Don't Become a Corporate Marionette

It's natural to place the blame on "Corporate" every time you're asked to make a budget cut, enforce a new policy, eliminate a position, or roll out a new program. But policies that feel short-sighted to your facility are usually calculated decisions that have been made to balance the long-term needs of the organization. While some of these initiatives probably are out of touch, the biggest mistake you can make as an Administrator is to create a culture that pits your facility against your organization. In the March 5, 2007 issue of Business Week, Jack Welch inserts: It's just that corporate has a job to do, and sometimes it actually knows somethings you don't."

Welch warns, "You as a leader must relentlessly shield your team from its interference. To do otherwise is a fast track to losing your team's confidence and respect...You make yourself look like a marionette." If every seemingly negative move is painted as a corporate decision rather than your own, then it won't take long before your department leaders will start peering around you looking for answers from the very people you have indicated are truly in charge.

Push back. Let your Regional Director know when you feel something isn't in the best interest of your facility. Challenge your company's status quo. But do it behind closed doors. Hiding behind the cloak of "More Corporate B.S." sends two messages: 1) We are doing this for the shareholders, not the residents, and) Corporate calls the shots, not me. Don't misinterpret; this isn't about perception of power. It is about the methods you are using to motivate employees to achieve organizational goals.

Because sometimes Corporate knows what they are talking about.

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