Accruent Healthcare Chats

Season 1, Episode 2 | Duration: 42:27 | Special Guest: Carol Davis-Smith | Hosts: Al Gresch & Mike Zimmer | Series: Healthcare Chats Podcast

What's in This Episode:

In this episode, with special guest Carol Davis-Smith, we'll discuss bridging the gap between the technology and the clinical needs and the business needs of the organization. If you are interested in more information about better managing your service providers.

Full transcript:

Mike Zimmer: Good afternoon, Al Gresch. How the heck are you? How's your week going?
Al Gresch: Week's going fantastic. Got some exciting things going on, Mike. I'm really moving the needle, so yeah, it's fun.
Mike Zimmer: So Al, who do we have the pleasure of having on our show today?
Al Gresch: Well, Mike, today we have the pleasure of working with Carol Davis Smith. I've known Carol for quite a few years. Carol was formerly the vice president of clinical technology at Kaiser Permanente. I first met Carol when we worked together. Carol was working for Premier, one of the major GPOs in the U.S. Carol oversaw the clinical technology group at Premier. And most recently Carol has hung up her shingle and she's president of Carol Davis Smith and Associates, a private consulting firm in the healthcare technology and capital planning space. Welcome, Carol.
Carol Davis-Smith: Thank you, sir. Thank you both, Mike and Al. I appreciate the opportunity to spend a little time with you today.
Mike Zimmer: Awesome. Yeah, I mean we are... I'm just going to speak for myself. I won't speak for Al, even though that's fun. I am super excited to have you on the show. You know, leading up, the couple of weeks leading up to the taping of this, you had shared with us a couple of the topics that you really wanted to cover, and I think I expressed this in an email to you prior to jumping into this, that it's refreshing because as much as Al and myself, particularly myself, like to talk about technology and the solutions that we can offer to the healthcare industry and all that other kind of stuff, it's good to cover topics that are kind of outside of that. So namely what they're going to be today, and we can talk about these two items and the order I have here or we can flip it around. It's really up to you, Carol.
Mike Zimmer: So we're looking at talking about getting beyond the technical and understanding the clinical and business aspects of healthcare. And then secondly, and I'm really looking forward to digging into this a little bit, is leadership is not a synonym for management. So, you know, I kind of express why I think that this is going to be a great episode and why we want to kind of dig into these topics a little bit. So where do you want to start? Like, which topic do you want to begin digging into?
Carol Davis-Smith: I think either is really fair game because in my mind they are very closely related to each other. I agree. I'm an engineer. I love the shiny objects. I love getting in and learning that new stuff. But I think what I really learned over the last 10 years is that I really need, to be really successful as a clinical engineer and in this healthcare technology management space, I really have to understand the bigger picture of healthcare in a really meaningful way. Otherwise, I cannot be a real collaborator. I can't be a real partner to the other folks playing this game of healthcare delivery. And in a way, me recognizing one of the leadership capabilities or leadership attributes that I really need to develop to be effective. So it's really kind of a... I think the two are mixed, but maybe we start a little bit in the order you described them in and let's dig into them and then maybe we can just reflect back to that when we get into the second sort of bullet.
Mike Zimmer: Okay, cool. Yeah, I agree with that. I did see the linkage there and how one could kind of nest or build into the second topic. So let's go back a little bit. So you said over the past 10 years you've come to this realization that you need to get away from, let's call it the micro-technical operational side of things, to really understanding what your role is and what your impact is or could be in the grand scheme of things. So was there like a moment or was it like a gradual realization where you're like, "Okay, let's start exploring these other facets of what I've got going on here." And then the second part of that question is, how did you go about doing that? Was it systematic or did you just kind of over the years build this knowledge base and your perspective across the entire healthcare industry?
