Good morning SOTGC readers. The title of this post came about from a conversation I had with one of my favorite surgeons a couple weeks ago. We were in a case and he was was trying out my newest product and found out I had started working with one of his idols and previous mentors from his residency training. When I said I would make sure to tell him that he said “hi” the next time I saw him, he quickly asked me not to. He explained that when he was a resident his dream was to go into academics and become one of the most published and renowned surgeons of his specialty. Then he met his future wife, married, had children, and decided that kind of life would take him away from his family too much.
He told me he was worried that if I let his idol know I worked with him, that this person might tell me what a disappointment he had been since he hadn’t pursued that academic lifestyle. I couldn’t believe what I was hearing. Here is a person who is loved by the staff, respected by his peers in the surrounding community, is the section chief of his specialty at his hospital, and has a wonderful and involved relationship with his wife and children. Yet because he gave up his first dream and didn’t let his ego demand that he continue on with it to the detriment of what he felt he owed his family, that he would be a disappointment?!
I logged onto the Harvard Business Review and found a great article called “Three Questions to Remove Ego from Decision Making”. Though this article talks about the three things to be aware of as a leader of a business or country, I feel a great personal parallel can be drawn for personal and professional decisions alike. The article talks about how personalization is not the same as passion. One needs to have passion to be a good leader. However personalization is the conflation of ego and hubris and if one makes decisions based off of personalization, it will always be to the detriment of the people surrounding them and who are affected by the choice(s) made.
I apologize if this post seems preachy. That is not my intention, however this is something I have been thinking about for several weeks as I start this blog and am cognizant of the sacrifices I will have to make, and weigh the upsides to forging ahead. I hope to bring awareness to the decisions you make and that looking at them from a 30,000 foot view, without the ego dictating the decision, may help if you are struggling with making a big “game changing” choice.