I had the privilege of attending a “White Coat” ceremony that my daughter participated in during her first semester as a nursing student. Initially, I thought that the ceremony might be middle-schoolish and my rush to judgment sounded like …” is this something we need to drive four hours to attend?”

It turns out I should have done my homework. The White Coat Ceremony was established in 1993 to champion the human connection in healthcare and engage nursing schools and their students, health systems, companies, and clinicians in the joy of humanistic care. Only one hundred and forty nursing schools nationally are recognized under this program whose chief aim is to “keep healthcare human.“

I’m so glad I didn’t let that fleeting thought of staying home affect my actions. My wife and I attended and not only did we get to support our daughter and celebrate her academic success, but we also had an opportunity to witness an encouraging and vitally important facet of the nursing trade.

It was a celebration of the patient. Each student was bestowed with a white coat symbolic of their commitment to serving the patient. Each student pledged an oath of service. Frankly, I didn’t expect a ceremony of this nature, in the midst of academia and all things ivory tower, to exalt the patient (a.k.a. the customer).

Those of us who pursue and engage in entrepreneurial pursuits should consider a similar pledge. Read a few excerpts below from the nursing profession pledge and fill in the blanks that say patient with the words customer/employees.

As a student nurse dedicated to providing the highest quality care and services, I solemnly pledge that I will:

  • Consider the welfare of humanity and relief of suffering my primary concern
  • Act in a compassionate and trustworthy manner in all aspects of my care
  • Promote professional relationships focused on the needs of the patient (client/employee)
  • Accept the lifelong obligation to improve my professional knowledge and competence
  • Promote, advocate for and strive to protect the health safety and rights of the patient (client/employee)

At Acumen, we talk a lot about the “Higher Standard” of impact and influence that our business platforms can have on the lives of other people in our care (clients, employees, etc.). Just like these young aspiring nurses, you have to hone and sharpen your leadership skills and effectiveness and remember who the customer is. It’s essential to always remember who you are truly serving. As the guest speaker at the ceremony noted with strong emphasis, “do what’s right for the patient, not yourself.”

What’s your pledge and white coat reminder?

Drew Hiss
Post by Drew Hiss
March 7, 2019
Drew Hiss launched his outsourced payroll and HR technology solutions company, Checkdate Solutions, in 1994. The entrepreneurial venture was a classic bootstrap start-up whose launch plan underestimated capital needs and ramp up time by significant multiples. The adventure predictably included scrapping for cash, overhauling the business model, rebranding, refocusing, redirecting resources, shifting tech platforms, praying, seeking counsel and wisdom, etc.. Not surprisingly, deep entrepreneurial scar tissue was forged. Ultimately Checkdate Solutions became one of Kansas City’s fastest growing companies and was named one of the Greater KC Chamber of Commerce Best Businesses not once, but twice. Additionally, Checkdate Solutions ranked as one of KC’s top 100 fastest growing companies for nine consecutive years and was in the top 25 nationally in its industry. Today’s workplace culture tends to compartmentalize personal virtues from commerce, creating silos and compartmentalization between business, family, community, values and faith. But as a CEO, Drew and his company grew when he “decompartmentalized:” on his journey, he learned to integrate his life of commerce and his life of family, faith and values. Drew merged Checkdate Solutions with payroll industry leader Paycor, stepping away from the company in 2008 and serving on its board for eight years. Drew remains an owner in the firm. Today, Drew’s heart to help business owners leverage the influence of their business platform for eternal impact is at the core of Acumen which he founded late in 2015. Acumen is a catalytic iron-sharpening-iron environment forged from the fiery furnace of entrepreneurial battle, marketplace survival and integration of the timeless wisdom of the ages. Drew and his wife, Sarah have been married for 32 years and have four children (plus two beautiful daughters in law) ranging in age from 28 to 22. In early 2020, Drew and Sarah relocated to Evergreen, CO, He is a raving-fan congregant of Flatirons Community Church in Lafayette, CO, and enjoys snowboarding, hunting, cycling, hiking, and a variety of outdoor activities and adventures including running with his two dogs.