A few weeks ago we talked about having a good bedside manner. This past week I saw another aspect of professionalism that awed me. (Yes, I was awed.)
As some of you know, our initial stay in the hospital for the birth of our daughter was followed up exactly a week later with another stay in the hospital, this time for less joyful reasons. When you are in the emergency room, the trauma ward, or anyplace else in a hospital, with so many working parts and so many people with large responsibilities, it is impressive, no it is comforting to see perfect teamwork.
Like I said, I am a baseball player who learned how to rely on the other players to cover their base, back up the throw, or sacrifice themselves for the good of a team… and I was so impressed by the teamwork in the hospital that it gave me comfort and gave me renewed goals as a business owner. Being a business owner is more than just delegating or making business decisions. It is being a part of a team and ensuring that each member is playing their role effectively.
Let me give you an example of what I witnessed: my wife was in the hospital with complications from the pregnancy. Our stay began in the emergency room which quickly required trauma care when things got out of control. While there, the senior and junior nurses and doctors all worked efficiently and with a purpose. They all knew what they were supposed to be doing and how to do it and they acted. More importantly, they acted without instruction. They knew what they needed to do or patients suffered. People they had never met before would suffer and they performed.
Then an individual in scrubs took Amy to have tests done- zip zoom, the bed was rolling, the IVs were unhitched, and the monitors were trailing behind. Without any fanfare, like he has done it a thousand times before. And more importantly, he made me feel comfortable, telling me everything he was doing, where they were going, and how long they would be. And he was spot on.
Once things calmed down, we were finally moved to a room off of the trauma ward and on an observation deck. A nurse, a doctor, and an assistant were on the go and ready to move. IVs unhooked again, monitors attached to the side of the bed, and the bed was rolling. Through the halls, hitting all of the lights, we were upstairs in no time… and met by the nursing staff upstairs, and they were ready for us. With little delay, Amy was moved into her new bed, her IVs were re-attached, her monitors turned back on, and even her pillow fluffed. No one told them what to do, everyone knew their role and everyone was performing.
Sitting here now, it is hard to fight back the tears. My loved one, my wife and the mother of my children, was in poor condition and these mortal humans, these super-humans, these heroes, acted like they have been there before, and acted like they were a team. I half expected the nurse upstairs and the gentlemen who pushed the bed upstairs to high-five as they walked down the hall. And you know what, it would have been ok with me. Everyone smiled, everyone worked, and everyone performed. Like a finely tuned piano, each note was struck with the right amount of pressure to create the absolute perfect sound. It was truly music to my ears and I was just trying to stay out of the way.
With all of that, I have to commend all of the staff at the hospital. Their training was impeccable and, more importantly, they understood that they were part of a team, a team which had as its common goal to take care of the patient and be as efficient and competent as possible. I felt so comforted by this that I knew everything was going to be ok.
And it was.
As business owners, having a good team, a well-trained team, a team that is pulling in the same direction and working to achieve a common goal, is just as important as the acumen of its individual parts. In fact, it sometimes can be more important. Your clients feel more comfortable and will trust you more if they see your team working to its capacity. It will instill confidence, I guarantee it.
For some of us, teamwork is second nature. For others who have always been self-sufficient… it may be more difficult to understand. It requires a relinquishment of control and a trust in your fellow team members. But the rewards are immeasurable.
This week, I am going to try to be a better team player. And for some of you who fly solo most of the time, if you need me, I will be on your team. Just put me in the game and rescue me from riding the pine… I’ll perform.