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About Philippa Kennealy

 

Philippa Kennealy MD MPH CPCC PCC is The Entrepreneurial MD Business Coach who wants to help you build your business!
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« What medical practice workflow changes are you ready to make? | Main | Every entrepreneurial physician business owner needs money! »
Wednesday
Aug242011

Physician leadership is a must-have skill for physician business owners

Okay - it's time to talk physician leadership since we're up to Rule # 7 of Bill Murphy Jr's "The Intelligent Entrepreneur" - this Rule is Learn to Lead.

The course that had the greatest impact on me during my Masters in Public Health program was "Healthcare Leadership". As we were debating and learning about the skills that good leaders exhibit, it struck me that we physicians had very little training in what it took to be effective as the person in command of the show.

Shortly thereafter, in my role as Medical Director of our local hospital, I campaigned successfully to set up a physician leadership training program for our hospital medical staff,  local IPA and academic medical center leaders. In many ways, this training helped provide significant breakthroughs in some of the stubborn impasses in which the diverse constituents of our medical community were engaged.

I have never forgotten the lessons.

"The Intelligent Entrepreneur" describes these leadership traits of successful entrepreneurs:

  • integrity and trustworthiness - "making promises and then doing everything you can to keep them"
  • enthusiasm, if not downright passion, for the vision and mission of your medical practice or business
  • ability to communicate, to the external world and the inner circle of your organization, the vision and mission of your medical practice or business
  • confidence and a "visceral sense for the right way to do things"
  • willingness to recover from failure
  • the ability to hire the right people, and then empower them to make decisions
  • willingness to tolerate mistakes in others as long as their heart is in the right place
  • willingness to make decisions that are not always popular
  • ability to cheerlead
  • candor with your team, in keeping them updated as to how your business or medical practice is doing
  • insight into yourself, along with the ability to manage yourself (these are critical aspects of Emotional Intelligence

What is most striking about this Rule # 6 is that no amount of book learning will substitute adequately for real life experience.

What this means for aspiring physician entrepreneurs is it's time to position yourself in whatever leadership capacity you can, to begin acquiring the physician leadership skills that will be essential to your future success in business.

Should you get involved in your hospital, leading one or more of their committees? Or should you spend time working your way up the ladder in your local chapter and then national specialty society? Perhaps you'll discover your leadership skills through your religious institution, your child's school, a networking organization or in a voluntary position on the board.

I encourage you to begin acquiring and practicing those physician leadership skills as soon as you can!

(Connect here to the earlier 6 Rules for the Intelligent Entrepreneur)

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Reader Comments (3)

Excellent Post!

A plethora of educational materials have been published on professional career development and leadership skills; far fewer for physicians of course; but the basics remain the same. Why such a proliferation on this topic?

Perhaps, it is due to the fact that healthcare leadership today is now consider very different from the leadership style of yesterday. Every aspect of leadership has been under intense scrutiny, by employees, industry experts, physician-executives and business management gurus.

Much like health 2.0 today, the very form of leadership is in a state of evolution – changing, modifying and redefining core values. Many leadership theories or models have been developed, revised, reviewed and assessed by the experts. What is needed, therefore, is an integration of several models specifically appropriate for today’s healthcare business environment and modern healthcare executive.

Leadership vs Management

For example, many times, individuals will use the terms management and leadership synonymously. In actuality the terms have significantly different meanings. Warren Bennis describes the difference between managers and leaders as “Managers do thing right, Leaders the right thing.”

Managers are those individuals who have as their primary function managing a team of people and their activities. In effect, managers are those who have been given their authority by the nature of their role and ensure that the work gets done by focusing on day to day tasks and their activities.

On other hand, a leader’s approach is generally innate in its approach. Good leadership skills are difficult to learn because they are far more behavioral in nature than those skills needed for management. Leaders are also very focused on change recognizing that continual improvement can be achieved in their people and their activities can be a great step towards continued success.

Eugene Schmuckler PhD, MBA, CTS
Dr. David Edward Marcinko MBA CMP
http://www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com
August 24, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAnn Miller RN MHA
Another excellent post, Dr K, on an important subject. Integrity and trustworthiness also top my list for any leadership position. Would that our politicians respected this. I might add authenticity as a vital characteristic. Know who you are and then be who you are. As someone once said, "Be Yourself. All the others are already taken." Dr C. http://JohnCarnegieTeam.com
September 1, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterDr Charlie Smithdeal
Another skill that would be very helpful for a physician with a business other than leadership is great and effective communication skills. One who has good communication skills is more likely to convince people, eventually creating a clientele.

April 30, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterRachel

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