Leadership is about keeping the team (and yourself) focused on execution and minimizing distractions.
The Third Universal Promise of Leadership is: to ensure your strategies, systems and processes facilitate focus and execution.
Selecting the strategies, systems and processes that serve your vision best is a leadership function. Execution of the systems is a management function involving the entire team, including you, the healthcare professional.
Strategies are designed to fit your destination. Strategies, systems and processes efficiently channel actions into results. The ongoing results create feedback for refining your focus, systems and processes.
Focus Versus Distractions
Practice owners are flooded with messages that distract them. The entire healthcare industry targets them with promotions for things, services, and behaviors. They are told many versions of what they should buy and should do in order to succeed. Other distractions come in the form of emotions and self-doubt that become barriers to living out their dreams. Those “should” messages, emotions and self-doubt serve as continuous distractions from everything that is important.
Leaders sometimes break the third universal promise of leadership by:
- Not providing or managing their critical resources.
- Allowing distractions that diminish their focus or lead to inaction.
- Ineffective or inadequate processes.
- Becoming addicted to the process rather than results.
Here are two examples:
- One of those distracting messages leads you to buy the latest and greatest technology. It uses up your capital resources, and you then hesitate to purchase the fundamental instruments, equipment and materials that your organization needs to perform at its best. If you were to live this all over again, you would have made a different decision. If you are clear that your strategies and budget are designed to get you to your destination, you can discipline yourself to refrain from such impulse purchases in the future.
- You read an article or talk to a colleague who is trying the latest hottest strategy for practice building. It is in conflict with everything that you have said that you believe in and hope for. You wonder if you are doing the right thing. Your doubt leads to team confusion and disillusion. This is getting you nowhere. Now you find you have to go back and clarify your vision, mission and values to reset your strategies, systems and processes as aligned steppingstones to your destination. With determination and hope, you can and will refocus and get back on track!
Keep Hope Alive
Breaking promises is exhausting and energy stealing. It builds resentment and degrades hope. Our organizational brand and our effectiveness as a leader are about the promises that we make and then keeping them. I firmly believe the first and last task of a leader is to keep hope alive…the hope that we are finding our way to a better place. That place is the destination we call our vision!
If you enjoyed this article and want to read the first three articles on the Four Universal Promises of Leadership, click the links below and stay tuned for the fourth promise of leadership which will be coming soon.
Would you like to learn more about how Leadership and Coaching Culture can change your team dynamics, then download our free ebook: 7 Surprising Steps to Grow your Practice Through Leadership.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.