Wow! I want to say thanks to the medical community for all of the interest and comments on the previous post (Exploring Application of EPF to Healthcare).  I think there is a lot more to say about how Expertise research could possibly aid the medical community. Here is a read-ahead on two specific posts I am planning. First, a post to examine what expert research tells us about the ability of external observers to judge or evaluate expertise (spoiler alert – it is not very good) and what this has to say about using patient satisfaction as a metric to guide decisions about MD/DO vs NP roles.  This topic may also inform what Press Ganey scores tell us and what they do not.

Second, I am planning a post which proposes an specific methodology or framework for the study proposed in the previous post.

Moving on the lighter things, this is a time of year for both reflection and anticipation. In this particular year, I have found so many reasons for gratitude in both my personal and professional life. I am becoming increasingly aware of the need to be grounded and to have balance in life.  These reflections remind me of a one minute video biography I was forwarded 9 months or so ago.  The gentleman profiled is an orthopedic surgeon (and cattle rancher) with 30 years of experience.  He comments on what he has learned along the way – One Minute Portrait – Bill Barnes

Here are some particular comments that stuck with me:

The last thing I learned was the first thing I should have learned. That’s always true.

The number one thing that motivates a horse to be with you is peace. And that also goes for people. People like to be around people who are settled, who know where they are going, are directed, and have self-confidence. And also, are trying to be a servant to others around them. You are really working more on yourself than you are on the horse. And that’s a real art.

This blog is about good management. When we think of that term we probably think first of a business setting. And TPS reports and quarterly reports and such things.  But I think that is a very narrow view of what good management really is, and misses so much. A realization I have had recently is that the first person we manage is ourself. The first person whose goals or objectives we set, whose time we manage, whose processes we set up, whose motivation we aid (or whose procrastination we mitigate), whose anxieties or fears or insecurities we seek to relieve, is obviously ourselves.

There is a real difference in what he is describing versus the type of self-focus so commonly exhibited when we resolve to go work on ourselves.  The need he is speaking to is to seek to become who we need to be in order to best serve the community and those around us.  These are the qualities of a leader that people delight to follow.

There are those that say service leadership is dead. A failed experiment. I couldn’t disagree more.  In my view, there has never been a greater need for genuine service leadership in our organizations and communities.  For this reason, the topic of service leadership will be a feature emphasis on this blog in the new year.

In the New Year, my resolution is to keep this part of the journey in mind as I resume navigating those destinations and distractions that seem so important in the moment.