Leadership, volunteerism, community support, giving, responsibility. Buzzwords we hear very often in these days of economic turmoil and natural disaster. With all the suffering and change going on in the world, it is ever more important that we try to assume a mature leadership role for the benefit of others. In a famous quote, General George S. Patton, Jr. said on leadership "Be willing to make decisions. That's the most important quality in a good leader. Don't fall victim to what I call the "Ready-aim-aim-aim-aim syndrome." You must be willing to fire". To be a leader, one has to make timely decisions and be willing to stand by them.
Recently, I was the recipient of a humbling award called the President's Volunteer Service Award for volunteer work I performed in 2009. Originating in 2003 with the establishment of the President's Council on Service and Civic Participation, this award recognizes people of all ages who have made valuable contributions to their communities and encourages more people to serve. Over the years that I have participated in organized medicine on a local, state, and national level, I have learned that leadership is based on innovation and innovation is the engine for progress. Learning from role models, then taking leadership roles myself has taught me not to be limited by the way things are currently done.
I have come across several young leaders who have impressed me with their willingness to get involved and work with established leaders to make strides in how we care for patients, help those in need, exchange information and become better providers and people. The Haiti effort is one example. Physicians of all types have volunteered their time and money, sacrificed time with their family and practice, and placed themselves in harm's way to take care of people who are suffering incredibly. Our practice is currently encouraging community residents to donate at least $10 to Water Missions International, an organized group that provides safe water to those who have none, both in developing countries and disaster areas. For that, we will give a $50 credit towards our cosmetic or Medi-Spa services. Other businesses are doing their part as well.
Individually, people who are willing to step up, take charge and lead the way in a kind and compassionate matter will help move the world forward to a more positive place. In successful leadership, there are no losers. Everyone wins.
I encourage all young physicians, other professionals and community citizens to become involved in their professional societies and community service organizations. Together, we can make a difference. Our hearts go out to the victims of this most recent natural disaster and we can only hope that there is some good that can be found in the grand scheme of things.
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