Seniors Care – Leadership Academy Q&A
Seniors Care Leadership Academy Q&A
You have questions?
You came to the right place.
We have answers.
Q: What’s the point of the Academy?
A: We know from experience (and truckloads of research) – great leadership makes a big difference on a community’s performance. Good leadership correlates to high employee engagement, resident and satisfaction, and quality measures; strong financial measures; lower employee turn-over.
Coincidence? I think not. And neither do researchers.
You’re a leader because you’re good at what you do. The Seniors Care Leadership Academy gives you ideas and a structure to bring out the best in your and your team more consistently, regardless of what’s coming at you.
The Leadership Academy expands your capacity to build a resident-centered culture that quickly filters decisions down to the front line and supports good choices coming from the bottom up.
We don’t promise overnight results. Instead we deliver spectacular results over time.
If you’re a Seniors Care leader with vision and patience who wants to be part of the solution, we’re here to help.
Q: Is there a class Academy members go to?
A: The Academy is all virtual.
- You listen to the podcast (two per month, maximum 15 minutes long … and we’re always working to make them shorter) at your leisure wherever and whenever you’d like – in the office, home, car, airport, even while exercising.
- The Open-Mic is a live video-conference with all Academy members so you can call from wherever you’d like though it’s at a specific time, currently scheduled the Tuesday after the audio email @ 2:35 p.m. ET, 1:35 p.m. CT, 12:35 p.m. MT, 11:35 a.m. PT. You can also attend by phone only.
Q: How interactive is the Academy?
A: Our unique process borrows techniques from the neuroscience of leadership to make progress easy and ongoing.
- In addition to the twice-monthly podcast you’ll join Academy members on the twice-monthly Open-Mic calls (no matter how many members we have it seems 5-15 people call in).
- The Open-Mic call is led by one of our Academy Coaches who sends out the agenda beforehand. The coach does a quick summary of the podcast points and facilitates the conversation/keeps it on track. Everybody makes a commitment by the end of the call of how they’ll take the learning forward … and we check in on that commitment at the beginning of the next Open-Mic as a structure of accountability.
- The Open-Mic calls are GREAT! The Academy is all about community and support, and that’s what you get on these calls. Lots of brainstorming, commiserating, idea sharing and laughter.
- There’s also a self-assessment for each month’s leadership principle that comes with the first podcast of the month. Before you change anything you’ll understand your style, strengths, prioritize your growth areas, and develop an improvement plan.
Q: What are examples of the topics we can expect discussed in the Academy?
A: Each month the Leadership Academy focuses on a different principle that’s vital to effective leadership in Seniors Care, to help you be the best leader you can be, with G.R.A.C.E [Grow Relationships and Choreograph Efforts].
A taste of the leadership principles we’ve focused on in the past/or see coming up…
- Assertive Leadership.
- Emotional Intelligence… the intelligence that contributes 80 to 90% of the competencies that distinguish outstanding leaders from average leaders.
- Developing strong teams that cooperate and collaborate… and are open to learning, growth and positive change.
- Radical Candor so you can give (and receive) feedback well, and without a stomach ache. Handling those situations with grace and ease, instead of tears and fear.
- Getting a Grip on Gossip.
- Leading Change.
- Delegating… because you know thinking “it’s faster/easier to do it myself” doesn’t do anybody any favors in the long-run.
- Stress Management… you feel like you’re being pulled thinner all the time and frustrated by not having enough time to complete your job. Leading edge techniques to flip that dynamic to stay calm and focused under pressure.
- Essential Coaching skills… to engage and inspire.
Q: How do you select the monthly leadership principle?
A: You do! Members help guide the selection of the monthly leadership principle we focus on … to ensure the Academy meets your needs.
Q: Do you ever repeat topics?
A: We’ve been doing this for a while, so yes we have revisited some topics as our membership changes. We guarantee that we won’t revisit a topic for 12 months (though more likely 18 months).
Q: What’s in the podcast (aka audio email)?
