Episode 35: Time, Energy, People and Communication

kari Lightner Headshot.jpg

What separates our best days at work from the most challenging ones? What do they have in common? What might we have done differently? How can we improve next time? How do we make every day at work the best it can possibly be for everybody, including the end users of our work product? If you have ever asked yourself these questions, you won’t want to miss our next VoltCast: Illuminating Leadership, Time, Energy, People & Communication. We will explore practical tips, tools and lesson learned with Ms Kari Lightner, Director – Regional Health Clinics at Bath Community Hospital, Hot Springs, Virginia.


Kari Lightner is the Rural Health Clinic Business Director at Bath Community Hospital, a not-for-profit, critical access hospital committed to providing high-quality, mission driven health care. Kari is responsible for daily operations, management, and oversight of the hospital’s ambulatory clinics. She believes leading a multidisciplinary team that ensures the seamless delivery of care for all patients defines success. 
Kari holds a Bachelor of Arts in Healthcare Administration with a minor in Economics for Mary Baldwin University. She is currently working on her Master of Arts in Executive Leadership at Liberty University. 
If you have an questions, you can reach Kari at 540-839-7106 (O) or email her at kari.lightner@bcchospital.org


Lee: Hello and welcome to Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership. This is Lee Hubert, the principal consultant at Voltage Leadership. We are so glad you could join us today. It is beautiful here in Virginia. Want to give a shout out to our CEO, Jeff Smith, who is on assignment. He is traveling to Texas. Jeff, we know you are going to do great work down there, he always does, and want to get you back soon. We are also happy to have people join us from literally all around the world. We have people joining us from Pakistan, from India, from China, from UAE, Saudi, and pretty much every state in the United States.

Once again, this is Voltage Leadership: Illuminating Leadership. If you would like to reach us during the show, you can please dial 866-472-5788. You can also e-mail us jeff@voltageleadership.com or lee@voltageleadership.com. Our website is www.voltageleadership.com. You can like us on Facebook at Voltage Leadership. Connect with us on LinkedIn at Jeff Smith, Voltage Leadership Consulting or Lee Hubert, Voltage Leadership Consulting. You also follow us on Twitter at @VoltageLeaders.

Today, we have a fascinating topic. It is a really great. We are going to be talking with a client of Voltage Leadership. Some folks from Bath Community Hospital. We are going to be talking about what separates really great days at work, our best days from work, from the most challenging ones? What do they have in common, what we might do differently. I am really pleased to have with me two fabulous leaders from Bath Community Hospital. First, I want to say hello to Kathy Landreth who is the CEO. Hello, Kathy.

Kathy: Hello, Lee.

Lee: How you doing today?

Kathy: I am doing well, thank you.

Lee: Excellent, appreciate you being here with us. A little bit about Kathy. Kathy is the CEO of Bath Community Hospital at Hot Springs, Virginia. She is a nurse by training, right?

Kathy: Correct.

Lee: Also, a Master's Degree in MBA. Kathy's career spans 25 years of experience in healthcare industry as CEO in operations. She is just a fabulous leader, I am pleased to encounter among our clients and my friends. We have done some great work with her and her leadership team over the past year or so. We are also very pleased to have with us today Ms. Kari Lightner. Say hello, Kari.

Kari: Hello, Lee.

Lee: How are you doing today?

Kari: Doing great. Well, I thought you are going to tell me you are having a terrific Tuesday but more about that later. Kari is the Rural Health Clinic Business Director at Beth Community Hospital. She handles the critical access. Hospitals are committed to providing very high quality care and that is what Bath County does. You will see as we get into our discussion today who Bath County is. How unique their community is and how they function there. Kari is responsible for the day to day operations, management, and oversight of the hospital's ambulatory clinics. She really has the philosophy of leading a multi-disciplinary team to do things in a seamless nature to care for patients that are end users.

Has a bachelor's in Healthcare Administration from Mary Baldwin University and is presently working on the Master's Degree in Executive Leadership at Liberty University. Let us give a big Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership. Welcome to both Kathy Landreth land to Kari Lightner. Thanks guys.

