I have been traveling a great deal recently and have had the opportunity to talk to lots of my good friends. Over the course of these conversations, people tell me stories about themselves and others. Many of their stories are both inspirational and motivating and make me feel good about the quality of people in the healthcare industry.
One gentleman I had the chance to speak with had been the chief executive officer of a major healthcare system. He's a terrific guy with a big heart and he knows this industry well, but because of a problem with his medical staff, he suddenly found himself out in the cold. For a few months after he was let go he went through what so many recently unemployed people experience: the doubts, the fear, the rehashing of events and the anger of being literally tossed aside.
But after a while my friend got back on his horse and I am happy to report that he is doing well. He has a great attitude about what happened to him and is optimistic about the future. As we talked he told me about something he started doing after his own ordeal. Whenever he hears about someone being "let go" or fired he calls the person-whether he knows them or not-and offers them his support and kind words. He tells me the reception he gets is one of both surprise and thankfulness. It's too bad more people don't do that because when someone loses a job he or she is always surprised and somewhat hurt by the people they don't hear from.
I worry sometimes that we are all in so much of a hurry regarding our professional lives that we forget what life is all about. I've witnessed the cold, calculating ambition of people as they wind their way through any organization. We all have. And I've also seen their insensitivity to the needs of others. Occasionally they succeed, but more often these types fall by the wayside because they are so wrapped up in their own needs that they forget those that helped them along the way. There are unfortunately too many of those kinds of personalities around, and when a friend or acquaintance falls by the wayside they forget to pick up the phone or drop a note to a fellow colleague who is traumatized by being fired. So when my good friend told me about his caring attitude for others in need of support, I was touched. It showed me his true character and his principles. In the future, he will have my full support, and I will do everything I can to help him achieve his dreams.
I recently bumped into another man, a friend I hold in the highest regard. In my opinion, he is one of the most dynamic sales executives in this industry. He is passionate, determined and enthusiastic about everything he does, which also makes him fun to be with. He told me this story and I will always remember it because it touched my heart.
He was in Washington for business, and as he came out of his hotel to meet some friends he saw a young soldier sitting near the entrance rubbing what was left of his missing leg. My friend sat down with the young man and asked him how he had lost his leg. As the two discussed things, my friend became more and more impressed with the young man's attitude, and as they talked the young soldier admitted he wasn't sure what he was going to do once he was released from his military duty. So my friend suggested that the young man come work for his company. He was so touched by the whole experience of meeting the young soldier that he returned to his room and cried for a half-hour.
It turns out the young man's father was a gentleman whom my friend had known for years through the healthcare business. What a truly small world. The next day, my friend, the young soldier and his father went to Walter Reed Army Medical Center to visit other GIs who had lost limbs in Iraq. He told me the caring and gentleness of the nurses and doctors who attended the soldiers was something to behold. He was also impressed by the soldiers' spirit and commitment to their missions in Iraq. The young soldiers felt that bringing democracy to Iraq was well worth their sacrifices and if they had the chance to do it all over again, they would make the same sacrifices. As my friend said, "Where do these wonderful young people come from? It makes you so proud to know there are kids like this who are so deeply committed. It's too bad the media continues to miss this story because it is most powerful and I was fortunate enough to witness the whole thing firsthand."
These are just two of many conversations that have captured my attention recently as I travel around the country visiting with various clients and customers. There are so many wonderful stories out there.
I am constantly impressed by people who work in this industry. I am one of the luckiest guys in the world to have friends like the two I've just described. It is my hope that you learn important lessons from their stories. We are all in this world together and I think we should let others know how we feel about them-it doesn't take much effort to show you care.
People are what it's all about,
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Lauer is the author of two books, Reach for the Stars and Soar with the Eagles, and is an experienced guest lecturer available for public speaking engagements. For more information, go to chucklauer.com.