The process of building a vision for your practice is going to contain a lot of self-discovery. Every breakthrough in life comes from a realization that you need to work on something: when you pinpoint an area that you need to develop and then you go after it.
The default vision
You might think you already have a solid vision in place. Well, if you want to know without a doubt that your vision is at work, you need to test it. Interview your staff and your patients to see what they think the practice's vision is, because their answers will reflect exactly what's been presented to them. If there is a lack of clarity, it's on you.
As the leader of your practice, you have to stand in front of your staff and tell them what is going to happen one, two, even 10 years down the road. If you don't set them on the straight course, you are going to get stuck with a default vision. And seeing a practice run by a default vision is an ugly, ugly thing.
This default can be set by one of two groups: the staff or the patients. Let's say the default vision is set by the staff. This might mean high wages, little to no accountability, and lots of time off. It would be a pretty cool place to work, because you would earn a lot while being lazy, but your practice would not succeed.
On the other hand, you might be letting your patients dictate your vision. Here at the Scheduling Institute, if we listened to every single thing our clients said about what we should do and how we should operate, they would have us essentially giving away our training and content. We'd be out of business in no time.
The same holds true for your practice. Your practice should be all about your patients, but you just can't let them dictate your vision. It's a natural tendency to try to get something for nothing; you can't run your business that way.
Create your vision
Here's the interesting thing about creating a vision: You are dealing entirely in intangibles. It doesn't actually exist. You have to sell your team on something that is living completely in your brain, and they have to buy it. That means if your brain is full of doubt, negativity, and hesitation, your vision is going to be weak.
Whatever the mind can conceive and believe, it can achieve. If you feed the right things into your brain, then your brain can achieve whatever it wants to. But you really have to put the right things in. If you are constantly bombarding your brain with negative, doubtful thoughts, what do you think will come out the other side? What do you think you will achieve? No impact, no vision. Nothing.
That's why it is so important to clearly articulate your vision to your team. Your leadership team is there to delegate responsibility, manage the team, and make your vision a reality. If you're unable to articulate your vision to your entire team, to really sell them on it, then you are not going to achieve your full potential. It's that simple.
What you need to understand is that seeing your vision to completion is not going to be easy. It isn't going to be comfortable.
Refresh your vision
Mistakes are learning opportunities. You try something new, make a mistake, learn from it, and correct your path. It's a learning process, and the most rewarding part to success, if you are patient enough to stick with it.
Ask yourself this question: When was the last time that you refreshed your vision?
One of the most common mistakes we witness is that after practices accomplish a major goal, they then experience a letdown, losing direction and becoming unsure of their next move.
This is the ultimate piece of advice on the path to reaching your success potential: Always refresh your vision. Chances are, you've accomplished many visions over the past 20 or 30 years. You've achieved great things and now you just feel kind of stuck.
Here's the problem: You forgot to refresh your vision. You forgot to reset on a new and bigger course. Now is the time to do it.
The question is: What are you going to do with 2018? What is the vision you are going to articulate to your team? You can't keep allowing a default vision to direct the future of your practice. A new year is the perfect time to refresh and reset your vision. It's a good time to get out of your box by going to an event or a seminar, listening to a podcast, or reading a great business book. Take the time to really clear your head.
Allow yourself time and space away from the office to find clarity on your vision, so that you're prepared to really sell your team on it. Then clearly articulate it to your team, and do the work needed to make your vision a reality.
Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute, a dental training and practice consulting company. Take the 5 Star Challenge here.
The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.