As we go about our daily grind at work, particularly in fields such as aid and development or patient care, we are motivated by a specific WHY — a belief in the cause behind our jobs, and the organization that we are part of. We want to have an impact, contribute to something we believe in. It’s easy to know our WHY.
Yet our WHY can become buried amidst the business and busyness of work. There are reports to write, budgets to defend, staff to coach, projects to manage, proposals to draft, applications to evaluate, patients’ concerns to respond to. Not to mention the hundreds of emails, endless hours spent in back to back meetings and conference calls and the demands of business travel.
Social responsibility service events such as medical missions, when done regularly by any organization as part of its social accountability initiatives, can become routine, or just a tick off of plans of action listed in the approved strategic plan and programs. A great number of a hospital’s care team and administrative staff are regular and passionate volunteers at such medical missions.
In many ways, such initiatives can spark an employee’s sense of pride for being part of a company that incorporates volunteerism and improving lives of the underserved in its priority programs.
That said, however, even a crystal clear purpose of providing humanitarian service to make a difference and pay it forward can transform passion into fatigue.
So every once in a while it can be helpful to remember our WHY.
Simon Sinek speaks eloquently and persuasively about WHY in his celebrated book Finding Your WHY. He explains that most people can easily tell you WHAT it is that they do and HOW they do it, but struggle to understand and articulate WHY they are spending each and every day working on something. Sinek emphasizes that the WHY is the most important question.
He stresses that leaders cannot expect to attract motivated staff members and businesses cannot expect loyal customers if they themselves are unsure of their purpose. Goals that involve giving can be powerful.
Here are some best known businesses that did this. Apple computer was founded with the goal of making technology work for everyone. Ford Motor Company built cars that the average person could afford and use. Disneyland was created to become “the happiest place on earth.” The New York Times informs its readers daily with “all the news that’s fit to print.” The great insurance companies began as a way for people to share the expense and reduce the impact of loss or disaster.
This also applies on an individual level and to any aspect of life. If you are unclear on why you are doing something, chances are it will soon become a chore and you will look for a way out.
My WHY is anchored in my belief that everyone ought to have the opportunity to have a career or job that they love, that makes an impact on the world and that enables them to have a life outside of work and the ability to pay it forward. I believe that this is good for individuals, making them happier, more satisfied, more fulfilled. I also believe it is good for their families, friends and the people whose lives they touch. And I believe it is good for their employers and the organizations they work or interact with.
My WHY is my passion, the heart of what I do. It’s the reason why I volunteer, work late and go the extra mile. It’s the reason why I continue to break barriers, working with healthcare organizations to change and enhance institutional culture, advocating fiercely for true patient-centered care driven by excellent clinical outcomes and patient safety…Not because it’s a job. But because it’s what every patient deserves — every day, all the time.
Find your story. Find your passion. Find your WHY.
“You can only become truly accomplished at something you love. Don’t make money your goal. Instead pursue the things you love doing, and then do them so well that people can’t take their eyes off of you.” — Maya Angelou.
The great thing about passion is that it’s infectious. And a great story doesn’t have to be dramatic, just genuine.
With over 30 years of experience in patient care, healthcare marketing, business development and hospital operations, Marilen Tronqued-Lagniton is a Certified Lead Auditor for ISO 9001:2015. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from St. Theresa’s College in QC, Philippines; completed the MBA for Healthcare Administrators at the Anderson Graduate School of Management at UCLA; Completed the Patient Safety Officer Course, Institute for Healthcare Improvement (IHI) & Harvard School of Public Health (T.H. Chan) in Cambridge, MA; Completed the Advanced Leadership Program for C-Suite Leaders, Kellogg School of Management, Northwestern University (Evanston, IL). Email: [email protected]