Kari: Thanks for having us Lee.

Lee: Hey, today in Voltcast, we are going to be talking about a subject that I was actually talking about done in Charlotte, North Carolina short time ago. Speaking about what separates our best days at work from our most challenging days, what they might have not common. As today's Voltcast unfold, what we are going to do is have a couple different segments. We are going to talk a little bit about some of the experiences that we have experienced that make for challenging days in the first segment and then we are going to talk a little bit about how we are going to be start moving to or moving from challenging days to really great days. First things first, I want to talk about the things that we experience in the world of hospital and healthcare. Might be economics, regulatory, political, those kinds of things. One of the things that make for challenging days. Kari, what are your thoughts about that?

Kari: I think what makes a challenging days is just the environment that we are in as an independent role hospital in Virginia. We are really working to develop a workforce that is ready for change and ready to adapt to that change and really that is the challenge we face every day as just remaining independent and developing a workforce that is ready for those challenges. Both empowering and motivating those employees and helping them strive for excellence, aligning with primary care providers to develop common goals that you know is always a challenge and really engaging and educating our community.

Lee: Interesting. There is no challenge there, right? From the perspective of I know how well you all are invested in your community in as we work together as a leadership team over the last year. More on that in just a second. Kathy, what are your thoughts about some of the experiences that could make for challenging days?

Kathy: Well, you know as good as you can communicate Lee, there is always room for better communication? You can start at the top of your organization or start at the bottom of the organization and making sure that the message is consistent and that you are delivering it the same way with the same inflection in your delivery each time. That can be somewhat challenging because this is a 24/7, 365 operation. You have got to get that out there to all those people. Communication can be absolutely a challenge.

Lee: Interesting. Communication, the cause of end solution to all of life's problems and that is one of the things I discovered in my presentation down in Charlotte a short time ago. Things that they have in common tend to be time and time management, energy expended, and not only managing time so you meet some of the challenging days but managing your energy level too because if you are not energetic and withered of your saw and your saw is not very sharp, it is not going to get us where we need to go.

Then of course, we are working with and through people. Leadership teams, say those words, but a lot of times how do they get to those places where we make our work days great days and you just said the word, Kathy, communication. When it is there and it is there and well, it is awesome. When it is not, it can be challenging. Let us get into some of the practical tips and ideas about some of the things you all have experience with us as Voltage Leadership and in your own leadership of your teams, some of the things lessons learned and tools we may have applied. From moving from some of the challenging days to really making great days at work. Kari, what are your thoughts? What comes to mind first?

Kari: We talk about the drama triangle and managing distractions, avoiding that drama. I think that is a huge lesson learned. To be able to manage those distraction so that you have the time and the energy to get through the day. I think that that is a huge lesson learned based upon the coaching that we have done through Voltage Leadership.

Lee: Awesome. Yes, drama, there is no drama in healthcare. Is there, Kathy?

Kathy: None at all, Lee.

Lee: For you people listening, that you know we work in healthcare but it could be in any organization in anywhere. You see Jeff's head nodding out there on the radio audience. I think what Kari is alluding to is dumping the what we refer to as the anti-culture. Kari, you want to talk a little bit about taming the drama triangle? What were your experiences with it and how did you apply them to your team?

Kari: In taming the drama triangle, what lesson we really learn is that in the very beginning we have got a lot of teams together. We brought the clinic team together as far as staff, clinical staff and clerical staff, but we also brought the provider team together. We started outlining stop start and continue categories. In avoiding that drama, we really learnt the first thing that we needed to do out of the gate, and we ended up doing in a few meetings later, was to clearly outline role responsibilities and expectations on day one because you can never assume that people understand what those things are. That is really one way to kind of clear the air as just to clearly outline those role to responsibilities and expectations. Lee, you referred to that as the water line talk.

