Caregivers First! Leading Home Care from the Inside Out

Stephen Tweed | June 3, 2014 | News and Views
By Stephen Tweed "My credo is 'Players First.'  It drives everything I do as a coach.  Notice that it's plural, not singular.  Players First.  We reach our personal goals by striving together toward collective goals." John Calipari Head Basketball Coach University of Kentucky I just finished reading John's newest book, "Players First: Coaching From the…

By Stephen Tweed

“My credo is ‘Players First.’  It drives everything I do as a coach.  Notice that it’s plural, not singular.  Players First.  We reach our personal goals by striving together toward collective goals.”

John Calipari
Head Basketball Coach
University of Kentucky

Coach Cal and Stephen
Coach Cal and Stephen

I just finished reading John’s newest book, “Players First: Coaching From the Inside Out”.  It was a fun read because it gave me an inside look at his first four years coaching at the University of Kentucky where his teams won a national championship in 2012 and went to the Final Four in 2014.

But more than reading about basketball, I realized that there were some great lessons in his book that we can apply to leading a home care team and running a highly successful private duty home care company.  One of the lessons is in the quote above.

What would happen in home care if we put Caregivers First?

That’s crazy, you say.  We need to put clients and families and referral sources first.  But that’s not always so.  A number of years ago I was living in southeastern Pennsylvania where my previous company, Tweed Weber, Inc. is located.  I ran into a guy in Philadelphia who had grown his small family owned travel business into an international industry leader.

Hal Rosenbluth had grown Rosenbluth Travel to $6 billion in revenue with his “employee first” philosophy. He wrote about it in his terrific book, “The Customer Comes Second: Put Your People First and Watch ’em Kick Butt.”  His simple concept is that when you put people first, and give them great service, they pass it on and give your customers great service.

So if John Calipari can win national championships putting Players First, and Hal Rosenbluth can grow a global travel company putting Employees First, why can’t we grow an exceptional private duty home care company putting Caregivers First?  

Find Top Talent

In my workshops and seminars around the country, I often quote Rick Pitino, the basketball coach at the University of Louisville.  Rick won a national championship when he coached at Kentucky in 1996.  He went to the NBA and came back to Coach at U of L where his team won the national title in 2013.  Rick Says, …

“If there’s one thing I’ve learned from professional basketball
it is that talent wins and wins consistently.”  

As a home care company owner or leader who wants to grow a championship company, you always need to be recruiting. Spend a lot of your time and energy looking for high quality applicants.  Then put them through a rigorous selection process. Only select the very best.

Calipari says, “There’s a multiplier effect.  When you bring in great players to play with other great players, they end up being better than they would have been individually.  They drive one another in practice an din games.  They create space that a player won’t have it he’s the only big-time threat.”

The same thing is true of your caregivers.  When you only hire great caregivers, and you work with them to be more successful, they encourage one another.  Then they all get better.  When that happens you get high levels of employee satisfaction which leads to higher levels of client and family satisfaction, which leads to word-of-mouth marketing and more referrals that turn into admissions.  It’s a win-win-win.  A win for the caregivers, a win for the clients, and a win for you.

Players First BookSo if you really want to grow a successful home care team, consider this credo – Caregivers First!  Go out and find the very best people to care for your clients.

Then put into practice seven roles that John Calipari describes as his roles of a championship coach:

  • Nurturer – be patient and create a successful environment
  • Protector – help guard them against themselves
  • Challenger – push them through comfort. Make them uncomfortable
  • Teacher – help them create within themselves a lover of learning and growth
  • Promoter – Put them on stage.  If we lose, it’s on me. If we win, they get all the glory
  • Father – Give them unconditional love at all times.

What if you as a leader of your home care company created a culture where you applied these principles?  What effect would that have on your caregivers, and how would that carry over in caring for your clients?

Let’s have some discussion in our Linked In Discussion Group – Leading Home Care Network.  


Stephen Tweed
Stephen Tweed, CSP, began his journey as a business strategist in home health care in 1982. Today, Stephen is among the top thought leaders in Home Care strategy and management. He has worked with top 5% companies from across the US. He is a sought after speaker at from national and state association events.

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