Did You Wake Up a Winner Today?

Tell me how your morning was today.  Did you jump out of bed before dawn raring to go?  Did you have a power shower?  Did you brush your teeth like a champ?  Did you peel rubber out of the driveway because you couldn’t wait to get to work?

No?  😛   Well, not many people do.  Many of us in this industry get up feeling like it’s just another day.  Most of us peel rubber out of the driveway because we’re running late!

Go to work.  Jump on a few conference calls.  Complete some reports.  Joke with some residents.  Track down some family members that are avoiding you because they haven’t gotten all the bank statements in for the pending Medicaid application. Go to some meetings. Forget lunch.  Talk to a CNA who is asking to change halls because she’s stressed.  Talk to a family member who is upset because you’re “moving all the good CNAs off this hall.” A family member tells you the laundry ghost has stolen her mom’s best shirt. An employee tells you there’s not enough staff.  Check your labor and realize you’re running over your staffing budget this payroll.  Go fix a resident’s wheelchair.  Check email for the 20th time.  Pack it up and drive home to have lunch…err, supper, now.   

Over and over. (That’s not all by any means, but I can only type so much of what we do.)

Sound familiar?  Let me ask a question,  Where’s the passion in that?  The job itself doesn’t really change, you deal with everything.  But what does change is how you deal with it – what emotion you bring and what vibe you give off everyday.  Your staff will invariably adopt the attitude you bring in everyday.  If you’re in a negative, self-defeating mood, you can bet you’re going to have poor results on the floor.

I discovered that when I adopt a “power mindset” that not only do I benefit, but those around me do as well. I feel better, my staff seem to pick up the vibe.  It’s contagious.

 What’s a power mindset?  It a mindset where one eliminates the excuses and has the confidence inside to pursue their goals with passion.  I tell myself, “This day is what you make of it.  You want to be a rock star today?  Go for it! You want to set records?  Make it happen!”  When I bring confidence, enthusiasm, and a plan to win to the table, my team gets excited and I get excited.  And, it shows.  It shows in the results we produce financially, in the census numbers we’re blowing people away with, and, most importantly, in the care we’re delivering on the floor.

Teams need leadership.  You can take any team and turn them into winners, but only if you have decided that you’re a winner already.  It doesn’t take much to create a power mindset.  It just takes a decision to be better, sometimes to be the best.  You reinforce this decision with small victories daily.

Don’t try to knock off your whole to-do list today.  You’re destined to fall short.  Instead, Jot down 5 things you will accomplish today – No Matter What!  Then, make it happen.  As you accomplish each one, write “Win!” beside them.  At the end of the day, jot down 5 things you’re going to accomplish tomorrow.  Do it all over again.  It might not sound like much, but you’re building small successes everyday. 

With every success comes confidence – With confidence comes power – With power comes the sheer motivation to drive forward and accomplish more.

You can break out of the pack and join the 5% of people who book wins everyday.  These are the people who make things happen.  These are the people who influence others and bring their teams to greatness.  These are the people who make each day count.

Bring it all to the table.  Don’t settle for mediocre results when you can push your facility beyond it’s perceived potential. 

  • Set goals. 
  • Coach your people. 
  • Show them the path to success. 
  • Push hard and pull when you need to. 

People thrive on success.  You will produce great leaders with this attitude and mindset.  I know several people who were once my employees, who I coached and mentored, who I reassured and told not to give up, and now they have taken off on their own course, been successful, and moved up the ladder leaving a trail of positive results behind. They have become successful regional nurses, DONs, marketing directors, administrators, consultants, etc.

These people are winners!  They grew in an environment of success.  They adopted a power mindeset, whether consciously or not.  They know what to do to win.


Not this kind of Winning!

Let me tell you a story.  I once had a building that was like many other average facilities – it looked good on the surface, but internally, multiple systems were broken.  As a result, it’s census was just average.  It’s care was just average.  It’s financial results were just average.  The survey results were just average. 

Who wants to be average when you can be so much more?!

I knew right away that I had a big task ahead of me.  I could allow this facility to continue to decline into a liability that would eventually get dinged with survey fines or would allow it’s census to evaporate over time, etc.  Or, I could take this building and make something great out of it!  You probably know which road I chose.

With the right attitude and the right mindset, I built a fantastic team. Together we delivered result after result.  We broke record after record.  Best average daily census in 10 years – month after month.  Best survey in the last 10 years.  Best average Medicare census ever – went from ADC of 22 to 46 (my personal goal was 50 for this building 😕 ). Highest total number of admissions ever.  Highest revenue ever!

Almost all of these records were produced during the middle of one of the most extensive facility renovations and asbestos abatements I’ve ever seen.  I had some business acquaintances drop by one day and take a look at my facility.  The tile floor was ripped up all down the hallway and there were plastic tents all over with workers inside because of the asbestos abatement.  The ceiling tiles were down because of the renovation and the local fire chief wouldn’t let us put them back up because we found dozens of wires hanging down everywhere which we didn’t know what they were for.  The walls were spackled and some were sanded down, all were in need of painting.  There was no cove base or handrails, they’d been taken down for the renovation.  There was noise from all the workers.  There was dust and paint odors.  There were piles of debris everywhere.  Doors were off the hinges.  We had crews working on all halls everyday.  It looked like a war zone.

Anyway, my one of friends said,”This has got to be killing your census.  What are you running?”

I was in a 145 bed building at the time.  I had multiple strong competitors within a couple of miles, some of them with brand new buildings.  I was at a huge disadvantage with the horrible presentation of my building.  However, I had adopted a power mindset before all of the construction began…or deconstruction depending on how you looked at it.  I knew we had some tough times ahead.  My team and I also knew that we wouldn’t let some flimsy excuse like facility aesthetics ruin our census.  I was very proud of my team and myself when I answered that question because I knew the market was tough and my competitors were down. I knew that there was no way I should even be competitive at the time.  My company, looking at our average admissions and discharges, had even anticipated a drop in census of around 25 ADC over 6-8 weeks of construction because who’d want to come into a mess like that?  How would we possibly get admissions?

I’m full,” I replied with a smile.

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