Lee: Excellent. Well, we are going to be coming up on a break in a little over two minutes. I would like you all to be thinking on the other half of the break about some more things that you have experienced as lessons learned. Things that you would really like to share with our radio audience about moving from challenging days to making really excellent and best days from work. You said a mouthful there just a second ago, Kari, when you are talking about stop-start-continue. I would like you to be thinking about that for after the break. We are going to drill down on that just a little bit. I can tell you one of the things that absolutely resonates with me and is gratifying to see as your leadership thought partner to watch your team coalesce around leadership. Kathy, you have been in the CEO role there for about two years now, a little over two years now, right?

Kathy: Right at two years.

Lee: Right at two years. I can tell you from my perspective, what is really gratifying to see is that a leadership team, with their CEO in the room, able to kind of cut to the chase and say you know what, we have a mission, we have a vision, we have investment in our community, we are going to be going places, we need to figure it out and go forward as a team. Kathy, if you can just take just a little about thirty seconds or so and comment on what that felt like for you?

Kathy: It was very very rewarding, Lee. To see Voltage Leadership in the room, working with a team that was very immature in their roles, they did not have a lot of leadership development prior to my arrival and just gave myself with Voltage Leadership a huge opportunity to make a difference in this organization. It very gratifying. Very fulfilling to see them expanding their thinking and their roles as leaders.

Lee: Awesome. Well, we are going to pick up on that very thing. We are getting ready to go to a break. Expanding their thinking and roles as leaders. I have got a list of things that popped up for me from our time together. I will be thinking about those things and we will catch you all again and in about two minutes on the other side of the break. Again, this is Illuminating Leadership and I am Lee Hubert.


Lee: Hello and welcome back. This is Lee Hubert sitting in for Jeff Smith who is on assignment down in Texas. We are going to give a shout out to Jeff. Jeff, we hope you are having a great day. We know you are going to be doing some great work down in Texas. Very pleased and happy to have with me today two really great leaders from one of our client organizations. That would be Kathy Landreth who is the CEO of Bath Community Hospital in Hot Springs, Virginia. That would also be Kari Lightner who is the Director of Rural Clinics at Bath Community Hospital in Hot Springs, Virginia. Guys, before the break, we were talking about putting people in a new leadership place. Expanding their thinking. Kari, you and I know when we were in preparation mode for the show today, we were talking about getting things in the right priority and we were talking about handling the big rocks first. What does that mean to you?

Kari: We are talking about doing the important thing first and really that references the energy that you spent some time talking about and the things that those best days and worst days have in common, energy being one of them. In what tasks are the most urgent should be done first. That trumps everything else. What task consumed the largest source of stress, go ahead and get things out of the way that you are dreading and the rest of the day is going to go much better. I also like to think about what is going to take the most common energy. If you do that first, then the rest seem to be easy in comparison. That really is just something that really separates the best days from the worst days. It is just put those big rocks in the jar first as we discussed, Lee.

Lee: Interesting. Kathy, I am going to ask you about that too as a CEO and a busy schedule that you have managing board responsibilities, physicians group, inpatient, outpatient, pharmacy, all these different responsibilities. I know from our dialogue that you have done just a fantastic job of getting your mind wrapped around a lot of those things. When we fast forward to the end of the year and look back and say what are the things that were the must have had to happen first to be successful, I think that is what we are talking about when we say put the big rocks in first. What does that mean to you and how do you go about thinking about getting the high priority things done first?

Kathy: Lee, I think on any given day when you go into your work, sometimes as I travel in I have got some windshield time, I am thinking about those things that I would consider the big rocks that need to be taken cared of first and when I get here there may be something that takes priority over what I was thinking coming in. I think the ability to think quickly and change course direction is very very important as a leader and I hope that I am showing my leaders that report to me how to do that because I think that is a very important as you know healthcare is ever changing and dynamic and you could be faced with anything on any given day.

I think with our team, one of the things that with first with that whole leadership development thought was that there was not a group of people in a room in the beginning that were bought into what Bath Community Hospital was all about. Creating individual teams and you did this very well, Lee, with some of the teams you created around our mission and vision and values of the hospital. Mission, vision and values for each of the teams.

Lee: Excellent.

Kathy: That is what is really important for that to flow up.

