Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Wilmington on the Move!

Administrator John Frye sent new pictures yesterday of progress at Wilmington. Footings, concrete block, sewer lines! Better weather has allowed McKinley Construction to really take off. Stay tuned for progress and updates!

Sunday, March 21, 2010

We'rrrrre Building in Wilmington!

We're building!!! Lutheran Home - Wilmington Administrator John Frye sent these photos on 3-18-10. Drainage and sewer are being installed. Footings are being poured! We are off and running. McKinley Construction, Architect David Polston, and LSA working well. Building will take off now!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

3-18-10, I drove to Lutheran Home - Hickory to be there at 10:00 PM. That gave me time to visit around before 11:00 PM shift change. The place looks great and residents and staff are welcoming as always.
The new Bistro is almost complete. It is breathtaking! There is probably nothing like it in a nursing facility in NC! The Bistro will be a comfortable place for residents, families, and staff. Great work, Lutheran Home - Hickory!
Then I worked third shift as a nursing assistant. I worked 4 hours in skilled nursing with CNA Glenda Johnson, then 4 hours on the Alzheimer's unit with Elisa Bolick. Glenda and Elisa are among the very best I have ever seen: busy all night, by the book, gentle, and loving, and tolerant of me!
Every time I do this, I am humbled by the love and hard work that staff throughout LSA exhibit every day and every night--all night. And I am humbled to serve every one of our 1200 employees!
After my shift was over, I had intended to drive straight to Salisbury to my bed. But I had been booked in to help with the kickoff of our statewide capital campaign at Lutheran Home - Hickory at 1:30 and 3:30 PM. So I walked down on assisted living and they sent me to an empty room for a few hours of sleep. Except for being awaken by a very surprised housekeeper, I got a couple hours sleep.
The two meetings was among the best I've ever seen. LHH has these regular Town Hall meetings. They start with prayer by a staff, then two-way sharing of info. We explained the statewide $5 million capital campaign, but made it a very soft sell as the economy is tough and many can't afford to give. But get this, 114 staff made pledge. Some were for one dollar a pay period, some more. Only 14 staffers did not feel they could participate. It makes my hair stand up to write about it. Again, I am humbled by the commitment of LSA staff to our mission.
Lutheran Home - Hickory continues to lead LSA, and long term care in our state and our nation!
When I dragged in to Salisbury Friday night around 6 pm, I was tired, but smiling!
Worked as nursing assistant at LutheranHomeHickory Thurs.PM.Great night.CNAs work hardand with great love and care. As always, I am in awe!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Friendship and Rotary

I was asked to do a short talk at Rotary today on the third part of the Rotary 4 Way Test: will it build goodwill and better friendships. You might find a tidbit. The 4 Way Test was not invented for Rotary and it fits all of us.

Quotes on friendship:

"One loyal friend is worth ten thousand relatives."- Euripides, Greek playwrite

Think about your best friend, current or past? What made him or her so special?

"A true friend stabs you in the front."- Oscar Wilde

From Rotary website: In 1932, Herbert J. Taylor wrote down four questions on a small white piece of paper to serve as an "ethical yardstick" for his employees. His simple creation has come to be known as The Four-Way Test. Revered by Rotarians, it has been translated into more than 100 languages and recited weekly at club meetings around the globe

The 4 way test is the filter thru which everything we say and do is filtered.

My topic is: does it build goodwill and better friendships. Why does it matter is we build goodwill and better friendships?

Sam Hemphill, distant relative. Gave copy to children. He went to Wharton, and I didn’t even know what that meant. He wrote pamphlet entitled The Worth of a Man. What has a man been worth to his friends? Has he refrained from indulging in the easy habit of discussing with others the misfortunes and frailties of his friends? Or has he refrained from such practices by always being supportive during the misfortunes of his friends and rejoicing in their accomplishments and happiness? Have his friends been able to trust him and consider him an honest man? Has he been aware of the needs of these friends when a card or a word of encouragement means so much? Have they been the type of friends who know the man and still consider him their friend?

I get the opportunity to volunteer with a first grader at school through Communities In School. The teacher says point to who you are responsible for. Kids point to themselves. True in 1st grade, but in society, it does take a village. We have to look out for each other.

When George’s tenant left the window open and it was raining like mad, I felt compelled to stick my nose in and get word to George. I’d want him to do the same for me.
That reflects our Christian heritage. I’m not a preacher, but I did stay at a Holiday Inn Express. Sounds a great deal like the Good Samaritan. We are our brother’s keeper.

