Ten years ago I began my role as President of a $25 million Hospital Foundation within an 85,000 employee organization. I went to a very nice employee appreciation lunch and was able to select a special gift of recognition from an array of items.
Mostly, I am grateful for the opportunity I have to lead and serve alongside consummate professionals I respect and under board members who trust me and have challenged me to be the best leader I can be.
I’ve earned a number of awards from various community and professional organizations for my leadership throughout my tenure here. But nothing has meant more to me than knowing that when I get up and come to work every day, I get the privilege to make the world a little better. That might mean providing a walker for an elderly gentleman or a hearing aid for a new mother. It might be paying rent for a patient with cancer, so she doesn’t get evicted due to lost wages while in treatment. It could be as big as a $4.5...
Below is a note I recently received from a client that although makes me sad, it carries great wisdom. This high performing executive leader was leaving an organization she loved and had relocated for with mixed feelings. As is often the case, she was leaving because of her boss.
Good morning Mary Lee,
I have one more week reporting to this woman that has made the last 14 months of my life incredibly difficult. The exit process has been even more difficult.
In 20 years in the workplace I have never experienced anything like this from someone at this woman's level.
Every leader has opportunity, but I do not believe there are many who behave as badly as what I have witnessed over the past year.
I am also amazed how her leaders look away, an ostrich to this woman's behavior. I am not personalizing this (thank you Mary Lee), I understand it is simply inconvenient to disrupt the status quo or face the difficult conversations or the admit that perhaps it was a mistake to...
Recently I was not feeling well and missed an event where I had hoped to extend my deepest appreciation to several hundred volunteers at St. Margaret Hospital. I was so disappointed that I couldn’t be there to thank these outstanding stewards of our patients who struggle with the biggest challenges of their lives. The next day I received this note from the two directors of the event - simply run off on their printer that said:
Thinking of You -
Hope you’re feeling much better
and hope you’re remembering, too
The many warm thoughts and good wishes
that always are right there with you.
If you think personal notes (talking hard copy here and not email) are a thing of the past you are wrong. This totally captured my attention, warmed my heart, made me smile and immediately inspired me to reach out and thank them.
I keep a drawer full of informal note cards for this very thing - from personalized Crane to Kate Spade to convenience store birthday cards. And I...
You will be sent an email with a link each time Mary Lee Gannon updates the Executive Coach's Blog. It's great to have you with us!