Lee: Excellent. Thank you for that, I appreciate that and like I say, it is gratifying to see. Let us drill down on that a little bit because as you know our philosophy at Voltage is time some of the changes that we need to make happen to move from challenging days to creating great days for everybody at work, those changes do take place at the team level. Kathy, I know that we were drilling on the nursing team, there was pharmacy, there were providers, and one of the things that we do in terms of getting to the what we call the team charter.

Let us just talk about that for a second. Our team exists too, our team is going in this direction and the behaviors that make those first two things happen are these things. The sense at the beginning was there may be people that were not brought in but as we were working together under your leadership, I think they were. It is evidence by some of the things we have been experiencing. One of the tools we were using in that regard was something called stop-start-continue. Would you like to just talk for a little bit about what your observations were with that and how it applied to making the team changes?

Kathy: Sure. I think for the stop-start-continue exercise, I would say that that was one of the most valuable exercises that we experienced. As a leadership team in a room so that everybody was able to get on the same page. When someone said we need to stop doing this with conversation around that and so then at the end of the exercise everybody was, as you said, bought in to what we should stop, what we should start doing, and what we should continue doing. The continuing actually recognized some of the good things that were already happening in our organization. I think at the end of the exercise, there was that energy level, you felt it picked back up again and people were ready to go out and execute on what we talked about in the room. It created a an energy level and an interest in the success of the hospital. It was just so amazing to watch that as a leader.

Lee: Interesting. From the perspective, you are right. I was in the room and I could feel it and it was palpable. You said something really important and it is such a great point and I want to compliment you. Not every team can do this with their CEO in the room. That you can have a forum, you can do that kind of thing, but to do it with your leaders in tow and with all integrity and sincerity saying look, you know team, this is where we are going and I am driving the ship and we do need to coalesce around this message in the interest of serving our community and our end users, our patients, and our families, right? Kari, what are your thoughts about some of the changes that the team level in your experience with using stop-start-continue?

Kari: Some changes at the team level, Lee, that I wanted to expand on when you were talking about by end was lessons learned and really to make day going for the best is that we really learn to focus our attention on our rising stars and not our falling stars. That was something we knew that we had to start doing because we were really running out of energy and time when we are focusing on the falling stars and really those identifying owners versus renters and doing some talent assessment. That was something that really stands out in my mind still today.

Lee: Interesting. Let me understand and use those words. When we talk about talent assessment and coalescing around the team, Kathy I love this phrase you used, I mean what we were doing was not going to get us where we needed to get to. Doing things the old way is not going to get us where we need to go. That includes culture and people. This is symptomatic of a lot of organizations that Jeff works, Jennifer Owen-O'quill works with, their leadership director, myself, Marissa over in Richmond, Marissa Keegan. A lot of times we spend a disproportionate amount of time, managerial thought time with falling stars, and by that I mean people who for whatever reason are not invested in the mission and vision of the hospital and are performing.

It is a challenge to the leadership at the team level to your point Kari to say talent assessment, interesting. You mentioned roles, responsibilities, and expectations earlier and the challenge was who owns this message and I can remember that day and the answer was you all, you all. I mean it was just excellent. I want to, Kathy, get your thoughts about how this impacted the physicians part of the organization and how the answers to some of these questions help build and in some cases rebuild some of those relationships?

Kathy: Sure. Direction, it is so important in any organization and answering these questions. Also, getting input and feedback from that group because without the physicians and providers, you do not have a business in healthcare. Important that I recognize that as a leader but equally important that they understood how their role impacted our success. I felt like we did a really good job with the help of Voltage Leadership, they were present in the room, because Voltage was present in the room doing a lot of these activities, it gave me the opportunity to sit back and look at how people responding to what was being said, it gave me the opportunity also to participate as a team member and not necessarily the leader.

Lee: Interesting.

Kathy: I am in it with you type of mentality as opposed to I am just a leader and you will do as I say.

