Physician Team Strategies

Physician Team Strategies, is a national healthcare leadership development company providing consulting to multi-disciplinary teams in healthcare organizations who want to build powerful, sustainable teams that make giant leaps in their performance.

Archive for Physician Leadership

What inspires you to action?  What sparks your soul?   You are invited to watch this motivational video and reflect on its insights and inspiring ideas. A great way to start the week.

At the Harvard Business School Symposium, Imagining the Future of Leadership, 9 expert thinkers were asked the question “What is the biggest mistake a leader can make?”  This group of experts identified 10 critical mistakes.  In addition to listing the ten mistakes I will identify the potential impact of these mistakes on an organization and team.  As you read through the mistakes, consider the impact on your organization and team. Feel free to leave comments.

1. Putting your own interests ahead of the best interests of the organization or institution you represent. –Bill George, Professor, Harvard Business School and former Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Medtronic

Impact:  Others will not follow you; you loose credibility

2. Betraying trust. — Evan Wittenberg, Head of Global Leadership Development, Google, Inc.

Impact: Poor working relationships; Decreased retention; Decreased morale; Increased conflict

3. Being certain. — Dr. Ellen Langer, Professor, Harvard University

Impact: Failure to seek input from team; Team will not share critical information; Decreased innovation; poor decisions

4. Not living up to your values. — Andrew Pettigrew, Professor, Siad Business School, University of Oxford

Impact: Conflict between action and values; Not attracting qualified team members; not being a role model and walking the talk; distrust

5. Being overly enamored with your vision. — Gianpiero Petriglieri, Affiliate Professor of Organizational Behavior, INSEAD

Impact: Passion becomes an obsession; Unable to make unbiased decisions; Continuing on a course which is not relevant anymore

6. Displaying personal arrogance. — Carl Sloane, Professor Emeritus, Harvard Business School

Impact: Team demotivated; Increased potential you will make mistakes; Team will not let you know of mistakes which impacts patient safety; Increased potential for legal liability

7. Acting too fact. — Jonathan Doochin, Leadership Institute at Harvard College

Impact: Not having all the facts can lead to poor decisions; Not getting input from team can lead to not knowing the unintended consequences; Cost you money; May need to backtrack

8. Giving off an attitude that it’s all about the leader. — Scott Snook, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School and retired Colonel, US Army Corps of Engineers

Impact: People want a mission larger than themselves (example: providing quality patient care) and this leadership attitude can lead to decreased retention; Staff will buy pass you; Competition of team to look after their own interests, since you the leader are not a role model of the servant leader

9. Being inauthentic and inconsistent. — Scott Snook, Associate Professor, Harvard Business School and retired Colonel, US Army Corps of Engineeers

Impact: Team is confused of who is showing up today if you are having mood swings; Lack of direction/mission/values; Mistrust; Decreased productivity

10. Not being self-reflective. — Daisy Wademan Dowling, Executive Director, Leadership Development at Morgan Stanley

Impact: Not understanding your impact on others and the role your play in it; You play the blame game; Increased stress

In future blog posts I will go into more detail on each of these mistakes. I will provide tips and tools on how to identify and overcome these mistakes.  Overcoming these barriers to become a successful leader involves developing leadership and interpersonal skills.  Develop a leadership style that is you and is positive and effective.  If you would like to explore how you can become a more effective physician leader, you are invited to schedule a free strategy session with me. Click here to schedule your strategy session.

A video is available of these experts answering the question “What is the biggest mistake a leader can make?”

Watch the video on the Harvard Business School web site. Click here.

As physician leaders we want to lead and inspire our health care teams. Enjoy this video of inspiration.

To learn about the 10 mistakes physician leaders should avoid download your free report by clicking here.

Do you dread attending meetings? Do your meetings have the following characteristics:

  • Boring
  • The same individuals drive the conversation
  • Decisions are not made
  • The same topics are covered over and over again
  • Finger pointing is rampant
  • The agenda is not followed

Do you come out of the meeting drained?  I will share with you now one secret that can transform your meetings. Start your meeting on a HIGH note. Imagine what it would be like if you started the meeting with what went right and was successful during the week.  Share stories when the team’s strengths and responsibilities were in alignment. Share stories when team members went out of their way to accomplish a task.  Have team members share a story when they saw another member working in their strengths and doing a great job.  Some of these stories can be acts of kindness and compassion. Knowing that their strengths and abilities are valued and are essential to the success of the team or organization, inspires people to give their best. They will work with others so that the best in others are  brought out.

