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How to Prepare for Leadership in Healthcare



Healthcare is a massive sector and it requires great, passionate leaders at all levels. Healthcare leaders can manage a small team, a department, or even the entire hospital. They work in all areas of healthcare, from hospitals and clinics to research companies and pharmaceutical businesses.

It doesn’t matter where you work, either. Your job as a leader in healthcare will always impact the quality of care that patients receive and also the job satisfaction of your staff. With burnout on the rise and an increase in challenges, there has never been a more pressing need for talented, passionate healthcare leaders.

There is always room to improve and many ways to prepare for a role in leadership. By focusing on healthcare in particular and by also working to develop a great set of soft skills, you can make significant improvements to healthcare as a whole.

Why You Need a Healthcare Management Degree

For decades, many leaders have used management and administration degrees to prepare them for executive-level roles. The difference is that in the past, the go-to option was to take on an MBA with a focus on healthcare management. Though this is still a good option, there are now more focused degrees available that allow you to improve your skills and management style with healthcare as the focus.

MBAs will help prepare you by providing a foundation of business fundamentals. The focus, however, is broad rather than in-depth, so while you can earn a certification in healthcare management, the entire focus will not be on healthcare overall. Mostly your coursework will be based around general business concepts with only a few instances where healthcare will be the focus.

MBAs do, of course, still have their place. Healthcare professionals who have spent their entire career working within the industry and feel they need more general business skills than specialized business skills can benefit.

More often than not, however, professionals looking to get started as a leader in healthcare will find more benefits from Executive MHA programs online.

An Executive Master of Health Administration focuses on healthcare and business and works to advance your skillset with sector-specific courses that are essential for healthcare leadership. It is ideal for existing healthcare professionals and those closely adjacent, like consultants or analysts, to take up healthcare leadership roles in their workplace or field.

These types of specialized administration degrees are streamlined and specific for healthcare, making them ideal for those looking to advance their healthcare career directly. They are, however, new. There are only a handful of these degrees available in the world, but even still, it is important to check for quality markers. Triple accreditation from the Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB), Association for Master of Business Administration (AMBA), and EFMD Quality Improvement System (EQUIS) is a key sign of quality to watch out for.

It typically takes the same amount of time to complete an online MHA as it does an online MBA, meaning around two years or six semesters. You can typically stretch it out longer if necessary but always talk with the admissions advisor beforehand.

Two Asian doctors having a discussion

Additional Factors to Help Prepare You For Leadership

Having the know-how in healthcare management, finance, and analysis is a great start, but as any leader knows, you also need plenty of soft skills to be an effective leader. Managing people isn’t like ticking boxes or staying organized. Sometimes it needs a custom touch, and you always need to adapt your approach depending on who you are with and what the other person needs.

Know Your Leadership Style

A great place to start is to understand and work out your leadership style. Although you can customize and develop what feels like your own leadership style, it is important to remain consistent. If you flip flop between different methods of leading and managing your teams, you’ll only breed resentment and a hostile workplace.

You cannot go from being diplomatic and accommodating one day to draconian the next. Setting up standards is how everyone works more efficiently because they know what to expect and the quality of work that is required of them.

You want to get the most out of every member of your team, and setting the right expectations is a great place to start.

Though you will want to workshop and develop your own leadership style, a great place to get started is by understanding the types of leadership styles, as outlined in Lewin’s Leadership Styles framework that has been in use since the 1930s.

Autocratic Leaders

It is important to note that all leaders need to workshop and work with those working underneath them when it comes to decision-making. Autocratic leaders take the input and advice from those working alongside or under them and then make their own decisions based on that information. Though there will be a certain amount of autocratic leadership within healthcare, you never want to alienate the other leaders and managers within your organization.

