I wasn’t very active in blogging during the second half of 2017. I made a post in September but other than that, nothing.
Sadly, it wasn’t a six-month vacation or a sabbatical that had kept me away from the keyboard. It was my mom.
After battling health issues the last couple of years, her body finally gave out last August. During this challenging period, Patricia (my wife) and I spent a lot of time driving up and down I-75 between Dallas and Tulsa. And even though I had four hours each direction, I simply wasn’t in the mood to blog.
Most of our Tulsa time was spent either in the hospital visiting Mom or just hanging out with Dad. Even in the midst of these trying times, we built some great family memories (by the way, after 60 years of marriage, Dad certainly misses Mom but overall he’s doing pretty well).
Visiting my mom during those many long days spent at two different hospitals and a skilled nursing facility, I saw good care and bad care. I noticed the difference between people who do their job just to earn a buck and people who do their job because they love it. And in a hospital, employees who love what they do most likely love people as well.
Being a nurse, a technician, someone who changes bedding or cleans a room — these are difficult, emotional positions. So it may not be the actual work an employee loves, but it’s the people, both the “customers” and the colleagues, that drive a nurse or tech to interact in a caring manner.
During these last six to twelve months, like most people, I’ve also seen our world descend into a very dark, even mean-spirited place. Politics. Race. Gender. I’ve seen friends and even families split over these difficult topics. Seems as if we can’t be family or friends anymore if we voted for different people.
Although I’ve been pretty silent for a while, I have learned something. Experiencing good and bad hospital staffs and seeing the rise of incivility have led me to change my business and writing focus just a bit. I’m not leaving Corporate Culture or Employee Engagement behind. Leadership is important, too. These are key business drivers so I’ll still give my thoughts on these areas often.
But the focus of my work is now going to be Valuing Others. I’m convinced it all starts there. To be a good leader, you must Value Others. To build a healthy corporate culture and increase employee engagement? It must revolve around Valuing Others. Bosses must value direct reports, direct reports must value bosses, and colleagues must value colleagues.
Why the new focus? Because we’re losing our civility, both in society and in the workplace. What used to be a healthy conversation about a difference of opinion has turned into name calling and defriending on Facebook.
But if we Value Others, truly value them as a human being and the similarities we share such as the love of sports, movies, or Peanut M&Ms, then perhaps we can engage in that tough talk about our differing opinions.
So please come back often. Please comment on my comments. And please bring others into the conversation by sharing these posts.
You see, it’s not about me — it’s about others.