Christmas Vacation Values

By Billy D. Hayes *

Christmas Vacation character Clark Griswold wrapped in Christmas lights in front of their house Now that we are just a few weeks away from Christmas, holiday movies are flooding the television channels. My personal favorite is
National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation starring Chevy Chase as Clark W. Griswold. Like many who appreciate the film, I can pretty much quote the lines word for word.

But a few years ago, my wife and I were watching it again one evening, and I began noticing some leadership principles that I never really paid attention to. As one who studies and teaches leadership, I made it a mission to watch the movie again from a different perspective. So, the next morning, I sat down with a pen and pad, grabbed the remote, and see what may come from it. When I was done, I noted at least two dozen leadership scenarios/principles. From that, I developed a program called Leadership Lessons from Christmas Vacation.

One of the leadership lessons I want to discuss in this blog is that of having core values. Core values are much like having an internal compass that guides an individual or an organization in the decisions they make and the behaviors they exhibit. Throughout the movie, most of what Clark did was for his family. When watching the movie, look to see how many times he says, “Griswold Family Christmas”, or “Griswold Family Christmas Tree”. Further, reflect on his desire to have all the family together, the oversized tree, the extensive light display, and using his bonus to put in a pool. His decisions and behaviors were driven by his core value…family

However, an individual’s core values may not necessarily align with others’ values around them. As you notice in the movie, Clark had many, including his kids, who were not driven by his love of Christmas and family. Despite that, Clark was not deterred from the direction his internal compass was pointing. As an individual, when we are committed to our core values, we must also be aware that we can force or impose ours on others without agreement and buy-in.

Likewise, core values drive the success of the organization. Nevertheless, those values must be demonstrated in the organization’s culture. The culture of the organization is the shared values, practices, and behaviors of team members. While Clark Griswold could not be discouraged by those who didn’t buy-in to is personal core values, it is critical for organizations and its employees, otherwise failure and dysfunction will occur within the system.

So, what does any of this have to do with Quick Med Claims (QMC) you ask?

Since 1991, QMC has been providing exceptional service to clients and patients because we are committed to our core values. They are clearly defined and stated for all to see. 

Integrity for QMC means we work extensively to ensure 100% compliance in our billing services, exceeding the expectations of our customers, and to be a trusted partner to our clients and employees. Compliance is not something that you can just say and not do. Non-compliance has ramifications for all parties involved. Exceeding expectations is easy to do when everyone works together to things right. Finally, trust is not easily gained, but can be easily lost. Clients are impacted by employees’ actions; the employees’ actions are often driven by the organizational culture and work environment.

Compassion is provided by individuals and organizations. How we treat each other also exhibits the culture of an organization. But we must remember, when we work with our client’s patients, it most likely was one of their worst experiences. Most people only call 9-1-1 once in their life. As a former paramedic, I exhibited passion by the care I provided and the way I treated them. That compassion should continue through the healthcare system as well as the billing cycle at QMC.

Performance is why clients hire us. They expect both maximum reimbursement and exceptional service. We can exceed expectations by outperforming our competition. Too often at trade shows, I hear from services that tell me their billing company fails to send invoices, collect reimbursement, respond to emails, or provide any added value to the contract they provide. When an agency tells another agency of bad performance or customer service, their reputation is at stake. We want to be known for excellent performance and service.

Relationships with our clients, payors, employees, and industry partners is a fundamental value. Relationships can generate referrals, leads, and new clients. But it also can lead to industry news that could be time sensitive. Having relationships with our employees helps recruitment and retention, which affects service and performance. Building and maintaining relationships is a process that QMC is committed to.

Learning & Innovation makes good organizations great. By Investing in employee development, we commit and accomplish our other values of integrity, compassion, performance, and relationships. By committing to our technology and innovation, we are committing to our value to achieve performance and service.

Hopefully, the next time you watch National Lampoon’s Christmas Vacation, you will be able to identify Clark W. Griswold’s commitment to his family value and how it drives him as an individual. I encourage you to think about what values drive you. I believe my connection to Clark and this movie is that he and I share a common core value…the love of our family. So, from my family to yours…Happy Holidays!

*Billy D. Hayes is a Territory Sales Manager for Quick Med Claims. He has over thirty years associated with fire and emergency services where he has held a variety of positions including Paramedic, Fire Marshal, and Fire Chief. Billy is a graduate of the Executive Fire Officer Program and has an MBA, and a certificate in local government management.

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