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Leadership Lessons From A Gynecologist

Leadership Lessons From A Gynecologist

The real achievement of the doctor is to live in the heart of the patient and empathize with her.

Samrat Sinha

The Millennial Corporate world has been swathed by the deluge of learnings from diverse fields. In the last decade or so we have been inundated with “management gyan” from myriad sources, be it celebrity sports persons espousing the need for teamwork or actors sharing the mantra of success. Reams have been written and loads of sound bites have been heard, on what one can learn from the great practitioners of not-so-corporatized professions. 

In the initial days this kind of stuff seemed fascinating and the novelty value was flaunted by management gurus around the world. With the overkill, the novelty waned and a sense of ennui crept in. Then came - improvisations like adaptations from the religious texts and scriptures. Quite a few experts have made a career out of management & leadership parables from religion and even the epics. Continuing this quest for drawing corporate lessons from unexpected sources, this piece aims to put the spotlight on Gynaecology.

Let’s examine the potential management learning by following the process of conception to delivery. The visit to the Gynaecologist starts in the first few weeks of pregnancy wherein the concerned couple are briefed on the entire cycle culminating in the joy of having one’s own baby. The way a long term relationship is established is worth emulation. The doctor manages to build a bond of trust with the expectant parents. This trust ensures patient loyalty in case the couple wants another baby in subsequent years. This is akin to repeat business and customer loyalty in corporate parlance.

In the ensuing nine months the interaction with the Gynaecologist is at least nine times if everything goes smoothly. In case of complications the visits would be more. Empathy is the name of the game; as the would be mother’s condition is empathized by the attending doctor.

During Ultra-sonography, try and seek information on the gender of the “to-be-born” and see how politely or sharply the Gynaecologist turns down your request. Gender disclosure is an offense in India and high levels of Legal and ethical compliance can be observed in most of their ilk. The take-aways for corporate honchos here are Regulatory compliance and Good Governance Standards.

Team-work and synergy may be imbibed when you observe the doctor engage with support staff and paramedics. The entire team wears the demeanor of the leader.

The Operation Theatre is the epicenter of synchronized action where strategy, tactics and operations play out with clinical precision. In a Caesarean Section one can find the bigger picture is envisaged first, where the How, What and When are pre-decided and then comes preparation. 

The tactical plan is to ensure that in case of any adversity the team would think on its feet and improvise. The operation, the most important leg is supervised and led by the Gynaecologist in person. While the team takes care of the routine but essential stuff, the real thing is undertaken by the leader. Each minute detail and resource is check-listed and the procedure is conducted in perfect harmony. The leader, here the Gynecologist in a surgeon’s role can be seen shepherding the team and also performing the lead role. Leading by example is the prime cart-off here.

To quote Dr. Bandita Sinha, a prominent Gynaecologist from Mumbai, the real achievement of the doctor is to live in the heart of the patient and empathize with her.

The wisdom bits can be countless…..

Samrat Sinha (First published on )

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