Shift Stories – CJ Marbley

ShiftStories_croppedDid you enjoy the SHIFT Stories video where I interviewed Susan Bindon?

Well I have great news!

This month in the series, I interview CJ Marbley. CJ is the Administrative Director of Perioperative and Invasive Services at Greater Baltimore Medical Center in Baltimore, MD. CJ shares insightful ideas about what it takes to be a successful nursing leader.

Just click HERE to watch the latest video.


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An Open Letter to All Chief Paradise Officers (CPOs)

Dear Chief Paradise Officer,

Thank you!

I know it can be challenging to come to work every day to connect with what gets you satisfied, energized & productive. Unfortunately, it’s all too easy to get sucked into the negativity of the Chain Gang members and other negative folks in our lives.

CPOs – Here are 7 things I appreciate about you.

  1. You set an intention for creating your own Professional Paradise each day. (For an easy way to do this, check out the 28-Day Professional Paradise e-Diary).
  2. You recognize the WOWs (internal events that make you feel satisfied, energized & productive) in your workplace and talk about how grateful you are for them.
  3. You work to shrink the POWs (internal or external events that feel like a heavy blow) that you create yourself (think worrying, fretting, procrastination, etc.).
  4. You SHIFT the really tough POWs to WOWs – or at least you try your best. (To download the SHIFT steps, visit
  5. You empathize with those around you who are feeling negative but you don’t let them change your Paradise mindset.
  6. You take great care of yourself outside of work so you have more energy at work (You get a good night’s sleep, exercise, eat well, have fun!).
  7. You give yourself permission to feel bad and then you quickly bounce back (cause we all have a little bit of the Chain Gang in us – haha).

In addition to me, your coworkers, boss, neighbors, friends, family & customers all appreciate the effort you put into creating Professional Paradise. We all like being around you. We feel a positive connection to you and we trust you. Coming in contact with you makes us feel happy and positive.

Thank you Chief Paradise Officers!

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What Advice Did Your Mom Give You?

Many of you that have heard me speak know that I often talk about my mother as the “first Chief Paradise Officer” I ever knew. I share ideas that she taught me in my youth that still impact me today. Well in today’s post, you have the opportunity to hear what Susan Bindon, my special guest on SHIFT Stories, has to share from her mom.

SHIFT Stories is a video series where real nurses share real-world stories of what it takes to stay satisfied, energized & productive in these topsy turvy times. And you DON’T have to be a nurse to benefit from the interview.

It’s short, it’s full of great ideas. In fact I think about one of them frequently. Listen for the part where Susan says, “it’s from the neck up”. That was a great insight for me.

Just click on the video to enjoy my interview with Susan Bindon.


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Oklahomans say business jargon cuts into communication

To the chagrin of Tim Berney, chief executive of Oklahoma City-based VI Marketing and Branding, “leverage” is a word the employees of his Kansas City office tend to overuse.

Berney several months ago started a game that when someone utters “leverage” in meetings, everyone else touches their nose. The last colleague to touch his nose has to walk like a crab around the office.

“Of course, most of the time employees don’t do it, but it gets the point across and I hear the term much less,” Berney said.

Read more….

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How’s Your Well-Being?

According to USA Today (9/16/14), the USA ranks 12th for “subjective well-being” in a Gallup/Healthways poll conducted in 2013. The article shares that the Well-Being Index “looks at how people feel about five facets of their lives:

  1. Sense of purpose
  2. Social connections
  3. Community
  4. Finances
  5. Physical vigor”

You probably won’t be surprised that external circumstances aren’t always drivers of well-being. The report says “in some cases…results suggest a mismatch between perceptions and reality.”

So my question to you today is what’s your Work Well-Being Index? The categories listed above seem to fit perfectly into a workplace assessment. Are you creating Professional Paradise, Prison or Parole each day at work? Are your perceptions creating your reality or visa versa?

Take a quick assessment right now by thinking about the answers to these questions and let me know what you find.

  1. Sense of Purpose

What is your purpose?

How is it aligned with your organization’s purpose?

What parts of your job connect you to purpose?

  1. Social Connections

Who are your best buddies at work?

How do they contribute or detract from your well-being?

How are you contributing or detracting from theirs?

  1. Community

What kind of community exists in your workplace?

What are you doing to positively contribute to the community?

What stories shape the community over time? Are they true?

  1. Finances

How does your paycheck contribute to your well-being?

What other forms of “payment” do you get from work besides your salary?

If money weren’t involved, would you still do your job?

  1. Physical Vigor

What parts of your job are energy boosters?

What parts are energy busters?

What are you doing outside of work to contribute to your energy at work?

Of course there are no right or wrong answers. Just a chance to think about your own Work Well-Being and what you’d like to do about it. And in case you are wondering…Panama is #1.

Read the full article by clicking here.

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Give me a Break!

timeforabreakI was talking with a pharmacist and a seasoned oncology nurse – both Baby Boomers – and we were discussing the presence of multiple generations in the workforce. (Please keep reading, even if you don’t work in healthcare – the thoughts apply to all).

Both of these ladies were frustrated because the “younger” team members (Millennials) insist on taking breaks. I asked a few questions and this is what I heard from the Boomers:

  1. We are too busy taking care of patients to take breaks – the work will back up.
  2. When they (the millennials) go on break, it means more work for the rest of us to cover for them.
  3. Sometimes the boomers don’t get lunch until 4p (starting the shift at 7a) but they need to get everything done before they leave the unit.

So here’s the question that’s plaguing me. Who’s right?

Are the millennials smarter by taking breaks? Are they more engaged because they’ve had some time away from work to recharge? Are they more efficient when they return?

Are the boomers more loyal and engaged because they put aside their own needs for the needs of their patients? Have they developed stamina over the years that means they don’t need a formal break? Are they more productive because they work without stopping?

I think we can learn from both viewpoints on this one. One hospital I worked with set a goal for every staff member to take a lunch break for 30 minutes away from the unit. This was an organization-wide goal supported by senior leadership. The belief was that patient care would improve so it was important to accomplish.

At first, a lot of the staff said “this will never work…we are WAY too busy to take a lunch break”. As usual, when the goal didn’t go away and taking a lunch break was measured and monitored, miraculously it started to happen…on all units on all shifts. Incident reports didn’t go up. Patient satisfaction didn’t go down. Teamwork actually improved. Now it’s part of everyone’s routine.

So here’s the moral of this story. Everyone can be right AND happy! When the boomers learn from the millennials and visa versa, there’s a wealth of knowledge to go around. Don’t worry GenXers…I haven’t forgotten about you. We all know you have lots to teach us as well.

Now, it’s time for my break. While I’m gone, please share your thoughts below.

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