CEO's of any company set the direction of the organization, make major decisions for the company based on educated counsel from others and provide encouragement and motivation for those he/she leads. Unfortunately, the natural progression of practice growth leads to the doctor role growing (thanks to a full schedule), the manager role becoming bigger (due to more staff/business "fires") and the CEO part of our job fades into the background. The day to day business gets to the point we neglect planning, we stop listening to the concerns of the team and our decisions are urgent and made without much consideration. Our inner CEO role shrinks so much that it is no longer effective.
When the CEO of an organization is not effective, there is a lack of direction, a lack of inspiration. We go from proactively building the practice of our dreams to reacting to the daily concerns of the business. I call it "putting out fires." (In later issues, I will discuss Fire Prevention vs. Fire Detection vs. Fire Extinguishing.)
Bringing the CEO Back
Justin Timberlake said he was bringing sexy back. I don't know if we can do that, but I do know that we can bring the CEO back.
To effectively receive the benefits a CEO can bring to your organization, you have to carve out time just for that. Many start by blocking one half of one day without patients. I have recommended this to many practices. Most hesitate,arguing that they are too "busy." But none, who have made this commitment say they have felt it was a bad decision. Being the CEO when you have time, does not work. Being the CEO between patients does not work either. It is worth it.
Make good use of this new time. Schedule CEO tasks that need to be accomplished during this time. The CEO is the visionary, the proactive thinker. This is the time to work toward the future of the practice. Some typical CEO tasks will include:
- Re-Visit the Vision, consider updating
- Evaluate Practice Goals / Compare to Responsibility Charts
- Develop / Marketing Strategy (Yellow Pages vs Facebook)
- Write a Budget - Look at Financial Benchmarks
- Improve Staff Development Plan
It is easy to see how time spent on these tasks can be beneficial for the long term health of the practice, but also how tough it is to concentrate in small bursts. So step one in Becoming the CEO is to schedule time to perform CEO tasks and make good use of the time.