High-Performance and Ownership are a Mindset
This series of articles is published with permission from Douglas Langager. Doug graduated from the Navy’s cardiopulmonary program in Bethesda, Maryland, in 1975. From 1983-1988, the cardiac catheterization program at Brooke Army Medical Center, Fort Sam Houston, Texas, was under his care. After retiring from the Army, he worked as both a supervisor and staff educator at Providence Hospital in Portland, Oregon and University Hospital in Augusta, Georgia. Mr. Langager then worked at Berkeley Medical Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia and recently retired from patient care. He continues an active relationship with the cardiovascular community through education and thought leadership.
This article is the third in a series of three articles by Doug that will discuss Creating a Culture of High Performance Ownership Nurses and Tech’s in the Cardiac Cath Lab.
In my initial article on orientation for the new employee, I reflected on Berry & Kohn’s discussion of the personal attributes displayed by individuals performing duties.1,11 These attributes are used to evaluate an employee’s progress, since they provide proper descriptors that complement individual skill performance. Personal attributes are reflected in the manner in which an individual performs his or her duties. Let’s revisit these attributes to understand the outcome of performance of our employees.
- Work Ethics: Carries out job responsibilities in a timely and efficient manner, communicating a positive attitude about these responsibilities to patient, customers, and coworkers.
- Performance Improvement: Constantly strives to meet or exceed the expectations of the persons we serve.
- Collaboration & Cooperation: Coordinating efforts toward a common goal while demonstrating responsibility to the system, the persons we serve, and to each other.
- Honesty & Integrity: Exemplifying conscientiousness, reliability, and trustworthiness.
- Ethical Conduct: Actions that maintain the highest principles and values for our patients, customers, and coworkers.
- Accountability: Uses the authority one has been delegated to make decisions consistent with the system’s missions and values.
- Innovation & Flexibility: Has an understanding of the principles of one’s work. With the resources available, is creative and efficient at solving problems without sacrificing quality.
- Job Knowledge: Knowledge of instrumentation, equipment, procedures, and the care required for many diverse patients. Approaches each procedure as unique and individualized, while maintaining acceptable performance standards.
- Efficiency & Good Organization: Develops organized work habits, anticipates the needs of patients and team members to save time and energy. Prepared for the unexpected.
- Initiative: Aptitude displayed in the initiation of action.
- Ability to Take Instruction: Pays attention, listens to details of instruction and reacts appropriately.
- Manual & Intellectual Dexterity: Has quick hands, a sharp mind, and keen eyes. Manual dexterity is perfected with experience.
- Intellectual Eagerness & Curiosity: The team has a legal responsibility to remain current in their knowledge.
Managers are looking for leaders within their team. Leadership is often a key element for advancement up a clinical ladder. Whether or not someone has the capacity to be a great leader, they still need to be molded and nurtured. That means EVERYONE, even if their job doesn’t have a leadership component right now, should consider developing leadership traits.12
In contrast to accountability, a responsibility is something that is given to someone: a job title, a list of duties, and even something as simple as showing up to work on time are all considered responsibilities. A mere job description is simply not going to engage and energize anyone. Successful leaders understand that real motivation comes from within. They then have to promote, encourage, coach, mentor, and grow that motivation within their team.
Ownership and high-performance are a mindset. Employees choose whether to take ownership or not. We as leaders can grow or mark down the importance of this mindset or culture. The work, sweat, passion, tears, planning, time management, and structure are all in the hands of our employees, if they so choose. This doesn’t mean it is easy — in fact, it is incredibly difficult. This hard work is what separates those reaping rewards from those wishing on the sidelines. The owners go all in, own their fear, define it, and accept the possibility of failure.13 You are getting paid to be there, so do it right. Life has this universal law of giving you what you put in. It’s a matter of maturity, wisdom, and pride to pursue excellence.
In the movie “Moneyball”, Stephen Schott, owner of the Oakland A’s baseball team, asked two questions: “What’s going to prevent you from accomplishing the goal?” and “What are you most afraid of?”14 My answer to “what are you most afraid of?” would be leaving employees to fend for themselves within this workplace culture. If you don’t set a goal, then you have no destination. If you don’t have a destination, then you have no way of measuring success. If you have no way of measuring success, then your team has no hope. Establishing high performance standards provides a destination, measurable outcomes, and hope for growing your team to their full potential.
“When the storm breaks, each man acts in accordance with his own nature. Some are numb with terror, some flee, some hide, and some spread their wings like eagles and soar on the wind.”
— “Elizabeth: The Golden Age”
Creating a Culture of High Performance Ownership
5 Skill Levels of Development in every Cath Lab