Thoughts on a Growth Mindset
Nick Marsico, Magruder Hospital President & CEO
The team at Magruder Hospital holds to three core values: Integrity, Ownership and Compassion. Our President & CEO Nick Marsico recently shared his thoughts on Integrity.
When I think of “integrity,” I think of no hidden agendas, no secret motives, and no devious plans driving a person’s behavior. These are people you can trust. They may not tell you what you want to hear, but they’ll tell you the truth. Personally, this is how I want to be described. When I was 16 years old, I started my first job at a local hardware store and heard some great advice: “Talk TO the person, not about them.” At the time, I didn’t fully understand what it meant. As I grew older, and gained experience, I started to learn…and then I learned a hard life-changing lesson.
The lesson came during a private conversation I had with two peers in which another co-worker’s (let’s call her Molly) recent lack of performance was brought up as a topic. The three of us expressed frustrations as to how bad Molly’s issues had become, and how it was impacting all of us. Then the conversation degraded into sharing personal stories about Molly, and giving theories as to what caused the performance issues. Finally, we shared some things we “heard” about Molly with no way of knowing the actual truth behind the hear-say. I left the meeting and felt even worse about Molly, and didn’t feel much better about myself.
About an hour later, Molly confronted me and asked me if I’d said certain things about her. I sheepishly admitted my guilt. She was heartbroken, as she realized she was betrayed by someone she considered a friend. Her face registered anger, sadness, and finally disappointment. Molly then asked me why I didn’t just bring my concerns to her? Why did I have to go and talk badly about her behind her back? Why didn’t I care enough about her to offer my help so she could improve her performance? At that moment, I lost a friend. I also lost all the trust in the relationship with her, and the other co-workers too.
When you decide to talk about your friends, peers, colleagues and co-workers behind their back, you are not acting with integrity. You are not being honest, open and transparent. You are not acting with what’s in the best interest of the team, or your organization…you’re only considering yourself and what you think will make you feel better. There are different levels of frustrations between people on a team. When co-workers do things that occasionally annoy you, it’s generally not worth a conversation with them about their behavior. I’m sure I annoy people too. We all do. It’s a life skill to figure out how to work well together despite those minor issues. If a conversation with the person isn’t necessary, then a conversation behind their back isn’t either.
If issues with a co-worker rise to the level of their behaviors hurting the success of the department or team, it’s probably time to take action. This means going directly to the person. Talk TO the person, not about them. This shows you care enough about the person, and the team, to help them improve. It also shows your integrity and willingness to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult. If talking to the co-worker doesn’t seem to work, and no behavioral changes are made, only then should you have a conversation with your supervisor or HR professional to share your concerns. Being open and honest with your team shows integrity. Choosing to do the right thing, even when it’s difficult, shows integrity; and by acting with integrity, you earn the respect of those around you.
It's important to self-reflect when conversations go bad, or relationships start to falter. Honest reflection on our own behavior allows us to identify areas we can improve in our lives – or areas where we can grow. We should all have a growth mindset, and all have the goal of becoming a better person tomorrow than we are today. What can you reflect on today to help you become better tomorrow?