How can I help?


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Last month I started watching New Amsterdam on Amazon Prime. For those unfamiliar it’s about a guy taking over a hospital in the USA and anything like this will always get me interested because I’m keen to see how new leaders make a difference. Yes I know this is fiction but I absolutely love the approach – and it’s incredibly simple.

Dr Max Goodwin is the man in charge and for any leader just getting started in a new role, here are three things I think we can take away from the show:

How can I help?
His opening line in the mass meeting is how can I help. He clearly articulates that he wants to remove barriers that are in the way of success and he wants to hear what they are. While this takes a while to gain traction, the desire to listen, make changes, be on the side of employees who feel they are just a number will always demonstrate a level of empathy that can so often be lacking when it’s head down and numbers focussed.

Don’t be afraid to be accountable
Yes, there is some level of avoidance of his boss but the essence here is that there needs to be big changes and these changes are uncomfortable. I often say that we need to get uncomfortable before we get comfortable and this is so true here. There is a need to be the catalyst for change in this environment and he is doing that through consistent behaviour and language. He isn’t afraid to make the tough decisions and make changes.

Go all in
There is no doubt that his career has meant sacrificing elements of his personal life. But his passion and dedication to the core purpose is evident from the start. Bringing every decision back to that purpose is what makes for strong leadership and strong culture. There should always be balance but bringing genuine care into an organisation will only serve you well. Care about people, care about the commercials and care about doing what’s right.

I’m only about four episodes in but it’s already making me think about the leaders I work with and how some of the tactics he uses could be applied to the everyday.

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