At the Heart of Leadership
I have heard endless times that we should not bring our heart into our work. It is scary. It is dangerous. It is vulnerable. What if we burn out? What if the impersonal systems that drive our work distort a comment or click the wrong tab? We have invested so much into our careers that they define us. They define our purpose, our meaning, and our calling to serve the least of these. What if the systems that are designed to help cause burnout? What do we do to regain the heart of our work, the people we are called to love in healthcare?
We need to love more. It seems counter-intuitive but as we deepen our internal practices, whether it is meditation, yoga, exercise, hiking – whatever your self-care routine, the more we fill our hearts with the life-giving gifts of caring for patients. As we grow courageously strong, that dangerous burnout we all fear becomes easier to manage. We become courageous, vulnerable, caring and most of all: loving.
The opposite of fear is courage. What if we do not bring our heart into our work? Doesn’t it feel much the same as burnout? We become an autonomous machine going through the processes that appear like caring but it is task-focused, not relationship focused.
What is the solution? A community leader recently asked me what I do for a living. I replied, “I care for healthcare leaders”. Gulp. That was scary to say. I got a frog in my throat and realized the enormity of my call. Her response took my breath away. A look of peace and joy came over her face and she asked how I care for healthcare leaders. My entire mission is to love healthcare leaders through creating healthy organizational systems and people. The two integrate as part of the whole of my calling to care for healthcare leaders. It is the whole of helping the systems see themselves to create healing.
My entire mission is to do whatever I can to invest in your growth, whether it is helping create a system that will make your work easier or offering individual or group leadership tools. Tools range from small group retreats where we dig in and get at the heart of what it means to care for others to life coaching where we spend quality, meaningful time growing as a leader. Most importantly, it is about you. As you deepen your ability to lead at whatever stage of your life and career, the more engaged you will be to equip parents like me to care for their special needs child.
Growth opportunity: I invite you to look at the work of Dr. Brene Brown. She is a well-published researcher and author on courage, shame, and vulnerability. I absolutely love her audiobooks, read by her, as it feels like I am sitting on a couch, side-by-side with a close friend. She has played an integral role of growing me as a leader and giving me depth to my work.