The art and science of leadership: Dr. Faisal Khosa offers inspiring words

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Leadership takes many forms. That was one of the takeaways from a recent Vancouver Physician Staff Association (VPSA) Unique Lives in Medicine luncheon. The guest speaker was our colleague, Dr. Faisal Khosa, a VGH radiologist as well as an award-winning scholar, researcher, mentor and philosopher.

“What do all great leaders have in common,” Dr. Khosa challenged his audience. “They are beyond involved; they are fully committed. A good leader is like a candle that consumes itself to light a path for others.”

He went further.

“The leadership challenge in medicine is that, for most of our educational and professional lives, our success is directly proportional to someone else’s failure. To get into medical school, we compete with 5,000 people for 200 spaces. Later it’s competition for residency, fellowships and staff positions. Then, there’s competition as to who gets to work in Vancouver. But once we start a job, we’re expected to work cohesively, to see things from a win-win perspective, when win-lose at this point has become part of our DNA.”

Like the VPSA Facility Engagement Initiative event he was speaking at, Dr. Khosa wants more of his colleagues to come to the table and be part of the conversations that lead to positive change.

“In life, if you do not opt to be at the table then you will remain in the menu, because the menu is the default,” he advises. “You can have more than you’ve got because you can become more than you are, but you have to make that choice. You have to make a conscious choice coupled with effort to come to the table and become empowered. This is what the Facility Engagement Initiative wants for physicians. Engaging allows you to bring your heart and soul to your work and to return home happy with a sense of contribution and accomplishment.”

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