The Triological Society’s Myles Pensak Talks Physician Leadership
Dr. Pensak on the slopes.
We sat down with Myles Pensak, MD, the Triological Society’s executive vice president, to hear his perspectives on leadership, and how physicians can get involved.
On leadership models: There are a couple of very major definitions of leadership, and no one is better than the other. I actually look at leadership as being the offensive tackle. On a football team, the offensive tackle, from my point of view, is probably the second most important player. These players do two things: They block and allow running backs to get down the field; and they protect the quarterback. I look at my job as the executive vice president of the Triological Society as blocking and tackling to enable our membership to get where they want to go.
I also use the “Disney World” model of leadership: When you go to Disney World, you don’t see power and lights, you don’t see sanitation and food delivery, you don’t see air conditioning, you don’t see all of that—it’s all underground. The whole thing above ground is the experience for the patron. My job working with our administrative group should be invisible to our membership.
When people join the leadership group it becomes clear that they are inseminated very early on with the concept of servant–leadership. Servant–leadership means being able to take calculated, disciplined, and thoughtful risks; but it also means to have a certain degree of fun.
On getting involved: I was nurtured, I was mentored, I was provoked, and I was encouraged, and, in some cases, I was pushed by Triological members [during my career]. I am unaware of a single member of the society who is not willing to lend an ear or a hand to a medical student, a resident, a fellow, a potential candidate, or a new member in any venue—whether that is practice, whether that is academics, whether that is getting input regarding grant writing.
There’s a huge repository of intellectual and experiential knowledge [in the Triological Society leadership]; and that’s how people get involved. It’s one-on-one, and I always reflect on the variance and the experience. I can’t even imagine any other organization that has that spectrum of individuals who rise to leadership, and each one of them brings a special view, vantage, perspective, and that is what makes the organization healthy.