Jay Holmes: Welcome to the Medical Management Podcast. A podcast focused on helping you level up your practice. Through interviews with some of the most successful leaders in the industry, we help uncover resources, tools, and ideas to help you level up your practice. Thanks for tuning in and we hope you enjoy today's program.
Jay Holmes: Welcome back to the Medical Management podcast. This is Jay bringing you yet another informative episode. Today, we get to spend some more time with our very own Jesse Arnoldson discussing accountability in tough situations. Jesse, as always, it's a pleasure and welcome back!
Jesse Arnoldson: Thanks, Jay. Hey, everybody!
Jay Holmes: So, you know, this episode is going to be about accountability, accountability in today's environment where we have so much on the line, we feel like we have so much on the line, our shoulders are heavy with the pressure of just getting through the day, a lot of that's coming from the staffing crisis and we've talked about staffing in the past and podcast, but we haven't done so. So recently, anything change in this landscape?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah. You know, in past conversations, we've talked a lot about staff leaving, trying to figure out this whole staff, you know, quote-unquote staffing crisis. And I think that what has come from that is we've become much more, I guess there's different motivations, but gun-shy to hold people accountable to the high standards that we normally would have. You know, we're either, we've either always been nervous to do so, and this is just been amplified by how tough things have been lately for our teams. Maybe we haven't always handled it the best in the past, but employees haven't had another place to go. And so all of a sudden they, now that they do, they're not going to take that kind of direct or jerkish approach. Or finally, you know, we just feel bad for our teams. They've been through a lot. They've worked super hard. And it is really hard to hold somebody to account when you don't want to push them over the edge. You don't want to just be that last thing that breaks them. So in the end, though, that the result's the same, are, we've lost our ability to hold people accountable and our standards are starting to, I think, weaken because of that.
Jay Holmes: That's really interesting and I completely agree with you. You know, it's interesting how we, as human beings often go into a situation or go into this situation where, you know, we're afraid that if we push a little hard, people are going to leave, but you know what I think is funny, and I've done some just recent reflecting just kind of on my life. And I think there's at times where I felt that I didn't have enough structure or I didn't have enough boundaries, which is, you know, there's always a spectrum. And I think that that then could create this unwanted negative impact through the culture of your clinic, which is feeling like you can't push and you can't create these boundaries of accountability, you know, almost backfires in a way because now no one knows what to do or how to do it. And everyone's looking at everyone else saying, well, they don't have to do that, then what am I going to do with it? And then there's this pointing, you know, the blame game and then the spiral of like, no one knows their role in this, this little mini-society. So really, with that, what's the main issue? What are we doing? Main issue? Or what's the right path? What's the wrong path here?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah, I think the main issue is that maybe we haven't in the past known how to hold people accountable very well, or it's just been complicated with recent events. But we've got to get back to kind of the fundamental understanding of what your job is and your job isn't to be a dictator. It isn't to come out and say, hey, you're doing a terrible job or, hey, you're late again, or it isn't to be a jerk, it's to be compassionate and demanding at the same time. We're running businesses, we're trying to create highly effective teams, and you can't do that if you don't call out the bad behaviors, if you don't help people rise to the level that they're going to feel amazing about themselves for and that the rest of the team is going to feel good about them being a part of it. So I think it's back, it's less about them and it's more about us and our leadership style. You asked what the main issue is, it's our effectiveness as leaders in being able to be compassionate, be demanding, be, I guess, inspiring all at the same time. So that's it, trying to figure out what the right combination of those things are or is, are.
Jay Holmes: And what do you see as, you know, for some of our listeners here, I think might relate to what are the signs of not doing the right thing as they look in their mirror and they can say, well, how do I know I'm on the right path or the wrong path, really? What are those wrong path symptoms that they should be looking out for?