Consider asking the following questions:

  • When were we at our best this week?
  • What opportunities can we pursue?
  • How can we make a difference this week?
  • How can we collaborate and support each other this week to address specific issues?

What other questions can you think of?   Feel free to comment on this topic.  I would love to hear from you.  When you try this technique, let me know your results?

We all love a good story. In fact, stories and narratives are great teaching tools. They catch our attention and stimulate our brain and emotions.  The authors of the book  Appreciative Leadership present an Indian folk tale of “Two Wolves”:

One evening an old Cherokee man told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, “My son, there is a battle between two wolves inside us all. One is bad. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, and superiority. The other is good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truty, compassion, and faith.”

The grandson listened and thought for a while. Then he asked his grandfather, ” Which wolf wins the battle?”

The grandfather smiled and replied. “The one you feed.”

Which WOLF do you feed?

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There is no Magic Bullet

As a health care leader are you struggling with how to get your medical team to work together and provide quality patient care? There is no magic bullet. As the health care team leader you are the role model. Your team looks at your actions and determines whether you practice what you preach. As the leader you set the team environment and culture. The following tip, if implemented, will set you and your team in the right direction to work on what is important. This tip you have probably heard before, but if you are continuing to have difficulty with the team accomplishing objectives, then you need to revisit this suggestion and determine if you are consistently caring it out.

Tip – Set a Clear Vision

Individuals and teams want to make a difference and be involved in something greater than themselves. Individuals who enter the medical field want to help heal the sick. Clinical teams want to take care of patients and not be caught up in burdensome paperwork. Does paperwork take precedence over patient care in your work setting?  Have you set a vision that quality patient care is the top priority? How do you demonstrate it? Do you acknowledge team members who have gone out of their way to help a patient or team member? Reflect on what your real vision for your team is and how you communicate it. Does your vision inspires?

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Position for a Transition during Change

No matter what change type you are, you will be impacted by large and small changes in your life and still must successfully navigate through them.  This audio recording is going to focus on the transitional phase of change. This is the period of time between the first stage – letting go, and the final stage – moving forward into the known or unknown.  This period of time is when you have the opportunity to grow, to learn something new, to refuel, re-energize or re-charge.

Listen to the audio and learn 5 tips on how to navigate through the transitional stage of change.



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What’s Your Style when it come to Change?

As a physician leader or health care executive, what is your style when it comes to change?  Understanding your style and the style of the individuals you work with is important if you are to successfully navigate the change process.  In the audio link below I will describe four change types:

  • The take charge type
  • The people person
  • The steady, calm person
  • The process and procedure person

Click on the audio link and determine which change type most describes your style.

Change: What’s it really all about?

Change is all around us.  Passage of the Health Care Reform Bill involves change.  How are you as a health care leader going to navigate through the sea of change?  This blog post includes an audio recording which looks at three phases of the change process and three steps you can take to more easily navigate through the changes in your life and career.

Click on the audio recording below and learn tips about change you can apply today.

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When you ask physician leaders about setting goals, they seem to be in either one camp or the other – they either do it or they don’t.    One of the reasons that people don’t like setting goals is because more often than not, their goals never come to be, so they just have resolved that setting goals may work for everyone else, but not for them. There is no doubt that setting goals is one of the best things you can do to make positive changes in your life.  But there is a strategy to setting goals in a way that will better ensure your success – you have to do it S-M-A-R-T.  S-M-A-R-T is an acronym to follow that will help you create goals that have more substance and a better chance of coming to fruition.  Setting S-M-A-R-T goals means to make them Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Realistic and Timely.  You define them clearly with a realistic, yet challenging, quantifiable, achievable, and time bound action plan. Go back and look at your goals and be sure to make them S-M-A-R-T.

Break the Goals into Manageable Tasks

Break your goals into manageable tasks and sub-tasks.  If you try to accomplish everything at once, you can become overwhelmed.  Set a deadline for each task.  Determine if you will do the task or delegate it to someone else.  Remember, as a physician leader you cannot do everything.  Let go and delegate tasks which can be done by your staff and healthcare team.  Delegating to others on your healthcare team will give them a sense of involvement and free you up to accomplish your priority tasks.