In the book, Lessons From the Top: The Search for America’s Best Business Leaders, Howard Schultz, the CEO of Starbucks, made the following observation:
As a medical doctor you really are similar to other entrepreneurs with employees and one of your primary goals should be to attract (and keep) motivated staff. So let’s explore the six key traits that will help you become the kind of leader people love working with.
#1. The Aesthetic MD Insider Vision
As the practice leader, you must communicate your vision, or the vision of your practice, to the people you want to follow you. To do this, paint a picture with words. Speak it, write it, and draw it. Whatever methods you can use to create a picture, do it. As they say, “A picture is worth a thousand words.” Ask each of your staff members to repeat back, in their own words, about the vision of the practice. How close is it to what you thought they understood? Is your team on the same page as you? Your practice vision should be in your mind every day, and you should reevaluate it occasionally so that it stays current.
#2. The Aesthetic MD Insider Passion
We all want passion. You want passion. Your employees want passion. In fact, some of us will travel to the end of the earth for it. Christopher Columbus explored unchartered territory. Why? Simple. His leaders’ passion inspired him to take on new and very dangerous challenges. For you to build an extraordinary medical practice you have to get your team really excited about you and your vision. Think of all the great leaders throughout the ages and try to name one that did not have passion.
#3. The Aesthetic MD Insider Decision
You must learn to make sound decisions. How are major decisions made at your practice? What is your process for making them? Some leaders have a set process. Others meet with their management team, while others fly by the seat of their pants. Most of all you don’t want to become an isolated leader who doesn’t consult with anyone before making a decision.
#4. The Aesthetic MD Insider Leader
To become a great leader, you must develop a great team.. But how do you do that? You can start by carefully handing off responsibility to your team and letting your team run with it. Don’t breathe down their necks and DON’T micromanage! DO make yourself available if questions or problems come up. Don’t forget to use humor to keep your team’s spirits up during a crisis. When an emergency hits, your team will look to you to be a tower of strength, endurance and leadership.
#5. The Aesthetic MD Insider Character
Without character all the other “key traits” are meaningless because it is your innate character strengths and limitations that play a critical role in your leadership style. The real question is, are you aware of just what role you play? All great leaders have taken steps to learn about their individual personality and what part it plays in their leadership style.
# 6 The Aesthetic MD Insider Clarity
If you are able to explain complex ideas in a clear and simplified manner, you will ultimately achieve the best result. Make sure that everyone on your team is crystal clear on their specific task, roles and responsibilities.
Learning your personal leadership style through a simple assessment such as the popular Myers-Briggs Assessment, can help you begin to understand how you can effectively manage your medical practice all the way to the top. As Nike says, “Just Do It”.