Carol Davis-Smith: Yeah, great question. And it's probably a little bit of both. So when I... something that stuck with me from my very early days as an intern in Tucson, Arizona, way back in the dark ages, my mentor at the time, my boss at the time, had me shadowing him to various meetings in the hospital. And I remember walking out of one and being very frustrated and asking him, "What was that all about? That just, it did not seem like they understood what we were trying to get to." And he stopped and explained to me that that was a probably a good observation of the moment. But then as a clinical engineer, one of my jobs, one of my responsibilities going forward, would be to be a bridge. To start from my technical background and that expertise, but to bridge the gap between the technology and the clinical needs and the business needs of the organization that I work for.
Carol Davis-Smith: And then occasionally I may need to even create a bridge between the clinical and the business world to help this whole group come together, if you will, into sort of a collaborative or really understanding sort of perspective. And it made sense to me at the time, but I think it just sort of sat there and I wasn't entirely sure what to do with that. So as I went through my career and focused on as a clinical engineer, the things I do always need to start with, what's the clinical problem I'm trying to solve? What's the clinical challenge I'm trying to help my nursing partners or physician partners or whomever solve. And developed some really good relationships and some good soft skills, if you will, as a clinical engineer in the hospital.
Carol Davis-Smith: Fast forward, I find myself working for the GPO that Al mentioned in the intro. And now I'm suddenly in an environment that's not clinical, but it's business. It's more the financial aspects and the supply chain aspects of healthcare, which was a very new sort of perspective for me. And I had to run really fast.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: To keep up and learn and understand how what I was doing, because I was essentially serving as a student of technology. When someone asked me a question, I'd have to understand what this product or technology was and how it applied. And now it wasn't just, "How does it apply clinically, but what's the financial aspect? What's the supply chain aspect?" So there was a little bit of this go slow to go fast, then go fast to go at all sort of learning that I had to do over those early days.
Carol Davis-Smith: So that triage period of basically being able just to answer questions and do my job led me to this place where I started thinking about it, if you will, more strategically, and sort of stepping back from the immediate question and trying to understand how these worlds all related to each other or how they could relate to each other.
Carol Davis-Smith: So that's what I say, you know, I learned by the sort of being thrown into the fire or the deep end of the pool, whatever analogy you want to use. But I purposefully and consciously said, "I need to step back for a minute and understand this environment that I'm in." And that whole sort of standing in the lobby with my internship mentor sort of came right back to my frontal lobe, if you will. And I said, "I get it now. I see what he was saying. And I have to figure this out."
Mike Zimmer: Yeah, yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: So that's kind of how I got to this point. And it's been learning ever since. So now it's more just part of my daily routine as new topics in any of these areas come in, I determine how deep do I need to go immediately and how deep do I want to go longer term to just make myself a stronger a professional in the field.
Mike Zimmer: That is really cool. I'm just going to say that. I really appreciate that journey because obviously I'm not in the same point in my career as you are, nor is it like the same kind of your sphere of influence or whatnot, but you kind of recognize the [matic 00:09:45] elements across high performers and one of them is you approach, or at least this is what I'm hearing, you approach a new venture, let's say, a new position or working with a new organization, with a problem statement first? So throughout the course of your description of this path, you were saying multiple times, "Here's the problem that I have to solve." So you recognize that first and then you pull in the multiple parties or other parts of the solution that you need to to cobble together something that's going to enable the you to move forward.
Mike Zimmer: And then you also spoke to the fact, and this is also really... you find this across high achievers all the time, is that they have this deep domain experience and the way that they gain that experience in that particular domain of expertise, they just apply the same approach in another domain. And then once they have these multiple domains of expertise, they have that ability to step back and see what commonalities exist across it, which makes taking on a new problem, a new challenge, that to anybody that doesn't have that experience or that expertise would be overwhelming. Whereas someone like yourself, and I'm sure Al is the same boat, you know how to roll up your sleeves and get it done regardless of lack knowledge, let's say, or lack of all the contexts that other people might require in order to achieve the same target.
Mike Zimmer: I feel like that was the most abstract rambling, and I apologize about that, but I was trying to recap what it was that you said, and I probably rambled on longer than you did originally. Go ahead.
