Marketing Through Case Study Videos

This summer semester I am starting a class called “Entrepreneurial Marketing,” and after reading the syllabus, I realized I have more experience than I initially thought with modern marketing tactics. So much of what I do every day is internal marketing and I partner with some great vendors to tell our stories more widely.

This past year, I was asked to be on camera with some other colleagues at Mission Health to tell the success story of how we helped transform performance and engagement through a tool called “StandOut.” The Marcus Buckingham Company powered by ADP captured our story to share with prospective clients. I want to share those videos here because they are excellent examples of compelling case study videos (of course I may be a little biased).

StandOut & Mission Case Study Video:

StandOut & Mission Strengths Video:

StandOut & Mission Leadership Video:

When the CEO Gives You a Life Size Santa, You Say, Thank You

ENT 630 Wk 8-Reactions to It’s a Jungle in There

This week as I close the final chapter of Steven Schussler’s It’s a Jungle in There, I am reminded of the daily work of my teams. In my health system, I have the privilege of leading three great teams. Two of whom are directly related to this week’s reading: Volunteer Engagement Team and our Rathbun Hospitality House. In Schussler’s final two chapters he speaks about social responsibility and philanthropy, a primary part of my weekly work life.

This week the HR team that I lead hosted about 90 team members from across our health system for a “great place to work and practice” retreat. The retreat was amazing, but that’s not the story I’m telling today. About thirty minutes before the retreat I received a text from the Senior Vice President to whom I report (my boss’s boss) saying that our CEO, who happened to be our first guest speaker of the day, was bringing a “Giant Santa” to give to my team at the Rathbun House. After the CEO spoke and interacted with team members at the retreat, one of my team members walked with him to his car and transferred the nearly 5-foot elvish beast into my VW wagon. Our CEO, sent this lovely creature to our Rathbun House because he knew it would bring great joy to those who enter Rathbun during the holiday season.

You see, Rathbun is a refuge in the woods, just a little over a mile from the hospital where families in medical crisis, who travel from outside our home county, can stay up to 21 days free of charge (with the proper care management referral). Our Hospitality house is funded through philanthropic dollars and primarily staffed with volunteers.

The Santa was sent to bring a smile to the faces of those who come through the doors. To our guests who are often fatigued, fragile, or frightened. A volunteer who had been decorating the window boxes and hanging wreathes walked in and said, “wow, we are big-time now, that looks like something that would be in a resort.” By the time I left for the day, volunteers, staff, and guests were having their pictures made with the happy new Santa. And the most impressive thing to everyone was that the CEO of our 12,000-employee company had remembered our department when acquiring such a cheerful gift.

I am privileged that my daily work can very quickly be linked to a more significant purpose: The health, healing, and care of those that we serve. For companies or individuals who can’t make such an immediate connection, volunteerism and philanthropy are fantastic ways to stay connected to a larger purpose and to develop corporate communities (see #14 of the linked article). Additionally, Coppy Holzman, a writer for Forbes and Entrepreneur says there are four big ways your company can benefit from giving back:

  1. Builds respect & reputation in the community
  2. Makes the community a better place
  3. Employees respect leaders who give-back
  4. Make connections; build network

And when you, your team, or your company decide to give-back through your time or dollars, look no further than your own community.

 

 “No one is useless in the world who lightens the burden of another.”

-Charles Dickens (p.197)

Helping Others Succeed Through Their Strengths

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The self-examination question for chapter 22 of It’s a Jungle in There, asks, “Are you willing to help other people succeed even when it’s not a requirement of your job to be of assistance?” (p.165)

For many years and multiple organizations, I’ve been known as the “Interview Prepper.” Whenever someone I know is interviewing for a promotion, they schedule time with me for mock interviews and prep. I help people talk about themselves, their skills, their talents, and their drive for success. I offer constructive criticism and remind my colleagues of good examples to use from their professional projects. I delight in the success of my friends and colleagues. I also help them to pick up the pieces and try again if at first, they don’t succeed. Everything is a learning opportunity.

I can say, without a doubt, chapter 12 resonates most with the way I choose to operate as a leader. Developing and coaching others is a passion for me. I also found out a few years ago that these behaviors are classic signs of one of my top two strength roles. By using the StandOut strengths assessment I discovered, I am a pioneer/teacher. The going rate is about 15 dollars for the assessment alone, or there are companion books like StandOut 2.0 that you can buy on Amazon in e-book format for less than $15 (then, just use the code that comes with the book). This assessment is a situation judgment assessment, which means it helps define through behavioral questions how you show up to others, not necessarily how you perceive yourself. I have a 12-page report ranking my strengths, telling me about my most powerful attributes, what to watch out for, how to hone my strengths, etc.