A: The podcast (and aka audio-email) is a 15-minute (max) “mini-lecture” (that’s what one of our Academy members called it today).
It comes with a 1-page worksheet to help you anchor your learnings, note down ideas from the audio email that will stretch you, your team and your community … and to track the best practices you’re already doing.
Guaranteed you’ll have some light bulbs moments, sparked from the audio email and the Open-Mic.
Q: What about homework and how much time will it take to do?
A: You’re right. What makes leadership hard isn’t the theoretical, it’s the practical. It’s not about knowing what to say or do. It’s about whether you’re willing to experience the discomfort, risk, and uncertainty of saying or doing it.
The worksheet from the audio email details your Homeplay (not homework since it’s meant to be something you play at/experiment with).
This isn’t additional work … it’s an assignment to use the concepts from the audio email with what’s already happening at work.
We’re giving you the tools and guidance to enhance your leadership skills in real-time.
So the only extra time for your Homeplay involves you experimenting with best practices that will help you be better at what you’re already doing. Which is why you’re joining the Academy in the first place.
Q: Does the Academy meet every month?
A: We meet 10 months of the year.
Learning requires time for ideas to sink in and put into practice. We give our members that opportunity twice a year with our summer break (August) and winter interlude (December).
It’s always a treat when we return and hear members’ successes and insights as they’ve had a chance to really put their insights from our work together over the previous few months into action, experiment, and see what happens.
Q: How do you set newcomers up for success?
A: In our experience, the best learning happens when leaders aim for behaviourally specific goals, such as being skillful at feedback conversations or remaining calm regardless of what’s happening around them.
To ensure you get the most from your Academy membership, we gift all new members a 30-minute private telephone coaching conversation to help you clarify your goals, develop a plan to achieve them, and ensure that future Academy topics resonate for you.
Our discussion may be little different than typical conversations … I’ll ask more questions and do more listening versus giving you advice. Please note this conversation will be confidential; I won’t refer to this conversation in any Academy calls or with anybody else.
Ideas for you to consider beforehand to get the most value out of this conversation…
- How would you describe an effective team leader at your organization?
- What are the top 3 things you do consistently that help you be a good leader? What are your strengths?
- What are you most struggling with at work right now?
- How would you like it to be different? What would it look like instead? If I could wave a magic wand to make this better, what would it look like then? What would be an ideal solution to this problem?
- What do you want to get out of your Academy membership? What do you want to learn? What questions do you have about the Academy?
We’ll schedule this coaching call right after I receive your completed Membership Agreement.
Q: What’s my manager’s role in my membership? How can they help me get the most out of my participation in the Academy?
A: As a new member, you’re gifted a 30-minute private telephone coaching conversation to identify a behaviourally-specific goal for your leadership that the Academy will help you with.
Except, as much as I adore you and want you to be successful, just me knowing your goal isn’t sufficient.
Change happens when we have a structure of support and accountability built into our daily work – some way for people to know we succeed so they can cheer us on, brainstorm and give us feedback when we struggle, and keep us on-track for working on what we say is important (even when things get busy).
The most obvious person to help you with this is your manager – your boss. They have an interest in your success, knowledge of your track record, and insight into what you’re about.
Two steps to keeping your manager aware of your progress and have them be a positive form of accountability for you keeping up momentum on your development.
- Discuss the 1-2 behaviorally-specific goals that you identify in the coaching call with them – have the conversation within 24 hours of the coaching call so your goals are fresh and you can revise if necessary.
- Have regular coaching/ feedback conversations regarding your goal progress and learnings from the Academy – at least monthly, and preferably twice a month.
And if for whatever reason, your manager isn’t available, pick a colleague who believes in you and knows what you’re up to.
Bonus point: We have a one-page cheat sheet you can give to your manager if you’d like. Email for a copy.
Q: Who is the Academy best suited for … new leaders or experienced ones? Only for Directors of Nursing?
A: Great question. Here’s what members tell us.