Jesse Arnoldson: A couple of them. One is if I push this person, they're just going to quit. I can't do it, I can't lose another person. We've just been, It feels like a war zone here. We just keep losing people and I can't do anything that's going to risk another one going. That's a bad place to be. And you're now held hostage to whatever these people want to do because you aren't willing or aren't, you don't believe you're able to. That's that's a symptom right there. A red flag symptom. Another one would be on the completely other side of the spectrum, I don't have time for this. I just don't have time for these people and their weird emotions, like back in my day, you just took pride in your work and you just got the job done. I've always called BS on that and even more so now, like, that's a symptom that you're not in the right mindset. You're in the people business. As a manager and as a leader, you do have time, that is your primary job is to address these people as, as human beings and use the human approach to help them get back where they need to be. So I'd say those are two biggest signs you're on the wrong path. What do you think about that?
Jay Holmes: I'm with you. I think that you get stuck a lot in those two places mostly, and just reflecting back, I think sometimes we correlate the wrong action to the result. And I think oftentimes could very well be because we're lacking in structure and accountability is creating some of this turnover, right? So it's almost like what really is causing it? Well, it's, maybe this is being caused, your prior turnover is because it's like prevent defense, right, with the only thing that we know about prevent defense is that touchdowns will be scored. And so which is ironic because, you know, most of the time you're like, God, geez, what are they going down this path? And I think it's the same thing. Like when we come in defense mode, which we stop doing the things that ultimately made us strong and made us successful. And I think that's what we're getting. And I think those are two great examples of us going into defense mode, acting as if differently than what we would have done, what we did do to create a strong culture and a strong team. All of a sudden we're breaking all that down and then it's a snowball effect of, you know, little by little, it builds up steam, not because of, you know, the actual circumstances is, because how we're interacting with the circumstances is making it worse and worse and worse.
Jesse Arnoldson: And think about it, if you're not going to hold somebody accountable because you're in that first bucket of, of being scared of losing more people, I think that you're putting little pebbles on the scale for other people to probably exit because they're going to get frustrated because they're still working hard. And Jesse is letting so-and-so skate on X, Y or Z, you know, you are adding one way or the other to the certainty that somebody is going to leave.
Jay Holmes: And the wrong somebody, right?
Jesse Arnoldson: Yeah!
Jay Holmes: And that ultimately, what? What happens? Absolutely. I'm with you. So then let's share your wisdom, Jesse, on what are we going to do? You know, how do we go about that? Are there? Is it just revert back to what you used to do or what are some steps then you can take to try to hold our people more accountable?
Jesse Arnoldson: I think that more and more where we're getting pushed to is not a bad place. I talked about the kind of person that is like, yeah, back in the day, I just, you know, we came to work, we did our job and that's how things were back in the good old days. I think that we're being pushed more and more to recognize people as real human beings in our business, and this is just one more big, gigantic push to get there. As we're approaching people, people want to do well, they want to be good at their jobs, they want to take care of their team. We just have, you know, sides to us that aren't as strong as our ideals. And sometimes you just need to be coached in that. I'm not saying everybody, you know, some people are just, they need to go or they need to be reprimanded for whatever, you know, because they're just not in it. But most people desire a good guidance, good leadership. And so I think that where we have to go from here is just taking individual human approaches, being honest and open with them in conversations, hey, this is going on, I got to get you to a better place, what are we going to do about it? Help me get you there. You know, I think that most people respect that, and I think that that's where most people need us to be. It has been a really hard couple of years, and I'll be honest, if somebody just comes and lays the hammer on me, I'm going to react poorly. But if somebody comes to me and puts their arm around me and says, Jesse, hey, this, I know you're working super hard, I know where you're at, this thing is not where it needs to be, and I want to help you get to a better place. I can get there, even if I'm in a hard, hard mindset, even if I'm stressed and a little burned out. I think that that's where we have to be. I feel like that's what's naturally evolving in our industry.
Jay Holmes: I agree with you. I think that this whole pandemic has shown light on areas that needed vast improvement. And I think not just in health care, but all other, a lot of sectors. We're realizing that the people that do a lot of the work can actually exchange mostly with customers, patients, all that, aren't treated well, aren't paid well, aren't in environments that ultimately are fulfilling. And so it's really, we get to deal with that today for a better tomorrow. I ultimately think a lot better tomorrow.
