August 13th, 2013 by John Gallagher No Comments

I just got back from a morning run.  I didn’t want to do it.  But, I feel better now having done it.  I had so many GOOD reasons not to get up and get out there:


1.  I have email to check

2. My neck hurts

3. It’s only 9 more minutes of sleep

4.  I can do it later tonight

5.  The treadmills in the workout room are probably all being used

6.  I forgot to pack my ear buds

7.  My podcasts need to download the the wifi is too slow

8.  I forgot to pack my heart rate monitor

9.  The treadmill is really boring

10.  It might rain outside

11.  It’s only 9 more minutes of sleep!

12.  My arm hurts

13.  My team played last night and I need to watch Sportscenter to see if they won.

14.  My team won last night, but I need to watch Sportscenter to see HOW they won!

15.  There aren’t any safe places to run outside

And, those are all before I even get out of bed!!  What, ultimately, forced me out of bed?  The Life Plan… I want to achieve those things I wrote in my life plan and I must do things I DON’T want to do so that I can do things (LIVE LONGER!) I do want to do(watch my kids grow up, grow older productively with my life, influence others, etc.)

So, what’s your 15 excuses and what helps YOU to overcome them?


July 26th, 2013 by John Gallagher No Comments

Is it OK to be reading more than one book at a time?  I hope so because I have a few going.  I need to get through this list so I can jump into my wish list of about 10 other books!  My book reading has slowed a bit as I also try to stay up with about 15 blogs and follow several periodicals on Twitter.  THere is always something good to read.  I wanted to share with you  the books I am currently reading:

1)  runners worldI am training for my first Half Marathon in October.  Pretty excited and anxious about that, but I needed a plan.  The Runner’s World Big Book of Marathon and Half-Marathon training is a great resource.  I am reading this on my iPhone through iBooks.



mastering seven decisions2) I am reading Andy Andrews’ Mastering the Seven Decisions as a follow-up to The Traveler’s Gift.  It is a workbook of sorts that gives exercises in each chapter on how to deploy each of the seven decisions outlined in the Traveler’s Gift.



lean turnaround3) I am a big fan of Lean.  I am a Lean consultant, so I try to stay up with some of the new stuff that comes out on the topic.  The Lean Turnaround by Art Byrne has been a nice refresher on the true nuts and bolts of the challenges of implementing a Lean transformation from a Leadership perspective.  I have already taken a few tidbits and shared with clients and others.


Personal Development is important for me.  These are 3 books that help my development, all in different ways.

So, what are you reading right now?  Have you read any of the books I am currently reading?


July 23rd, 2013 by John Gallagher 3 Comments

I feel lucky that with my current job I am sometimes able to work from my home office.  However, it can be very challenging to be highly productive if you do not creat the right environment for success.


I find these 5 barriers that may lead to reduced productivity at home:

1) “Other” to-do lists – When I am home, I tend to  see all the other home projects that need to be done as well.

2) Media interrruptions – Television, social media, you name it…they are more accessible from a home office.

3) ‘Casual’ dress – Every day in the home office can be ‘Casual Friday’.  Being too comfortable (pajamas, fuzzy slippers, workout clothes, etc) cause me to feel less engaged.  I need to be somewhere between fuzzy slippers and suit & tie that I wear while visiting clients to feel in the ‘work zone’.

4) Lack of ‘office hours’ – From the home office, it is easy to just pop back in any time of day and check up on work, well into the evening.  Structure is important for me.

5) Access to good nutrition–  It’s so easy to walk to the fridge for ‘snacks’.  Without proper meals, I get tired, or even grouchy(ask my wife!).

These are just 5 of MANY barriers that must be overcome.  In another post, I will talk about solution approaches I have used to overcome these barriers.

Do you work from home?  If so, what are the distractions that can keep you from being productive?


June 12th, 2013 by John Gallagher No Comments

I have butterfly effectbeen wanting to read this book by Andy Andrews for a while.

The Butterfly Effect has a quote on the back that tells it all.  “Every single thing you do matters.  You have been created as one of a kind.  You have been created in order to make a difference.  You have within your power to change the world.”

Is it possible that a butterfly could flap its wings and be capable of starting a hurricane on the other side of the planet?  It does sound preposterous, but it was proven by physicists… But, that is NOT what the book is about.

There are 3 reasons I really liked this book:

1) It was a quick read.  I was able to flip through the book in about 15 minutes on an airplane.

