Much is written about leadership, as though it is purely a skill to be taught and a task to implement. The reality is much more complex. As a leader of your business, this excellent short article from Profiles International is a good lesson and reminder for us all.
The seven deadly sins:
Assuming that your employees know the company’s objectives and purpose
- Approaching selection and hiring in haphazard manner
- Assuming that your people are trained
- Failing to evaluate and measure
- Failing to provide appropriate feedback
- Assuming that you are doing a good job and that your customers are happy
- Not marketing (failure to understand the relationship between marketing and sales).
And, as if seven deadly leadership sins were not enough, we will leave you with a “bonus.”
8. Treating employees as a commodity.
I’ll add a twist to this: treat employees appropriately and in a businesslike manner. I’ve witnessed physicians who viewed their staff with near disdain – an annoyance and an expense item. I’ve seen others who live in fear that one will leave, and shower them with cash bonuses and gifts in excess of what is reasonable and the practice can afford. Pay is only a part of what keeps an employee happy and motivated. Your time and money would be better spent on training, on invoving employees in the overal strategy and goals of the practice, and in the care of patients. (We’ve blogged on this recently in “Physician as hero.” ) By taking on pre-visit tasks, you will have more time to interview your patients, review the plan of care, and to examine and teach your patients. A well-trained staff, engaged with your patients and you, are your best way to leverage your time and skills.
Turn to your practice administrator or office manager to assess the staff and plan the training. Have them start with a six month training plan. For referral dependent practices, you may want to consider joint training with the staffs from your referring physicians, so that they, too, can identify and make better referrals.
A leader can never assume that the desired behaviors and knowledge are in place in their organization. Part of the role is to ask questions, follow up, inspect and assess how the individuals and the organization are achievng their mission and overall goals. Turning the sins into good deeds – good management – is the task of a good leader.