From the President

Michael Horsfield
By Mike Horsfield, PT, MBA

Dear Friends,

Appreciating that the right question was many times more important than the right answer was a transformational moment in my leadership journey.

Countless times I found myself at the dead end of a journey navigated by right turns to the wrong coordinates. This month’s edition of Impact made me reflect on whether the title implication that we can “manage stress” is leading us to ask the wrong questions. As therapists, we prescribe stress for a living. Soreness that improves with repetition and eventually builds tolerance to greater stress is the currency that pays our mortgage. With a foundation of trust, we help patients reframe the uncomfortable feeling that accompanies exercise as progress rather than pain. By dosing the stress correctly, we build activity tolerance and thereby convert the emotions of fear and anxiety to accomplishment and hope.

As leaders, should we focus on managing stress or on building tolerance? Do the principles of trust, dosage, and reframing of associated emotions apply? What changes inus and our team when being “uncomfortable” is framed as the desired price of progress? How does the team respond when “I don’t know” is seen as a growth opportunity rather than failure?

The Educate and Connect pillars of our Section have and continue to play an important role in making unfamiliar territory comfortable for me. The materials and, more important, the people have helped me replace the anxiety and fear of “I don’t know” with excitement and anticipation of “Oh cool, I’m about to learn something new!” It was you, my friends, who helped me realize that the only way you can become a better leader is to change the behaviors associated with feeling you are not “good enough.” Who would have thought believing “I’m good enough” was the way to be better?

Leadership can be lonely and none of us can do it alone. It is my hope that each of you have the support systems in place necessary to both build your tolerance to ambiguity and enjoy the process to better. At PPS, we are continuously searching for the next right question that will ensure we earn the privilege of seeing where your beautiful journey ends.

Together, we got this!

The next Board meeting will take place May 11, 2021 at 3 PM EDT.

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