Your Inner Warrior

I believe we have built in warrior instincts that were useful during a time when people had to defend their families, their businesses, and their homes.

Humans are still wired for war.

If you don’t agree, just watch sports fans on game day (or mothers shopping for exclusive Christmas gifts).  We still like to go head to head.  We like to conquer.  We like to crush the dreams of our competition (just ask Packers and Steelers fans today).

No one forces or pays us to get dressed up for the “battle”, engage in pregame “smack talk”, or tie our emotions to the success of people we’ve never met.

It’s just how we’re wired.

Leaders, how do we get our team members to put the same kind of enthusiasm and energy into battles we face every day as a team?  How do we get them to wear our logos, tell their friends about our victories, and feel personal emotions when we lose or win together?  How do we release the “Inner Warrior?”

Good question.

I don’t have the exact answer, but here are some questions to ask yourself:

  • Do you have employees or “team members”?  (I think it matters)
  • Do you share team stats (financial reports) and the game plan (strategy and vision), or do you keep them in the dark?
  • Do you help them feel like they own the project, or are you too busy reminding them who is boss?

I believe that the sky is the limit for 8pm Warriors who can release the inner warrior of their team members.

Have a great night,


Big Changes or Small Ones?

Your choice.

So many people think they have a choice if they want to change or not.  However, reality is that we’ll either decide to make small changes as times and technology change, or make big ones when we get behind and have no other choice.

  • New technology is always being invented.
  • Public preferences and tastes develop.
  • Everything ages.

How will you deal with  inevitable changes?

8pm Warriors should spend some of their evening time researching, learning, and changing ahead of the curve, not behind it.  (Have you checked out Quora yet?)

Have a great night,


Don’t be Rude

It sounds like a simple idea to be considerate when asking someone to go above and beyond (pick up extra shifts or take on an extra project).  However, I can’t count how many times I’ve heard or seen people try to “attract bees” with vinegar instead of honey.

Are you seeing this too?

Ever hear this in real life?  “Um, yeah, we’re going to need you to come in and work tomorrow.”  (watch the famous Office Space clip)

It’s funny to watch, but they made the movie Office Space because so many people can relate to the “Corporate” treatment.

It just doesn’t work if you want to build a team of great people.  Kindness is key!

  • Ask, don’t tell.
  • Say please and thank you.
  • Show that you care.
  • Explain why you need it.
  • No means no.  If they say no, move on.  (They might say yes in the future if you don’t ruin the relationship)
  • Be pleasant.

Also, it’s important to surround yourself with caring, respectful people so that you can be caring, respectful back.  It makes for a nice situation.

The Hierarchy of Teamwork

Over the years I’ve had the honor of helping organizations make big changes in the way they do things during challenging times.  Turnaround projects are not for everyone, but I really love the challenge and the difference it can make.  I affectionately call them my “Extreme Makeover:  Healthcare Edition” projects.

For a speech I gave at the Midwestern Practice Management Symposium this fall, I had a reason to organize my thoughts on a simple plan to develop teamwork and change not only practices, but hearts as well.  Somehow this hierarchy developed into a simple acronym:  TRUCK

Here were my thoughts…

1) Kindness – It’s the beginning of any good relationship.  In a cold world, authentic kindness stands out and opens doors.  Even in a big organization, stories are shared.  “They don’t care how much you know, unless they know how much you care.”

2) Connection – Once they “care how much you know”, you can begin using your interactions (even electronic ones) to build a relationship.  Kind, meaningful interactions are the bond that creates a connection.  This may actually mean that you try to meet every person in your organization or division.  It’s not easy (believe me), but if you want to lead, you must connect.  I think this is actually the most important and sometimes most difficult step.  It makes or breaks leaders and teams.

3) Understanding – Once you build a connection and communication channels are open,  an understanding of one’s motives and qualities grows.  This is where it gets to be a challenge for some.  The more they understand you, the more they have to find what they need in order for you to be successful.  This is why the right people need to be in the right place.  You don’t have to be perfect or act like you’re in a popularity contest, but your motives and values must be absolutely unshakeable and consistent.

4) Respect – If they understand your strengths and proper motivation, respect will develop at some level. 

5) Trust – Finally, trust comes when they respect you and believe that you’ll use your skills and abilities to support them in their work.  It is the difference between knowing someone can catch you and believing they actually will.

Once you have their trust, you can make big changes:  change hearts, change minds, change cultures.  You can move mountains. 

TRUCK may be just another silly acronym, but hopefully this concept of a hierarchy can help guide the process for building teamwork or how a Servant Leader can grow a strong organization and deliver results. 

Let me know what you think.  It’s a work in progress.


Linkedin for Healthcare 101

Linkedin does such a great job of keeping you in contact with your professional network that I personally believe it will replace your Rolodex or address book.  It’s inevitable.

It updates itself, allows you to ask questions of your entire professional network in one shot, and keeps you in touch with your offline groups and associations.  With a new member every second, it won’t be long before nearly every one of your colleagues is on it.


The first step is to register on and go through the setup process.  For help on getting started, make sure you follow each step and check out this guide for new Linkedin users.

In the Information Age, people can Google your name and find out if anyone’s complained about you online, anytime you’ve been in the local paper, or just about anything else that people write about you.  When using Linkedin, you will be able manage the information that’s publically available about you and create a search result that is positive, professional, and near the top of the search results.  This is especially important for leaders, physicians, and others who depend on their reputation for their livelihood.

