PRS Embraces Servant Leadership Philosophy From Management To Patient Care

By: Tom Pennington, P.T., CEO

Having just interviewed over 20 pre-P.T. students for 2 days who were applying to a local DPT program, I was reminded why I wanted to become a P.T.—“to have a chance to give back and help someone on a personal basis—both physically and psychologically.” Those were my thoughts and answer 31 years ago and to my liking it was overwhelmingly the answer today. Bright, together young men and women putting forth their best efforts to embark on a life changing career choice to help others.

For the majority of physical and occupational therapists, even after years of service, there is a sincere passion and in many cases a solidified mandate to continue to help others and have a positive impact in the lives of their patients. PRS therapists are no exception to the rule in this regard. The founders and leadership team of PRS last fall decided to become intentional about maintaining a leadership culture within PRS that embraced the concept and fiber of our therapists in their desire to help and provide to others first and foremost. PRS wanted to be sincere, functional, consistent, and effective in this altruistic goal of its culture. Our leadership team detests self-servingness and arrogance in reference to authority or perceived authority at the expense of those they supervise. We perceive this power management approach as immature, insecure, and extremely counterproductive toward a culture of trust and betterment. To this end and after careful analysis, our leadership chose to affiliate with “The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership.”

The Greenleaf Center for Servant Leadership was founded by Robert K. Greenleaf in 1964 as the Center for Applied Ethics. It was renamed for him in 1985 and today operates as an international non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the understanding and practice of servant leadership. Greenleaf postulates that a Servant Leader is a leader with a sincere desire and focus on serving others. Kent Keith, CEO of Greenleaf Center, describes servant leadership not in self-denial or self-sacrifice process, but rather as a self-fulfillment byproduct. Famous world figures from Aristotle to Schweitzer to Christ have long concluded that true meaning and purpose in life is found in serving others with compassion before serving self. Servant Leadership is serving others while power leadership is serving self.

Characteristics of a Servant Leader are: listening, empathy, healing, awareness, persuasion, conceptualization, foresight, stewardship, commitment to growth of people, and building community. Sounds like the same characteristics of a good therapist, doesn’t it? Other attributes of a Servant Leader are unconditional love, being real, facilitates a common vision, empowers others, meets the needs of others and removes obstacles, and cheerleader. A Servant Leader asks: what do people need, how can I help them get it, what does my organization need, and how can I help the organization do it? People truly want to follow a Servant Leader.

A Servant Leader begins with love and acceptance of differences and wholly believes in the worth and goodness of people. It has been demonstrated that Servant Leader companies generate both success and ,more importantly, significance. PRS strongly desires purpose and meaning for our team members and patients in every facet of our operations. Our leadership team shares the same passion toward helping one another as do our therapists in helping their patients. With the realization that we will often fall short of perfection in our pursuits of servant leadership, it will not be because of lack of desire or continued efforts. I am convinced that Servant Leadership is the right management philosophy for our patient and team-centered private practice rehab company.

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Physicians Rehab Solutions
12123 Shelbyville Rd. Suite 100, #250
Louisville, KY 40243
760 Campbell Ln. Suite 106-169
Bowling Green, KY 42104
Phone: 855-244-1053

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