What you do now has no future. Unless…

by Girolamo Ippolito


“Disneyland will never be completed. It will continue to grow as long as there is imagination left in the world”. — Walt Disney

In this new article I tell a little story with the aim to offer everyone some food for thought about the future of what we do and we are able to do.

“Once upon a time, there was a good doctor, well appreciated in medical as well as academic world, but above all, very valued and respected by his patients. He was the best in his field, in the emergency surgery. A very difficult discipline as you have to perform a surgery pretty immediately. The success in this profession is a question of a good balance between the surgery time and doctor’s ability to quickly understand the situation and decide how to proceed with the surgery. All that in a fraction of a second. Perhaps there is no other profession in the world where you work in these extreme conditions every day, when there’s a lot at stake. Perhaps, it is comparable to the missions of the Navy Seals but that is another story.

None of the cases dealt with by Dr Oppi were unsuccessful, apart from the ones that needed a miracle. He had an extraordinary ability to immediately read the situation, quicker and better than others, in order to identify the best way to intervene, and then knew how to use his hands on the patient with precision and decision like nobody else.

It was being said, in hospital corridors, that his extraordinary capabilities and numerous successes were inexplicable and had something supernatural about them. However, he was not interested in all that.

The good doctor, Dr Oppi, becomes the head doctor of emergency surgery ward in Re d’Italia General Hospital in Castel Faluce in central and southern Italy. He didn’t have to thank anybody, his success and credit gained during his career brought him where he was.

Couple of years later, on a summer night, Dr Oppi arrived at Accidents&Emergency in his hospital. This time to undergo, himself, a very delicate but urgent surgery. It was his team that operated on him. And after 42 minutes, at exactly 2:24am, he dies.”

And the story ends here.

“Irony of fate”, someone could think. On the other hand, a good Dr Oppi, was a victim, likely, of a big mistake made by himself during his career.

Indeed, Dr Oppi as the head doctor of emergency surgery ward built a team made of doctors with an excellent curriculum, promising and willing to become great surgeons. However, perhaps he was unwilling to delegate and he didn’t allow autonomy; perhaps he surrounded himself by doctors without the right passion and the necessary talent in their DNA; perhaps his position as a head doctor was supposed to be protected from potential applicants, Doctor Oppi did not have any intention (maybe not predetermined) to pass onto others, his team, the knowledge he gained and his extraordinary abilities. Therefore, he’s never had the intention to look for, select and make a student grow. One that could be his successor. He’s never done anything to create a way for succession.

Doctor Oppi, therefore, did not want and was not able to give continuity to his great and not very common capabilities. The extraordinary success of emergency surgery in that area, the greatness of local and hospital community, and the incredible abilities and medical knowledge gained disappeared with him. That night, the strong chain created by Dr Oppi, made of numerous medical experiences and very successful surgeries was broken because of him.

At this point, I’d like to ask the reader to stop and look around. A look at your company, the department you work for, the working community where you live. The reader will certainly discover that the world is full of such stories.

And while you’re taking a look around, I’ll ask you to reflect on this. And if you feel like and consider it important, partake by clicking LIKE, SHARE or COMMENT. It’s worth it!

Let me start with some reflection on this matter:

“It’s our duty to give continuity to excellence and great performance. The continuity as well as succession are acts of noble heart, great professionality and leadership in confrontation with others. They are important values that every manager or entrepreneur needs to have and bear in mind. Give way to others is not a sign of weakness but rather greatness.

By doing this we significantly contribute to ‘writing the future’. The search for the right people whom we give way, those who have a real passion (they find real purpose in what they do) is an everyday activity that is sensitive and crucial. Once found, those people get trained. Then we confirm they are ready and give them way one step at a time. Surrounding ourselves with these kind of people is not easy, we need great commitment and a good deal of courage and risk-taking, however, it is vital for the continuous development of an organization or a system.’

Therefore, I believe that one of the features, values or essential qualities that a Leader needs to have and we need to look for in a Leader, could be defined in one way only: ‘forever’, in other words, ‘tomorrow needs to be better than today, always’.”

Now you “continue”!

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