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ProTip: Showing Up to Work Isn't About Attendance

Michelle Nitchie / Apr 12, 2016 9:04:00 AM

Girl_in_School_Not_Focused.pngWe are in the business of taking care of people.  It doesn't matter if you're a doctor, a nurse, or a janitor or if you carry a leadership title, we all must champion and execute on the common goal of coming in every day to make sure we take care of our next patient.

-Dr. David Feinberg, former CEO of the UCLA Hospital System, quoted in Prescription for Excellence


There are two powerful messages in what Dr. Feinberg is saying.  The first is the more direct message that every person that works in any part of the UCLA Hospital System is impacting patient care, no matter whether that person is a health care provider or not. 

The second is the less obvious message about "coming in every day."  This message is not about winning the attendance award: yes, we need to come to work to be able to do our work.  But what Dr. Feinberg is saying is that we need to actually be mentally present at work every day, and focused on our immediate goals.  For the staff at UCLA, this is "taking care of the next patient."   Perhaps cleaning a table is just cleaning a table for a janitor.  But when the janitor thinks about how cleaning the floor may directly prevent the next patient from getting an infection, it becomes something more.  Your goals are most likely different (and might not be as important as saving lives), but no matter what they are, keeping our goals in mind and our "eyes on the prize" can make it much easier to focus on even the most mundane tasks.  Next time you find your attention wandering, try thinking about the bigger picture benefits: what do you gain?  What does your company gain?  What do your customers or others gain?


Topics: Being Attentive, Goals, Culture, Passion

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