Jesse Arnoldson: I think so too.
Jay Holmes: I'll go back to just one thing to add, which is consistency. And I think for the second bucket that we mentioned of why I just don't have time, I think it's really important then to reflect and say, well, let's not allow the I don't have time to be, you know, the stop for me doing anything. But I think then what you're going to have to really reflect on is then what can I do consistently to the team as far as setting accountability and expectations? So it's not I'm doing this once on here or there. You really just reflect and say, OK, prioritize those things and then be consistent about pushing them forward for the whole team. And I think that's going to make it a lot easier and certainly give a little bit more buy-in, it doesn't have to be you come in with like 15 different expectations, accountability for everything. It's just pick one or two and start building on that and then be consistent.
Jesse Arnoldson: So I mean, I guess it comes down to three things, right? Have the courage to actually step in and intervene when you're supposed to, be the leader that you need to be, be consistent and just take a human approach to it. I'd say those are the three things to do to get past this whole accountability roadblock that we got going on.
Jay Holmes: And I just, you know, here's a moment to praise Jesse a little bit and see his grin widen. Jesse, just you have an amazing approach to relationships and people that I think oftentimes gets brushed underneath the rug just because there's this pressure of getting everything else done. And I think we all just need to absorb your intention of people first, be there, be the human next to another human and treat them as such and things are going to work out. And I think oftentimes we're just like, well, we got to get all this stuff done and we're more in robot mode than human being mode. And so I do appreciate you continually reminding us that we're in the people business. We're human beings, so let's act like it.
Jesse Arnoldson: I appreciate that, Jay. It just, my skill isn't very good, and I'm OK with that. It's getting better. But my intent is there like, I want to take care of the people around me. And that's, I think that when people know that that's truly your intent, they give you a lot of grace when maybe you don't say the right things, or maybe you're a little too harsh on this or whatever it may be, as long as they know your intent, they work harder, they want to do better. They give a lot more grace to you and those around you. So I appreciate that, Jay, that's definitely something I try and work hard on.
Jay Holmes: Well, it shows and big time and very important, I think for struggling, I think you fall back to that, which I think a lot of this is, is treat people how you want to be treated and approach it in a humane way. And you know, ultimately, it's not the fact that this whole thing is to make people feel worse, it's to give them the right structure to work within. And we all need that. And there's a right way and a wrong way to do it. So thank you, Jesse, for sharing your insight here on helping us keep accountability going, keeping this culture, the boundaries and helping us move past this, because pretty soon we're going to be thinking about a pandemic as something that happened in the past. But all this stuff isn't going to change. We're still going to have all these people issues. It's a great place to end. Appreciate you, Jesse, and I'm sure all of our listeners out there gained a ton.
Jay Holmes: For all you listening, thank you for tuning in today. I really hope you enjoyed our conversation with Jesse. As always, show notes, transcripts, material from the show and really everything else MedMan does, you can find on our website, MedMan.com. We're going to be here every week sharing insights, ideas and tools to help you level up your practice. Thanks again for joining us.
Jay Holmes: Thanks for tuning in to the Medical Management Podcast. We hope you enjoyed today's featured guest. For the show notes, transcripts, resources, and everything else, MedMan does to help you level up, be sure to visit us at MedMan.com
Today’s episode is about accountability in tough situations.
Holding someone accountable to the high standards the company has can be daunting and scary. There are several ways to do so without being arrogant, rude or disrespectful. A boss’s job is to be both compassionate and demanding with their teams. Jesse shares what he thinks are red flags for a leader in this topic. He also gives his thoughts towards what we should do in the future. Accountability comes down to three things: be consistent, step up when you need to, and take a human approach.
Accountability needs us to be the best version of ourselves we can possibly be.
People are really scared to hold someone accountable.
Accountability can make or break someone.
A manager’s job is to be gentle, compassionate, and demanding at the same time.
Recognizing that the other is a human being too will make the process easier.