I can rarely tell this story without a tear in my eye. It shows incredible team leadership. But that's not the story. This happened without this manager getting any management training whatsoever!
A hospital client of mine had just completed a merger with its largest competitor. There were many challenges. The senior team developed a set of leadership skills unique to this newly merged organization. They implemented a management training assessment process for all leaders.
The challenge was how to use the leadership skills to effect change at the most fundamental operational levels. The CEO knew it had happened when the manager of housekeeping told this story about how he used the organization’s leadership skills of Patient Service.
He said, “I tell my people to always look for nurses in need. Of course we can’t provide clinical care, but we can go get a blanket, make a phone call, run to summon a doctor. Basically, I tell them to help in any way they can.”
Then the manager hit the essence. He paused and said; “and if nothing else, we can always just hold the patient’s hand.”
This story illustrates that it is really possible to create a team leadership culture that is evident at the most tactical levels of your organization. Here are a couple of things that you can do to make it happen:
- Working in collaboration with your team, get down on paper the most important leadership qualities that you want people in your organization to exhibit. What behaviors do you want all of your people to exhibit every day?
- Use management training to teach those team leadership styles to everyone in the organization. Have every department head collaborate with their teams to determine how these team leadership qualities can be exhibited within that department. This will make the skills very practical and easy to understand on the floors of your organization.
Do you have a story to share about amazing team leadership that you've seen?