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Thoughts and ideas from The Physician Executive
Physician Leader: What is the hankering in your soul?
June 6, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by The Physician Executive
physician leadership coach life on purpose

From time to time, I experience a deep hankering in my soul. Sometimes it is a yearning for Africa; sometimes I long for a simpler life; most often it’s an almost nameless desire to be living a life “on fire with purpose.” Recent events in my life, with the loss of my husband, have made this an imperative. Life is too short!

I experienced a surge in longing shortly after putting down Richard Branson’s autobiographical book “Business Stripped Bare: Adventures of a Global Entrepreneur“. While I found his life story intriguing, what gripped me was the book’s last chapter.

Titled “Social Responsibility – Just Business”, Branson’s final chapter lays out his vision for leveraging the intellectual and financial resources, via creative, interesting partnerships, amongst businesses, charities, governments, NGOs, and entrepreneurial people to change and improve the world.

He expresses his alarm at the state of the planet with its rapidly depleting resources, ever-growing consumption, potentially scary climate change, rampant diseases such as tuberculosis, malaria and AIDS, and the growing divide between the haves and the have-nots.

He expresses his thoughts about possible solutions, and issues a call to action to all organizations and business owners, asking us to work together to find solutions to these global problems … and here is where my angst kicks in.

I left a job as a doctor providing care to the underserved of rural Zimbabwe; I walked away from Africa to make a very comfortable life here in the United States; I no longer provide medical care to patients.

How can I respond to this clarion call? What should my contribution look like?

As a physician leadership coach, I wish to magnify my impact via a ripple effect through my clients, as they increase their contributions to their organizations and communities, and hopefully the world.

As someone fascinated by leadership (having done some of that myself as a hospital administrator), I am highly attuned to the potential strong visionary physician leadership has to implement a more desired, compelling future. I hope to encourage some of you in our “tribe” (Seth Godin’s term for a group of like-minded people) to step up to playing your Bigger Game.

As a parent, I’m made even more aware of the responsibility we have of raising children who care more about what others don’t have than whether their household has the latest iPad or not. I am troubled by the intense materialism that I see around me – and sometimes participate in (confession time)! I am working hard to raise a socially aware and caring child.

I’m deeply curious. What’s it your soul secretly (or not so secretly yearns) for? What does your “life on fire with purpose” really look like? And does it even matter?