Al Gresch: No, and I agree a hundred percent, Mike. And I've said this for a long, long time, that the way that we're trained as engineers is to solve problems. Right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Al Gresch: And you're absolutely right. Spot on. The problem changes, but you apply the same concepts in identifying what the root of the problem is and going about solving it. Right? I mean, that's how we're wired. That's how we were trained, you know, and I think back early on in my career, and much of that was spent, well, first of all, when I was in school, we got a lot of anatomy and physiology in the program that I was in. So you did learn quite a bit about what the clinicians were trying to accomplish, what they were trying to measure, how they were going to go about measuring it. And then when I got into the field, the areas of responsibility that I had were cardiology. So cath lab and electrophysiology, and electrophysiology at that point in time was a very, very new field. In fact, there were open chest procedures at that time.
Al Gresch: And we were working with the docs that were doing these to develop the tools to measure the electrical activities of the heart so that they could solve it. It was a lot of fun. And I would guess that the FDA would probably frown on some of the stuff we used to do back in those days.
Carol Davis-Smith: You know Al, almost all of what was done in those days would be frowned on today.
Mike Zimmer: You work with what you've got.
Al Gresch: Well, right. But you know what, we did a great job of detecting the source of arrhythmias on dinosaurs.
Mike Zimmer: Come on, now.
Al Gresch: But I also remember myself and a lot of the folks that I worked with being in attendance at what they called "noon conference." So every day at noon there was an hour long event over the course of lunch where were the docs would talk about the new things that they were trying to develop. And so you gain an understanding of what they were trying to accomplish. And so that when you walked into the room, when there was an issue, you knew what they were trying to accomplish and you understood how to approach it and you could speak the language. Right?
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Al Gresch: And there really was an awesome partnership between the guys that were fixing equipment and the clinical staff.
Carol Davis-Smith: Yeah, and Al, you brought up a good point. When you and I went to school for this, for clinical engineering, biomedical engineering, whatever. Human anatomy and physiology was a core component of our curriculum. And what I think I have discovered more recently is that is not the case. That is not the routine. That's not the norm anymore. And that's a huge, I think is a huge problem for our profession because I find it difficult to comprehend that any of us, engineer, technician, or otherwise, can "fix something" if we do not understand what it is supposed to do and what role that technology plays in the clinical environment.
Carol Davis-Smith: So I think that's a challenge that we need to perhaps address for our colleagues to be able to understand the clinical environment. Many of them are probably, especially younger ones that did not have that training, are probably a bit nervous and apprehensive because we in the educational segment have not given them baseline tools to enter into that conversation. So I think that's something that perhaps needs to be addressed from an educational perspective or an employment perspective.
Carol Davis-Smith: I know we train some folks that were electronic wizards that wanted to be BMETs or clinical engineers. And so we help them get, if you will, the extra education they needed to move through that. I think if we were to pivot to the business side and the financial side, it gets even a little bit tougher because that is such a moving target and it's so dynamic and the individuals that are working the business side of healthcare, especially in the last 10 years, are frequently individuals who do not come from a healthcare background.
Carol Davis-Smith: That was not their first industry, if you will. It wasn't their first rodeo. Their first rodeo was with banking or retail or some other, perhaps not even a technology based business. And so there's a myriad of business perspectives that come together now and sometimes meld well and merge and other times are clashing, which leaves our clinical engineering, our biomedical technician colleagues, someone in a quandary of what the heck's going on over there in that office.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: I know I do. You probably see some of this, too.
Al Gresch: Oh yeah, absolutely. And you know, just going back to what we talked about before, it's exactly the same approach, right? You're trying to solve a clinical issue, you really need to understand what the challenges are, what they're trying to accomplish. Similarly with the business side of things, right? If you don't understand the challenges that exist. I mean, if you've been paying attention at all for the last several decades, you understand that the rules have completely changed. Back when I first started, most of the patients that we saw carried private insurance, right? And by the way, those insurance companies paid for everything. There was no scrutiny whatsoever. You submitted a bill and it got paid. End of story, right?
