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Archive for April, 2011

Starting with, Why?

Monday, April 18th, 2011

One of my facebook friends posted a TED video on Simon Sinek, which I watched recently.  His theory about great leadership and companies points to the question of: Why?  Why do you do what you do?

I think it is a great question.  A lot of companies and people fixate on the how and the what, rather than why.  Some companies actually lose sight of the why when they’re getting too big.  A lot of companies are now collapsing because they forgot the why of why they’re in business (and no, it’s not about turning a profit…that merely is an outcome of the why).

Been thinking a lot about my own why lately – and the best I could articulate in the past was – it just felt right.  It was the “right” thing to do as the motivation around a lot of my work.  Pink calls this intrinsic motivation.

If you’re a little lost right now–in your career, your job, or your life in general: ask yourself why do you do what you do?  If you can’t find a good answer, then maybe that is a sign to figure out your true why, and then get on with your reason for being here.  Start with the why, then work out to the how and what.


Sunday, April 17th, 2011

While I’m pretty sure one of the last words used to describe me (other than maybe by my immediate family) would be “lazy”, I instead like to think of it in a different way: as maximizing.

Yes, I’m a maximizer.  Only behind “futuristic” as my greatest characteristic according to the Gallup Strengthsfinder Tests, maximizing is something I apparently do and do pretty well.  Case in point – I think I found a way to recycle one of my papers for another program in the future.  We’ll see.  But here are a few tips if you’re trying to maximize your own work into getting a little bit more out of it…

1.  Look for things/programs/contests that match your skill set. For example, if you’re a communicator, you should think about being part of the TED tryouts in NYC, as an example.  You’ve already got the ‘mad skillz’ you just need to bring them to the right party, right?

2. Share what you’re working on. I usually tweet and facebook the stuff I’m working on–and out of the blue, snap! Peeps come out and bring me fresh ideas I’ve never even thought of around what I’m working on.  Booyah! My network is adding some love to my new project! Dig!

3.  Share your final product with relevant peeps. I just wrote a paper for a law class, but I’ve got some tech friends that could do with reading it, because I’m talking about the future of law around a particular technology.  Yeah, I’m sending them a copy of it – and I can’t wait for their feedback on how to make it better and more relevant for them!

4. ‘Xplain it to someone outside your profession. For example, if I’m writing a law paper, I want someone outside of law to read it.  Likewise, if I’m researching an area that I don’t know much about, I’m going straight to the person in my network who knows the most about it.  They may or may not always respond (you know who you are if you do or don’t), but it’s always worth a shot to reach out and learn about what it is that you’re trying to do in order to change it and/or make it better!

That’s enough….I think you get my point.  Employ these 4 tips into your next big project and set a goal to maximize it – reach a little higher, a little wider, a little more.  You may just surprise yourself!

Ixnay on the Constitution-ay

Saturday, April 16th, 2011

Ugh, the joy of law school finals cramming continues.  As I try to outline the hot mess of my Trusts and Estates notes, it inspired this post. So, this post is brought to you by my very unorganized notes from the land of Trusts & Estates.

Just re-reviewed the case of Hall v. Vallandingham.  If you haven’t yet had the joy of T&E yourself, it was a case about a husband/wife with 4 kids.  The husband died.  The wife remarried, and the new husband adopted the 4 kids (a good guy).  But, when biological dad’s brother died, the kids wanted to take from biological uncle’s estate.  I’ll let you Google it to see how it turned out.  There was a friendly reminder in the case, however, from the courts–that the ability to inherit is NOT a Constitutional right in the United States.

Here are some other things that aren’t technically in the Constitution as “rights”

-The right to healthcare
-The right to have an awesome job – or ANY job for that matter
-The right to work if you are able
-The right to demand the corner office when you get that awesome job, or ANY job for that matter
-The right to a college education, or technical training after high school
-The right to drive an awesome car, or live in an awesome neighborhood – or ANY car or hood for that matter

These aren’t rights. They’re not in our Constitution.  Now, they might be in other countries’ constitutions, but they aren’t here in the US.

The Legislatures giveth, and taketh away.  Keep that in mind next time you vote….and next time you catch yourself feeling entitled….

Gen Z: More like X?

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

I’ve been doing my homework about this recent study that came out on the millennials (or Gen Y) and their philanthropy for a guest appearance on Inside Indiana Business this weekend.  But the more I’m reading it, the more I’m starting to wonder about Generation Z, or the students I have in class right now at Butler.

I gave a talk to a group of them on entrepreneurship (the average age in the room is probably right around age 20) and I was floored by how many of them this year said they wanted to start a business.  Keep in mind these are pharmacy majors too – not business majors.  I dug it.

The press loves to talk about the boomers and the millennials, but they rarely talk about X.  Probably because there are so few of us.  But the more I interact and see Gen Z on the college campus, the more I think they’re a lot like Gen X.  They don’t expect a trophy, nor do they expect a trophy for everyone.  They’re a little more serious.  Focused.  Hard core, in a lot of ways, which not only I respect, but I can relate to.

