Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center
Compassionate Leadership in Action

Compassionate Leadership in Action

A co-worker here at the School of Medicine likes to razz me a bit on the time I spend listening to podcasts. I made an observation the other day in this guy’s presence, and his response was “what podcast did you hear that on?” But, I combine two things that I enjoy—going on long walks and listening to podcasts. Since I try to walk for one hour a day, that obviously is seven hours of podcast content I hear in a week. There is so much interesting content on podcasts, and there is one for every topic, it seems.
My favorite podcast is Second Opinion with Senator Bill Frist, MD. He is actually a former US Senator from Tennessee and he is a former heart transplant surgeon. His family started Hospital Corporation of America (HCA), the largest proprietary hospital system in the USA and probably the world. Even with all of those accomplishments, he still seems like a genuinely nice person and he has the most interesting guests. Episodes are typically related to some aspects of health care, but also management issues and even the environment.
A recent guest on one of his episodes featured Donato Tramuto, the author of “The Double Bottom Line: How Compassionate Leaders Captivate Hearts and Deliver Results.”  Listening to them prompted me to buy the book.  

Compassionate leadership isn’t about being nice. When practiced effectively, it’s a strong leadership style that can elevate spirits and profits. It is also about action! He states we can have empathy, for example, when we see someone struggling in a Lubbock parking lot on a windy day trying to load equipment in a vehicle and “feel” for that person. But compassion is when we walk over and ask if we can help get the boxes in the vehicle.
Tramuto is a recognized CEO, business leader, innovator and philanthropist. His book states that compassion is a key leadership principle, one that:

  • powerfully drives trust, success and innovation
  • raises morale, builds stronger teams and improves overall performance
  • creates sustainable commitment to an organization’s mission and values

In our mission for Texas Tech Physicians, it states, “Improve the health of people we serve with a spirit of compassion and knowledge.” We have been talking about compassion for many years. So, let’s strive for the compassion and knowledge contained in our mission statement and put these two power tools to work in serving our patients and others.

As I write this, tomorrow, I will be going to the Spirit Awards Ceremony. I’m excited—there are a lot of people who will be honored for practicing our SPIRIT values, and that’s compassionate leadership in action in my book. Look for their pictures in an upcoming issue.