The vision thing


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The vision thing

  1. 1. TODAY’S PRACTICE Marketing Mishaps The Vision Thing Leadership in the practice begins at the top. BY SHAREEF MAHDAVI Walt Disney had tons of it. Bill Gates many physicians approach patients as if they are there for has changed computing because of it. the doctors’ benefit. Under effective leadership, everyone And George Bush the elder admitted on staff—doctors included—understands that they are in that his lack of it kept him from earning business to serve patients, and not the other way around. a second term as President of the United States. The “it” I’m describing MAKE AN ASSESSMENT here is vision. In the refractive surgery Take a moment to try to answer this question: What ispractice, having a vision and a plan for its achievement your vision for your practice? If the answer is not readilyis fundamental to success. Take a look at your col- apparent to you, then consider spending time developingleagues who have thriving surgical practices, and you one. Once you think you have a vision for your practice, askwill undoubtedly find that they have a vision for what some of your staff members what they think of it. Do theythey are trying to achieve. share your vision? Again, any disconnect between them and you is a sign of neededVISION AND LEADERSHIP improvement. “People do John C. Maxwell, an expert “Take a moment to try to answer this what people see,” stateson leadership, calls vision the question: What is your vision for Maxwell. If your staff can’tindispensable quality for to- share your envisioned goalsday’s leader. He states, your practice?” for the practice, how can“People do not follow a they be motivated to fol-dream in itself. They follow low your direction? It’sthe leader who has that dream and the ability to commu- your job to communicate your vision to them.nicate it effectively.”1 Remember what sensory research has long proven: 89% Successfull clinicians are able to communicate their of what we learn occurs visually, 10% is auditory, and 1%vision to their staff. These physicians assume a role comprises other senses. No wonder eye care is so impor-beyond that of doctor; they act as leaders by helping their tant to patients. These statistics also explain why having astaff understand the practice’s goals for success. You will vision for success as the leader of your practice is critical.find that the process of realizing a vision takes time, pa- Without it, you and your staff are lost. With it, you createtience, humility, and courage. It’s far easier to allow the a foundation for growth—in your practice and in your“command and control” mentality of the operating suite staff. Yes, you actually can make dreams come true. It justto spill over into the clinic, and you need a lot of self-disci- takes a lot of work and a clear vision of where you wantpline to be able to switch hats and foster an open and to go. ■communicative management style. In the best practices,physicians hold regular staff meetings that everyone looks Shareef Mahdavi is founder of SM2Consulting, based inforward to attending, and they work hard to make sure all Pleasanton, California. His monthly column is dedicated toof their employees have a voice in the decision-making. improving business and marketing conducted by medicalThese physicians put forth such efforts because they real- companies and doctors. Mr. Mahdavi welcomes commentsize that they cannot do everything themselves. at, or he may be reached by phone at (925) 425-9963.PATIENTS KNOW THE DIFFERENCE Patients can spot a practice that has a vision. The staff Access archives of earlier columns atexhibits the qualities of loyalty and teamwork, and this impacts patients’ experience. Unfortunately, too 1. Maxwell J. Developing the Leader Within You. Nashville, TN: Nelson Publishing; 2001. MAY 2004 I CATARACT & REFRACTIVE SURGERY TODAY I 81