I think they, like X, realize that there is no longer a party going on, where they are the shiny disco ball in the center of the room.  That’s good.  We need more of that.  Otherwise, we’re still heading down entitlement hall, and that we definitely don’t want as a national landmark.

What Norm from Cheers, Starbucks, and Apple Could Teach Us About Healthcare

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I SO wanted to open my law review note by stating the following, “Healthcare in the United States is a hot mess.”  But I didn’t.  But I feel better saying that here, at least…  Lately, I’ve been thinking a lot about healthcare.  This semester I’m taking a class on healthcare reimbursement and last night we studied PPACA and the other one that starts with an H that I can never remember….oh yea, HCERA.  As I sat and absorbed the “reform” of PPACA, all I could think about first was–the Secretary is going to be one busy lady for the next five years.  Then, I went back to something that has been bugging me for awhile.  If we’re supposed to be heading toward collaborative practice agreements, medical homes, and accountable care organizations, how the Hades do we avoid Stark?

If you’re already in your happy place, but haven’t clicked away from this site just yet, awesome.  Let’s take the conversation from the sterile vegetable soup of medical terminology and instead move to…beer.  Norm from Cheers kind of used Cheers as his therapy couch, don’t you think?  He was always providing wit and insight, but at the end of the day, he was really there to vent.  That’s ok, we loved him and loved the show (I’m going to write soon about how Thursday nights used to be the best in TV EVER too – but that’s for another post.)

Anyhow…I next am thinking of: Apple.  The store, not the fruit.  The other day I ranted that I had to step in to buy a (third) power cord for my (vintage) mac, along with a battery for my non-vintage mac.  Anyway, did I mention the store was JAM packed?!?  It wasn’t on a weekend, either.  It was barely standing room only!

And finally – Starbucks- the third space!  I like to meet peeps at Starbucks when I want to get away from my desk.  I don’t even usually buy their coffee, but I like to hang in their spaces.  Why?  It isn’t work, and it isn’t home. It’s that miraculous 3rd space!

Now, this post really does have a point, which is this: what if we could get our healthcare like we get our beers at Cheers, our iPads at Apple, and in a cool third space, like at Starbucks?  What if there was a bar, in a mall, that was a cool third space, where people could hang out, get healthy drinks (instead of alcohol, or caffeine, or inhale second hand smoke), and maybe even have a genius bar, where you could actually schedule an appointment to TALK to a human healthcare professional about whatever is bugging you? And, that healthcare professional wasn’t around a phone ringing off the hook, and dealing with 5-10 other customers WHILE you were talking to her?

Oh yea, HIPAA, privacy, ICD-9 proper billing, blah blah blah ad nauseum is in the way.

All I can tell you is, that when I go to my doctor (or for that matter a hospital), the absolute LAST things I have on my mind are cool places like Cheers, and the Apple Store, and Starbucks.  The doctor just doesn’t conjure up any of that in my mind. Thus, I personally believe we’re going to need some change….some RADICAL change about how we deliver healthcare in this country moving forward.

I’ll leave you with this: what if you could go to a bar, a SUPER cool off the hook space, where you could hang out, and get clear on your health?  Rap with doctors, pharmacists, dietitians, trainers, and healthcare professionals who could actually get you pumped about you becoming the healthiest you that you ever could be?  Now that’s a medical experience I could totally dig.  For that, I’d buy the extended warranty–and in turn priority appointments at the genius bar…!

Crunch Time

Tuesday, April 12th, 2011

I’ve been a little slow on my blog posts lately, simply because it is the end of the semester…and if you’ve been around the educational system at any point in time, you know what that means: crunch time.

This week is the last week of classes at law school.  I’m egregiously behind on studying for finals, which start for me next week.  For 3 fun-filled weeks, we all at the law school get the chance to cram an entire semester’s worth of content into our (or at least in my case – shrinking) brains and regurgitate it on a test. One.  Test.  Law school gives you basically one shot at greatness, or disaster, all rolled into one exam at the end.*

Coupled with that, I’ve got a stack of papers to grade of one of the courses I teach (don’t worry, I’m on it like Donkey Kong tomorrow) and still teaching class for a few more weeks at BU.  But, today I wrapped up one of my classes – the year long seminar series in community practice pharmacy for the P4 (final year) pharmacy students.

I tried a little experiment this last seminar – instead of me blathering on about what students should and should not consider after school, I instead brought in a panel of their colleagues – Butler pharmacy grads – who had gone before them a few years before.  It.  Was. Awesome!  The grads told the students pretty much everything they wished they had known when they graduated.

I have to believe that the recent grads telling the students about what to avoid and what to rock has to carry a lot more street cred than old geezers like me telling students what to think about.  I think it did the trick–at least I hope it did.

The end of the academic year is always a bit of an emotional roller coaster – I feel everything from happiness and joy for the graduating students who busted their humps for 3-6 years to get there, to sorrow for seeing some of them leave, to outright fear and panic right now with my own final exams at law. But that I guess is just another slice of life – a big mix of drama, in various forms and styles.

Hopefully, dear readers, you will forgive me if I become a slacker on my posts over the next few weeks.  I’m merely taking care of business, and resetting for another year of fun and excitement, which begins about 2 weeks after finals.