Carol Davis-Smith: Right.
Al Gresch: And so in general, hospitals never worried about cashflow, right? It wasn't an issue. But again, the rules changed, right? Reimbursements change. You have much higher percentage of patient population on Medicare and Medicaid, right?
Al Gresch: And the reality is that what they get reimbursed doesn't really even cover the cost of doing the procedures that they're paying for it. Right? So if you want to keep the doors open and treat anyone, you'd better do things differently. Right? And so I think we need to understand that. And I mean really, it's what drove me to go back and get a business degree because I knew in order for us to be successful it had to be part of my background and my makeup. And you know, Mike, a phrase that we often use in our business, we want to be known as the trusted advisor. Well, how can you be a trusted advisor if you have no clue What challenges your customers are facing, right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: Right.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah. And so that goes back to this first topic in that to be effective and to have these conversations with the business side of say, a health system, where maybe it's a... it's most likely an MBA or [Bob 00:19:36] that you're talking to, that didn't come from any sort of clinical business before.
Mike Zimmer: Now, how can you take the problems that you're trying to solve as a leader in the clinical space and communicate them effectively to somebody that is not oriented in the same fashion. And so it's crucial. So yeah, good move on your part, Al, for getting that MBA to make sure that you were, you know, fluent in business speak and you really knew how to work a pivot table, so. Right.
Mike Zimmer: And I think that dovetails really nicely. So you pick up all of the technical, the business, and the soft skills that you need to keep these multiple plates spinning. To act as that bridge or liaison between these multiple parts of the healthcare industry, for instance. That is really what I imagine it takes to be an effective leader in this space. Right? And so let's pivot, which, let's go ahead and call that a buzzword bingo term because that is very popular in the software space, is using the word pivot, to this notion of leadership is not a synonym for management.
Mike Zimmer: Now, I think we can take this in a couple of different ways, because the best managers oftentimes don't make the best leaders, and the best leaders are oftentimes not the best managers. So let's unpack that a little bit, and there's another bingo term for you. So the floor is yours, Carol. Let's dig into this a little bit.
Carol Davis-Smith: Well, I think you hit the first part of it. I completely agree. We ideally hope that all managers are also leaders, but reality shows us that is not necessarily always the case. So if we take a step back and we ask why? Because we're going to use our problem solving skills again.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: Because that's what I do. I ask, "Well, why is that?" Well, I think the conclusion that I came to is that management is, if you will, a technical skill. It is like the engineering training that I received. It's like the life sciences education that I have. It's a set of skills, hard skills, technical skills, if you will. It's what we do. It's budgets, it's personnel, those sorts of things. Right?
Carol Davis-Smith: Leadership, on the other hand, is how we do what we do. And leaders, in my opinion, are not always managers. They can be individual contributors. In fact, I can think of a few individual contributors now that I think are amazing leaders because of how they do what they do, the way they do things, the way they interact with others, with their coworkers, with their bosses, with their customers.
Carol Davis-Smith: It's more of a behavior than a knowledge base. And so I personally become very frustrated when we use the terms leadership and management interchangeably. Because I know many managers, at the middle management all the way through the executive level, that I would not consider as leaders. They may be excellent at their technical skill of management, you know, budgets or finance or HR or whatever it might be. But leaders inspire people to be more than what they are. Leaders inspire people to take on and to follow and support big important things or little important things. And may not be the best at building a budget, or may not be responsible for personnel. But through their actions and their behaviors and how they do their job, makes a huge difference in organizational outcomes or even individuals' ability to, as I said, be more than they thought they could.
