Singleness of Purpose

Success demands singleness of purpose.
~ Vince Lombardi, arguably the greatest football coach of all time

Extraordinarily successful people, companies, and teams always have one product/service/idea they’re most known for or that makes them the most money. They may have other important things too, but only one of them is the most important.

Having clarity on a single purpose — especially one that combines your top passion and skill — is the simplestand smartest thing you can do to propel yourself toward the success you want. This principle shows up consistently in the lives of successful people and companies because it’s a fundamental truth.

It is those who concentrate on but one thing at a time who advance in this world.
~ Og Mandino

Technological innovations, cultural shifts, and competitive forces often require that your ONE Thing evolve or transform. The most successful leaders and organizations are always asking, “What’s our ONE Thing?” If you don’t currently know what your ONE Thing is, then your ONE Thing is to find out. And as a leader, you need to engage your team to find out, get clear, and stay focused.In this episode, Jesse shares what he’s learned from chapter 3 of the book The ONE Thing and provides examples of applying the lessons.



89% of Employees are Demotivated by Ineffective Managers and Leaders

It might hurt, but look in the mirror if people around you are low energy slugs.

The greatest ability is the ability to develop abilities.

98% of employees who have good leaders are motivated to do their best. Only 11% of employees with ineffective managers felt motivated to give their best.*

The magic question:

Improvement stops when people believe they’ve reached the level of “acceptable” performance.

Challenge people to reach for the next level by asking a simple question.

“How do we take this to the next level?”

I’ve been asking teams this question. It works.

7 keys to reaching the next level:

  1. Paint a picture of the next level. “What might the next level look like?”
  2. Ask, “What might you do to take your performance to the next level?” Identify three or four possible behaviors.
  3. Create focus before performance.
    • “What do you plan to do?”
    • “What’s important?”
  4. Give pep talks before performance.
    • “You got this.”
    • “I know you can do this.”
    • “I know you’re going to do even better than last time.”
  5. Provide immediate feedback after performance.
    • “You looked down when you were thinking. You lost me.”
    • “You wandered at the end of the meeting. How might you end better next time?”
    • “You seemed resistant when you kept asking the same question. How might you practice greater openness?”
  6. Appreciate improvement. “You paused and lowered your voice before the main point of your presentation.That really worked.” The Boston Consulting Group reports that the number one factor in employee happiness is appreciation for their work.
  7. Clarify reasons for success.
    • “What did you do differently?”
    • “What did you do this time that you need to keep doing?”

Tip: You never get to the next level by repeating the past.

How might leaders bring out the best in others? In teams?

Recipe for Successful Health System M&A: Ensure Focus on Execution of Transaction Does Not Undermine Key Long-Term Strategic Imperatives

Image result for Recipe for Successful Health System M&A

The evolving U.S. healthcare landscape, perhaps more now than ever before, requires that health system executives possess varied and deep skill sets. Not only must executives navigate the changing political and macroeconomic landscape, including the repeal-and-replace uncertainty, but in execution of their well-intentioned strategic transactions, health system leaders must remain focused on the original strategic imperatives and objectives to help ensure long-term, sustainable success. Of 140 surveyed participants, 61% believe their organization’s merger, acquisition or partnership activity will increase within the next three years.

Commonly, a decision is made to move forward on an appropriate strategic transaction and then senior leadership assigns a multidisciplinary deal team to consummate such. The majority (74%) of surveyed participants cite both financial/operational and clinical/care delivery equally as the primary objective when deciding to transact. Prior to commencement, successful healthcare organizations will have gone through a lengthy strategic planning process, developed a list of strategic imperatives and had such approved by their board of trustees. Some of these strategic imperatives may include: the Triple Aim, relevance/attractiveness with employers and payers, alignment of incentives, ability to manage the resulting organization as a system versus a loose federation, and the stickiness and sustainability of the resulting system.

A breakdown in the deal consummation process that results in the strategic imperatives not maintaining primacy but being subordinated or ignored may result in a nice press release or closing ceremony but when measured by the test of time, the transaction may not deliver expected and necessary sustaining strategic benefits. This is exacerbated in complex M&A transactions and strategic partnerships. Such complex transactions cannot be managed in a manner similar to important but more routine operational or capital initiatives (e.g., construction of a new bed tower or implementation of a staff reduction initiative) facing healthcare organizations. Senior leadership must help ensure that the strategic benefits of a transaction do not become deemphasized due to deal fatigue, completion of task bias, arbitrary deadlines, and other pressures that work against the deal team obtaining optimal outcomes.

Healthcare leaders must help ensure that the strategic imperatives are effective guardrails of the deal team’s efforts and not lost in the difficult and dynamic transaction negotiation and consummation process. A successful approach focuses less on arbitrary timelines or goals and embraces an accountability process that monitors the deal progress and documentation to help ensure a true north heading. Effective leaders must remain laser-focused on the strategic imperatives and not allow completion and execution of the deal to subordinate the foundation of the original strategic mandate.

4 Specific Areas of Focus and Responsibility

Every organization has vision, which requires focus in order to achieve. The focused pursuit of vision is what truly sets apart a successful organization from another. In today’s featured segment, Mark Solazzo, EVP & COO of Northwell Health, discusses his focused pursuit of Northwell’s vision and mission.

According to the bio referenced in this clip, Mark Solazzo is “responsible for integrating the strategic plan of the organization through its operations and maintaining an organizational culture that recognizes the importance of strategic change leadership, excellence in execution, accountability and the ongoing commitment to long-term growth and innovation.”

In reference to this, Dan Nielsen asks Solazzo:

“What are the actions that you take or the decisions that you make to make sure that those are embedded in your organization on a daily basis?”

Solazzo answers by discussing how strategic change leadership and long-term growth and innovation go hand in hand. “It starts with the team you select.”  Solazzo emphasizes the importance of picking a diverse team and then trusting them to get the job done.

In regard to “excellence in execution and accountability,” Solazzo states: “We have a very well-developed system of metrics and accountability reporting.” This is system wide and monitored closely.

To view the full segment and hear the rest of Solazzo’s response, click below.