2) I love the history references – The author tells the story of how one human being may have…well… I won’t give it away… But, it was a cool historic reference.

3) I appreciated and was challenged by the notion that I could have the power to change the world – I do believe that i was created for a purpose.  I need to stay aware that my actions at all times can impact individuals for a long time.  I do want to make a difference and realize that sometimes my words and behaviors have an impact when I don’t even know it.  Hopefully, more positive than negative, but definitely lasting.

I would recommend this book.  It does challenge how I think about my power to change the world, and I believe it would for you as well.

So, tell me… Do you feel you have the power to change the world with a single movement or word?  Why or why not?

BOOK REVIEW – UNACCOUNTABLE – What Hospitals Won’t Tell you…

April 29th, 2013 by Gallagher John 5 Comments

I just recently completed Unaccountable by Marty Makary. M.D..  The book was a gift and I was fascinated by this read.  The subtitle says it all:  “What Hospitals Won’t Tell You and How Transparency Can Revolutionize Health Care”.


I have now worked in Health Care as a Lean consultant for about 3 years.  As I read through the book, I could certainly attach to some of the stories through my experiences as a consultant, as well as being a consumer of health care.  Fact is… the book could even be described as a bit disturbing.  Did you know:

  • Medical Mistakes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States?
  • The number of patients killed by PREVENTABLE medical errors every year is equivalent to four jumbo jets crashing ever week?
  • In a typical doctor visit, the patient is interrupted after an average of just 8 seconds?
  • As many as 25 percent of all hospitalized patients will experience a preventable medical error of some kind?
  • There are fifteen hundred hospitals that administer a safety survey to their staff asking the question:”Would you have your operation at the hospital in which you work?” – Why isn’t this data available to you as a consumer?

These are just a few of the statistics exposed in the book.  I can imagine that the doctor and provider community may have been upset with Dr. Makary’s accounts described in the book.  I appreciate the sharing.

Reading books like this and experiencing poor health care are a few of the reasons that I chose to do what I currently do.  If the work I do in coaching and consulting with Health Care executives saves just one life in the long run, the challenges associated with the work are worth it.

What do you feel when you read some of the statistics above?  Comment and I may select you to receive a copy of the book.


April 28th, 2013 by Gallagher John 2 Comments

It really is pretty simple.  The best way to get what you want is…

giveYou see, as leaders, friends, parents, spouses… It really isn’t about YOU.  It is about others.  So, if you want to get what you want, just fill in the blank to this statement:

“If I want to get what I want, I must GIVE _______________________.”

I don’t think I need to go farther. What  I need to do is invest some time to reflect on what I must give.  Have a good week.  Be a giver.

So, what do YOU need to GIVE this week?  Let me know by commenting below.  I would love to hear.


April 21st, 2013 by Gallagher John No Comments

Recently, I ranted about ‘meetings that suck’ and 5 reasons why.  A few of you asked me if I had recently observed these…Yes, I had. Often, I share my experiences as much for what NOT do do, so that you may change your behaviors to improve your leadership.  While we all may have meetings that are energy vampires (they suck the energy right out of us!) there are ways to re-energize your meetings.  Here are 5 ways:

ninefifty1) End your meetings on the :50 or the :20 –  This will give you set-up time to get to the next meeting if you have consecutive meetings.  And, really, a restroom break between meetings might be helpful, too!

2) “No agenda, no meeting” – Let’s make sure we have a purpose for the meeting.  A good basic template for a meeting agenda:

  • Review status of previous action items assigned
  • Review status of goals
  • Discuss barriers to any gaps
  • Brainstorm countermeasures
  • Assign (what, who, by when)
  • Reflection – What went well? What could go better?

3) Stand up meetings – Sometimes this is necessary to keep the flow going.

4) No technology rule – Do you have folks checking their email on their smart-phones during meetings?  Have you ever had to repeat something to someone after this?  Set the ground rules for your meetings up front

5) No-meeting zone – With all of the meetings, when do we have time to do the work?  Maybe you should consider having a 2-hour no meeting zone with your team, say from 9:00-11:00 daily.  Utilize this time to lead.  Go to the work place and learn what is happening.

These are just a few ways.  I could talk at length about de-selecting some of the meetings you have, but that is another blog post SERIES.

Could your team benefit from any of these suggestions? What other methods have you used to improve your meetings?  Let me know by leaving a comment.