People are under extreme pressure today. Businesses, careers, families, and lives are being threatened by turbulent forces. We need more leaders who respond like the one I encountered last December.
After spending 16 days in intensive care, a mentor of mine, who everyone calls Coach, was transferred to the skilled care/Medicare section of the hospital. In the early morning of the 17th day, his cardiologist rushed into his room. Coachs wife was sitting on the small sofa. I was standing by the window. The doctor said, I hate to tell you this, but I am no longer in control of the quality of your care, the government is. He had everyones attention.
Thankfully the physician didnt end with his entry statement. He nodded to Coachs wife and gestured to the nurse. They instinctively drew near the doctor. He pulled the big green guest chair close to the bedside and said, So lets all talk about a plan to work around this crazy system so you can go home and get better. In just a few minutes they agreed on a step-by-step plan. The doctor went on to finish his rounds. Coach went home before Christmas.
I dont know how long Coachs health turnaround will last, but one thing I do know is this physician was a leader that day. He told the hard truth, but he didnt stop there, which would have been easy to do. Instead he transformed an oppressing problem into a powerful partnership which inspired a patient to participate in living again.
I thanked the cardiologist. Then I asked him how he was able stop, in middle of his hectic schedule, and do what he did for us. He smiled, shrugged and scooted on to complete his rounds. I was left standing in the hallway with the nurse, who apparently overheard my inquiry. She said He would never tell you but I think know the answer. His first appointment each morning is not with one of his patients. The night janitor told me she sees him, kneeled in our chapel, almost every morning.
Journal Entry: What pressures are you dealing with? Where is your first daily appointment in your leadership and life?