Be the Leader You Want to Follow
July 2019 Issue
Having strong leadership in your practice is vital to its success. A leader sees those who report to him or her not just as employees but as teammates—partners working for a common purpose.
A good leader influences, communicates, motivates, and always inspires others to be their best.
Too often managing is confused with leadership. The former is tactical. It involves carrying out a mission and adhering to a game plan. By comparison, leadership involves defining the mission and the strategy and then motivating and guiding the team to success.
Let's take an example from the author Stephen Covey. He illustrates the difference between managing and leading by citing an example of men cutting through a dense Amazon forest directed by a manager. The manager is pushing forward with the project, overseeing the men as they cut through brush to clear a path. However, the forest they're cutting through and the direction they're going was strategically determined by a leader.
Reflect on your own work experience. How often have you had the good fortune of being motivated by leaders whose vision you shared because you were made to feel you mattered in the larger scheme of things? How often was the company's mission statement so clear that it inspired you to identify with it and therefore, to experience job fulfillment?
You may be among the fortunate few who work for an effective leader, and if you happen to be that leader yourself, stay on track.
Take this time to look into your practice and answer these questions to help assess your company's leadership.
1 Is your staff aware of the company's vision and mission? Could they articulate the company's vision back to you?
You and your teammates must all be going in the same direction toward the same goal. If any member does not know that direction or the "why" well enough, that disconnect will stop any progress or growth.
2 What is the culture of your organization?
Good leaders create a good culture, build trust, applaud greatness, and address issues as issues arise.
3 How are problems currently being handled?
It is important to assess how your organization handles things that go wrong. A company with solid leadership will address challenges as they arise and not simply ignore them and hope they will go away. To quote Tony Robbins, "You get what you tolerate." Don't allow problems to grow.
4 How are decisions made in your organization?Good leaders are decisive, make decisions promptly, and clearly communicate their decisions so that staff members are well informed. Whether the decision is to fire an underperforming employee or choose a direction to move the company, decisions are being made. History shows us over and over again that there is a clear risk to a company when leaders do not make the necessary decisions or don't execute them well. It is important that your company leaders have a systematic way to make and execute decisions regularly and efficiently.
In any business the leadership sets the tone for the whole company from creating the culture to setting the pace for workflow. The first step toward the success of your team and business is to be the leader that you would want to follow.
Erin Cammarata is president and owner of CBS Medical Billing and Consulting. She can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.