Democratic Leaders

Democratic leadership puts team members in the running when it comes to decision-making. It can improve motivation and job satisfaction but is not always effective in healthcare when tough decisions need to be made, especially when it comes to being fair to all departments. A good way to look at leadership in healthcare is with a mix of democratic and autocratic decision-making. Knowing when to use both styles is how you will be an effective leader. You cannot and should not make every decision, but at the same time, there are certain standards, laws, and difficult situations that will require an autocratic stance.

Laissez-Faire Leaders

Laissez-Faire leaders support their team members rather than lead them. This can work in a few situations in healthcare, but due to the high levels of regulation and standardization, you’ll find you simply don’t have the opportunity to provide support and trust in your team to always make the best decisions for them. Between laws and budgeting, there is little room for this style of leadership.

On top of leadership styles, you also have different approaches. There are six emotional leadership styles. These styles include visionary, coaching, affiliative, democratic, pace setting, and commanding. There is even transformational leadership.

At the end of the day, knowing the different types of leadership and, most importantly, what option will suit the scope of your role is a must. You may even use different leadership styles when dealing with different departments. How you approach shareholders will be different from department heads or team leaders.

Healthcare management training

How to Develop the Essential Soft Skills

Soft skills can be practiced and guided, but they are not the same as other skills that can be learned. You need to develop and find your own approach that works for you and feels most natural. Soft skills, after all, are interpersonal. How you actually speak and communicate to your teams, your shareholders, and even the patients and their families depend on the situation.

The essential soft skills you will want to have, and if not work on, include:

1. Communication and Interpersonal Skills

Being able to effectively communicate comes easily to some and can feel like a nightmare to others. As a leader, you should be able to confidently speak to a room of people and at the very least be able to command attention when speaking to those who are directly underneath you. While there are coaching courses and other workshops you can take to improve your public speaking abilities, that is not the only type of communication you need to consider.

You also need to know how to listen and adapt. Interpersonal skills are a type of communication skill that you will want to continually improve upon. How you speak to one person won’t work for another. At the end of the day, it doesn’t matter if you think someone should be able to buckle down and get the work done because it is your job to get the most effective work out of your team. If that requires a more gentle touch and encouragement for some of your employees and a harder hand for others, be ready to adapt.

2.The Ability to Motivate and Stay Motivated

One sub-skill to communication is both motivating and being motivated. You want your team to go above and beyond, and in healthcare, that is a big ask. There is a massive shortage which means healthcare professionals everywhere are already going above and beyond for their patients. The good news is that motivating your team doesn’t mean pushing them to work harder but working smarter. It also means recognizing and rewarding their additional efforts if you can.

With burnout in healthcare at an all-time high, knowing how to motivate those underneath you is a skill that cannot be emphasized enough. Being able to motivate others is just the start as well. You also need to know how to stay motivated, especially if you are attempting to complete a degree while working in an existing managerial role.

3.Creative and Analytical Problem Solving

Knowing how to analyze data and understand it better is a great place to start, but it isn’t enough. Creative and analytical problem solving is something of an art form. The data you collect and the information you extract from it are the materials, but you are still the artist that needs to do something with the information presented to you. A great way to develop this soft skill is to actually learn and study. See how others have handled similar problems, and don’t be afraid to ask for advice from those in similar roles to you.

4.Conflict Resolution

Part of managing a team means managing the conflicts that will inevitably arise. You have to keep in mind that healthcare organizations around the world are stretched to their limits. They have to deal with people who are emotionally and physically often at their worst and most scared. They also need to deal with long hours and a lot of stress, thanks in part to the risk caused by the coronavirus.

This adds to a lot of stress and high tension. It would be a miracle if there weren’t any internal conflict that comes from such a situation, so you need to know how to handle it when it happens. This is something you will need to learn hard and fast when you start your first leadership or managerial role in any field, but there are online tools and advice available to help you prepare some mitigation strategies.


It would be best if you stay organized. There is a lot of work that comes in with managing a team or teams, especially in the healthcare setting. If you aren’t organized, you can easily fall behind on many different tasks. While that task might not have been altogether that important one day, left alone, it could build up into a problem.