Carol Davis-Smith: So tons of quotes out there in the marketplace and on the web and whatnot about that. But I think it's really, really true that we need to... I would like to see us do a better job of separating these two and recognizing that we have leaders across the whole spectrum and that just because I don't want to manage people, doesn't mean I cannot be a leader. I think there's been plenty of times during my personal career when I was an individual that I was trying to be a leader, right? To step forward and walk the talk, if you will, as much as when I was responsible for people. And maybe even more so. Because I won't claim that I was the best manager. I did my best, but I won't say that I was the best manager out there, but I always strove to say, "I want to be the best leader I can be regardless of what my position description I'm might say."
Mike Zimmer: So in your opinion, leadership as you've defined it, then... Spoiler alert: I agree with you. Is that something that can be, I don't want to say taught because you're right, it's not a skill, so to speak. It's more of a behavioral or a motivational factor. Let's say that I'm a technician out in the field and I really want to become a leader just within my role. How would you tell that person to develop that drive or that passion? Oh, well, if they're already the type of person that are saying to themselves, "I want to be a leader in this space," chances are they've got the drive to do so. But have you ever come across a situation, and Al, question to you as well, where you've had to foster that into somebody? And if that's the case, how'd you go about doing it?
Al Gresch: Yeah, so-
Carol Davis-Smith: Yeah, I've actually had both situations where I've recognized potential in individuals and I've not so much used the words leader or leadership, but I have suggested to them that they have a lot more to offer the profession and that if they are interested in doing so, I would be happy to help connect them into those opportunities that would then position them, if you will, to be leaders or whatnot.
Carol Davis-Smith: The flip side of that coin is, and probably one of those, and I'm sort of imagining that scenario right now in my head, there was a young man that caught me at an AMEE conference one time and we just started talking. And he was sharing the sort of things that he was doing. And I had no idea. I mean, and I'd known this individual for a while. And just in the course of the conversation I was amazed at the things he was doing, but not recognizing the impact that he was having and could have through those actions and encouraged him to continue and sort of pointed out, "Do you realize what you're doing here? You realize the leadership that you are providing? And please, whatever you do, don't stop."
Carol Davis-Smith: And so both of those are exciting opportunities. You just, with the former, you just never know whether somebody's going to grab the hook and go for it. But to actually see someone who is doing it just because they feel like it's the right thing.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: And they were personally inspired and they thought it was important, but they weren't sure if anybody else did. And when you can acknowledge, No, what you're doing is important." That's just so incredible. I mean, you just see them light up and you can't help but light up yourself. Right?
Mike Zimmer: Right. Yeah, that's pretty powerful.
Al Gresch: Yeah. I agree. And it's something that I don't think that we do a real good job of. And Carol, I think you've seen a lot of it too, that especially now when we have a lot of great leaders in our industry that are headed toward retirement, right?
Al Gresch: And there hasn't been the intentionality around succession planning and looking for and identifying those potential leaders and developing and mentoring them to a level where they can step in. There are some great young leaders. I'm encouraged by that, but I just think that we need to do a much, much better job of doing that. And the organization that I literally grew up in, Aurora Health Care, had a fantastic program, a leadership development program, but you had to nominate people for it and get other leaders in the organization to support it in order for that person to gain access to the leadership development. And it's really, you said the word "passion" earlier, Mike, and it really is that. That's one of the traits that you need to have in order to be a great leader. If somebody is striving to achieve that level just because they want to make more money? I'm sorry. That's not going to be enough.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Al Gresch: And if you think, especially if you think about how most people get into management roles in our industry. Right? They were good techs and so because they were good at what they did at that level, often they were promoted up into a higher level. And most were not very well-equipped to take on that responsibility. And so that's where we have the people that are good at the mechanical or tactical, maybe not so good at the strategic. And Carol said it well, right? A leader is somebody who inspires the people to reach a higher level than they would've on their own. And quite frankly, they raise the level of everyone around them. Right?
Al Gresch: And the other trait that I've seen very, very consistently with the leaders that I've known is an incredible lack of fear. I'm not kidding, every great leader that I've known has had the drive and determination to knock down walls and they won't be denied. Right? That's a pretty special trait for someone to have. And like I said, it's very, very consistent among the great leaders that I've come to know.
