mister" agrees to let me go.
My physician shows up like Tuesday night. It's pretty late...like 7:00 pm. Dark. He is by himself, which is unusual as...as this is a teaching facility...he usually has a team with him. Solo.....he says I can go home....and then he more or less apologizes. Says he almost missed the diagnosis and was afraid that it was too late when it dawned on him what was going on. Can you imagine that very human thing happening in America? He talked to me all about the surgery...felt he had lost me...and I'm there reassuring him...until he left and then I quietly freaked...it all came home that night...or at least most of it. Baby......
The deal with the $$$$ was becoming sort of a deal. As I was not an Irish citizen, I needed to pay for the work, and they wanted the payment before I left (they didn't know I already had a jail break planned...my roomies were going to show the way) Blue Cross was helpful but they really didn't care if I made it home for Christmas or not. But we worked it out...so.....they agreed to pay for ER...emergency surgery...tons of consultants....tests...drugs...room for 17 nights...etc. etc.....and the grand total is.....$21,000. No...not $210,000....$21,000.
You know......that is just so much less than care would have been in America. I still can't believe it. While this setup worked just fine for me I think a lot of Americans would not have liked this at all. There was a TV room where...once I could walk...I would go and watch...you guessed it..ER with the nurses...really.
I don't think Docs and Nurses made as much as they do here....relatively...but that's just a guess. But a big step in this direction just might make some sense and get a ton more care spread around.
So......the next stop was Delta airlines...then on to CAMC and then on to The Cleveland Clinic....so stay tuned.....and please...take care of yourself! Believe me...the story on the the flight home is worth checking back for.