Tag Archives: Miami Children’s Hospital

It’s the System

A friend asked me how I could blog every day. How can I keep finding new content? I said I worried about the same thing – until I created a system. A system makes it easy.

First, the moment anything at all strikes me as interesting I write it down, even if it is a two word note to remind me for future use.

Second, I look for batches of blogs. One day of jury duty gave me 3 blogs about opportunity, fault, and influence. A speech for the Miami Children’s Hospital gave me 1, 2, 3, 4 blog posts.

Third, if I don’t have anything at the ready I have a dozen websites – blogs, news sites, video sites – that I look through for inspiration.

In fact, with the system I’ve never felt at a loss. And this is equally true for just about anything.

You want to build a business? What’s your system for contacting new prospects and servicing existing clients?

You want to keep a clean house? What’s your system for which rooms get cleaned and which tasks performed on what days?

You want to have more confidence? What’s your system for bolstering yourself when you would otherwise shrink?

There’s even a system for holding your breath a world record 17 minutes and 4 seconds. All it takes is a system. Piece of cake.


MCH Lesson #4 – We Are Lucky

On Thursday I spoke at the annual planning meeting for the Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) senior leadership team. It was unbelievably moving. I’ve already written about what I learned from from their mascot, one of their honorees, and their audience. Here’s my final lesson from MCH.

Not everyone is as lucky as you are. I’ve written about this before, but in the context of this event it bears repeating. On Thursday I watched a woman describe the events of her daughter’s time as a patient at MCH, a time that was years ago. Still, she could hardly begin her story before she was taken by tears. Choked up, she struggled on to relay her full story – one with a happy ending.

I watched doctors and nurses who were part of the MCH Haiti Support team describe the absolute horror of their trips to Haiti. They described the children in need of amputations and other extreme care. They told one specific story that was too horrible for me to repeat here.

Then I recall my friend Rob who originally brought MCH to my attention. Rob, whose son Will suffers from seizures. Rob, who has cared for Will through three brain surgeries and countless drug therapies. Rob, who more often than anyone else I know points out how lucky he is.

Remember your luck. Be thankful. It is a powerful force in good times and bad.

MCH Lesson #3 – Get Up, Stand Up

On Thursday I spoke at the annual planning meeting for the Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH) senior leadership team. It was unbelievably moving. I’ve already written about what I learned from from their mascot and one of their honorees. Here’s my third lesson from MCH.

It felt like a bipartisan State of the Union address. Every few minutes some new name was mentioned, someone else was honored, a new person was brought to the stage, and each time this group burst into applause . . . and stood. A standing ovation every few minutes or so.

But State of the Union isn’t right. Those ovations always feel canned to me. This was more like a Viennese crowd after a Placido Domingo encore. This audience was genuinely thrilled, ecstatic for their colleagues, employees, leaders, donors, and speakers. Everyone in that ballroom felt it. I’ve been to a lot of organization meetings like this. I’ve never seen such genuine caring and enthusiasm.

There is something magical that happens when you go past applause to a standing ovation. Applause is expected. It’s natural. It’s part of the cultural norm. Group setting. Someone is recognized, a segment ends. Clap your hands. That’s the way it’s done.

Standing ovations are different. They feel extraordinary – on the giving and receiving end. Here’s the sad part. We don’t give them because we don’t want to embarrass ourselves. How often have you been in an audience and thought about standing up for an ovation, but you didn’t want to be the only one? You didn’t want to stick out or appear foolish.

But it’s worth it. Whatever embarrassment you might feel is worth the benefit – of being the leader, the trendsetter who gets everyone else up; of being the benefactor of the pride the person in front of the room feels; of being the beneficiary of the joy that comes from making someone else’s day. It’s worth it.

Truth is, you may not be in an audience like this too often. So what’s the equivalent in your world? Where are your opportunities for over the top enthusiastic recognition of the people around you? Figure it out. It’s magical for them and for you.

MCH Lesson #2: Play It Large

On Thursday I spoke at the annual planning meeting for the Miami Children’s Hospital (MCH). It was unbelievably moving. Yesterday I wrote about what I learned from from their mascot. Here’s my second day of lessons from MCH.

Lynnette was one of the employees honored at the event. While this is the first time she has been formally recognized by the hospital it is not her first time being recognized. Patient families regularly thank her and write letters to the hospital expressing their appreciation for how Lynnette has helped them through a difficult time. So what is her job?

Nurse? Doctor? Chaplain? Does she run the family care center? Is she the masseuse on staff?

No. Lynnette runs the checkout in the cafeteria. Her job description says her role is to ring up customers’ food and take their money. Provide change. That’s it.

But Lynnette doesn’t see herself as a checkout person. She sees herself as a member of a patient and family care system. Her job is to help families through the most difficult time of their lives. So she does something simple yet extraordinary.

Lynnette smiles and talks to people. When they show up in the cafeteria more than once she asks their names and the name of their child who is a patient at MCH. Then she remembers. The next time she sees them she greets them by name and asks about their child by name.

Lynnette’s cash register isn’t a location for food purchase transactions. It is a transformational space where welled-up emotions are released, where comfort and compassion are delivered, where what could be taken as a small part is turned into a powerful role.

MCH Lesson #1 – See What You Can Do

I’ve never felt that I learned as much or took as much away from an event where I was a speaker as I did yesterday. I was in Miami speaking at the annual strategic planning event for the senior executives of the Miami Children’s Hospital, and over the next couple of days I’ll share some of the more poignant lessons.

Let’s start with their mascot, Lance.Therapy dog that has become mascot for MCH.
His back legs became paralyzed during a spinal operation he had to have 2 years ago. His owner, Caio, told me that he just decided he had to make something good happen out of this painful situation. So he got what he refers to as Lance’s bicycle. (This Lance’s namesake was also known for riding a bicycle and achieving greatness after suffering a medical crisis.) Then he enrolled in the therapy dog program at MCH. He wanted to show the kids that even if your health issue leaves you less than 100%, you can still do amazing things.

MCH Mascot Logo

The kids loved him. He became the hit of the therapy dog program. He even became a cartoon complete with his own comic book that Caio hands out to the kids.

Caio told me that some said he should put the dog down instead of have the surgery, that Lance would have a lousy life and it wasn’t worth it to put him through that. They said Lance would be miserable that he couldn’t run around the way he used to.

Then Caio said this:
Dogs don’t think about what they can’t do. They just see what they can do, and they go and do it.

We should all take that lesson from Super Lance.