The combined role summary for a pioneer//teacher describes me perfectly: “You take risks. With people. Not in a reckless, thoughtless way, but rather from a profound belief in their potential. And, in your view, that potential can be best realized through experiment and risk. You say “experience is the best teacher” and so you expose and encourage people to embrace stretch assignments. You put your own skin in the game too, recognizing that your own abilities are amplified when you seek opportunities to reach beyond your current comfort zone. Your world is a generous place in which people will be provided for. You, therefore, come from a place of faith, not fear. If there’s anything to fear, it’s missing opportunity’s knock.” (StandOut 2015)

The combination of my top two strengths roles is my competitive advantage. Strengths are also the completive advantage of those around us. As the owner of the company or the leader of the team, it’s our responsibility to give people the opportunity to live in those strengths.

I felt pretty powerful and validated to read that strengths summary. I do have a profound belief in the potential of others. To Schussler’s point in chapter 22, it’s important to find out about people, figure out what makes them tick, what makes them feel energized or drained and then match them with opportunities to help them be their best selves.

When you help others succeed, the whole team is better for it. The Marcus Buckingham Company (TMBC) has some compelling evidence to back-up the claim that teams who concentrate on strengths outperform non-strengths-based peers. And as for me, I’ll keep helping those around me work from their strengths, because I’ve seen how much happier and more productive we all can be when a leader cares enough about you to know what makes you tick.

You Can be Pokey or You Can be Gumby Riding Pokey* Into the Sunset; Your Choice

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A colleague of mine teaches a class on resiliency, and I’ve been a participant in both his full-length session and several mini sessions for work groups or leadership teams from across our organization.

He starts the class with a tale of two leaders: Don and Donna. He tells the group about the differing mornings that Don and Donna have had before arriving at work. Don, woke up 15 minutes late, he had a fight with his teenage daughter and spilled coffee on both his pants and his handouts for his first presentation of the day. Donna wakes up 30 minutes early, she exercises and meets a friend for lattes before carpooling with her friend to the office.  My colleague then asks the class, “Which leader will feel better and have a more productive day?”. The class usually responds with varying answers, ultimately agreeing that Donna will obviously have the better day. It’s at this point that my colleague drops a truth bomb.

The truth is, it depends. The major concept that catches participants by surprise each time he delivers his content is CHOICE. Most of us would rather have a magic wand or someone else to blame than to be told that our own happiness and success depends on our personal choice. How dare you put this back on me, teacher guy!

And yet, that’s the truth. None of us choose what happens to us in our lives, in our businesses, or in our entrepreneurial pursuits. What we do choose is how we react. We can choose accountability over a victim mentality. We can choose to not let spilled coffee define our day. We can even be like Steven Schussler in chapter 19 of “It’s a Jungle in There.” He tells a reporter (and means it) that he has never had a bad day in his whole life, while a utility crew dug a 25-foot hole in the street to cut off the gas line to his home, once and for all.

Resiliency isn’t about putting on rose-colored glasses, sugar coating the situation, or any other overly positive analogy that you can think of. Resilience is the capacity to be resourceful and creative, to make choices, and to take effective action no matter what is going on– Definition provided by the Mission Health Center for Leadership & Professional Development.

As individuals, when we are resilient, we are making a conscious choice instead of letting the world and all its forces just happen to us. And while this may seem like a “fluffy” concept, one that might be told to you by a woman smelling of patchouli at the Asheville drum circle, the concept of resilience has been extended to and accepted by the business community.

PWC, one of the world’s leading business consultants, defines resilience (in the business context) as “the ability of an organization to recognize, rapidly respond to and recover from changes in the environment and their resulting risks. Resilience allows businesses to seize the opportunities hidden within those risk events.”

Even if you feel like Schussler was a little out of touch by saying he’s never had a bad day, recognize and appreciate the sentiment behind his statement. Developing our own individual resiliency and resiliency within our businesses might be the most effective and accountable thing we do all week.

*That is a picture of my Gumby and Pokey figurines that can be found in the window of my office. My boss gave them to me. Most days I choose to be helpful and flexible like Gumby (shown holding a “sandwich sword”).

Strengths at Work

Disclaimer: This is not a paid product endorsement. I simply use this approach in my work and want to share.

You can tell by my blog title that I’m strengths obsessed. I have a deep belief in the potential of every individual.  People are happiest and most productive when they can do the things that energize them (strengths) vs. the things that drain them (weaknesses).  My love of coaching and helping others find their bliss is evident in the way I approach my work and in the way I lead my teams.

So I have to share with you the work of one of the best companies leading this movement: TMBC (The Marcus Buckingham Company). It’s one thing to believe in the potential of people, it’s another thing entirely to use evidence based research to back up the claim that concentrating on strengths leads to performance and engagement. Well, TMBC, does exactly that. They can prove that operating out of ones strengths at least once a day has a direct positive impact on both productivity and engagement. You can learn more on your own by following this link.

Meeting Marcus Buckingham
Meeting Marcus Buckingham: co-founder of “Strengths Finder”, Founder of TMBC/StandOut, and thought leader on strengths based work.