Archive for June, 2007

Wish I Could Tell You Stuff…

June 30th, 2007

Sometimes, when I am dealing with my human frailties —the comb over, the slight paunch or the aching back— I wish that I could have the wisdom of Yoda from Star Wars.  He’s green, kind of scaly, with three fingers on each hand, and surely not a candidate for GQ in his hooded robe, but he’s sooooooooo smart and together that none of that matters to him or anyone else.  I’m not sure how he does with the ladies, but I’m guessing that they overlook his appearance to share in his wisdom.

Because I’m not yet in a position to share deep wisdom or secrets with anyone about anything, let me quote a passage from one of Yoda’s scenes where he describes the journey ahead for his young student, Anakin Skywalker:

YODA: Good, good, young one. How feel you?
ANAKIN: Cold, master.
YODA: Afraid are you?
ANAKIN: No, sir…
YODA: See through you, we can…
ANAKIN: (a little angry) What’s that got to do with anything?
YODA: Eveything. Fear is the path to the dark side… fear leads to anger… anger leads to hate…hate leads to suffering.
ANAKIN: (angrily) I am not afraid!
YODA: A patient-centered health care professional must have the deepest commitment, the most serious mind. I sense much fear in you.
ANAKIN: (quietly) I am not afraid.
YODA: Then continue, we will.

Continue we will indeed, and the future will be everything positive that we decide to make of it.  There is a book or CD called “The Secret” that is flying through the hospital right now, and the secret to the secret is what we all know it to be.  Common sense that is all too frequently uncommon. If you are positive, think positively, work toward good endings, surround yourself with positive people, avoid even thinking about negative situations and keep focused on your goals, you will be embraced by the positive because fear is the path to the dark side, and the truth is, everything we have achieved, accomplished, and completed has been from a spirit of positive commitment.

Watch the movie  Seabiscuit again, or the Miracle on Ice, the tale of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Hockey Team or  The Little Engine That Could. Read about the winners in history.  What you will see is that we are guided by universal laws:  The Law of Intentions states that Your Intentions Will Be Fulfilled.  The Law of Manifestations states that You Will Manifest What You Imagine, but remember the Law of Actions because You Must Act Upon Your Intentions.

My brother constantly talks about what he is going to do when he hits the lottery, and when I ask him the key question, “Did you buy a ticket?”  He always say, “No, I forgot, but when I do…”   Remember, you must play to win.  I had a priest in high school who, in reference to the Catholic sacrament of confession, used to jokingly say, “Remember, you must sin in order to be forgiven.”

Yoda_jacobs2 Will we make mistakes?  Yep.  Will we hit speed bumps?  Of course.  But will we prevail?  If we focus, stay positive, and realize that we are A TEAM, we can and will prevail.

We need to imagine that all of our dreams have come true.  Imagine that our future will be exactly what we have dreamed of, then move toward those goals, act upon those goals, and your/our intentions will be fulfilled.

As song writer Johnny Mercer, wrote in his lyrics for the 1944 Bing Crosby movie,  Here Come The Waves, You’ve got to accentuate the positive… Eliminate the negative… Latch on to the affirmative. Don’t mess with Mister In-Between.”

The future is ours.

“May The Force Be With You.”

Yoda Jacobs


Delusions of Adequacy

June 22nd, 2007

Have any of you noticed how bad customer service has become in recent years?  It is absolutely inconceivable when you place an order for three things and all three are incorrect and/or incomplete.  It’s unconscionable, but, unfortunately, more and more it is becoming a daily reality in our lives. 

Most of these problems seem to have been created by individuals who suffer from a very common disorder, the delusion of adequacy.  It is difficult to explain to people that this state exists; in fact, we Baby Boomers may have unwittingly contributed to it through our child rearing experiments. 

The everyone gets a trophy syndrome was intended to ensure that no child was made to feel like a loser.  A noble experiment intended to produce happiness all around. The problem was, everyone felt like a winner  . . . even when they weren’t, and now we are all suffering from it because, like it or not, there are hundreds of thousands of people who have not honed their skills, not adequately practiced their craft, not developed their knowledge base who, worst of all, go blindly through life believing that they rock.  Heck, they have the trophies to prove it! 

13th_place_trophyThis delusional state doesn’t just exist with kids.  Unfortunately, many adults have their trophy rooms filled with decorative examples of their prowess, yet they can’t write a complete sentence, finish a job on time or ?and this is especially difficult ?are incapable of introspection and blame everyone else for their shortcomings.  Delusions of adequacy.

This is not intended to be a scathing indictment of all of mankind, but it is just pointing out a challenging situation that is becoming more difficult for managers and leaders everywhere.  How do you get six sigma results if the people that you need to do the job have determined that two and a half sigma is perfectly okay. 

Maybe, just maybe, we should let people know when it’s not working.  Maybe we have been politically correct for too long.  Maybe we should stand up for ourselves and demand better service, better products or better care . . . or maybe we need to take a nap, chill out and learn to be more accepting of this condition because it sure doesn’t seem to be going away.


On the Beach

June 15th, 2007

On the Beach . . . no, not the famous book by Nevil Shute about the world slowly dying from the effects of an atomic war.  My version of on the beach is about the next four days of my life.  Actually, it’s about the lives of 22 people, most of whom I don’t really know or have only seen a few times, living under one BIG ROOF at the beach. This house is so big, it even has an elevator, and because you split the rent 22 ways, on a per person basis, it works out to about the same as a seven day stay at the Comfort Inn.

OnthebeachThe trip started out a little rough when the four year old got a fever.  We got him checked out and then started him on antibiotics for strep throat, but that quickly caused lower GI distress.  Because there are four babies here, there is great fear and trepidation that the disease will spread and wipe out the youth of Australia. No, sorry, that was On the Beach, the book again.

Kids are running everywhere, I’ve been on the phone and e-mail now since about 9 AM dealing with ISSUES, and, on Monday afternoon, I get to jump into the car, drive half a day and head back to Washington D.C./Frederick for an all day meeting Tuesday with the scientific leadership from Ft. Detrick.  Then I get to spend the rest of the afternoon with our attorneys and head back to Windber for a board meeting or two dealing with SPECIAL ISSUES.  (Someday, I’ll be able to write about the Special Issues thing, but for now…)

Okay, okay, it’s not a real restful vacation, but, at least I don’t have to go deep sea fishing for Father’s Day with the other Dads.  We did that about 26 years ago and I threw up things I had eaten in First Grade.

SeasarsBack at the hospital, babies are everywhere, our surgery suites are booming, anesthesiology and the OB nurses are going bonkers from the patient load, the accounting staff is dealing with lots of auditors ( just cause it’s time of the year) and we are heading toward a whole new fiscal year and $45M of new challenges.

So, unless I find a tanning booth, it looks like I’m going to remain pasty white and pleasantly plump as I watch the sun set over the Atlantic Ocean from the windows of Seasar’s Palace, our zillion dollar home away from home.

What was that I just heard?  Oh, it was the sound of a cold beer calling me.  “I’m here, . . .   Over here.”  Gosh, I miss the mountains, deer and work . . . NOT.