Fearful Leaders Hoard Control – Courageous Leaders Give Power

Feeling powerful expands possibility, elevates engagement, and enables initiative. Feeling powerless creates weakness, dependence, and fear.

People who feel powerful see opportunity.

People who feel powerless feel threat.

Control freaks make others feel powerless.

Control freaks:

  1. Pretend to be helpful. In reality they’re pushing their own agenda.
  2. Believe others are the problem.
  3. Over-manage.
  4. Know there is only one right way to get things done. Theirs!
  5. Pretend to step back so others can step in. But when something “important” starts happening, they take over.
  6. Pretend to listen. But they already have their minds made up.
  7. View change as threat.

The smile of a control freak is arrogant sympathy in disguise. They feel sorry for all the lesser people.

How to make people feel powerful by giving control:

#1. Prepare people to feel powerful.

  1. How might you stretch and nudge, rather than shove?
  2. What training is appropriate?
  3. What experiences expand capacity?
  4. How might you build on past success?

#2. Describe the playing field.

  1. What values are in play?
  2. What does success look like?
  3. What’s out of bounds?
  4. How much decision-making power do others have?
  5. How often do you want to be kept in the loop?
  6. How does this project fit into the big picture?
  7. How much authority is being delegated?

#3. Honor expressions of power.

  1. Praise people who give input that differs from your approach.
  2. Thank people for taking action, even if it didn’t work out.
  3. Ask, “What are you learning?” Rather than telling people they screwed up.
  4. Ask, “What will you do next time?” when results disappoint.

More suggestions:

#1. Generate options. The more options you have the safer the path forward seems.

#2. Give choice. After generating options, ask others to make choices.

Choice is an expression of power.

#3. Practice attunement.

Courageous leaders give power to others. Fearful leaders hoard control.

How might leaders make others feel powerful?


Let’s Get Real About Culture: What Does Your Organization Truly Value?


Image result for Organizational Value

What does your organization value?

I’m not asking what your strategic plan lists as your top goals. I’m also not referring to what senior leaders say are important initiatives. True, these may all be the same things; however, there is often a gap (sometimes a big one) between what the organization ‘says’ it truly values and what the organization ‘truly’ values.

Let me share a couple of examples…

Imagine that it is 1998 and you are sitting in a conference room holding a meeting with your colleagues. The session has been in full swing for two solid hours and everyone is in need of a much-deserved break. A suggestion is made to adjourn for 15 minutes and all eagerly agree. Some scurry to the restroom and others opt to run back to their workspace to check email.

Why did they go back to their workspace?

Consider your organization:

  • What’s your organization’s currency?
  • What do people in your organization TRULY value?
  • What is being rewarded and reinforced?
  • Think about the things that people count and brag about. Are they important items that drive goals that matter or are they trivial things with little true value?

Explain this story to a few people in your workplace and ask them to tell you what the current organizational currency is in your organization. You might be surprised!

Company Values and Their Impact on Hiring


Startup Stock Photos

During each interview we have had the pleasure of conducting and featuring on AHL, the topic of company values comes up a lot—especially in terms of the impact they have on hiring. When the values are inconsistent between the company and the employee other issues arise, and both the company and the employee suffer.

The segments featured today are from three separate organizations, but each leader discusses the critical need for prospective employees to share the values of the company.

In the first segment, Chris Van Gorder, president & CEO of Scripps Health, discusses his search for a new CFO after taking the position at Scripps.  As he interviewed individuals who were qualified for the position, he stated, “I was waiting for them to start talking about patients but it never happened.” Van Gorder kept up the search for a new CFO until he found someone who openly expressed his passion for people and the patients the hospital would be serving.

In the second segment, Traci Bernard, president of Texas Health Harris Methodist Hospital Southlake, discusses a similar approach to hiring.

“I’ve said it before, skill can be taught. So I’m interested in passion, I’m interested in an understanding of who we are… and somebody who’s very compassionate and caring and puts the team first.”

In the final segment, Mike Williams, president & CEO of Community Hospital Corporation, discusses the rigorous interview process for CHC and the defining role company values play in the hiring decisions.

1K docs, nurses urge Cleveland Clinic to cancel fundraiser at Trump resort


Photo: Inside the Mar-a-Lago, courtesy of The Mar-a-Lago Club website.

More than 1,100 doctors, nurses and medical students are urging the Cleveland Clinic to cancel an annual fundraiser planned at a resort owned by President Donald Trump in the wake of his executive order on immigration.

Over the last three days, 1,141 medical professionals have signed an open letter to Cleveland Clinic President and CEO Toby Cosgrove asking him to cut the perceived ties to Trump in light of the executive order that led to a first-year internal medicine resident at the organization being detained and forced to return to Saudi Arabia because her visa was issued in Sudan, one of the countries on Trump’s list

Suha Abushamma, M.D., has sued the Trump administration, CNBC reports, and a federal judge has ordered the White House to explain why she shouldn’t be allowed to return to the United States.

The ban also had a direct impact on nine patients scheduled to receive care at the Cleveland Clinic over the next 90 days.

Many of the medical professionals who signed the letter are students at Case Western Reserve University, which runs the Cleveland Clinic Lerner College of Medicine.

The letter asks Cosgrove to:

  • Reschedule the lavish fundraiser planned at Trump’s Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Florida
  • Release a public statement that condemns the immigration ban
  • Pledge to use his power to protect Cleveland Clinic employees from deportation and allow patients to continue to receive care
  • Emphasize that Cleveland Clinic values diversity and relies on immigrants to provide medical care