Article

BUSINESS: THE CEO CHECKLIST

BECOME A BETTER LEADER

Harness these five most important aspects of leadership

Action Steps

SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

TRAIN AND DEVELOP

EMPOWER EMPLOYEES

LEVERAGE STRENGTHS

HOLD THEM ACCOUNTABLE

Becoming the CEO of your practice requires leadership. Based on my experience working with hundreds of practice owners and managers, I’ll share with you what I feel are five of the most important aspects of leadership.

SET CLEAR EXPECTATIONS

Owners and managers often think they have been clear, yet I continuously hear of employees who make the same mistakes over and over, argue over who is responsible for certain tasks and how these tasks should be done and spend excess time working on the wrong things. Is it possible that you made a bad hire? Sure! But it’s also possible the employee simply is not clear on what’s expected of him or her. Research has shown that nearly half the U.S. workforce lacks clarity on company goals and expectations.

TRAIN AND DEVELOP

Setting expectations is the “what.” Training and development is the “how.” I call these two “clearing the path” for employees to succeed. This really needs to be an ongoing process. The best organizations tend to have highly trained employees and management that is constantly investing in its No. 1 asset — its people!

EMPOWER EMPLOYEES

While clarity and competency are vitally important, nowhere above did I mention micromanagement. A knowledgeable and competent employee can be trusted to do his or her job with less oversight. If you’re constantly fixing people’s mistakes and having to do their jobs for them, it’s possible they simply need more training and/or performance feedback.

LEVERAGE EMPLOYEE STRENGTHS

While we all have strengths and weaknesses, and certainly some weaknesses would benefit from more training, many weaknesses are hard wired. For example, while your extremely shy, introverted employee with great attention to detail may be a great scribe or biller, this employee may struggle in a sales role that requires a high level of charisma and enthusiasm. Leaders are continuously observing their teams and delegating responsibilities that align with strengths.

HOLD EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE

Without leadership that pushes people to make improvements and holds them accountable for results, the status quo is inevitable. Accountability is getting people to perform in a way in which they know in advance they will have to “account” for their performance. I’m a big advocate for regularly meeting one-on-one with employees and asking them to report on their performance. Sometimes, employees have valid reasons for failing to meet expectations, and sometimes they don’t. Either way, most employees will not want to explain. OM