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San Antonio Tex on Leadership

(As reported by Shot Doc)

Note: San Antonio Tex and Shot Doc were on their way to the San Antonio Rodeo when Tex asked Doc if it was ok to swing by downtown. Tex had been asked by his good friend, Chris Bacorn, to talk to a group of Veterans Affairs (VA) health care leaders who were in a leadership training program. Tex always appreciated what our veterans had done for our country and was always glad to help Chris out, even though he couldn't always figure out what Chris was talking about all the time. Shot Doc took the following notes from that interview.

Chris Bacorn - We're fortunate to have San Antonio Tex stop by with us this morning on his way to the rodeo and stock show. From time to time we ask Tex to drop in on some of our training programs to give us his unique view on things or to help us sort things out. Thanks for stopping by Tex.

San Antonio Tex - Howdy

Chris - As I mentioned to you Tex, we're having a leadership training program this week, and we wanted to have you say something about leadership.

Tex - I already tole you I wasn't a leader and didn't know anything about leadership, didn't I?

Chris - Don't worry about that, Tex, we've had lots of consultants stop by our hospitals that didn't know anything about leadership or running a hospital...Maybe you could start by telling us a little about your philosophy of life?

Tex - What do you mean by fee-los-o-fee?

Chris - What guides you?

Tex - The sun and stars.

Chris - Let's start over. Do you have any rules in life?

Tex - Just one.

Chris - You go by only one rule? What is that?

Tex - Don't do bad things.

Chris - Could you explain that more?

Tex - You know, I always get a little suspicious when people ask me to tell them what bad things are.

Chris - Just give us as example.

Tex - Never sell a lame horse.

Chris - You mean never sell a lame horse without telling the person you are selling him to that he is lame or in general misrepresenting yourself that might lead to distrust?

Tex - You having a hard time understanding this?

Chris - No, Tex, just wanted to get clear. Any other examples of bad things not to do?

Tex - My pappy tole me that no one can take away your good name...but you can give it away by not keeping your word...so never don't do what you said you would.

Chris - So you mean always keep your word to keep the respect of others?

Tex - You sure you're not having a hard time understanding this?

Chris - Maybe we could change the topic. I was interested in something you told me the other day. You said that hearing me talk about running a hospital made you think that running a hospital reminded you of a rodeo. Could you tell us what you meant by that?

Tex - What I said was that running a hospital sounded like taking a herd to market. The rodeo is a fancy place to show that you know how to do it.

Chris - So getting ready for the rodeo is like taking a training program to learn core competencies in getting ready to lead a hospital to its goal.

Tex - You're using them big words again.

Chris - Never mind. Tell us what it takes to get a herd to market.

Tex - Well, first of all you need a good Trail Boss...someone that knows where you're taking the herd. Next you need a scout to help the Trail Boss know where to find water. Them critters need water or they won't make it. Also need to find good grazin' for the herd to eat along the way. And during a storm, them critters get spooked and you need to sing to them to keep them calm.

Chris - Sounds like you spend a lot of time and planning taking care of the herd, like we tell our supervisors they need to take care of their people if they want to lead them in support of the organization's goals.

Tex - Don't know much about supervisors...we got trail hands.

Chris - What else do supervisors, I mean trail hands, do?

Tex - Well, every once in a while some of them critters stray off and try going their own way and you need to rope 'em in.

Chris - What about the Trail Boss? What's the most important thing the Trail Boss has to do to get the herd to where he wants to take them?

Tex - Well, if you're riding ahead of the herd, you need to take a look back every now and then to make sure it's still there with ya.

Chris - I know you have to go, Tex. Thanks for stopping by. We always appreciate hearing from you.