Lee: Interesting. That is to my earlier point. Not every organization can do that and kudos to you in a compliment to your leadership ability to be in that room with those folks to say look I am a teammate, I am the leader, ultimately I am responsible and responsible to the board and the community but I am one of you and we are going to actually share some dialogue about this. I remember one of the dialogues with some of the physician group folks and they were very supportive of that. They said we need to hear this from our leader, meaning you as a CEO, and I think there is a huge lesson learned there for a lot of organizations when you think about that. What are your thoughts about it in terms of the take away of things that other organizations can learn from just being present as part of the team with your leaders?

Kathy: I think it sends a really strong message. I am here for you but I am also here with you. I think it sets the tone for positive movement. I think that you are saying to them I have the time for you, I have the energy for you, and together we are going to be able to get this done. I really felt that way about all of the activities that we participated in collectively. I get to see not only the providers but the nursing team and then I got to hear about all the good work from with the rural health clinic from Kari. I think that you cannot put enough emphasis on sitting together in a room and identifying those top maybe three critical areas and come up with an action plan around those areas together collectively so that everybody is moving toward the same goal.

Lee:  I tell you what, we are going to be taking a break very shortly. Another twenty seconds or so but I want to pick up on that thought for the two of you. Kari, I want you to be thinking about it after we come back from the break about how we divest ourselves from falling stars because we did get an e-mail question from that. Kathy, I am going to be asking you to be thinking about how you get people's attention which is the currency of management. Hold those thoughts, we will see you all again in two minutes.


Lee: Hello and welcome back. This is Lee Hubert, the principal consultant at Voltage Leadership. Sitting in for Jeff Smith, our CEO who is on assignment traveling down in Texas. You know you do not mess with Texas, right? We are sure he is going to be doing great work down there. Before the break, we were talking about a couple of really good topics. We are pleased to have with us Kathy Landreth, the CEO at Bath Community Hospital in Hot Springs, Virginia and Kari Lightner, the Director of the Regional Health Clinics at the Bath Community Hospital. Before the break, I was going to mention, Kathy, being in this busy CEO role, managing the organization from top to bottom and that includes some board responsibilities. I like to think getting everybody's attention is kind of the currency of management and that means managing up to the board and managing that strategic intent throughout your organization. What are your thoughts about managing the organization like that from board level, top to bottom?

Kathy: I think, Lee, that that can be very challenging at times. However, I going to give a shout out to your CEO, I want to give a shout out to my board, we absolutely have one of the best boards that I have ever worked with. We have physicians that sit on our board, we have people that have been leaders in healthcare, we have a lot of financial background sitting on our board that really helps set the tone for the organization. I have to make sure that I am keeping them informed and that is that managing up that you spoke of all the things that are going on, things that my team and I are taking on as challenges and how we are planning on growing our business here. Equally though, it is important for me to get direction from the board around the strategic direction. We have developed some long term and short term objectives and all of them have key performance indicators and in fact, Lee, you helped us work on some key performance indicators around some of those long term and short term strategies.

Lee: That was an absolute gas too, was not it? Being at the offsite, that was just so much fun to do. I have to just say that that was wonderful.

Kathy: It was great fun. Again, we brought that leadership team together so we were all on the room and that was probably about our third or fourth time that we were all in a room together with you Lee and each time it got better and better and better and comfortable. People were willing to be themselves and put their ideas out there. There was no shyness in that room that day.

Lee: Yes, that is a wonderful thing. I agree with you. We had great fun doing it. Just so you folks know, we had an offsite back in February where this is kind of where the rubber meets the road for all businesses whether it is healthcare or any other clients that Voltage works with. Remember, we talked about at the top of the show, one of these things have in common, time, energy, people, communication. Well, here are some KPI, some key performance indicators, and Kathy, under your leadership, we were able to hang some meat on those about who had what degree of influence over what indicator and then when some action plans and action steps on those and that is how you move the needle forward. I think those things have in common with making great days. You said the words about having clear direction.

Kari, I am going to mention this to you, actually two things, you mention the waterline a little bit earlier about roles, responsibilities, and expectations, and that also ties to having clear direction. I want to get your thoughts on that and I also want to get your thoughts on when we talked in the previous segment about divesting ourselves from falling stars. What are your thoughts about tying those two things together?

