What a Train Wreck can Teach us About Ownership

Healthcare organizations routinely practice mock or simulated disasters drills to be ready to respond in the most optimal means when a disaster occurs. Natural or man-made disasters may involve many traumatized victims or casualties as seen in hurricanes, train wrecks or like what was seen in the 9-11 terror attack on the World Trade Center in New York City.

When disasters occur that involves human life, our emergency services and healthcare organization emergency departments become a central station of survival and first aid.

Disasters requires healthcare professionals to be flexible to take on new or different job responsibilities from the norm in order to have a successful outcome for victims. Special teams by design with specific functions come together with laser focus of helping the patient or victims survive and get better.

At these times of heightened patient emergency, colleagues look for opportunities to jump in and take on the smallest of task to support their colleagues providing more direct care. Opening doors for stretchers, jotting down vital signs as called out, helping the imaging technologist get the best image of the critical patient. Many healthcare workers are huddled around the patient and no one seems to be bothers by the cramped space or challenges of getting their work done.

The beautiful observation that I have made is that no one seems to be over tired or bothered, or hesitates for a second to perform any type of work during this period of time.

One thing is definitely noted is you never hear the words “that’s not my job.”

No matter what is needed to get done during a disaster, instantaneously staff regardless of title or job description jumps in to make it happen. This results in the best of humankind coming forth, and the value of Ownership become dominant.

Possessing the value of Ownership is a value that benefits the owner, colleagues and others. It requires being present in every aspect of what you do as your chosen profession, performing your role and responsibility to the very best of your ability. Not to take shortcut in your work, but to strive for excellence in your work. An employee that is constantly reflecting on what improvements could be made, so they can approach their work the very best way possible. I have heard this saying many times, “If your job is a ditch digger, then be the best ditch digger in the world.”

Own your world of work!

I found myself taking over the reins of a healthcare organization as CEO that was considered bankrupted. The situation was not one that I created, but since I choose to take the position of CEO, I had to own the difficulties that the job entailed. In fact, I will never forget the statement of a Joint Commission surveyor that visited about a year after I took over the reins of the organization. The surveyor looked at me with a most empathetic expression and said “This organization has been burnt to the ground, you must be living in hell.” I reflected on this statement as I drove home that day and I realized in many ways that was true, but I also realized clearly that I signed up and now owned this hellish situation. I consciously accepted this position, so therefore I own it. Blaming the past or pointing fingers is useless and a drain of energy. Embracing the situation head on, regardless of the reality was much more invigorating and provided some gravely needed hope and a promise of a future.

The value of ownership shows up in all parts of our lives. The value of ownership as a mother, spouse, child, employee, member of a team, and leader is all important.

A person needs to realize that the value of ownership will feel amazing when things are going great, and no so good at all when thing are not. But if it is in the power of your hands through your value of ownership, then I recommend that you own it with all that you have. It will mean doing things that are not always easy, stretching beyond your norm, and yes expect to sacrifice self needs for the sake of helping others. Owning a job position or taking full ownership of your life and what you want to be become is in your hands.

Living the value of ownership for the betterment of self, others, and our world is the true meaning of this important core value.

Let’s stop waiting for a train wreck to decide we will do our job the very best by owning every second of it everyday. Look for ways daily that will benefit others by the work that you do. Own what you do with humble pride, and let your light shine on regular days and train wreck days!

You may also like