Mike Zimmer: Yeah. And it's not just the fact that they're willing to knock down these walls, it's why they're knocking them down. Because it's not out of their own self-interest, generally, it's to solve a big problem or to elevate their team.
Carol Davis-Smith: Right.
Mike Zimmer: And that's crucial, too.
Carol Davis-Smith: Right. And I want to make sure, I want to go back and keep the three of us honest in terms of, leadership is not a synonym for management, and recognizing that everything we're talking about an individual contributor can do and I've seen done. And I think unfortunately a lot of folks hear that term "leadership development" and organizations call it that, but what they're doing is they're prepping people for management.
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: Well, what if I want to be the most amazing engineer or technician on the planet, but I also want to be the most amazing leader I can be? Right? I would say nine out of 10 of those "leadership development" programs are not going to support that individual. Right? They do not want to be a manager. They do not want to manage people. They want to be the technical superstar and they want to be a leader and I personally think that is compatible, but organizations have to structure themselves to enable that. That's something that I've worked on in the last several years, in organizations that I was part of and now as a consultant, is to create pathways so that, to Al's point, we usually take these stellar technicians or engineers and we say, "You are so good at that. I'm going to make you a manager," and we set them up for failure, right?
Mike Zimmer: Thank you.
Carol Davis-Smith: We do. And the organization and everybody around them. Whereas if we allow them to continue to build those skills that they love using and sharing and then help them truly develop as a leader, not a manager, then they inspire their teams, right? They will take responsibility for teams in a non-HR sort of way and elevate that team and take that team to success while still being an individual contributor.
Carol Davis-Smith: But we do not uniformly have those structures and those means by which those individuals can develop. And I think that means we as larger organizations and as a profession, are sort of, if you will, leaving money on the table, if you will.
Al Gresch: Yeah. One of the-
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Al Gresch: One of the best books or excerpts from a book on this topic, when I was at Aurora, we had a guest speaker come into our leadership conference, Benjamin Zander. So Benjamin was the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra and Benjamin's wife is a clinical psychologist and they co-wrote this book called The Art of Possibility. Fantastic book. If you haven't read it, I highly recommend it.
Al Gresch: But within that, one of the concepts they talked about is leading from any chair. And that's just what we're talking about here. Right? And in my organizations, we really did foster that. Right? And it started with encouraging every person to take ownership of what they did in an effort to make us better as an organization. Right? What you think and what you have to say is valuable. Right? So if you see something that we're doing that isn't as good as it could be, please come and tell us because it's what's going to help us get better. And once that was adopted and it became part of our culture? That's very, very empowering. Right? We had a lot of people that really stepped up and, and offered insights into how we could improve processes and it was amazing what happened as a result.
Carol Davis-Smith: Yeah. No, I think you're right, Al. It is culture. And when trying to make changes in any organization I routinely tell folks, "Look, the technical piece here is going to be super easy compared to the cultural piece, because the cultural piece is all about people."
Mike Zimmer: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: So that is always the challenge. And so not to put you on the spot, but when you went to these "leadership meetings," were there any individual contributors there? My experience was, no, unless I brought them right?
Al Gresch: Right, right.
Carol Davis-Smith: That's [inaudible 00:36:23] where we use leadership as a synonym for management. Right?
Al Gresch: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: And so when organizations stand up and they have these events they call leadership summits or leadership meetings, the only people that ever get to go are managers.
Al Gresch: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: And so I'm going to say that perhaps one of the other traits of a leader is a manager that demonstrates the leadership characteristic of stepping out of bounds, right? I'm going to bring non-managers, non-management personnel, to this meeting because it's called a leadership meeting and these are leaders on my team. And that's a deviant behavior. And leaders have to, back to the fear thing, you have to be fearless to be deviant when it makes sense, right? When it's in the organization's best interest to truly bring leaders to a conversation. And that's dangerous. I mean, I have to take personal risk that this could come back and reflect potentially "negative" on me because I demonstrated deviant behaviors. So that's kind of back into your fear analogy, which I agree with. Fear of not walking... Stepping, coloring outside of the lines.
