Sam Majumdar is a very special man. A champion of true diversity. Person-centred, living his values, encouraging and caring – oh, and a world-class surgeon as well!
Sam and I made a very special connection a few years ago when he first joined Twitter. I encouraged him with social media and he saw me as a bit of a mentor. We became friends, in real life as well as virtually. And of course mentoring works best when it is not one-way traffic and Sam mentored me on all sorts of things that really matter in life. Since my experience of cancer over 10 years ago, I have learnt to ‘not stress the small stuff’ and go with the flow. Sam has encouraged this in spades, helping me make my work truly organic and go where the real energy is. Sam believed in the work I am doing through Whose Shoes and has encouraged me at every twist and turn – and believe me, there have been many!
Sam is a leader. Clinical leadership is very underestimated in health care, but Sam seems to be on a much deserved wave, as people listen to his commonsense ideas about how things need to change to re-inject compassion into every healthcare transaction.
I was delighted for Sam when he was invited to be part of a panel at a recent GMC conference.:
And then more recently, Sam had this excellent blog on patient safety and quality improvement published by the ‘Good doctors’ site, hosted by the GMC.
Today, it is a huge pleasure to publish Sam’s blog exploring (Sam’s words) the “highly misunderstood topic of leadership” and (my words) a glimpse of what it is like to be a person-centred clinician in 2016 .
From my Whose Shoes? workshops, I know there are many more brilliant person-centred healthcare professionals out there. Many of them are ‘under the radar’, not daring to speak out and be heard. It is selfless, forward-thinking leaders like Sam who will encourage others to do so…
“The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step”
Here are the 10 steps to get you to your destination
1. Understand your core human needs (Start with Why)
You must know your fundamental needs. If you do not know why you are doing something your effort may be wasted and may not have an enjoyable experience. Look for Return of Joy (ROJ) in everything you do in life. When your actions are truly aligned to your core needs joy will be there in every moment
2. Define your Purpose with maximum Clarity
Vision is the distant dream attached to your heart with Creative Tension. Remember the stronger the tensions nearer you are to the dream. When you know where you are heading going becomes easy as your heart opens up with an abundance of creative options and the universe conspires to take you to the destination. All human beings are extremely creative and resourceful.
3. Make passion your driver (trust your gut feelings)
Passion is the spontaneous energy that flows out our heart effortlessly when the heart is not repressed. If you submit yourself wholeheartedly to your passion in life the path to your goal open up. When the conditions are right your dream will manifest but this will happen you are able to believe in yourself. Have Faith in yourself and let your passion be the guide in this journey.
4. Connect with feelings & always lead from your heart
We remember what we are made to feel. Simple! A new born baby sees the world with her heart (perception) and the 5 senses. Only about 8% of the meanings in any conversation come from spoken words while significant part of the experience comes from the nonverbal communication perceived subconsciously. Every interaction and connection you make in life aim to leave the person on the receiving end happy in heart. Lead from your heart. Connect with compassion and empathy. Create Win : Win everywhere and every time in life.
5. Stay focused on the big picture
Attention energises and makes things grow. Look at the fruits and flowers in a beautiful garden they did not come without a lot of careful attention. Absence of attention causes Entropy. It is a fact that all children on this planet need attention (love) to Grow. We know very well the painful consequences of neglect, lack of love and repression when everything withers away. That is entropy.
Embrace your dream as if it is your little baby. Open up your heart and connect with your dream with loving Energy which is the metaphorical umbilical cord. Nurture it with maximum focus like an expectant mum. Your dreams will manifest. This is the power of Focus!
6. Make failure your teacher
Remember how many times you have fallen as a baby while learning to walk! And you can walk now without even thinking. It takes roughly 20 hours to understand something but 10,000 hours to perfect it. All failures in life come with, blatant and embedded powerful feedback. Pay heeds! Outcome of every action in your life will teach you how to get it right. Be a lifelong learner from your own observation of life. Failures can be very painful but worth every penny when you learn from it through deep reflection (Introspection).
7. Cultivate gratitude in your heart
Gratitude is an extremely powerful energy that will pull you forward and upward in life. Practice gratefulness actively in everyday life. You can easily recall at least 3 people in your life without whose selfless help you would not be where you are today. Send them graces from the depth of your heart every day. Results will be overwhelmingly pleasant for you.
8. Make good practice your everyday habit
Every action produces an outcome; pleasant, unpleasant or ambiguous. Good practice produces good outcomes. Make them your habit; if possible your rituals. Excellence in life is not an accident but the results of many thousand hours of good practice. Make good practice your habit and don’t wait for an inspiration to change your life.
9. Redefine Fear
Do not be hijacked by your fear or live as its prisoner. Look deep at its face for reasons. Irrational fears will disappear with logical attempts to define it, because they come from the lower part of brain; just like darkness when you switch of the light. Redefine fear within the context of your dream i.e. the big picture in your focus.
10. Live in the Present Moment
We are only alive in the context of the present moment. Past is History; memory that is helping us experience life in the present moment. Future is mystery and remains elusive. One is often focused in the past when depressed or focused in the future in the time of anxiety. Sadly in both of these situations significant proportion of our creative energy is wasted as the present moment fast becomes past. Focusing into the present moment with the mindfulness creates what is in your heart and connects you with the person sitting in front you who would love your attention or the beautiful field of lavender you are gazing at. Get stuck in the present moment for the magic to unfold.