For the past 7 years, my focus has been working with physician entrepreneurs (actual and wannabes) ... those adventurous souls who set off to brave the wilds of self-employment.
More recently, I've been receiving questions such as this one:
"I have an entrepreneurial spirit but my circumstances don't permit me to take a chance on leaving my organization where I have been an established and quite successful medical director for four years. What advice can you give me?"
While I am not in the advice-giving business (coaches don't typically advise - instead they facilitate self-discovery of answers and self-fulfillment of potential), I have given this question much thought, and here are my musings.
The secret is to become an active physician intrapreneur!
I love this part of the definition of intrapreneur (the term was first coined in 1978):
"A person ... who takes direct responsibility for turning an idea into a profitable finished productthrough assertive risk-taking and innovation".
I've alluded to "innovation" in healthcare in the recent past. "Risk-taking" is part of the definition of an entrepreneur, and "assertive" suggests a willingness to step out of the shadows, into the sunlight and start heading down the path of being a contributor, and even a potential disruptor!
What then are the seven secrets to becoming a successful physician intrapreneur?
- Cultivate a clear Vision for what you believe is possible. Learn how to inspire others within the organization with skilful story-telling and presentations.
- Communicate your Passion for improvement, innovation, quality - whatever it is that that gets your juices flowing
- Articulate your Skills and Talents and how they can benefit your organization - you can do this without blowing an obnoxious trumpet
- Offer your Enthusiasm to anyone who will listen -
- Network skillfully to uncover those who will serve as your Champions
- Become your own best Advocate - once again, your interpersonal skills and emotional intelligence will pay big dividends
- Develop Perseverance - a now-recognized trait of successful entrepreneurs!