know we need to do and what we’re doing.
Mel explains that there are two kinds
of changing. How we think, and how
we behave. It’s changing how we
behave that takes courage. She says
people are worried about making the
wrong decisions, and their feelings
drive how they behave.
Mel’s solution is to teach two things: what you need to
know, and how you have to act, the behavior change.
Everybody misses the fact that your feelings precede
and determine what you do. So you have to win the
battle with your feelings, by basically ignoring them.
The only thing that matters is what you do. Your brain
beats you and limits your ability to heal by trapping
you upstairs. So how do we get beyond this?
Mel shares her self-proclaimed “stupidly simple” idea;
“The Five-Second Rule.”
She believes that by learning a little trick to push
yourself forward, you unlock the secret to achieving
what you want in life and in work. Think of the last
time you had an impulse to do something you KNOW
you should do - but didn’t. For example, get up earlier
to exercise or read. Did you hesitate? If you did, your
brain took over and killed the impulse within five
seconds. You know you need to pick up the phone to
bring a patient to the next meeting. But you delay. It’s
not what you’ve done before. You know you should
start the meeting with a story about the patient and
the difference your product has made in his/her life,
but you hesitate and instead do the same old market
share presentation. Of course, it applies to your personal life as well. You know you should get up off the
couch. But you binge-watch one more episode.
The trick is to prevent your brain from sabotaging
your intention. The moment you have an impulse,
count backward from five. This will awaken your prefrontal cortex and take control away from the basal
ganglia (the automatic default settings in our brain
responsible for habits, resistance) so you can focus on
doing the new and different thing that you know you
Jill Donahue, HBa,
MAdEd is on a
mission to lift our
Through her keynote
and award-winning mobile-learning
programs, she is helping teams build
trust, open doors and make a bigger
impact. As the co-founder of the non-
profit group The Aurora Project, she
is helping to illuminate our path to
Mel teaches us that it takes five seconds to change
your life, because in five seconds you can let your
doubts, fears and hesitations take hold, or you can
push yourself past them. She helps us learn how
to give ourselves that little push. And if we all give
ourselves a push in the direction of patient centricity, together we can take huge leaps. Let’s act on
our patient-focused intentions!
I also asked for her advice for women on leadership. She said there are two things every woman
needs to understand to increase her success:
1. Never take notes in a meeting. Because if
you’re taking notes you’re focused on transcribing. You’re sending a signal, hey look at me I’m
the secretary. You’re not focused on what someone
who is a leader does, which is contribute. If you’ve
got to get down a detail, write a detail. If you need
the entire meeting hit voice memo on your phone
and record it.
2. Use the words “strategy” and “strategic.”
She actually hates this piece of advice but there’s research out there that says that women that use the
word “strategic” see a significant increase, upwards
of 30% increase, in their annual reviews of being a
strategic thinker by simply using the darn word.
And as a bonus tip she explains why you should
get a male mentor. Listen to her intriguing explanations for this in the video. •