A Surgeon’s View of Trouble

Whether running a business, writing a novel or creating anything else, a surgical perspective is sometimes the one that makes the most sense.

Surgeons aren’t timid people.  They know a few things:

  • Restoring a body to health can require very bold and decisive action to get rid of its toxic parts.
  • Having to go back a second time is less good than getting clean margins the first time.

When you identify people or programs or products in your business that just aren’t working, they can often be salvaged (thankfully) by making needed changes.  But sometimes, they can’t.  And then, the surgeon’s view is the only one that makes sense.  Cut out what isn’t working.  Leave clean margins.

Surgeons aren’t hateful or violent people, by the way.  They are healers.  And taking bold, surgical action to restore health to the project, team or text you are championing or leading or editing isn’t unkind, either—when truly required.  It’s necessary.

Restoring something by cutting away part of it seems almost antithetical.  But, of course, it isn’t.  And knowing when it’s the only possible next step is a requirement for creators who want to be aligned with the truth.

Is there a distracting or destructive part of your life that needs to be jettisoned, instead of adjusted?  Is there a unit of your business that needs to be shut down, not revamped?  Is there part of the speech you’re planning to give that needs to be deleted, not moved down the page?  Are you sure?  If so, then, do it.  Because doing what is necessary is being decisive, not destructive.

Dr. Keith Ablow


2 responses to “A Surgeon’s View of Trouble”

  1. Deb S says:

    I have a wonderful surgeon who’s saved my life — twice. And he went to Jesuit university for Dr. degree. He learned to “measure twice; cut once.”
    Same applies in life. Sometimes decisive action is needed; it may be short-term destructive, but works best in tbe long run!

  2. Susan McMillin says:

    Thank you Dr. A timely message for me. Hiatal hernia surgery early in March. Thank you!