Does everything have to be one up and one down, one winner and one loser? Is there an opportunity to have a win-win? Collaboration, good will and friendships, can create a win-win. Or at least it gives us something to strive for.

I am a pragmatist. The real world doesn’t always work that way but it gives us a better path to travel. Does it build good will and better friendships?

Letter in Rotary magazine:
I read with interest your article about The Four-Way Test, but here is why it is wrong and should not be promoted by Rotary: 1) Is it the TRUTH? The truth is variable. It used to be the “truth” that the world was flat. And if you didn’t accept that truth, you were burned at the stake. Then for many years it was taught that the world was round. Now they say it’s elliptical because of the pull of gravity. Which is true? 2) Is it FAIR to all concerned? This seldom works. Is it fair to the villagers in Afghanistan when we have to bomb out a house where terrorists are hiding? The fact is that in life, you can’t always be fair to all concerned, and you have to try to make a good decision about what is best for the majority of people. Or, perhaps, your group. 3) Will it build GOODWILL and BETTER FRIENDSHIPS? Lawyers know that this is not the way the world works. When there is a dispute, to settle it in an amicable way, one has to reduce the level of unfairness that each party feels, and get the parties to agree to something they don’t like and don’t feel is fair but will accept to avoid further stress and conflict. Arbitrators often say that a good settlement is one where both sides feel cheated. It doesn’t build goodwill, and it certainly doesn’t lead to better friendships, but it does decrease stress and conflict in society. The backslapping, salesman type who is always trying to be liked and create goodwill is a thing of the past, if that sort ever existed. 4) Will it be BENEFICIAL to all concerned? This is certainly not the way the world works. Almost invariably, what is good for one person is negative for another. There may be some “win-win” situations in life, but it’s important for mature people to realize that not every action can be beneficial or even fair to all parties concerned, and that for life to move forward smoothly, some people have to sacrifice. Merv Hecht Santa Monica, Calif., USA

More friend quotes:

"Whenever a friend succeeds, a little something in me dies."- Gore Vidal

"There is nothing in the world I wouldn't do for (Bob) Hope, and there is nothing he wouldn't do for me ... We spend our lives doing nothing for each other."- Bing Crosby

In Sunday School this week we talked about Joy mentors vs joy killers. There are people in the world who bring joy, share joy, make us laugh or smile. They instinctively work to build good will and better friendships. And many of those joy mentors aren’t Rotarians. But the principle didn’t start with Rotary and it certainly works outside Rotary as well as within. Conversely, joy killers are those people who are never happy and perennially negative: the black holes of our little universe.

Many of you saw or met our dog Friday night at Pottery 101. In her advancing age, she has learned to ride our elevator and to bark her way down to the 1st floor. You can teach an old dog new tricks.

Are we joy mentors or joy killers. While it’s hard to change, killers can become mentors. Us old dogs can learn new tricks.

I am interested in how we can continue to build goodwill and better friendships: get to know that new Rotarian, stop and speak, rotate seats a bit, refer business to each other, visit a sick Rotarian? How about in our home lives, in our business lives?

Most of you remember Albert Monroe, a former Rotarian who died a few years back. Sent a note to Hickory welcoming me as their new neighbor before we even moved to town. It was addressed to Ted, Cheryl, Meggie, and the daughter in college. Albert’s note created goodwill and friendship ripples ever since. I tell that story often, and have failed but tried to be a better neighbor and friend in memory of Albert. In my few years knowing Albert, he exemplified the 3rd of the 4 way test, to build goodwill and better friendships. I welcomed my new neighbors the day they moved in. Albert is rubbing off!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

CrescentView 3-12: luncheon for potential residents-large #/excited,kick off staff capital campaign-great support,enthusiasm!!Long,good day!

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Just received letter from family at Elms. Grateful for care provided to mother. Thanked all staff for wonderful care. Elms staff rocks!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

A Social Media Journey

I had the opportunity to participate in a session on social media at our American Association of Homes and Services for the Aging's Future of Aging Services conference in Washington, DC last week. I presented with AAHSA's Craig Collins-Young, Eric Schubert of Ecumen, and Larry Zook from Landis Homes. My part was primarily about Facebook. You might find it interesting, at least to know how we're thinking:

I am intrigued by technology, and now by social networking. In 1996, we had three shared computers in the NF where I served as administrator. They were used for accounting and care planning. I had decided I needed a computer so I could get with the program. At the same time, my uncle decided he was old enough to not need one, and he made it to retirement. I was 20 years younger, and didn’t think I could make it to retirement, and that was before the quantum changes we’ve seen in technology. I asked my boss for a computer and he told me NHAs didn’t need a computer. I went out and personally bought a $4,500 top of the line laptop. In just a few months I was using it to draft the verbage for a certificate of need application. It turned out I had a better computer than any in our organization. I never regretted the purchase. And they bought me my next computer.

