In a perfect world, physicians would have ample time on the job to listen, diagnose, explain and prescribe.
In that same perfect world, physicians could contribute meaningfully to the national debate on health care, or to the conversation about public education, or how TV is okay to watch, and be heard. Respectfully and productively.
But our world is far from perfect, and it’s tough to care enough about national conversations, let alone figure out how to contribute to the society around us in a useful way.
This is where I believe physician thought leadership is vital.
Wikipedia defines a thought leader as “a futurist or person who is recognized for innovative ideas and demonstrates the confidence to promote or share those ideas as actionable distilled insights”.
Translation for us = “a physician who comes up with valuable ideas or concepts which they are able to share and consequently influence people to take action”.
Listen to this heady stuff:
Some visions of thought leaders are “to fuel the evolution of leaders who choose to contribute to sustaining life (body, mind and spirit) in ourselves, our organizations, and our communities”. They believe “that leadership development is rooted in personal development and organizational transformation is rooted in individual transformation”.
I love the “sustaining body, mind and spirit” part!
What was strikingly absent from me in the recent health care reform debacle was a unified chorus of thoughtful physician voices. We were as much drowned out as we were divided!
So why do I think this concept of thought leadership is relevant to physicians and healthcare folks with business-minded spirits?
I believe that we, as entrepreneurial creatures, are fired up by ideas, proposals and solutions. Our passionate juices flow when we’re stimulated to think more deeply about the problems we encounter and the ways we might address them.
A dear coach colleague, Andrea Lee reminds her readers that the pathway to becoming an agent of change and to be heard above the din is to take a BOP (bold, outrageous, provocative) stand.
Ways your physician thought leadership can impact your immediate world include:
- Create community
- Create connection – in person, virtual, local, global, one on one, one to many
- Create caring – address the soul needs of those around you
- Create solutions by addressing the problems that often lie right in front of your nose
- Cultivate knowledge and do away with ignorance
- Civilize and foster organizational cultures to build greatness
- Cut through the clamor
- Clarify what is confusing
- Challenge the status quo
- Create wealth and profit for you and others
How will you stand up and be counted as a physician thought leader in your family, community or country?
What is your BOP position?