Using the right organizational tools and investing in automating certain admin systems is a great way to reduce the level of hands-on organization you need to handle. However, it would help if you still were in the habit of staying organized and on top of your daily tasks.


Healthcare is a massive industry, and the challenges that are faced by healthcare organizations vary day to day. One day you may be dealing with a massive shortage because there was a COVID-19 outbreak and several members of your staff caught it and now need to quarantine at home. A serious car pileup could have occurred the next day, and now your ER is overrun.

Corporate healthcare planning

There are so many challenges that face healthcare leaders, which is why one of the most important skills you will need to succeed as a healthcare leader is the ability to adapt and roll with the punches. You don’t need to do it on your own, but you do need to know how to leverage your team and the resources available to meet every challenge that comes your way.

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Want to Succeed as an Entrepreneur? 14 Traits to Cultivate Now




If you had to choose one trait that you believed was the most necessary in order to succeed as an entrepreneur, what would it be and why? How can aspiring entrepreneurs cultivate it?

These answers are provided by Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most successful young entrepreneurs. YEC members represent nearly every industry, generate billions of dollars in revenue each year, and have created tens of thousands of jobs. Learn more at

1. The Ability to Problem-Solve

The one trait I would say is the most important to entrepreneurs is the ability to creatively problem-solve. Sometimes, solutions to business problems aren’t obvious and you have to find an out-of-the-box solution. That can be a real challenge because most people are taught to color within the lines.

Baruch Labunski, Rank Secure

2. Grit

You need courage, resolve and strength of character to withstand the ebbs, flows and failures that lead to successful business. The best way to get this is through experience. I’ve seen a lot of young entrepreneurs with more grit than their older counterparts, especially when they had customer service jobs and worked their way up the ladder to experience different seats in the company.

Givelle Lamano, Oakland DUI Attorneys

3. Flexibility

One of the most essential traits an entrepreneur can possess is flexibility. You need to be able to change your approach in response to market conditions, customer feedback and what any partners or investors want at any given time. Being flexible also means looking at “failure” as a signal to make changes rather than as a permanent obstacle.

Kalin Kassabov, ProTexting

4. Fearlessness

Aspiring entrepreneurs should be fearless. It’s fear that often prevents you from grabbing new opportunities, as new entrepreneurs are unable to decide what’s best for them or how a particular decision would affect them. Well, you won’t know unless you try. So, be quick with your decisions. Preparedness is great and all, but if you’re afraid to make a move, someone else will — and will likely succeed. 

Chris Klosowski, Easy Digital Downloads

Young businessman having a conversation

5. Sociability

To be successful as an entrepreneur, you need to focus on developing your social skills. When you have strong social skills, it becomes easier for you to build strong relationships with your customers, investors or anyone you think is important to your business. Good social skills make you a better communicator and help you make others feel secure so they connect with you on a deeper level.

Andrew Munro, AffiliateWP

6. Determination

One trait you need to succeed as an entrepreneur is determination. You’ll encounter people who don’t like your idea. There will be times when clients or investors reject you. Your first project idea may never see the light of day. You need to have the drive to move past these unfortunate situations if you want to find success.

Daman Jeet Singh, FunnelKit

7. Decisiveness

Decisiveness is the main trait any successful entrepreneur needs to cultivate. From making decisions about the budget or day-to-day communication, maintaining the ability to decide and decide quickly remains imperative. I use mental models like Occam’s razor to run my life. For example, when presented with two options, I choose the simplest and I get a lot of significant work done.

Libby Rothschild, Dietitian Boss

8. A Realistic Mindset

Be realistic! An entrepreneur’s career is full of ups and downs, which are part of the learning process — and that’s a fact. Keeping your feet on the ground will save you much frustration when things don’t go the way you want. Instead, learn your lessons and keep moving. This will also help you to consider and prepare for multiple scenarios while adjusting along the way.

