Blog, The Hospital Finance Podcast®

How to Build Mental Resilience in The Face of Adversity [PODCAST]

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In this episode, Michael W. Allison, Executive Business Consultant, Personal Growth Coach & Career Professional Development Expert, is discussing how to build mental resilience in the face of adversity. 

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Highlights of this episode include:

  •  How to approach managing projects in a high-pressure environment like healthcare
  • How to prioritize mental wellness on your team
  • Resilience is key
  • How to use effective communication and collaboration among diverse stakeholders 
  • How to stay updated with the latest trends and innovations
  • Future of project management

Kelly Wisness: Hi, this is Kelly Wisness. Welcome back to the award-winning Hospital Finance Podcast. We’re pleased to welcome Michael W. Allison, distinguished executive business consultant, personal growth coach, and career professional development expert. With an MBA in business and over two decades of strategic business acumen, he has steered organizations towards seven-figure success as a seasoned entrepreneur. A Purple Heart combat veteran, Michael is a beacon of inspiration as an international motivational keynote speaker, TEDx speaker, and the host of the empowering Overcoming Adversity podcast. His achievements and impact resonate through prestigious accolades such as the Inc. 5000, Innovation and Excellence Award, Entrepreneur Franchise 500, Franchise Consultant Recognition, Harriman Safety Award, and media recognition from ESPN, BET, CNN, NBC, CBS, and others. Michael integrates cutting-edge research from the realms of business, science, and psychology to illuminate the path towards resilience and taking command of one’s life and business. His mission is to empower personal growth, fuel career development, and propel business expansion to their zenith. In this episode, we’re discussing how to build mental resilience in the face of adversity. Welcome, and thank you for joining us today, Michael.

Michael Allison: Thank you so much for having me here, Kelly. It’s a pleasure to be a guest on your show.

Kelly: Well, thank you. Well, let’s go ahead and jump in. So can you share with our listeners your experience working as a project manager in the healthcare industry and how it differs from project management in other sectors?

Michael: Certainly. So, I spent 12 years as a project manager with the Department of Veterans Affairs in Washington DC and managed multiple different multi-million dollar projects. So, working as a project manager in the healthcare space has been both rewarding and challenging. Unlike some other sectors, the healthcare projects, it often involves stringent regulatory requirements, some complex stakeholders with those different dynamics that’s tied to that. And it also calls for a heightened focus when it comes to patient safety and outcomes. Working in the veterans’ department and being a veteran myself, that’s a sensitive area for me and I make sure that I focus heavily on that to make sure that the veteran community was well taken care of. It was coupled with some of those various types of systems, various complexity that comes with project management within the field. It’s always an impact where some of the decisions that we’re making when we’re stakeholders within this is some of the most important parts of being a project manager for me as well.

Kelly: Well, healthcare definitely is a unique industry. So how do you approach managing projects in a high-pressure environment like healthcare, where the stakes are often high and timelines are critical?

Michael: Managing projects in a high-pressure environment like healthcare requires strategic approach that emphasize cure communications, meticulous planning, and proactive risk management. I prioritize establishing realistic timelines and setting clear expectations with stakeholders from the onset. Additionally, I emphasized the importance of flexibility and adaptability. And unexpected challenges often arise in healthcare projects, so regular communications and collaborations among team members are also essential. I think communication is one of the biggest keys to working a project, to making sure things are accomplished and you are managing everything from point A to point Z.

Kelly: That sounds pretty impressive there. So mental health is a significant concern in the healthcare industry, especially given the demanding nature of our work. How do you prioritize mental wellness on your teams?

Michael: So mental health is a significant importance for myself. I’m one that struggled with mental health within my personal life, and I saw how it matriculated into my professional life. So, when it comes to promoting mental wellness within project teams, it’s a priority for me. I encourage open communications and create a supportive environment where team members can feel comfortable discussing any challenges that they’re facing. Additionally, I emphasize the importance of work-life balance and encouraging team members to take breaks and prioritizing self-care. So, providing resources such as employee assistance programs and access to mental health professionals is crucial for me when it comes to working with my team and helping them be successful as well because that’s what it was for me when I was trying to get out of some of the mental health situations that I was facing myself.

Kelly: Those are some great ideas. Resilience is a key trait for navigating the complexities of healthcare projects. What strategies do you employ to cultivate resilience in yourself and in your team members?