- New leaders say the Academy helps them be more confident and effective, more aware of what’s going on with staff, and more clear about their expectations of their team. With the information and guidance from the Academy they’re better able to have difficult conversations to correct behaviors and catch problems before they escalate. And there’s more trust with staff.
- Experienced leaders appreciate the reminders of the better way to behave and manage, the opportunity to reflect on their own practice, and the inspiration and support as they grow their team’s capacity.
The self-assessment for that month’s leadership principle highlights your knowledge and skill set – things you may take for granted.
We have members from all departments (dietary, activities, care, business office, facilities, compliance), and from all levels (front-line leaders, Directors, Administrators, Regional Managers, C-suite). Of course, boat-loads of studies from the last decade tell us most nurses in Seniors Care lack adequate education in management, and many are uncomfortable in their leadership roles … the Academy really helps.
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Ah yes, the all-important budget question. We’ve designed the Academy to require minimal time and money investment – to support you becoming a more well-rounded and influential Seniors Care leader.
It’s a monthly investment ($99/person/month) and we offer discounts when you register multiple members from your organization.
Q: Any chance I can pay less than $99/month?
A: As a matter of fact, there is!
We’ve been doing the Academy for a while and noticed that members who get the most out of it attend with colleagues. Makes sense. You can support each other understanding the ideas, and more importantly cheerlead, hold each other accountable, and give feedback to each other as you put the ideas into practice.
We want to make it easy for you to win – so we offer discounts when you register multiple members from your organization. ($79/person/month for 2-4 members from your organization, $69/person/month for 5+ members, and if you want to enroll more than 10 people then call for details and we’ll figure something out).
Q: what are all the components and what’s my total time commitment?
A: There’s three components:
- 5 minutes to complete the 1-page Self-Assessment on that month’s vital Leadership Principle. Before you change anything you’ll understand your style, strengths, prioritize your growth areas, and develop an improvement plan.
- 30 minutes total/month to listen to the two 15 minute audio emails on the Leadership principle. Each audio email includes a customizable 1 page worksheet to guide you through the lesson, and instructions on how to apply the concepts to your daily activities so you and your team can be EVEN MORE effective.
- You’ll be invited to join a live conference call with Seniors Care leaders from around North America twice a month on the Tuesday after your E-newsletter has arrived…to share ideas, learn from each other and to ask questions about the E-newsletter topic of the week so you can apply the learning IMMEDIATELY. The Open-Mic goes as long as there’s conversation … they can be as short as 10 minutes and we max out @ 55 minutes.
Grand Total: Maximum of 90 minutes on the weeks with the Academy recording if you participate in all the Open-Mic calls (and sometimes you just can’t make it … we understand).
So the questions only you can answer…
1. How much time will you save from more skillfully (and without hours of ruminating) having difficult conversations, or having a better handle on your stress, or more effectively delegating, or coaching more, or better engaging your staff?
2. Is your development and success worth this time investment?
Q: Why did you create the Seniors Care Leadership Academy?
A: I’ve been training/coaching leaders and teams in Seniors Care for 10+ years and noticed early on that…
- One-off training didn’t stick: people had great intentions and then life happened, so leaders would feel guilty/demoralized they weren’t doing anything with all the great things they learned. Yuck – no fun for anybody.
- It was difficult for leaders to be physically and mentally present for a whole day of training.
- Though they were interested, leaders in Seniors Care didn’t have much time to learn/study new ideas … and they had enough to do without additional homework.
- Leadership/personal development was a low budget priority.
We know from experience (and truckloads of research) – great leadership makes a big difference on a community’s performance. There’s better employee engagement, resident/family satisfaction, financial measures, quality of care and lower employee turn-over.
So we designed the Academy to address the challenges AND bring the best in research, evidence-based practice, and our experience with this sector to help members become the leaders they know they can be.
- There’s no travel (no planes/travel to classes), minimal time & money investment, and it’s all about providing a structure of support and accountability to bring out the best in yourself and your Academy colleagues.
- Every month we focus on a different leadership principle, and members help guide the selection to ensure the Academy meets their needs.