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: Because that's what I would say, fear of the unknown. You have to just figure out, how are you going to take these things on? And I think all of us are still fearful. You know, that's a biological thing, a physiological thing we cannot dismiss. But a leader will figure out how to channel that energy to work for me instead of against me. Fear is going to hold me back. How do I take that energy and use it to push me forward instead? To move and go that direction. Because what are they going to, you know, what's the worst thing that could really happen?
Al Gresch: Yeah. But you know what, though? On that front, something that I coached and mentored my leaders on, which is, no matter the circumstance, always, always, always do the right thing, right? And do what you know in your heart is the right thing. And you know, it's often said that the right thing isn't always popular and what's popular isn't always the right thing. Right? But if you get fired for doing the right thing, you don't want to work there anyway.
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Al Gresch: Right?
Carol Davis-Smith: Right. Right. And I don't want to dismiss that because we all come from... We're all in a different place. We all come from different places and there is absolutely a very real socioeconomic ramification to that. That said, if we as a profession are true leaders, we're going to find... you're right. We're not going to even want our friends and colleagues to work in organizations like that. And we're going to want to take them under our wing and say, "Here, you had a job when you found that one, we're going to find you another job." Right? "You are technically competent in what you do and you are a leader and there's organizations that are going to want you." But it does require us to behave. Again, it's another attribute of leaders. We can't just watch our colleagues fall down under those circumstances, you know, sort of get kicked to the curb and say, "Wow, yeah, they took that route. It's too bad for them." Right? Because now I'm not acting as a leader. Right?
Mike Zimmer: Right.
Carol Davis-Smith: And I'm not acting in that fashion that would become a leader, if you will. I'm going to look beyond myself and say, "How do I bring this person in?" Maybe not to my organization, maybe into my organization, whatnot.
Al Gresch: One more thing, Mike, that I don't think that we've necessarily called out is a leadership versus management attribute. You'll find that leaders, true leaders, are never satisfied. They're always looking for the next hill to climb. Right, Carol?
Carol Davis-Smith: Right, right.
Mike Zimmer: That's a callback to earlier on in the episode. Or, we may not have hit record at that point. You're always going to get to the top of the mountain and look for the next one to climb.
Al Gresch: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: Right.
Al Gresch: Yeah.
Mike Zimmer: Awesome. Well, I want to be cognizant of time. So Carol, if anybody listening to this wanted to get ahold of you to kind of get your thoughts on other items, stuff that they're struggling with organizationally, what is the best method to reach out to you?
Carol Davis-Smith: Sure. Probably the best bet is by email, which is, I tried to keep it simple. It's So it looks a lot like Carol Davis Smith and Associates.
Mike Zimmer: Awesome.
Carol Davis-Smith: So certainly open to emails and then certainly if they're talking with either of you, Mike or Al, you guys know where to find me and how to find me. And vice versa, I know how to find you guys when I run across clients that are looking for the sort of insights that you guys have as well, so.
Mike Zimmer: Awesome.
Carol Davis-Smith: This is a big partnership team game, right? So we'll work together-
Al Gresch: Yeah.
Carol Davis-Smith: ...moving forward.
Al Gresch: Yeah.
Mike Zimmer: Well great. Well, Carol, thank you so much. Sorry Al, if I'm stepping on your line here.
Al Gresch: No, no, no, no. Not at all.
Mike Zimmer: We really appreciate the time and hopefully we'd love to have you back on the show to have another kind of wide ranging, interesting conversation like this one. Al, do you have any-
Carol Davis-Smith: That'd be great.
Al Gresch: Nope. Always a pleasure talking with you, Carol. I appreciate you joining us today.
Carol Davis-Smith: Always a pleasure with you guys as well. Thanks so much and have a great day.
Al Gresch: Thanks, you too.
Mike Zimmer: Same to you. Thanks.

Show Notes


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