March 24, 2008

Tune Up II: Management

Good management is about building on the things that bring success. It is not just beating the up on the low points. Those of you who work for a manager know what I am talking about. It's true for diabetes care as well as work.

Tiger wood has a swing coach. What do ya think, the guy focus on the things that keep that swing the best in the world or he beats up Tiger for mistakes?

What is important for a diabetic? No matter how good you are you can use some coaching and focus on what works.

The boy had an outstanding quarterly check up and is managing the care diabetes himself. Ok he isn’t doing the logistics, so far, but the numbers were good. So what were the best practices that got to that check up? Well first he's a good kid and while I would love to take all of the credit for that he's old enough that he is making his own choices about how he acts. I just hope to remain supportive of the good choices he is making.

Memo to Me
Be supportive of Good Choices
A) See Good Choices
B) Comment on Good choices

One thing we can take credit for was going to Friends for Life. Well OK to be honest we can't even do that, I kind of put off the idea when I first heard about it.

In my defense I know both Ds; Disney and Diabetes. My thinking was why would I waste a trip to Disney to talk about diabetes? We diagnosed the younger daughter the first day of a vacation there. Disney is fun and diabetes isn't.

Anyway the point that I am wandering about is we took them to Friends for Life last summer. That was a good choice. The credit for going should go to very funny guy named Willie talked us into it at a JDRF function.

Connor wasn’t into the whole idea of a Diabetes trip having had a less than stellar camp experience the previous summer. OK. He didn’t have a great time but he was elected camper of the year. The counselors elected him because he was avoiding some of his fellow campers who only talked about drugs and alcohol and so spent his time hanging out with the counselors. He is funny and they liked that.

So our judgment on summer diabetes events was not exactly outstanding in his mind. Fair enough.

Turns out he liked Friends for Life. He got along with the other kids well and with some good coaching by some of the presenters there some ideas clicked and he took charge.

So the first good management key is to build on the success he had at Friends for Life. Step one, honor the request he made and entrust him with his care and give him some rope to hang himself. That trust has gone a long way.

Good management practice two, go back to Friends for Life and see if we doesn’t pick up on more good management practices. Yeah we, as in we the parents. We picked up on a lot of good tips for with teens with diabetes there.

Trusting them was a big thing we learned. His success was in large part a function of us buying into a number of messages about trusting your teens. Some were part of formal presentations and others were conversations with other participants. A notable message was from a young lady form half way around the world. Apparently fathers have trust issues with their diabetic teens in other cultures too. She spoke about how important trust was and with some prompting talked about what that trust looks like. In large part it is to not micro manage and to accept variation as part of the program.


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