The common thread among successful leaders and practices is that they have a clear vision of what they want to develop.
We should never underestimate the power of having a vision. Having worked with a number of physician and healthcare organizations to create programs and help shape their strategic plan has been stimulating and very rewarding.
The common thread with my most successful clients, especially those that create exemplary careers and practices, is that they have a clear vision of what it is they want to develop. Their success comes from their ability to effectively and passionately communicate their vision. Their staff and teams then become implementers of that vision. If you are confused about your vision, then your team will be confused. If your team is confused, they will not be able to deliver quality care consistently.
Walt Disney was an extraordinary example of leadership. I’m reminded of it every time I attend a conference in Orlando. His dream for Walt Disney World continues to expand today because he clearly communicated his vision to the team of designers, engineers, and contractors who started working on his project. At the grand opening of Disney World in Florida, one of those contractors leaned over to Disney’s wife, Lillian, and whispered that it was a shame Walt did not live to see his dream become a reality.
Lillian Disney replied, “Oh no, Walt had clearly seen every detail of this marvelous project completed long before you ever started.” If you want your vision to come to life, you have to see every detail completed long before you start. Then you have to clearly outline that vision — the how and the why – to the team you are leading.
Another great leader in American history was John F. Kennedy, who in May 1961 declared his bold vision for the United States Space Program. His vision was to, “Put a man on the moon and return him safely to earth by the end of the decade.” This was an enormous goal that appealed to our American spirit of adventure. Not only that; it challenged our country to win in the space race.
For us to win, we need to motivate our teams and appeal to their desire to succeed with us. We must communicate our vision, excitement, and passion to our teams.
But what if you just have excitement and passion? You won’t be able to reach your goals. It has to start with the vision. Write it down, plan it out and get it crystal clear. That is why I am such a proponent of strategic planning. Too often in healthcare we don’t take the time to create a strong strategic plan — which is really just the written version of how we will turn our vision into reality.
Take some time today to clear up your vision.
Christopher Burton, MD is an Amazon best-selling author and founder of the physiciancoach.guru website. He is a consultant for medical practices and coaches physicians on areas of career development, leadership, communication, and finances. He serves as Chair for the Florida Medical Association’s Young Physicians’ Section and Adjunct Clinical Professor at the Florida State University College of Medicine. Connect with him on LinkedIn and Twitter.