Riccardo Conte, Virtus Flow

9. Moxie

In order to be an entrepreneur, you must have some moxie. Being outspoken, direct, resilient and having the ability to persevere is something that most entrepreneurs have in common. You have moxie if you can get up after failing. Aspiring entrepreneurs can cultivate it by focusing on confidence. Stand up for what you believe in and don’t let others’ opinions or perceptions get in your way.

Jennifer A Barnes, Optima Office, Inc.

Small business planning for growth

10. The Ability to Follow Long-Term Plans

The ability to follow and execute on a long-term plan — meaning multiple years — without being sidetracked by mirages along the way or discouraged by inevitable ups and downs is so important. This requires you to learn multiple skills, including attention to detail, deep work and strategic vision (as opposed to tunnel vision, which trips up many entrepreneurs). 

Andrew Schrage, Money Crashers Personal Finance

11. A Willingness to Keep Learning

If you want to succeed as an entrepreneur, you should have an open mind toward learning. It’s important for you to realize that learning is an ongoing process. It can help you develop new skills that in turn can help you stay ahead of your competitors at all times.

Thomas Griffin, OptinMonster

12. A Self-Reflective Mind

One trait that can help aspiring entrepreneurs succeed is self-reflection. Embracing your mistakes and learning from them is the only way an entrepreneur can grow and be better than ever before. However, one can’t cultivate this skill by enrolling in a particular program. You have to have an open mind, give yourself the freedom to make mistakes and foster the courage to learn from them.

Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms

13. Resilience

Resilience is one of the most important traits you can develop as an entrepreneur. The journey is going to have high highs and low lows, and it will be your ability to push through and persevere during this time that will be the difference between success and failure. To develop resilience, develop a positive mindset, build a strong support system, understand your purpose and look after yourself.

Zane Stevens, Protea Financial

14. The Ability to Thrive on Ambiguity

The cornerstone of entrepreneurial success is in the ability to accept and thrive on ambiguity. I have found that navigating the unpredictable landscape of business ventures requires you to possess a flexible mindset that can accommodate constant change and capitalize on emerging opportunities. Always stay updated with the latest developments and treat every change as an opportunity to grow.

Vikas Agrawal, Infobrandz

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The Art of Risk-Taking: Lessons from Successful Entrepreneurs



Entrepreneurship is a high-risk endeavor. Starting a new business takes bravery, resilience, and a willingness to accept risks. Many successful entrepreneurs attribute their success to calculated risks and pushing themselves outside their comfort zones.

In this article, we will explore the art of risk-taking and the lessons we can learn from successful entrepreneurs.

1. Understand the Importance of Risk-Taking

Taking risks is an essential component of entrepreneurship. It is tough to develop and produce anything new without taking risks. Risk-taking is necessary for growth and progress, as successful entrepreneurs recognize. They also recognize that not every risk will pay off, but the potential rewards make the effort worthwhile.

2. Do Your Research

Before taking any risks, it is important to do your research. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of gathering as much information as possible before making a decision. This includes researching the market, competition, and potential customers. By doing your research, you can make informed decisions and minimize your risks.

3. Network Effectively

Networking is an essential part of entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of building relationships with potential investors, customers, and other entrepreneurs. They attend events and conferences, participate in industry groups, and use social media to expand their network and create new opportunities.

4. Stay Committed

Entrepreneurship is a long and challenging journey. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying committed to their goals and vision, even when faced with obstacles and setbacks. They stay focused on their end goal and are willing to put in the time and effort necessary to achieve it.

5. Collaborate with Others

Entrepreneurship is often a team effort. Successful entrepreneurs understand the value of collaborating with others and building strong partnerships. They seek out individuals who bring complementary skills and expertise to the table and work together to achieve a shared vision.

Buddy system at office

6. Surround Yourself with Supportive People

Entrepreneurship can be a lonely journey. It is important to surround yourself with supportive people who believe in you and your vision. Successful entrepreneurs understand the value of having a support system and seek out mentors, advisors, and other entrepreneurs who can offer guidance and encouragement.

