Want to be an effective physician leader? Get results
What do you think are the most important attributes of a leader and business professional?
Your role and list of responsibilities? Professional demeanor? High quality suits and business cards?
While those are all necessary ingredients for the whole package, the key attribute of a leader and emerging business professional is a LEGACY OF RESULTS. Accomplishments. Not a series of “roles and responsibilities”. We all have those. For leaders, the role is the opportunity to create RESULTS.
Effective leadership means coming up with the goods. Many professionals have a hard time distinguishing accomplishments from responsibilities. I spend a lot of time with my coaching clients on this distinction, combing through their past results, and planning for future results.
A result is the creation of something new that advances your organization forward either in terms of revenue, sales, profits, market share, product development, product improvement, customer retention or customer acquisition. Achieving results, therefore, in the surest way of advancing yourself!
Here is a short mental checklist to get you thinking about your professional life as a series of accomplishments and results achieved. Have you ever:
- Saved your organization money?
- Reduced unnecessary admissions?
- Invented or developed a new product, procedure or process?
- Discovered something new?
- Improved operational efficiency?
- Reduced wait times?
- Improved patient satisfaction (measurably)?
- Improved provider or team morale (measurably)?
- Drove a merger or acquisition?
- Improved NCQA or JCAHO rating?
- Achieved increased productivity despite resource cutbacks?
- Started the first ever of something?
- Uncovered a quality catastrophe?
- Averted a safety nightmare?
- Improved patient safety (measurably)?
- Improved market share?
- Surpassed a competitor ?
- Launched a new product
- Identified a new market?
- Improved sales revenue?
Now that you have a feel for what a result and accomplishment sounds like, review your professional life over the past three years. What would you say are your top one or two accomplishments for each year? If you come up with 7 or 8 accomplishments, review again. Significant accomplishments take time and therefore are going to be a small number of SOLID hits each year. Make sure you are not listing “responsibilities” or minor results.
If you are coming up short with results, and more significantly, if you are not on course to produce results this year, start planning! Decide on one or two results you will target for the next 6 to 12 months. If you are in a corporation or structured organization, ask your supervisor to approve of your targets AND, while you’re at it, ask to get a bonus for results accomplished. If you manage other people, make sure you have measurable results targets for them in addition to their regular “role and responsibilities.”