Q&A: Find the leaders in your practice
The best leaders envision where they want the practice to be, share direction on how to get there, and inspire the team to go there with them, says Lorraine List, CPA, a consultant with Summit Veterinary Advisors in Littleton, Colo. Leaders provide direction in a practice not by dictating how team members should act but by describing the path forward in a way that makes other people want to go along. They don't coerce their followers. Instead, they share their vision. By modeling behavior and actions that lead to high-quality medicine, exemplary patient care, and great client service, leaders demonstrate how to reach the practice's goals. They inspire those around them to do their best work and reach their true potential.
We've all seen natural leaders—the team members who are always willing to answer questions, demonstrate a particular task, speak up with creative and practical ideas, and become the "go-to" people in the practice. But leadership skills can be learned, too—not everyone is born with them. Employees who are focusing on the future and looking for ways to improve their own performance and the practice's overall success are good potential leaders. Keep in mind that you can't motivate other people; they must motivate themselves. Leaders help create the environment where that motivation can occur.
Leadership skills can be learned, too—not everyone is born with them.