Kari: Really in order to separate ourselves from rising stars, what works within our facility is just like you were talking about the talent assessment, we really look at that. We realized that really it is time that some employees we invest in a formal performance improvement plan for those employees and really explain to them within that performance improvement plan, what those roles, responsibilities, and expectations are and then provide a timeline for them to meet the goals and objectives you have for them. The majority of employees want to do the right thing, it is bringing it to their attention in a formal setting and they will either step up to the plate and get on board or most of them well you will see some turn over and which some of that turnover is good turnover and you just have to mean prepared for it. We talked about planning for the fall out only, that was an important conversation that we had amongst our leaders when you were in the room.

Lee: Interesting. From the point of view that clarity around role responsibilities and expectations, cannot say it any louder, cannot say it any clearer. Remember, all these things to make great days moving off of challenging days, have to do with how we spend time, manage energy, work within through people and how we communicate with them. That is beautiful, Kari. That is what is really awesome. I am good add a thought here and it is going to be what we call the anti-culture. You all have seen me do this in our in our leadership sessions. You walk up to somebody and it is Monday and you say how are you doing and you hear things like, 'I am here,' or 'It is one day closer to Friday,' or the ever present and wonderful, 'I am living the dream,' sarcasm off. We had this little device where we were using some alliteration during the week to tell people because it sounds like a kind of corny or even a cliché but it helps dump the anti-culture once you start to incorporate it into the DNA of the culture. Kari, you want to talk about that just a little bit and by the way how you doing today?

Kari: I am having a terrific Tuesday, Lee. It is really how it started within our clinic especially was kind of corny at first but we would say we are having a marvelous Monday, we are having a fantastic Friday. Really it really was funny in the beginning but now it is really part of our everyday language. When I send an e-mail to the provider group or to the clinic staff occasionally, at the bottom of those e-mails I will put hope you are having a terrific Tuesday or hope you are having a marvelous Monday. It really kind of just sets the tone for the day and it is a lot easier to have a good day when you fill your head with positive thoughts both before and during your day.

Lee: Interesting point. Our CEO, Jeff Smith, has a device called CYA. That means 'Choose Your Attitude' and not the other CYA. There is something to that. I mean if you are happy and  it you know it, you should tell your face, and you should tell in your face by virtue of your countenance, your body language, your demeanor, the vibe contributes your pro-rata share to the culture and guess what, that rubs off on everybody in your space. Your clients, your patients, their families, all that kind of thing. Kathy, how are you doing today?

Kathy: I am having a terrific Tuesday as well.

Lee: Alright, see it is working? What happens is we challenge the anti-culture. If I hire somebody or somebody is coming in to be the end users of services, whatever part of the organization, and they bump into somebody who has a sour puss or an attitude that is suffering or upset life Syndrome, I mean how do you know? They can go out and tell a thousand people about how you may or may not be meeting their needs, it is like really it does not add anything so we just do not even go there. Kari, other things that came to mind that rose to your list in terms of making for great days as opposed to challenging days?

Kari: I often talk about preparation and starting your day off strong. One of my favorite quote from an amazing leader in our country, Abraham Lincoln, is give me six hours to chop a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax. Preparation is key to turning your worst day into your best days. I just really like to focus on preparation, seeking the positive and doing those important things first.

Lee: Interesting, Lincoln is one of my favorite leaders as you know I have a friend in the Midwest, Steve Rogstad, he is a Lincoln scholar. We were just on Voltcast a couple weeks ago together and he and I will be doing some Lincoln think and speak in which is all cool. Lincoln also had something where he minimized drama. I mean the lesson here in the take away that you all can apply is we do not need to accept the crisis mode. We do not need to be engaged in drama, we can minimize it. Lincoln, if you bump into a tree stump, would say just plow around it. Do not try to rip it up by the roots, do not try to go right through it because you are going to expend a lot of time and energy when you need to be focusing on people in communication, right?

Kari: Right.

