I was so pleased to be invited to speak at the annual meeting of the Hospital Association of South Africa and talk about “The Role of Leadership in Leading Quality Improvement.” In honor of the occasion, I proudly wore my Bafana Bafana jersey, the uniform of the South African national soccer team. Of course, the lessons and stories from Goal Play! featured prominently in the speech.
I pointed out that my leadership lessons were already working, in that the team (admittedly one of the worst in the world) had–during my short stay in South Africa–maintained a undefeated record. People were kind to avoiding pointing out that the period in question just covered two matches!
I just received notice that Goal Play! has sold 10,000 copies. I am honored that so many people have read and enjoyed these leadership lessons and recommended the book to their friends and colleagues. Thank you!
I was pleased to address a Master’s Class in Executive Management at the Wentworth Institute of Technology, taught by Ilyas Bhatti. I was honored that Goal Play! was part of the asisgned readings for the course.
But I was especially pleased to see that a couple of the students had purchased the audiobook version of the book so they could listen to it on the drive to and from home. Here’s Evi with a copy loaded on her iPhone.
You can get all three versions (paper, Kindle, audiobook) here on Amazon.
It’s National Patient Safety Week, and I was honored to be invited to Metropolitan Hospital Center in New York City to give a talk on clinical process improvement. The folks at this hospital are doing some great work on these matters, and there are lots of “superstars” among the staff. Copies of Goal Play! will be given to all in the audience at my talk.
In honor of NPS Week, this array of honor was posted on the walls for all to see–people from all kinds of jobs in the hospital who are making a difference to patients, families, and one another.
It was a treat a few weeks ago to address Ann-Michele Gundlach’s “Foundations of Leadership” course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Here’s an article that was published in the Winter Newsletter of the Association of University Programs in Health Administration:
For a number of years, one of the integrating activities of the Foundations of Leadership course in the MHA Program at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health has been the HBR case study, Paul Levy: Taking Charge at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center. This case study CD details the steps Mr. Levy undertook as the new CEO to turnaround this failing medical institution and features him discussing progress over his first six months in the job. This year we were privileged to have Mr. Levy attend the last class of the term as our guest speaker and provide an engaging “live case” experience. True to his persona in the case study CD, Mr. Levy was stimulating and forthright as he recounted his experience with the BIDMC turnaround. Additionally, he offered leadership lessons for building and revitalizing a health care institution in this age of change. This rare opportunity to learn firsthand brought theory to life.
A number of leadership lessons stood out from Mr. Levy’s talk. First and foremost, he emphasized the importance of developing trust through transparency and consistency. This has been the theme of his blog about running a hospital which he began publishing in 2006 http://runningahospital.blogspot.com/.The second lesson was about the importance of creating an environment in which people can learn and achieve. This is underscored by his philosophy that “people want to do good in the world” and they can through their work in health care organizations. Of the many other points Mr. Levy made about leadership, perhaps the most salient was that “people want to know there is someone in charge who cares about them.” Rounding out his talk was the emphasis Mr. Levy placed on the importance of patient safety in the delivery of health care services and the leader’s role in ensuring its primacy.
Mr. Levy also graciously provided each student in the class with a copy of his book Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field which he wrote as a guide to improving leadership. We could not have had a better finish to this course than having Paul Levy bring this case study to life.
It was very nice to be invited to present at the Annual Forum of the Institute for Healthcare Improvement, the pre-eminent national conference on improving the quality, safety, and effectiveness of the medical system. In between sessions, there was time to conduct a book-signing at the conference bookstore.
Many thanks to Boaz Tamir, head of Israel Lean Enterprise (part of the Lean Global Network), for an invitation to present at a session for a number of businesses that are involved in adopting the Lean process improvement philosophy in their organizations. Examples included Intel, the Strauss Group (food and beverage supplier), Bank Hapoalim, and yes (satellite broadcasting.) The attendees were intrigued with the lessons from Goal Play! about how to create learning organizations.
I was honored to share the stage with Micha Popper, from Haifa University, who studies and teaches about leadership. He told a particularly apt story about how the Israeli Air Force improved their learning process. Years ago, after the missions, the pilots would sit around and tell each other stories about what had happened during their flights. Later, when technology had improved to document the actual flight conditions and history of each flight, their stories were bolstered by actual data. The debrief sessions that resulted were much more accurate. More to the point, the flight teams–who previously had a natural tendency to hide or forget their mistakes–became much more open about disclosing their errors, comparing them one with the other, and then learning from the experience. The result was a documented improvement in pilots’ abilities.
It’s going to be a busy week of December 9 in Florida, as Goal Play! and I make the rounds to three local MIT Clubs to address their members and guests with a presentation about Goal Play! The public is welcome, too. If you are not an alumnus, please contact Laura Greene (617-324-0379 or lruddy [at] mit [dot] edu) for registration information.
First comes the MIT Club of Central Florida. The presentation will be on Monday, December 9 from 7:30 to 9:00pm at UCF Main Campus, UCF Harris Corporation Engineering Center (HEC-101). You can contact Arup Guha (321-663-7749, dmarino [at] cs [dot] ucf [dot] edu for more information.
Next is the MIT Club of Tampa Bay. The event will be on Wednesday, December 11, from 6:30 to 8:30pm, at the St. Petersburg Yacht Club, Quarterdeck Room, 11 Central Avenuem St. Petersburg, Florida 33701. Click here for registration information.
For those in the Jacksonville area, there will be the final presentation of the week at the MIT Club of North Florida on Thursday, December 12. This will be at 5:30 at the Downtown CSX Building, Riverview East Room, 500 Water Street, in Jacksonville, FL.
Hoping to see you at one of these settings!
I was invited to deliver Grand Rounds at Sheba Medical Center in Tel Aviv earlier this week. Much of the talk focused on how to create a learning organization, one that was able to draw of the good intentions and good will of the staff to deliver higher quality, safer, and more patient-driven care. As you might expect, I drew heavily on the lessons of Goal Play! in this talk. (You see an image of Gloria Martinez on the screen. She was a transporter at my former hospital and is one of the “superstars” in the book.) Israelis are passonate about soccer, so the talk was well received and the topic of conversation for much of the week.
Linda Hsu, over at Alpha Insight Development, kindly refers to Goal Play! lessons in her commentary entitled “Soccer, Leadership, and Empathy.” Excerpt:
My daughter’s soccer coach Paul Levy has written a book on leadership called Goal Play! Leadership Lessons from the Soccer Field. It may seem a curious title for a book on leadership, but Paul draws on his experience turning around both the Massachusetts Water Resource Authority and Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center as well as his many years coaching girls’ soccer to explain his understanding of leadership and what it takes to create a work environment that is truly a successful team effort.
The most important point that Paul makes in the [last] chapter, though, is that “empathy between the leader and the team is the key element of [his] approach” to “creating an environment of respect for individual action and accomplishment.” . . . In the context of leadership, being willing to allow people who work for you to “hold themselves accountable to their own high standards” may mean letting go of your perceived control of your team and their actions and instead work to create an environment where learning can occur and mistakes can be made without fear of being perceived as incompetent. In soccer as in life, as one of his employees notes, “it is how we handle them [mistakes] that makes us who we are.”