Tag Archives: #storytelling

Ignore The Banter v2017

Seth Godin refers to it as the lizard brain.

Steven Pressfield has named it the resistance.

Some people on social media refer to it as the noise.

I refer to it as the banter.

That little voice you hear in your mind questioning your thoughts and ideas.

The banter. 

Will anyone care about my post?

Is my idea too radical? Am I being polarizing?

Will my peers still respect me?

Am I being too transparent? Am I not protecting my privacy?

Will people understand my point of view?

Did I proofread, edit, revise, and polish my post so that it is perfect?

For the past few weeks, I have allowed the banter to get the best of me.

I allowed all the naysayers, doubters, peers, and friendly colleagues’ opinions to cloud my own judgment.

I took their commentary, their questions, their opinions and their mentoring and allowed it to steer me down a pathway to silence.

A dark place.

A place of quiet.

A place in which the banter continues to scream questions trying to inflict self-doubt of my ideas, my thoughts, and my vision.

Then something happened.

I was standing in front of my mirror and it reminded me of a poem. A poem that my father gave me a long time ago. (The Man In The Glass)

I pulled it out and there was the one sentence I needed….

And you’ve passed your most dangerous difficult test
if the man in the glass is your friend…

I realized that I wasn’t currently friends with the reflection in the mirror.

I had been ignoring him. I hadn’t spoken to him in weeks. I hadn’t gone out for a walk, gotten drinks, written a note, or shared any of my thoughts with him.

I had ditched my best friend, the reflection in the mirror, for a bunch of opinions from people that haven’t known me as long.

So this is my way of reminding myself to ignore the banter.

To listen and then just as quick to forget.

To listen to the soft whisper of my heart, where my friend resides, and where my truth lies.

Ignore the banter. Listen to the whisper.

Care happens at the N of 1.

I am the one.

As always feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter as @cancergeek



Are You A Leader Or A Manager?

In many of my speaking engagements, I use the following phrase:

The words that we use build the world of healthcare. Your words, impact my world, my journey, as a patient inside of healthcare.

Yet I am bombarded by the words of manufacturing when I walk the halls of hospitals and clinics on a weekly basis.

Last week I spent time in Toronto, Ohio, and Puerto Rico at several different hospitals.

I overheard administrators and physicians using words and phrases that resemble the manufacturing lines of Ford rather than the service of healthcare.

Operational efficiency.

Asset utilization.

Fleet management.



Unplanned downtime.


Days cash on hand.

I understand the utility of the above words to measure the “business” of medicine.

In the management of healthcare, and all of the people, process, and technology it encompasses.

That is the fundamental problem with healthcare, we have created an institution of administrators and physicians that have become managers, or managed.

Seth Godin defines managers as people that work to get their employees to do what they did yesterday, but a little faster and a little cheaper. (sounds a lot like productivity, efficiency, and utilization)

Seth reminds us that leaders, on the other hand, know where they’d like to go, but understand that they can’t get there without their tribe, without giving those they lead the tools to make something happen.

Managers seek authority.

Managers want to be at the top of the organizational chart so that they know who to ask permission and whom they can get to do the same thing tomorrow while doing it faster and cheaper.

Leaders take responsibility.

Leaders care less about organizational charts, permission, and the applause of crowds.

Leaders do.

Leaders act first and apologize later.

Leaders take the time to listen, understand, set a vision, and empower those within their tribe to do and act as well.

Leaders understand the measurements of the past, of today and use that “history” to break free of those constraints to build a future that is very different from our past.

Leaders do not want to build a bigger, better, faster, cheaper widget.

Leaders want to build the “service” that we all desire and run out to tell our friends and family.

Leaders meet the needs to enable the wants.

Healthcare has more than enough managers.

Healthcare needs leaders.

Leaders that delight at the N of 1.

When you look in the mirror, ask yourself, are you a manager or a leader?

I lead at the N of 1.

As always feel free to email me at cancergeek@gmail.com or follow me on Twitter as cancergeek.