Lee: Kathy, other things on your list, we are going to be going to break in about another two and a half minutes, but I want to catch your thoughts on things that are on your list that help move from challenging days to great days for everybody at work.

Kathy: For me, starting off the day, if you start off in your office and many times there is always something to do to keep you in your office. My best days and it takes me from challenging to great are when I am rounding and I am seeing patients and I am interacting with patients but nurse first but also the strong message that it sends to the staff. I can always round more and we are getting ready to implement senior leader rounding here which I think will be hugely successful or rounding with a purpose if it is sometimes called and I think you have talked about that before. I think my best days are those days that I am standing with the staff, making sure that they understand the direction. Making sure that they understand that I truly care about their day and what is happening in their life.

Lee: Excellent. Well, I think about what you just said and actually it is kind of a Lincolnesque kind of management practices. Well, you are very visible, you are managing by walking around and you do care. That is one of the things. Sometimes cultures and all clients and all businesses, I mean I refer to it as anti-culture. There is this kind of undercurrent of whatever you want to call it, challenging behavior, negativism that kind of thing. Most of the time, you can change that as a percentage of people you are not going to change that. For me, we are going to get ready to go on a break in about a minute or so, and I would like you all to be thinking about some final thoughts, tips and tools, big takeaways to wrap up our show today. But for me the thing I want to focus on is the acronym WIN, what is important now. When I focus on what is important now, I usually end up having a great day even if it started out challenging.

I tell you what, we are getting ready to bump up again next to a break. You are listening to Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership. This is Lee Hubert, principal consultant at Voltage Leadership, sitting in for Jeff Smith. If you would like to reach us during the show, you can dial us in at 866-472-5788 or you can pop us an e-mail at any time at jeff@voltageleadership.com or lee@voltageleadership.com. We will see you in two minutes, talk to you then.


Lee: Hello and welcome back. This is Lee Hubert, principal consultant at Voltage Leadership, sitting in for Jeff Smith who is on assignment traveling down in Texas today. I give a shout out to Jeff. We have been having a fascinating interesting discussion with Kathy Landreth, the CEO of Bath Community Hospital up in Hot Springs, Virginia and with Kari Lightner, the Director of Regional Health Clinics at Bath Community Hospital. Interesting dialogue guys. I am thinking, as we getting ready to wrap up the show, I would like you to be thinking about some final thoughts, key tips, takeaways, something that resonated with you from our time together. I will go first while we are talking about that.

I remember a couple of things we did as a leadership team. One was the obstacle course, another one was something we refer to as blind darts. People would think, oh good Lord, what does that mean, blind darts. It is what you think it is. Now, remember our offsite, we had all the leadership team together and we had "volunteers". The obstacle course in the blind darts exercises were all about hitting a target but communicating clearly to build commitment and cooperation with a team from people that had vision. With no vision, nobody was going anywhere and that was a clearly something that leadership owned and I am so pleased that you all were able to take that message. I know somebody breathing heavy on the phone, this is not a 900 situation here is it? I am just kidding. We are having fun here today with your guests, it is all good.

I was going to mention a couple other folks on the leadership team, took care of majors, done some great work, Amy Simmons, Amy Phillips, Dr. Levi Reese, just so many great people on your team. Kathy, what are your thoughts getting ready to wrap this show today, that would be a key takeaway, something that resonated from our time together?

Kathy: Lee, I think that working together you have got to make sure you are keeping that energy level high. We talked about the superstars, elevate them, praise them in public. Update those to do list to. Do the look back so when you have got some key performance indicators, you have some short term goals for your department or the overall hospital, look back. Make sure that those key performance indicators are coming and where you thought that they would. Celebrate those wins every time because that elevate that energy level. I think each of the department keeping that mission, vision and values that they created out in front of them help them move forward. It gives them what their purpose is and why they come to work. I think all of those are our takeaways from our time with Voltage.

Lee: Excellent, especially at the team level. I am a leader of a team, I may not be able to influence the larger organization, but I can sure impact my team, right? Kari, what are your thoughts as we are going to really wrap up for today, your key takeaways?

