Just as with staff, there are probably 50 shades of grey between “super awesome boss” and “replace please.” I was going to call this article “Good Staff, Bad Staff” but in thinking my way through it, I realized that it is the executive (owner) of the practice who is going to set the bar on how well staff perform and exceed expectations.
Unfortunately, being a great executive and leader is not a talent we naturally had installed in our gene pool before birth (for more info, read “Doctor Vs Executive”). On the other side of it, that means it is a skill and can be learned by anyone. Some people develop these skills in different ways and at different paces.
In a practice setting, the reputation of the practice and the net income is largely influenced by the skill of the executive who owns the practice. So what skills would be needed in order to achieve “super awesome boss”?
Super Awesome Boss Skills
- Likes and cares about people and is interested in them and their lives (staff and patients/clients). For real. Not fake. For some people, this takes a little practice to develop but it can be achieved.
- Listens to their staff (and patients/clients). Genuinely. Doesn’t argue with them but works on understanding the full picture and then works out a solution.
- Is consistent. If you give an order to do something, you must diarize a follow up to ensure it is done. If you set practice policy on how something is to be done now and forever, you must follow through and ensure that it is complied to. You can’t be wishy washy as a boss nor let things slide.
- Must be a good trainer and also good at correcting mistakes without taking the erring person’s head off. There are right ways to do all this.
- Team leadership and setting good, achievable goals and targets are alike very important in moving the practice up to new levels of great service and production. Staff need clear guidance on where you want the practice to go.
- Gives orders in a firm and positive way so that the staff member has all the data needed to understand the order and comply.
- Must be able to organize for efficiency and production. This often takes some thought and planning and scrutinizing and discussing with your staff to see how and where systems can be more streamlined. Most doctors shirk this and just let things run along without analysis and adjustment. Their income suffers as a result.
- Be able to validate or acknowledge openly when a staff member or the whole team do something really well or pull off a stiff target, etc. Praise is a very valuable commodity that is often quite lacking in a practice. By the way, staff can praise the boss when she or he does something terrific too.
- Be worthy of respect because you are living up to your role as an executive and doing what is expected of you. You must set a good example and be a good role model for your team. Small example of this is if you are always late for work it could open the door for staff to follow suit. Further, this point means getting everyone to fulfill their duties to the max. Being nice and accepting excuses does not earn respect.
- Rewards production. Putting in a good bonus system to reward production on a weekly or monthly basis can have a wonderful result as that puts the staff on the same page as you in terms of “increased productivity can result in increased take home pay.” There are good and bad systems however, so make sure to do something that works for your practice.
This article could go on and on but the above are some of the essential aspects of being the “super awesome boss” that you can work on. If you think you are already perfect, then you have a self-analysis problem. There is no such thing as a perfect boss and it is something everyone needs to work on fine-tuning forever. You must consistently work towards the ideal executive. Learn, learn, learn and then put it into practice!
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