Think where we’ve come in the last 14 years: cinder block heavy laptop, slow as smoke dial up, frozen software, delicate hardware, no battery life, etc. Remember the executive that said there was no place in business for a personal computer?

Many don’t see the need and don’t participate in social networking like Facebook. It’s not a necessity of life, and it’s not for everyone. But many people need community and communication.

We stay in close contact with our spouse, children, best friends. That’s usually by telephone, email, and now text. There’s a second tier of family and friends that seem well suited for Facebook: the tier one people plus neighbors, friends from work, school friends, etc.

I am not a Facebook expert, just someone who is involved in it and agreed to share my story. I consider myself a novice and not even a huge Facebook fan.

I signed up for Facebook about a year ago for one reason, my granddaughter. Our daughter was in Monterrey with our only grandchild and stopped emailing pictures. When asked, she told me all photos were on Facebook and she wasn’t sending multiple emails and posting in multiple places. Since they have been in Monterrey and now San Antonio, my need for community and communication pushed me into Facebook.

If they weren’t on Facebook, I don’t know that I’d be there today. But have did get interested in how many people I connected with. Not life-sustaining, but interesting and enjoyable.

I’m also a minimalist when it comes to Power Point, so I have three slides of 3 Facebook pages.

At LSA, we talk about development in terms of raising friends and funds. Facebook is a great way to raise friends. We just recently set up a Facebook page for LSA, which now has 145 members. Not huge, but people interested enough to follow us. We are raising friends.

Our marketing person, Mary Ann Johnson, has been tireless in pursuing a social networking strategy for LSA. For her birthday, she asked our Facebook friends to donate money to LSA in honor of Mary Ann’s birthday. She raised over $400 due to one little Facebook post. That’s about a one-minute post to produce $400. When I considered that return, I began to see Facebook in a whole new light.

Our LSA page is generating some interest and helping us make new friends. One gentleman from the Midwest has taken a liking to our ministry, and now just randomly and occasionally sends us $25 or $50. Again, Facebook is bringing us friends and funds.

Somewhere in the process I saw another very important role for Facebook. I have become friends with a fairly large number of staff from across our org. It has been fun and important to learn about and share family moments. Much of my life I have heard managers talk about personal problems being left at the front door, and don’t bring your personal problems affect your work. That sounds good and is impossible. When we work with a person, we get the whole person.

AAHSA doing good job of making friends and communicating.

That brings me to my last point, policies and procedures. LSA has not added any additional policies. Our policies allow staff to use LSA computers for personal use, as long as it doesn’t affect their work and our speed. We haven’t worried about porn or the like since our policies reference actions unbecoming an LSA employee.

Some orgs. deny all outside computer access so it’s not an issue. But I was talking to a person in mid Feb. whose husband works at a company that blocks all social networking sites. But he was Facebooking from his Blackberry from his desk.

Harvard Business Review article of 2-3-10 encourages orgs to allow social networking. They say it creates a better work environment for employees which will yield better productivity than trying in vain to stop social networking.

Some orgs. worry that staff will speak ill of them or the org. I’ve decided I’ll just have to get over it. You can’t stop it. Our policies on confidentiality and on employee standards would apply. But you can’t stop people from talking and you may not even know who it is if someone wants to be anonymous.

Allison Fine wrote Momentum – Igniting Social Change in the Connected Age. She writes that communication is no longer a one way street. The internet allows people to talk back and say whatever they want, and that’s whether we like it or not.

I am reminded of the advice: if one person calls you a horse’s rear, ignore that one person. If two people call you that, you might need to buy a saddle. My hope is that I’m not the horse’s rear, and that the lone voice of discontent will be drowned out by the overwhelming majority who are on board supporting the org.

Facebook addresses our need for community and communication. It’s amazing that it’s only been around since 2004. More amazing, it may not be around next year. The next big thing might be Google Buzz or something that doesn’t exist yet.

We’ve decided to join the journey. We don’t know where we’re going, but we are having fun and doing some good along the way.