Follow Your Calling

By Dan Nielsen

America’s Healthcare Leaders recently began featuring segments of an exclusive interview with Joel Allison, retiring president & CEO of Baylor Scott & White Health. Allison announced his retirement as CEO of the large not-for-profit health system in March of this year, and his official last day at the helm will be Feb. 1, 2017.

Allison is one of dozens of senior healthcare executives who have offered their unique insights and advice to fellow healthcare leaders by being featured on the America’s Healthcare Leaders site.

In the first segment from this interview, Allison shared a bit about his extensive career and the joy he has had at each unique position over the last four decades, noting:

“It’s my calling, and I have always felt called into the ministry of healthcare.”

This is a refreshing perspective to have on your career. When you view your job as a calling, it gives more meaning and reenergizes your passion for your tasks.

Three viewpoints of work
Yale psychologist Dr. Amy Wrzesniewski conducted a study that suggests people view their work in one of the following three categories:

  • Job: “Focus on financial rewards and necessity rather than pleasure or fulfillment; not a major positive part of life.”
  • Career: “Focus on advancement.”
  • Calling: “Focus on enjoyment of fulfilling, socially useful work.”

The study concluded that those who fall into the “calling” section report having a higher satisfaction level with their lives and work.

How do you view your work? Have you considered it recently? The average person spends one-third of his or her life working, and the further your career progresses, the higher this number can go. Don’t spend your life begrudgingly going through the motions. Find something you are called to do and follow your passion!

Dan Nielsen is the author of the books Presidential Leadership (2013) and Be An Inspirational Leader (2016). He regularly writes and speaks on the topics of Leadership Excellence and Achieving Greater Success, and is available to deliver keynote presentations or facilitate discussions for your organization. For more info, please visit