Kari: Really my key takeaway is you know we spend a lot of time, I am talking about harvesting wins and Kathy briefly mentioned focusing on the positive and harvesting those wins. That is really a key takeaway for me. In doing that, really empowering and motivating employees to achieve excellence. I mean that is what we are here for. We talk about the premier patient experience and really you have to have a cohesive team in order to do that. You really have to have a team of fine musicians, Lee. Why don't you do a funny haha at the end of our talk for the audience.

Lee: I love it, I love it. Well, excellent, I appreciate that. What a hanging curve ball that is. Good on you. Back in February or earlier in the year we had a offsite. It could be one of those circumstances or situations where you take things that are marching orders which all organizations have. However, remember earlier we were talking about KPIs and hanging some meat on the bones of the diagram to see who has what influence but how do you engage people with that? In your mind's eye, people out there in the radio audience if you can picture this, we had about I do not know 20 or 25 people in the room and yes we did the analogy to 'I am a fine musician', that song. I cannot use my guitar, we could not use the guitar so we ended up singing I am a fine musician, I practice every day that song. Envision this with me, we had 20 or so people sitting around tables, each playing a different instrument, marching in place, and let me tell you I had the best seat in the house because it was laugh out loud funny.

However, there was a message there, okay? Remember, Kathy, earlier in the radio show said people were not bought in, they were not hearing it, they were kind of bunkered siloed. I saw people who were playing different instruments and certainly they were in different departments head, different functions of the organization, however they were looking at the same sheet music. They were playing absolutely the same song. They are playing different instruments, they were in the same orchestra and let me tell you they had the same conductor. That conductor is named with Kathy Landreth, CEO of Bath Community Hospital at Hot Springs, Virginia. That was gratifying to see and it should not be such a stuffy.

I think a lot of times when people do offsites, they kind of roll their eyes and go okay here is more things that we are being forced to do. I do not think it was like that at all. I think your team did a great job of coalescing around the new leadership and actually having some fun doing it. For me, I will chime in here with a couple of takeaways. I will talk about the nursing team. There were some times when all are organizations have challenges, you have challenges in a team and Kari mentioned it, how can I coalesce a team to be excellent because we need them to be excellent? That is a function of leadership. You have heard me say who owns that message, you all did and you did own it, okay?

We did that with other parts of the organization. The physicians group, key contributors, without them you said it earlier we probably do not have a business, right? I would just like to thank you all for being with us today. We have had a just a great discussion about what are our most challenging days at work, how do we morph those into a change, those into great days for everybody at work? What do they have in common, how can we improve next time, how can we make every day at work the best it can possibly be for everybody including the end users and especially the end users of our work product?

I just want to give a shout out to Kathy Landreth and Kari. Thank you for visiting with us today. It has been great having you.

Kari: Thanks, Lee.

Kathy: Thank you so much, Lee.

Lee: Appreciate it.

Kathy: We really enjoyed Voltage Leadership actually becoming part of our team. Thank you so much.

Lee: We enjoyed our little part of the journey with you and we have to touch points with you again soon. You have been listening to Voltcast: Illuminating Leadership. It has been great to be with you again. Jeff will be back next week. He will be talking with Jennifer Owen-O'quill who is the Leadership Director for Voltage Leadership here in Virginia. We are really looking forward to that. They are going to be talking about the power of influence and that has to do with who are the people that have influenced you and who do you influence and are you trying to lead change at your organization? What kind of influence do you require? From our conversation today that we have had leaders who developed lots of influence.

We are looking forward to you having to join us again next week. You can reach us locally here in Roanoke, Virginia at are 540-798-1963. You can e-mail us at jeff@voltageleadership.com or lee@voltageleadership.com or get ready for next week, jennifer@voltageleadership.com. Our website again is www.voltageleadership.com. You can like us on Facebook at Voltage Leadership. It has been delightful having you with us today. I hope you have an office week and I want you all to make it a terrific Tuesday and we will see you all soon. Thanks again guys, have a great week.