How to NOT work in your practice and have more free time
Now you know where you are going. You are in what is called Phase I: “Beginning a New Activity by single handedly training staff.” When Phase I is done, Phase II is “Running an established activity. An executive gets people to get the work done.” (L. Ron Hubbard) You are the executive, as well as the professional, and you have to train your staff yourself at first. Many never get out of Phase one and never remotely approach power, many staying in a state of cope or struggling to pay the bills. This is the state when they do not apply the principles set out in this series of articles on the road to Power.
To get to any major goal, you will need a team. You have a loyal, hard working receptionist and secretary and young associate. How do you convert them into a team of steely eyed soldiers in your campaign marching toward your goal. First, put yourself in their places, and learn all about their lives, and their needs and wants. Train each of them in their respective posts yourself. Put together a pack that includes their job description and how to do it, step by step, and even have them drill what they do before you and give them a pass and award for doing it well. Give each one or more stats to maintain for their individual posts. And teach them how to post them on graphs to keep by their desks.
Make them part of your battle plan, roles to play and give them titles and rank, and if they are really good, pay them above their pay grade. Give them rewards they would appreciate for being ‘upstat’ and always acknowledge them for even the slightest win. For major wins, treat them to dinner and a bonus. Let them know they are not just important but they are cared for. Make it feel like family. Make them proud to work for you.
Set office goals and even create games to let them compete or try to beat their own previous statistic, to give them constant reasons to excel.
Move as rapidly as you can into Phase II so that you are released from the day to day operation and administration, so you can become all you can be as a doctor and as good as you know you are in your healing magic. Consider yourself a magician and that you are truly changing the lives of your patients with your magic. Never consider yourself as anything less. You are needed and wanted. You know this without any doubt or reservation.
Stay ahead of the game in keeping yourself up to date in every phase of your profession, constantly growing in the technology of Chiropractic and administrative technology, always finding ways to give better service and make the office run smoother and more efficiently.
Train and delegate. Don’t try to run it all by yourself, single handing the whole operation. Hire people to do the jobs for you, and train them to do these functions, such as bookkeeping, billing, initial interview, and take the viewpoint of being the CEO as a supervisor of personnel and at the same time, keeping yourself sharp on cutting edge technology in your profession, moving ever forward, becoming more and more adept and qualified. And finally, as you have delegated functions and power, allow them to wear that hat of that post. The worst thing you can do to undermine the employee’s competence and confidence is to micromanage him or her.
When you have arrived at this position, you are into the coveted Phase II, when you can officially wear your executive hat and run your practice by looking at statistics of employees and taking measures to shore up any significant drop in stats by finding out why it happens. Remember this maxim, “If one is not producing, the problem is inevitably training.” L Ron Hubbard. And if he or she is not trained, it is your fault.
As you grow, make sure that you have highly qualified staff to handle all of those administrative tasks for you. By now you should have moved into Phase II where your staff is handling the admin and day to day office functions. Now here is a danger point, and a deadly mistake many executives make that really harms production. There is a principle of leadership – “Don’t Be Busy.” Claire Lew, CEO of Know Your Company, says quoting Michael Lopp, VP of Engineering of Slack, who said “If you are too busy doing the actual work, as a manager, that’s a huge mistake.”
She further says “the best leaders create an environment for people to do their best work. This means helping employees navigate what’s unclear, providing context about what needs to happen, and showing a path forward about why the work matters. But you can’t do that as a leader if you’re on the phone with clients all the time, buried in your email inbox, or running around to business development meetings all day.
As leaders, we need open space to listen to what’s not being said within our team. We need gaps in our day to observe what and who the bottlenecks are. We need the time and patience to ask questions to better understand what can be improved, and to be empathetic to an employee.
You can’t make decisions that are strategic and well thought-out, or map out a company’s vision, if you’re busy. You can’t truly anticipate nor respond to the needs of your team if you’re busy.”
Make sure that you have a few minutes “muster,” or office meeting at the first of every day and one staff meeting weekly to discuss statistics, acknowledge wins and set goals for the following week. Have each staff member post his or her stats in easy view so all can see. Have them available at the regular staff meeting.
Now that you are firmly in Phase II, you will be free to attend to your practice and give stellar service without the distraction of minor things that are now done by your staff. Stay on top of everything by these meetings, and make sure you rule by kindness and understanding, correction rather than punishment or invalidation.
Remember these people are your connection to the public and your life blood. Love them like family, stay in communication with each one personally yet on a slightly elevated position to maintain needed control, but never too distant. Be a human being. You can be a powerful one that shows not just to your staff, but to the public. Your graph of your own stats prove your own position of power. You can learn all of this vital technology of graphing statistics and what steps to take when there is a lessening or increasing stats at CBA. Make your staff a power staff by bringing them along with you on your ride to power.