You can also gain new information and insights from other professionals in private group settings.  This can come in handy if you have a simple problem/question, but don’t want to pay a consultant for the answer.  Your peer network can and will help.  I use several groups to get peer support all of the time, and I swear by it.  Guide to asking questions on Linkedin

In the coming years our industry will face severe shortages for just about every type of work.  One benefit to Linkedin will be the ability to post job openings or do networking in order to find the right candidates for openings in your department.

Just like facebook, some great communities have formed on Linkedin to provide peer support and helpful Q&A.  Here are some of my personal favorites:

I would recommend using the search box on the top right of the Linkedin screen to find other associations that you are a member of offline.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them as comments below.  I’ll try to help you out!

Facebook for Healthcare 101

For the sake of keeping this short enough, I’m going to assume that you’ve registered on and have gone through their quick setup process.  For help getting started, follow facebook’s recommended setup steps and check out this 8 minute guide for new facebook users.

Congratulations, you are now part of the largest social network in the world!

Here’s some basic info about the human network you’ve just joined:

  • Earlier this year, it was named #1 most visited website in the US (more than Google)
  • Every month 30,000,000,000 pieces of information (links, pictures, videos, etc.) are shared by its 500+ million users
  • People spend 700,000,000,000 minutes per month on facebook

That’s a lot of zeros! 

During the sign-up process, you should have gone through facebook’s step by step guide to setup your profile and find your friends.  Don’t worry if you don’t have many friends on facebook right away.  Believe me, they will come.  (An 80+ year-old relative of mine signed up a couple months ago and has at least 20 friends now on facebook) 

Now let’s bring the professional side into it.  I truly believe that facebook has the potential be a major force in supporting healthcare professionals to reduce burnout, share best practices, and get quick answers to issues.  Using facebook as a tool, communities have formed to provide peer support and helpful Q&A.

Here are some of my personal favorite facebook communities:

Specifically, notice how the first two groups have a lot of people answering the questions of their group members on their “Wall” tab.  I would recommend using the search box on the top of the facebook screen to find other associations that you are a member of offline. 

Next step?  Jump in!  Comment.  Post questions.  Help others.  These communities are built on us, and they are at their best when you and I are sharing.

Have questions about facebook?  Post questions you might have in the comment box below and I’ll see if I can help.

Part 3: How to Start Using Social Media

In my last couple posts, I hope I’ve done a decent job of convincing you that Social Media might be worth a try.  Now the question is “How?”

The first step is to join some of the free Social Networking sites available.  I’ll talk more in-depth about each one in following posts, but first we need to pick a couple to start with, visit their home page, and register. 

Which ones to join?

There are literally thousands of different social networks to choose from, but for starters, I recommend starting with these two: – Their stated goal is to recreate the human network, and they’ve done so quite successfully.  With active groups, helpful pages, and a system that allows you to focus on people you know, this social network of over 550,000,000 people is the gateway to the world of Social Media.  It’s not just for college kids anymore (you might be surprised how many of your friends are on it). – This network of more than 80,000,000 is primarily for leaders and professionals.  With excellent groups and many of your colleagues already on there, it’s a great place to share professional information and stay informed.  Every Fortune 500 company has members on it, and it’s a must for anyone looking to lead others during this digital age.

(Extra Credit) – If you’ve already joined facebook and Linkedin and find yourself looking to try more, I recommend twitter.  Twitter is simple.  Twitter is easy.  160,000,000 people are using twitter to share bite sized (140 characters or less) messages with the world.  You can follow the “tweets” of industry leaders, colleagues, consultants, and friends as they share news, links, videos, and blog postings.

If you have any questions, feel free to post them as comments here on the blog site and my colleagues and I will attempt to answer them as best as we can.

What’s next? 

I’ll dive into the professional side of and discuss how you can make it work for your work in the healthcare industry.  The following day, we’ll focus  If you’d like to get these sent to you via email, just subscribe on the upper right side of

See you tomorrow!


About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare. 

Part 2: Why Should You Care about Social Media?

Yesterday I made the point that we aren’t just using the Internet as a tool anymore, but rather that we are becoming a part of it.

If you buy into that point, then you need more than a modem or router to access this new internet.  You need Social Media.  All the helpful information shared by your peers, industry changing discussions taking place right now, real-time news…it’s available through Social Media. 

Social Media is what connects us to each other.

We need to care about Social Media because it’s the new way people are interacting with the world.  Every Christmas I get fewer and fewer Christmas letters from family and friends, and they’re not coming in email either.  Their updates are happening every day (or every hour sometimes) on facebook, YouTube, twitter, and other Social Media sites.

The fact of the matter is that if you don’t embrace Social Media, you risk missing out on pictures and videos of family, invitations to events, or exciting announcements like engagements, babies, or awards.  Basically, you risk missing out on a big part of our world.

That includes your work world too.

Industry news, peer support, and networking are all happening online right now on the new internet, the social internet.

Now that we’ve established the “Why”, I’d like to talk about the “How” tomorrow.  If you’d like to continue the discussion, I invite you to subscribe to this blog on the upper right side of the blog page (

Have a great day!  We’ll continue this tomorrow.



About the Author:  Aaron lives in Milwaukee, WI with his wife and two children and is the President & CEO of Clear Medical Solutions.  When he’s not leading new initiatives, he periodically takes on interim leadership or consulting projects.  He also enjoys teaching, speaking, writing, and sharing his passion for people and their healthcare.