Michael: I think that’s what The Adversity Academy is built upon is having a resilient identity and creating that mindset to create that culture of where you’re working or within your work group. So, to cultivate resilience, I emphasize the importance of maintaining a growth mindset and viewing challenges as opportunities for learning and growth. I encourage team members to approach setbacks with curiosity and creativity so they could seek innovation solutions to overcome obstacles. I like to promote open communication to foster supportive team culture that helps people to feel empowered and take risk and learning from failure. I think a lot of times when it comes to failure, a lot of people are scared to fail because of the risks and the repercussions behind that, more so learning from those as learning experience. So, by celebrating people’s success and acknowledging their progress, I think that’s how we build confidence. That’s how we build resilience both individually and collectively as well.

Kelly: Yes, completely agree with that. So, how do you ensure effective communication and collaboration among diverse stakeholders in healthcare projects, considering the complexity of the industry?

Michael: I’ve had a good bit of stakeholders to work with from your upper management to lower management. And when you’re leading these different teams, as a leader, you have to learn and understand how to navigate through some of these things. So, I believe effective communication and collaboration are essential for success in the healthcare project space, given the diverse range of stakeholders that are involved. So, I prioritize establishing strong relationships with key stakeholders from the onset. So, ensuring that their perspectives and priorities are taken into account throughout the entire project lifecycle, not just in the beginning, not just sometimes in between or something like that, but through the entire lifecycle of the project. I also like to utilize various communication channels, including regular meetings, status updates, project documents, and different types of stakeholder engagement events. So, by fostering that collaborative type of environment, I believe that helps build trust and transparency where things could be effectively communicated as well.

Kelly: Yeah, that sounds amazing. So, given the rapid pace of technological advancements in healthcare, how do you stay updated with the latest trends and innovations to ensure project success?

Michael: That’s what I was speaking about when you’re having a growth mindset and you’re not in a way of setbacks and things like that. So, staying updated with the latest trends of innovation in healthcare is crucial in this day and age, especially, with technology and AI. So, I make a concentrated effort for me to stay informed throughout professional development, attending many conferences, even if I’m a guest in the seat or if I’m a speaker on the stage as well, and networking through that. I’m participating in different industry forums. I’m networking with colleagues and thought leaders that’s within that field. Additionally, as a leader, I find it important to leverage your resources with industry publications, some journals, and different books that could be new and innovative that’s within the space. Staying proactive with these things, it allows you to be much more adaptable and be adaptive so you can effectively incorporate new insights and new innovation within your company.

Kelly: Yeah, there is a lot of change happening right now, and it’s challenging to stay up to date on all of that.

Michael: You have to.

Kelly: Yes, you do. You do, yeah, I agree. So what advice, Michael, would you give to aspiring project managers looking to enter the healthcare industry?

Michael: Wow. I think my advice to aspiring project managers and future leaders that’s going to be within the healthcare space is to prioritize building strong foundations within the technical knowledge and understanding of the healthcare system and processes. I found when I got into working in the healthcare space, I at first was working at a building that was nowhere close to the hospital. But being a veteran myself and actually going to the VA hospital, I got a chance to learn all of the systems and the processes that was taking place inside of the hospital, and then I had the opportunity to transfer to still be a project manager inside of a hospital. So, I had the opportunity to learn every single floor, every single department, and what took place. So, it gave me much more of an insight to understand what was going on within that space.

Kelly: That’s good advice. Thank you for sharing that with us. So lastly, how do you see the future of project management evolving in healthcare? And what trends do you anticipate shaping the industry in the coming years?

Michael: In the coming years, I anticipate project management in the healthcare space to continue to evolve, but it’s going to be a lot around the technology investment, the shifting in the regulatory requirements, and some of the things around the changing with the patient needs. So, you find every single day, every single year, there’s a new medication, there’s a new healthcare scare, or there’s a new problem or something that’s around that. So, the adoption of innovation and technologies such as artificial intelligence, telemedicine, data analytics that’s tied to some of those things that’s going to revolutionize the healthcare space.

Kelly: Definitely, it makes a lot of sense. Thank you for sharing that. And thank you so much for joining us today, Michael, and for sharing your insights on how to build mental resilience in the face of adversity.

Michael: Absolutely, it’s been a pleasure.

Kelly: And if a listener wants to learn more or contact you to discuss this topic further, how best can they do that?

Michael: Hey, definitely. They could reach out to me on LinkedIn at Michael W. Allison, and additionally, they could just send me a direct email at

Kelly: Great. Thank you for sharing that with us, Michael. And thank you all for joining us for this episode of the Hospital Finance Podcast. Until next time…

[music] This concludes today’s episode of the Hospital Finance Podcast. For show notes and additional resources to help you protect and enhance revenue at your hospital, visit The Hospital Finance Podcast is a production of BESLER | SMART ABOUT REVENUE, TENACIOUS ABOUT RESULTS.


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