Energy Leadership for a Surgeon

A few year’s ago, I had a very successful surgical practice, but I was not happy that doctors were losing control of how best to care for patients. I was very frustrated with dealing with electronic medical records and other mandated directives from those NOT providing direct medical care. I knew I was looking for a change. I was seriously considering leaving medicine. That’s right—I was willing to no longer be a doctor! So I began researching my exit strategy.

Exit Strategy

I had spent a significant portion of my career teaching and focusing on performance improvement. I started by teaching residents how to be outstanding orthopedic surgeons, and I was very involved in national and regional education programs. I also initiated a fellowship training program to teach specialty training in orthopedic trauma.

Reading Better by Atul Gawande made me think about his concept of the surgeon coach. All this history told me that coaching aligned perfectly with my philosophy of performance improvement in trained professionals, so I decided to register for an iPEC (Institute for Professional Excellence in Coaching) coach training program.

That was my first big step away from the operating room.

Prior to the first weekend of iPEC training, I received a required reading assignment: Bruce Schneider’s Energy Leadership: Transforming Your Workplace and Your Life from the Core.

Bruce was the founder of iPEC and the innovator behind Energy Leadership.

My first pass at Energy Leadership was fairly easy. Although I don’t love to read, I do love to learn. The book introduced me to important new perspectives and information.

Not every book we read will have a lasting impact on our lives, but this book—combined with what I was going through with my actions—had a huge impact on my life.

Walking with Knowledge

The principles taught in Energy Leadership have changed me a great deal.

I never ended up leaving my surgical practice, but I now dedicate a lot more of my time to assisting others (particularly other surgeons) in making their own transformations.

Of all the lessons taught in Energy Leadership, the energy principles have been the most valuable to me.

I created my own methodology for surgeons (The 8 PRACTICEs of Highly Successful Surgeons) where Energy is the E. Positive energy and energy principles as taught by Bruce Schneider are about raising personal awareness and consciousness.

Every day, I make a concerted effort to grow in consciousness, and that growth allows me to also grow in physical, mental and emotional energy.

A Worthy Investment

Coaching training required a serious commitment of time. In fact, it required almost as many hours as the typical MBA. But when I decided to step into coaching train, I was in no position—financially or mentally—to walk away from my surgical practice

Honestly, as I near the "end" of the training road, I am still amazed at how much work it has taken to get here, and how I’ve stayed the course.  It really illustrates how little I knew about these principles coming in, how transformative the coursework has been, and how impactful Energy Leadership has been for me as a surgeon and student.

But now that I’m finally approaching the end, I’m glad I’ve taken the time, dealt with the long hours, and done the work. I appreciate the amount of time and energy I have invested in my training, and I am simply amazed at how much I have received (and will continue to receive) from this worthwhile investment. 

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