7. Set Realistic Goals

Taking risks is essential for entrepreneurship, but it is important to set realistic goals. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of setting achievable goals and breaking them down into smaller, more manageable steps. By setting realistic goals, entrepreneurs can reduce the risk of failure and stay motivated throughout the journey.

8. Stay Flexible

Entrepreneurship is a constantly evolving journey. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of staying flexible and adapting to changing circumstances. They are open to new ideas and are willing to pivot when necessary to stay ahead of the curve.

9. Learn from Feedback

Feedback is a valuable tool for entrepreneurs. Successful entrepreneurs seek out feedback from customers, mentors, and advisors and use it to refine their ideas and improve their products or services. They understand that feedback is not a personal attack, but rather an opportunity to grow and improve.

10. Take Care of Yourself

Entrepreneurship can be a stressful and demanding journey. It is important to take care of yourself both physically and mentally. Successful entrepreneurs prioritize their health and well-being and make time for self-care activities such as exercise, meditation, and spending time with loved ones. By taking care of themselves, entrepreneurs can stay energized and focused throughout their entrepreneurial journey.

Analyzing business startup costs

11. Take Action

Successful entrepreneurs do not let fear hold them back. They take action and move forward, even when they are unsure of the outcome. They understand that taking action is the only way to achieve their goals and make their vision a reality.

12. Take Calculated Risks

While taking risks is important, successful entrepreneurs also know the importance of taking calculated risks. They carefully assess the potential risks and rewards before making a decision, and have a backup plan in case things don’t go as expected.

13. Trust Your Gut

While research is important, successful entrepreneurs also trust their gut instincts. They understand that sometimes you have to take a leap of faith and trust your intuition. Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple, once said, “Have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become.”

14. Embrace Failure

Taking risks inevitably leads to failure at times. Successful entrepreneurs understand that failure is not the end, but rather an opportunity to learn and grow. They embrace failure and use it as a chance to improve and refine their ideas.

Entrepreneurial business people


The art of risk-taking is a critical component of entrepreneurship. Successful entrepreneurs understand the importance of taking risks, doing their research, trusting their instincts, embracing failure, taking action, and surrounding themselves with supportive people.

Aspiring entrepreneurs can boost their chances of success and make their entrepreneurial aspirations a reality by adhering to these guidelines.

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Rekindling a Sense of Community at Work



For decades, we’ve been living lonelier, more isolated lives. As our social connectedness has decreased, so has our happiness and mental health. And with more aspects of our lives becoming digital, it has reduced our opportunities for everyday social interaction. The nature of our work, in particular, has shifted.

In 2014, Christine and Energy Project CEO Tony Schwartz partnered to learn more about what stands in the way of being more productive and satisfied at work. One of the more surprising findings was that 65% of people didn’t feel any sense of community at work.

That seemed costly (and sad!), motivating Christine to write Mastering Community, since lonelier workers report lower job satisfaction, fewer promotions, more frequent job switching, and a higher likelihood of quitting their current job in the next six months. Lonelier employees also tend to perform worse.

During the pandemic, many of us became even more isolated. Community, which we define as a group of individuals who share a mutual concern for one another’s welfare, has proven challenging to cultivate, especially for those working virtually. To learn more, we conducted a survey with the Conference for Women in which we asked nearly 1,500 participants about their sense of community at work before and since the pandemic and found it has declined 37%. When people had a sense of community at work, we found that they were 58% more likely to thrive at work, 55% more engaged, and 66% more likely to stay with their organization. They experienced significantly less stress and were far more likely to thrive outside of work, too.

People can create community in many ways, and preferences may differ depending on their backgrounds and interests. Here are several ways companies have successfully built a sense of community at work that leaders can consider emulating at their own organizations.

Create mutual learning opportunities.

