Instead of heading to meet my fiancé for a fun-filled weekend, I was on a plane headed to Oklahoma City planning a corporate audit of the company’s clinical services. Joining me were all the lead quality improvement professionals across our rehabilitation fields and company divisions. There was much work to be done to complete the audit in a timely manner and make our report to the Corporate leadership
Over the next ten days we worked tirelessly examining patient records, clinical documentation, interviewing patients, and facility personnel. Our evenings were spent reviewing data collected, identifying additional data needs, and planning for next steps. Exhausted, everyone departed for home confident that we had completed successfully the audit, identified what was working, areas needing improvement and had developed sound recommendations.
After arriving home, immediately the audit report was finalized, circulated to the team for review, and feedback. Then it was about preparing for my meeting with the Company President. Our audit had identified processes that could be improved, but more importantly it recognized the need for people development. Our direct service providers needed training in areas that put our company at risk. Our supervisors weren’t as effective as they could be in managing and utilizing assistants and aides. Investing in our people would minimize future risk and increase productivity, patient, and customer satisfaction.The people development recommendations came with a hefty price tag in that we were the largest employer of rehabilitation professionals next to the Veteran’s Administration. My job was to convince the President of the company benefits that would be derived as a result of its investment. As an officer of the company, I was aware of the need to meet our return to stockholders’ projections. I had to make sure that the proposed cost of our recommendations would not jeopardize that commitment. Our chairman always reminded us that “our word is our bond.” So I ran our numbers by the Chief Financial Officer. After integrating his feedback, I was confident that the audit report was comprehensive, accurate, and justified our recommendations. Next, it was time to share the audit report with the President.
The President looked over the report, listened attentively to my presentation, asked a few questions, and then indicated that the recommendations were too costly. He then asked me if I knew about the golden rule. Why of course, as a child my parents had taught me “do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” But what did that have to do with the company and my recommendations? (I thought) Seeing my puzzled look, the President realized that we were not talking about the same rule. He then said, “I think you may not have heard about the golden rule I am referencing- “He who has the gold sets the rules.” The President was right, this was a new rule for me. At that moment I realized so often conflicts I had experienced in decision making had resulted from my lack of understanding this rule. If a person who has the gold differs in perspective from those making recommendations, then the person with the gold will always rule! In that instance, I recognized the importance of “having the gold.” Later, I launched my business in pursuit of building a company that creates the gold so that I could begin setting my rules. Today, my attention is directed toward growing a B.E.S.T. movement that “brings out the B.E.S.T. in people and organizations.” I get to set the rules!