I received the Medical Dealer 2011 Lifetime Achievement award. I was humbled, pleased and proud for the recognition until someone dampened the moment by telling me that if you live long enough, someone will give you an award. That is when I realized that awards do not define someone.
What defines us as individuals is how we have answered two questions. Have we left others better for having known us? In the end, is the good we have done greater than the bad?
I’m telling you this because I have been invited to present the Keynote at the Biomedical Associations of Wisconsin Annual Conference (As you read this I will have completed this honor in September.) I decided to speak on some of the wisdom that I have acquired in my long life and career in this great industry. I will present about 20 conclusions and reflections on life and business. I want to share some of these reflections with you in this column.
The number one item on my list is that we are in a relationships business. Relationships are built on trust and personal reputation. Relationships are a form of bonding. We begin bonding before birth and continue bonding through nature, nurture, chance or choice.
Trust is crucial in life and business. It relies on consistent behavior and begins slowly through mutual sharing of vulnerabilities. Trust takes courage, it is a personal concept, a belief and comprises many types. Trust takes time to build and is easily broken and difficult to repair.
The pursuit of money is not the pursuit of happiness although in the end everyone is in it mostly for themselves. Define your enough. Determine what will provide happiness and comfort and strive to achieve that. Don’t blindly grasp for every last penny.
You can only be brave when you are afraid or uncomfortable in the situation. Emotional courage is the foundation of integrity. If you feel a little uncomfortable when you are doing the right thing, you are doing the right thing. Find the courage to do the right thing always.
We tend to judge others as we judge ourselves and it is hard to imagine that they don’t know what we know. This is why we sometimes don’t understand the actions of others. Ask for clarification and feedback always. Realize that in every head is a different world.
Leadership is not management. Leadership is one life influencing another and is not about the task or the work. To be a good leader, first learn to be a good follower.
Never let anyone or anything come between you and your loved ones and those important to you.
Delegate for training, not to get out of work. Remember that you delegate the power, authority and accountability. The responsibility is still yours. Have well-defined and time-bound objectives, provide them and the tools to your talented people and then leave them to their work.
True friends are generally few and are based on full trust. You cannot force friendships, however you can force enemies. Cherish your friends.
Never stop learning. Feed your strengths not your weaknesses. To grow you must embrace change. To change you must not accept what is. Be more success conscious and not so much failure conscious.
Have a well-defined value system to guide you through life and decisions. This will make your actions simple. If the system allows for it do it, if not don’t do it. Never waver from the system. Break it once and it will become easier and easier to continue outside the system until your value system is no longer.
Your life is based on a true story. Look in the mirror to be sure that your perception of it is also true. Ask yourself about your value system, your time, talent and tools. What are you willing to exchange for your time, who are your true friends, are you spending enough time with loved ones, when will you have enough, and many other questions to ensure that your life is a true story in your eyes also.
A great question to always ask yourself is: What would I like to see happen? This ensures that you are prepared to have the emotional courage to move in the right direction.
What I would like to see happen is that I have made others better for having known me. You and I would also like to see this boring dissertation of pretentious reflections come to an end.
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