After creating an internal university for training years ago, Motley Fool, the stock advisor company, realized that the teachers got even more out of it than the students. The feedback led to a vibrant coaching program in which about 10% of employees act as a coach to other employees. For many, being a coach is a favorite part of their job. Chief People Officer Lee Burbage said, “When you think of progress and growth in a career, your mind tends to stay boxed into ‘What is my current role? What am I doing?’…we really try to encourage side projects…taking on a teaching role, taking on a coaching role, being a leader in one of our ERGs, that sort of thing.”

Burbage went on to describe how the company helped foster a sense of community by enabling employees to learn from one another in a less formal way:

We’ve had incredible fun and incredible effectiveness going out to [employees] and saying, “Hey, is anybody really good at something and would be interested in teaching others?” All it takes is for them to set up a Zoom call. We’ve had everything from DJ class to butchering class. How to make drinks, how to sew. Tapping into your employees and skills they may already have that they’d be excited to teach others, especially in the virtual world, that makes for a great class and creates an opportunity again for them to progress and grow and meet new people.

Tap into the power of nostalgia.

Research suggests that shared memories from past positive events and accomplishments, such as birthday dinners, anniversaries, retreats, or weekend trips, endure and can help sustain morale. Nostalgia can help counteract anxiety and loneliness, encourage people to act more generously toward one another, and increase resilience. Research has also shown that when people engage in nostalgia for a few minutes before the start of their workday, they’re better at coping with work stresses.

Come up with ways to bring employees together for memorable events outside of work. Christine recently spoke at the law firm Jones Walker’s anniversary leadership celebration offsite. After meetings, we headed to the Washington Nationals ballpark, where we toured the field, feasted on ballpark favorites, and had the opportunity to take batting practice.

Eat or cook together.

In 2015, Jeremy Andrus, who took over Traeger Grills as CEO in 2014, decided to reboot a toxic culture and moved the corporate headquarters to Utah. There, Andrus worked to create a positive physical environment for his employees. As part of that, employees cooked breakfast together every Monday morning and lunch Tuesday through Friday. As he put it, “Preparing food for and with colleagues is a way of showing we care about one another.” According to pulse surveys in 2020, Traeger Grills employees rated the culture a nine out of 10 on average, with 91% reporting a feeling of connection to the company’s vision, mission, and values.

Cooking and eating together isn’t just a community builder. Researchers conducted interviews at 13 firehouses, then followed up by surveying 395 supervisors. They found that eating together had a positive effect on job performance. The benefits were likely reinforced by the cooperative behaviors underlying the firefighters’ meal practices: collecting money, shopping, menu planning, cooking, and cleaning. Taken together, all these shared activities resulted in stronger job performance.

Find ways to bring employees together over a meal. For example, invite the team to a lunch of takeout food in a conference room, or organize a walk to a nearby restaurant for a brainstorming session or a chance to socialize. You could also ask team members to cook an elaborate meal together at an offsite as a means of figuring out how to work collaboratively on something outside of their usual range.

Plug into your local community.

Kim Malek, the cofounder of ice cream company Salt & Straw, forges a sense of meaning and connectedness among employees, customers, and beyond to the larger communities in which her shops are located. From the beginning, Kim and her cousin and cofounder, Tyler Malek, “turned to their community, asking friends — chefs, chocolatiers, brewers, and farmers — for advice, finding inspiration everywhere they looked.”

Kim and Tyler worked with the Oregon Innovation Center, a partnership between Oregon State University and the Department of Agriculture, to help companies support the local food industry and farmers. Kim Malek told Christine that every single ice cream flavor on their menu “had a person behind it that we worked with and whose story we could tell. So that feeling of community came through in the actual ice cream you were eating.”

On the people side, Salt & Straw partners with local community groups Emerging Leaders, an organization that places BIPOC students into paid internships, and The Women’s Justice Project (WJP), a program in Oregon that helps formerly incarcerated women rejoin their communities. They also work with DPI Staffing to create job opportunities for people with barriers like disabilities and criminal records, and have hired 10 people as part of that program.

