By Brian Passell, PhD / Executive Coach and Managing Partner
There is a significant difference between practice management and practice leadership.
Practice managers help the staff to feel good while the staff performs tasks to get the job done. It’s about getting tasks done with enjoyment. Practice managers can manage the practice when it is stable, but they have difficulty when circumstances are changing, as leadership is required
Practice leaders possess internal stability on a hierarchy of factors – environment, behavior, capability, beliefs & values, identity, and connection to something beyond self. Practice leaders create bonds to these factors thereby providing stability for others to follow. They believe that what they do moment to moment is an expression of who they are. In essence, leaders lead! Practice leaders know that to change your life you must change your questions. So practice leaders facilitate change of focus and open access to new resources.
Great practice leaders possess these qualities:
- Beliefs – develop strong core beliefs and “To thine own self be true!”
- Optimism – be a problem solver, not a problem maker; believe there are solutions.
- Courage – take action in the face of fear.
- Preparation – do your homework; “luck” is where opportunity and preparedness intersect.
- Teamwork – be humble and know that you can get others to help with success.
- Communication – people who can influence others can move the world; get good at it by practicing all the other qualities.
Also, practice leaders know that when placed in charge, they must make decisions. They know how to make decisions even if they don’t have sufficient information to make the best decision. Why? Because they recognize that a decision is needed to be made, and their responsibility is to not hold things up.
Practice leaders are not afraid to make decisions in their practice because they hold the belief that there is no such thing as failure, only results. In addition, they are strongly guided by a commitment to, “Do the right thing!” namely, to do what’s right for the patient, what’s right for the practice, and what’s right for their team, in that priority.