No rest for the wicked…

(*OK, not EVERY law school class ends in an exam.  Some offer the chance to write a paper, which I’d happily take over a multiple-choice-guess-til-it-hurts exam…any day!  I can write, but choosing between B and D gets really tough for me.  I get to write one final paper for a class instead of an exam.  Woo. Hoo.)

Best Note

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

So, the city of Indianapolis granted me a day pass to get downtown on a rare fluke and I attended the Indiana Health Law Review annual banquet this afternoon–to celebrate the fact that we survived law review. We had food, we had beers, but of course, when you get law students together, the best part is usually the conversation.  Today was no exception.

I was chatting with another evening student about what we wrote on our essays to get into law school, which seemed oh-so-long-ago (she’s graduating this May, I graduate May 2012).  She talked about saving the world, and international human rights.  But now that she’s a mom, she’s not sure she will graduate and immediately do said things.  I told her never say never.

What did I write about?  Well, having a first career already established, I wrote about how I wouldn’t abandon my first career and move straight into law–that wasn’t the reason why I wanted to go to law school.  Instead, I wanted to move my first profession forward, in positive ways, because I could advocate for pharmacy by knowing what policy makers think about as lawyers (since most policy makers are also lawyers) and try to help my first profession succeed in the future, since it in fact is one of the most heavily regulated industries of all.

Today, I received some validation on my rationale for attending law school.  Not only did my law review note on “The Case For Pharmacists As Legal Healthcare Providers” get selected for publication next volume, but it won. Best. Note. Overall. Yay!!!!!!!!  Here’s the story.

The happily ever after part here: try to keep those dreams of yours alive.  Through some hard work, tenacity and a little luck, they might just come true….

Also, I must thank the Indiana Health Law Review, and the sponsor of the award – the Indiana State Bar Association.  Thanks to both organizations.  You’ve made me a better writer.

(But I still dislike the Bluebook.)

Jolly Good

Friday, April 8th, 2011

Thanks to BBC World News for covering the new book and caring about the Single Women Entrepreneurs!  Listen around 11:00 for the interview.

And a special shout out of thanks to the local public television/radio station, WFYI, who was kind enough to help me plug in to Justin at the BBC across the pond for the interview in the first place!

Find Your Unicorn

Wednesday, April 6th, 2011

One of my friends this morning emailed me to ask me if I could be any animal, which one would I be and why?

Coming from this particular friend, I thought this was a bit odd, but I played along and came up with: unicorn.  As to why, well, they’re invisible to nonbelievers, they sparkle for those who CAN see them, they are relatively rare, and have magical powers.  Sounds pretty good to me….sign me up!

She replied that she, too, was a unicorn after taking some online test.  Apparently only 2% of the population qualify to be the ficticious unicorn, at least according to this particular “quiz.” (Which I’m sure is highly scientifically validated…er…not.)

Anyway, I replied back that because we are both unicorns, we are friends!

What’s your point, Albert?  Honestly, I’m not sure.  Other than the lesson here might be to find your own peeps who are like you, or who you WANT to be like.  I dig this particular friend because she’s very hard working and gets things done, come hell or high water.  So, the take home message is: find your unicorns.  Or zebras.  Or otters…or whatever animal you want to be–either fictitiously, or in reality!  They’ll help you get to a better place in life.  Magically, scientifically validated, or otherwise.

And now, a Word from Our Sponsor on: Failure

Tuesday, April 5th, 2011

For those of you out there who know I’m a Bulldog: we had a rough night last night.

Winning is fun, we all understand.  But I can also bring to you a commonality that the Butler men’s basketball team share with the 30 women in my latest book.  In fact, it was one of the most frequent things the women discussed, in one form or shape.

It is failure.

We all fail at some point in our lives.  Heck, I fail on a moment by moment basis!  Failure itself doesn’t form our character.  It is instead what we DO with that failure, in order to pick ourselves up, dust off, and LEARN from the failure that makes it count.  Failure is also a much better teacher than mere success.  If we are constantly winning, it loses its luster.  It is our setbacks and how we deal with them that make us strong. I talked about failure ironically yesterday in the BBC World News interview, and on this exact topic.

So here’s what to do when we fail:

1. Understand what happened and locate the reasons why it happened, if you can.
2. Once you understand why, assimilate the information, move on, and go find something ELSE to fail at.
3. If you keep on winning, great.  But what are you LEARNING from it?  Failure is a better teacher than success.

This little chat doesn’t make the game any less painful.  However, my Butler Bulldogs should be very proud of where they ended up.  They were pretty much trashed the entire season by the haters–they were rarely, if ever, picked to win anything.  (BTW–Commentators–FAIL!)  I LOVED watching them prove everyone wrong, and even though they technically failed at winning the last game, they succeeded along the way so much more often.

Failure, my friends, is inevitable.  Those who really succeed in the long run learn how to fail, fail fast, learn from that failure and move on.  They become failure experts.

So, next time you fail – be proud!  Learn from it!  Carry those messages forward!  And the sun will shine another day, and life will go on.  As I’ve said before, the train to Awesometown goes through Suckville.  We can’t just teleport to Awesometown!