Holston Medical Group recently opened their new Nephrology Center, with a Dialysis Center set to start by the end of the summer. One of the new nephrologists for HMG came from Minnesota, where he worked for Mayo Clinic. Upon joining HMG, he informed us that every year in Minnesota there was an event called a Kidney Walk hosted by the National Kidney Foundation that gathered patients from all over the surrounding area to raise funds and awareness regarding kidney diseases. He wanted to bring this national event to the Tri-Cities area, and thus my primary goal for this internship is organizing a Kidney Walk and engaging in community outreach for the event. Recently, this physician, my supervisor, and myself met with the regional representative for the National Kidney Foundation to discuss fundraising and sponsorship options. After this meeting, my supervisor assigned me to the task of developing creative ways for the offices of HMG to have fun competition amongst each other to increase donations for HMG as a whole. This task prompted my thinking on prosocial leadership and behaviors.
In Theories and Models, we often found ourselves discussing the differences between prosocial and proself behaviors. In almost every case, it is better to have prosocial behaviors within a group. Groups with participants who work for the group are found to be more successful than groups with participants who work for themselves. Although this seems obvious, prosocial leadership can be hard to come by, especially in larger organizations with CEOs who are separated from the group. With this in mind, I realized this saliency to group, which is key to group identity formation, would be the most beneficial form of competition among the patients, physicians, and providers of HMG. If everyone is assigned to a group, whether that be by color, letter, or even number, a group identity will form and thus intergroup competition will develop. Competition between (not within) groups is fundamental to success and prosocial behaviors. Thus, through this internship, I have found a core opportunity to implement a theory learned from my leadership classes into a real-world situation.