By John V. Guiliana, DPM, MS
Over the past decade, I have helped several hundreds of physicians improve their practice. And while being a business coach takes certain skills, what I have come to realize is that success ultimately resides in the hands (and minds) of those that I serve. Let me explain…
Whether we are talking about a podiatrist, a butcher, baker, or candlestick maker, there are certain traits that those destined for success always possess. As a business coach, I now actually look for these traits since I recognize their potential in creating a successful project outcome.
It’s not coincidental that when I speak with other consultants and business coaches, they also recognize these exact traits as being common to those destined for success. So, what are the traits?
A perpetual positive mental attitude
When I meet a doctor, I can almost instantaneously predict whether or not I’m going to be capable of helping them, simply based upon their outlook of things. Those easy to help are almost always the “glass half full” type. A positive mental attitude serves as the foundation for all other traits. Do you practice pushing negative thoughts away and embracing only the positive?
An “obsessive passion” towards success
Successful people are often borderline obsessed with their success. They frequently think about their businesses, its strategies, ways to improve, and rarely get distracted by other “shiny objects”. Despite this obsession, they also seem to have the great ability to keep the other important “arms” of life in balance…family and health. So, are you passionately obsessed about your practice? Is your life in balance?
The ability to see beyond the chief complaint
Another common trait of successful physicians is their ability to not only see and treat the chief complaint of a patient, but to also keep their eyes and ears open so that other pathologies are also recognized and discussed. It’s almost a core responsibility of a healthcare provider to be comprehensive and not treat patients using tunnel vision. Do you take the time and keep your eyes and ears open so that you don’t miss problems beyond the chief complaint?
The understanding of how to set goals
Successful entrepreneurs know how important it is to set goals. Without goals, you are merely throwing darts without having any insight into where the bull’s eye is positioned. While it might seem simplistic to many, setting both personal as well as organizational goals…and actually writing them down and reviewing them frequently…is a natural behavior for those committed to success. I also recommend sharing your goals with others. It makes you feel more accountable. So, do you set weekly, monthly, quarterly, and annual goals? Are they SMART goals (specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time bound)? Or, do you just let time unravel through sheer happenstance?
The ability to put emotions aside and trust data
Those destined for success intuitively never rely solely upon “gut instinct”, or react emotionally to events. They recognize that their practice’s data provides all of the necessary clues to guide decisions, to uncover weaknesses and missed opportunities, and to help solve challenges. Do you respond to challenges intellectually by examining data, or do you react strictly emotionally?
The belief that a successful practice needs to invest in technology to optimize efficiency
Successful providers understand that technology is often an investment and not a cost. It’s an investment that might pay off in multiple ways over time. It’s all about return on investment. Any task that can be successfully automated should be considered. Do you often look at technology and see only the price tag? Or do you use some of the traits discussed above to diligently examine the impact that the technology could potentially have on your practice, its finances, and your patients?
Now here’s the good news…these common traits shared amongst most successful doctors are NOT necessarily genetic. In other words, you don’t have to be born with them! They are learned behaviors. It just takes practice. Hmmm…maybe that’s why we call it “practicing” medicine?