The workforce is changing and with it all traditional management, so today we are exploring the difference between leadership and management.

Great Leaders Customise

Just like any skill, leadership is learned through our experiences. While its origins are instinctive, we learn to lead just like we learn anything else. By observing, by trying and even by making mistakes. It’s usually uncomfortable or even difficult at first. It starts by having a desire and intention to lead – not control or dictate. Instead of managing your staff in unison, lead those to not only achieve your goals as a practice but also to achieve their own. Acknowledge that not everyone can be led equally.

Begin by identifying the future you want for your practice and communicate that vision to your team. Next, start small and engage several team members in your immediate circle. Encourage them to help you create something you’ve imagined. You’ll quickly notice how well people show up and respond to your request to get them involved. Soon, you will notice how much or little effort it takes to reach your goal.

By evaluating the experience, you’ll be able to identify if it was truly a team effort or whether you were delegating or doing all of the work. This self-reflection is essential in order to develop your skills as a leader. One of the biggest dangers in practice management is trying to get people engaged in doing things without them knowing the context, the purpose or end goal. While one can be fully engaged in the vision, if they fail to understand the WHY behind the motivation, is there value in it?

Whatever one chooses as his or her personal style, manager or leader, it’s possible that we can become our own worst enemy. We can fail to trust our team, try to accomplish everything ourselves or micromanage every detail for fear that other people won’t do the work to your standards. This is where managing and leading differ. You’ve got to give your team the space needed to do their work and at times make mistakes. After all, we’re all only human and mistakes are not only inevitable, they can also offer invaluable insight. Only then, can your team truly learn and become better players overall.

Becoming a great leader in practice changes you as a person, but it’s a change that can help change the healthcare industry for the better.