Who’s running your practice originally from June 15th, 2018 FPC Newsletter
Written by Dr. Charles Webb
Who’s running your practice?
I can’t think of an occasion where I had the opportunity to ask an owner /practitioner the question, “Who is running your practice”, where I didn’t get the immediate response of, “Well, of course I’m running my practice.” The concern I have with this knee-jerk response is that I seldom find this to be true.
So before I take you through a brief synopsis of defining those actions associated with truly governing your own practice, can you tell me who is running yours? I’m not a betting man when it comes to gambling, stocks or horse racing, but when it comes to winning at building business, I comfortably step up to the plate. My bet is 10:1 that you are not running your practice.
Before you stumble about justifying that surely you run your own business because you wear the badge of CEO or president, hear me out. Your title is only representative of what you should be doing. As CEO your main responsibility is to ensure your business brings maximum return to the share-holders…you!
Let’s take this logical discussion point by point.
- Is your main responsibility during the practice hours visiting with patients? If yes, then when exactly are you handling your CEO responsibilities. As a practitioner, you play a role as a technician in the service department. Who’s managing you? If you are in a position whereas you are the only service provider, then you will in fact need to take the responsibility to schedule in weekly time to cover your CEO responsibilities. Not doing this? Then who is running your practice?
- When making critical decisions are you one who feels you must get the support of your team before moving forward? Let me be clear here. As a competent CEO you need to have your pulse on the practice and your team, and, you should respectively converse with them your ideas and accept feedback. However, as the CEO you are the leader and final decision maker. Allowing your team to give the final yea or nay reveals a lack of leadership and competence.
If you can’t comfortably make the decision you feel is best for your practice without complete buy-in from your team you should step down as the CEO and bring in someone who can get the job done. Even worse is when I hear a practitioner claim, “I just can’t do that because my team would never go for it.” Let’s just call it what it is…Mutiny on the Bounty. In my humble opinion, the captain should walk the plank with this cowardly attitude.
- Have you designed your practice around the whims of your patients? Do you have office hours during the weekend or late into the evening? Do you allow the banquet type of services in the fee-for-service model that allows your patients to pick and choose what they feel is best for them? Designing around the whims and conveniences of your patients does not equate to putting your patients first. Not even close.
This is a model based on fear and wishing to ensure you meet everyone’s personal conveniences and pocket book. You sacrifice many things here. Your team must give up much of their family time so your patients don’t have to give up theirs; You allow your patients to be the doctor and make decisions that only you should be making if the goal is more than symptom relief or disease management and, you lose control of your patient because you’ve trained them to be in control. In summary, they will not see you as the leader that is confident and competent and one who will hold them accountable. You both lose. Here’s a pearl you should take to heart. Your patients are not seeking out your services to be your friend. They are looking for the person that will mentor, guide them and take their case seriously enough to demand a partnership of equal respect.
So who is running your practice? My desire is that I didn’t win this bet. If I did, do you now see the clarity in what it means to truly step up as the CEO? Until you choose to do this, take the time to learn exactly how a CEO is to perform, what the associated responsibilities are start taking responsibility, you’re accepting someone other than you, is running your practice.