In partnership with local schools, Salt & Straw holds an annual “student inventors series” where children are invited to invent a new flavor of ice cream. The winner not only has their ice cream produced, but they read it to their school at an assembly, and the entire school gets free ice cream. This past year, Salt & Straw held a “rad readers” series and invited kids to submit their wildest stories attached to a proposed ice cream flavor. Salt & Straw looks for ways like this to embed themselves in and engage with the community to help people thrive. It creates meaning for their own community while also lifting up others.

Create virtual shared experiences.

Develop ways for your people to connect through shared experiences, even if they’re working virtually. Sanjay Amin, head of YouTube Music + Premium Subscription Partnerships at YouTube, will share personal stories, suggest the team listen to the same album, or try one recipe together. It varies and is voluntary. He told Christine he tries to set the tone by being “an open book” and showing his human side through vulnerability. Amin has also sent his team members a “deep question card” the day before a team meeting. It’s completely optional but allows people to speak up and share their thoughts, experiences, and feelings in response to a deep question — for example:

  • If you could give everyone the same superpower, which superpower would you choose?
  • What life lesson do you wish everyone was taught in school?

He told Christine, “Fun, playful questions like these give us each a chance to go deep quickly and understand how we uniquely view the world” and that people recognized a shared humanity and bonding.

EXOS, a coaching company, has a new program, the Game Changer, that’s a six-week experience designed to get people to rethink what it means to sustain performance and career success in the long run. Vice President Ryan Kaps told Christine, “Work is never going back to the way it was. We saw an opportunity to help people not only survive, but thrive.”

In the Game Changer, members are guided by an EXOS performance coach and industry experts to address barriers that may be holding them back from reaching their highest potential at work or in life. Members learn science-backed strategies that deepen their curiosity, awaken their creativity, and help sustain energy and focus. The program structure combines weekly individual self-led challenges and live virtual team-based huddles and accountability, which provide community and support. People who’ve completed the Game Changer call it “transformative,” with 70% of participants saying they’re less stressed and 91% reporting that it “reignited their passion and purpose.” 

Make rest and renewal a team effort.

Burnout is rampant and has surged during the pandemic. In our recent survey, we found that only 10% of respondents take a break daily, 50% take breaks just once or twice a week, and 22% report never taking breaks. Distancing from technology is particularly challenging, with a mere 8% of respondents reporting that they unplug from all technology daily. Consider what you can do to focus on recovery, together.

Tony Schwartz told Christine about the work his group did with a team from accounting firm Ernst and Young. In 2018, this team had been working on a particularly challenging project during the busy season, the result being that the team members became so exhausted and demoralized that a majority of them left the company afterward.

To try to change this, the 40-person EY team worked with the Energy Project to develop a collective “Resilience Boot Camp” in 2019 focused on teaching people to take more breaks and get better rest in order to manage their physical, emotional, and mental energy during especially intense periods. As a follow up, every other week for the 14 weeks of the busy season, the EY employees attended one-hour group coaching sessions during which team members discussed setbacks and challenges and supported one another in trying to embrace new recovery routines. Each participant was paired with another teammate to provide additional personal support and accountability.

Thanks to the significant shifts in behavior, accountants completed their work in fewer hours and agreed to take off one weekend day each week during this intense period. “Employees were able to drop 12 to 20 hours per week based on these changes, while accomplishing the same amount of work,” Schwartz told Christine.

By the end of the 2019 busy season, team members felt dramatically better than at the end of 2018’s. And five months after the busy season, when accounting teams typically lost people to exhaustion and burnout, this EY team’s retention stood at 97.5%. Schwartz told Christine that his main takeaway from that experience was “the power of community.”

. . .

Community can be a survival tool — a way for people to get through challenging things together — and helps move people from surviving to thriving. As we found, it also makes people much more likely to stay with your organization. What can you do to help build a sense of community?


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