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How to Get Addicted to Selfishness

July 19, 2016 Andrew Freedman

Selfish Dog

I’m selfish. There ... I said it. You probably are, too, and you know what? It is ok. It really is.

Let me explain through a quick story.

Recently, we had one of our clients achieve a milestone moment. They run a thriving medical practice, have built a winning culture, created a loyal patient base, and are amazing human beings. Meeting with them are some of the favorite moments of my day.

When we first engaged with them, we began the process of building a new vision and new organizational values for the practice. If you’ve ever been through this process, it takes energy, passion, deep thought, and patience. There were many moments where our client wanted to give up. At one point, they asked us if we could just write them for them. They knew, just as you know, that the power in creation is just that – creating. Having someone else cast your vision and values will not result in the ownership that is needed to propel the business forward. We persevered. They finished their vision and values.

Now what?

An organization’s vision and values can (and should) guide thinking and behavior. They should serve as guardrails for decision making, from hiring and client acquisition, to employee offboarding and performance reviews. After the creation of the vision and values, we have had so many interactions with our clients, where they’ve struggled through personnel issues, key employees threatening to leave if they didn’t get their way (and some did leave), and growing pains. All the while, we encouraged them to use their vision and values to guide their thinking. Even when it was tough. Even when they lost sleep. Even when they had to personally give more (energy, effort, time) to the practice. That is when it counts most.

Recently, they were interviewing new potential physicians for the practice. One person who was in the mix was an unexpected candidate, who has a great reputation in his expertise as a physician. They were so excited to interview him. The short version of what happened is this: the interview was a flop. The candidate did not show evidence of being aligned with the vision and values. In fact, much of how he showed up in the interview was in stark contrast to the expressed vision and values. Our clients were in a state of major internal conflict.

What could it mean if they didn’t hire someone with such a strong reputation as a physician?

Would people think there was something wrong with their practice?

What would their other physicians think?

Would this mean they would have to work even more?

Could there be better candidates than this one?

Would it really be so bad?

These are real and valid considerations. And, you know the right thing to do here. So did our clients. They didn’t hire him. When they shared the news with us, they said it was because, in their hearts, they knew he didn’t fit the culture they built, or their vision and values.

I’m so proud of them. I get so much energy when our clients follow the counsel we provide, and it works. They get more inspired. They create intentional winning cultures. They are best places to work. They grow regardless.

I’m selfish in that I want more of this feeling. Every day, and all day. Through our service to our clients, our employees, and our community, we get more in return than we could ever give, and it is ok.

You can do it, as well.


TOPICS: Story, Business Growth, Employee Engagement