I’ve had the good fortune throughout my career to work with some incredible leaders. But for every great leader I’ve been around there were dozens of individuals who could have been great leaders and never were.
I’ve known many people who have had the skills, the knowledge, and the experience to lead people effectively, but they never put a personal plan in place to get there.
Most veterinary hospitals have a plan. Big or small, established or brand new, there is usually a plan of some sort that says, “Here’s how we will get to where we want to go.” What many people fail to put in place is the personal plan that will drive that direction. This is especially true with small practices that rely almost solely on the effectiveness of their leader to drive growth. But it is also true of major corporate veterinary practices who can, and have, begun to slide backwards due to the failure of those at the top to lead well.
Make your day a success
Think of all of all the business components in your practice that you’ve planned out: marketing strategies, measuring success, managing inventory, paying employees, scheduling appointments, and many more. These components are successful based on the quality of the leadership in the practice. Now think about all of the things that make you more, or less, effective on any given day. How much sleep you get, how you spend your time, whether or not you get that workout in, what you eat, and what you’re thinking about. These factors determine whether your day is a shining success or something you simply manage to get through. So what plan do you have in place to do those things that drive personal effectiveness?
Your practice is only as good as you are
It’s often the case that we spend countless hours thinking about how to get others in our practice to operate more effectively and very few focused on how we keep our own performance at its peak. It’s like building a high performing engine and then letting the battery run dead. It doesn’t matter how much our practice is capable of achieving if we aren’t able to lead it well enough to get there.
When you build a plan for your hospital to operate well and achieve great things make sure you also build a plan for you personally to do the same. Decide what you will spend your time on and when. That’s not to say that circumstances don’t often change your plan but changing your plan to deal with an issue, and not having a plan at all, are two very different things. Not having a plan means you will consistently focus on whatever the shiny object of the moment is and not what’s most important. Your practice is only as good as you are and great leadership takes enormous energy, focus, and commitment. Be certain that you are prepared to deliver.