Leadership Lessons: Looking For Mutually Beneficial Solutions By Zig Ziglar
Every problem has a solution, but the best solutions are always mutually beneficial. Howard Putnam in his book, The Winds of Turbulence, tells this story. Baylor Hospital in Dallas had a major problem. They could not get enough nurses who were willing to work over week-ends because they wanted to be with their families.
But the leadership recognized that there were also a number of nurses, particularly those who had young children, who wanted to be with their children during the week so they could spend as much time with them as possible. In most cases, married nurses had husbands who worked a Monday-through-Friday schedule. Single mothers had an even greater need to be with their children as much as possible, so the thinking was very simple: Can we meet the needs of all these nurses?
Leadership then asked the question, How can we help these mothers get what they want? How can we help the full-time nurses get what they want? The solution, as Mr. Putnam points out, was so obvious; one wonders why it took them so long to come up with the answer. Here’s what they did: Since week-end work is generally considered overtime, they decided to make Saturday and Sunday twelve-hour shifts for a total of 24 hours of duty. They paid these nurses for a full 40-hour week, so those nurses were elated to be able to get that kind of duty.
On the other hand, the nurses who simply did not want to work overtime or week-ends were elated that they could maintain their normal schedule. This truly was a win/win situation. The week-end nurses won, the full-time nurses won, but the hospital and patients were also big winners.
That’s leadership at its best. The message is clear: Examine your alternatives; explore what the problem might be and ask yourself the question, is the solution in the problem? In many cases it is. Think about it. Take that creative step and I’ll see you at the top!
Zig Ziglar is a teacher and motivator on topics such as leadership, sales, and customer service. You can visit him at www.zigziglar.com. Introducing the Zig Ziglar BIG Combo Package with Bonuses! — click here for details!
* Key Points to Consider: 1) t the best solutions are always mutually beneficial. 2) Examine your alternatives; explore what the problem might be and ask yourself the question, is the solution in the problem?
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