How Comparison Gets a Clinical Leader In Trouble and the Impact on Company Culture
It’s all over Instagram, Facebook, Twitter. Pictures of the wonderful lives of people; companies; and families. And comments follow with the hashtag of #relationship goals. And then maybe statements of admiration follow that include “you are so amazing”. And I always think (or lately I’ve been thinking); how often do we compliment ourselves? I have been contemplating writing this for a long time…mainly because I see this-hear this- and even deal with this myself.
Am I my own #relationshipgoal? Or am I busy admiring everyone else? Do I think I’m amazing and awesome? Have I told myself this latetly as a leader? Or am I busy thinking I am not being great…measuring myself against unanswered emails; a never ending to do list; wishing for more time; or getting frustrated with people in my personal life who don’t understand the personal sacrifice of time when owning or starting a business?
In this world of parent satisfaction surveys, staff satisfaction…I’m wondering how satisfied clinical therapy owners and leaders are? I have friends and colleagues and it is clear there are waves of satisfaction, yet we make other people our #relationshipgoals.
Don’t get me wrong, goals and statements of admiration towards others are nice. But, it seems as though it’s growing at such a pace or embedded in our clinical leadership culture that the goals are outside of ourselves. Two things happen:
- We begin looking at others to say “they are the goal” and “so wonderful” and “awesome”.
- We try to duplicate others and move away from our vision, creativity, and originality. There are many clinical organizations that offer similar or same services. However, the originality in name-programs-service provision is what the leadership culture (you) bring. It’s important to remember and honor your “why”
I recently stopped dolling out compliments in realizing that I am forgetting to fill my own “Landria you are awesome tank”. The challenge of #relationshipgoals is not that there are not goals or pinnacles to move towards; but the embedded piece “not doing enough, not good enough, not ____” begins to gnaw and chip away at you. And whether we admit it or not, that feeling of lack-deprivation is something we emit in our supervision-scheduling- marketing (staff and client recruitment).
So how do we stay on course and steer our vision -business – and teams?
- Create a vision for your organization…in pencil.
- Take Yourself on a Retreat. Just You. To Think about your plans, goals, life, and company.
- Take your own company survey. Why? You work there too. You want to make sure that the environment works for everyone including you. With this, you will create better and more specific questions.
- Get friends outside of your professional clinical world who can look you in your eye, understand your whole life, and keep you honest about your real life-family-relationships- and business.
- Keep working on caring for yourself. This is important for your mental peace, company culture, and relationships.
- Plan to Ignore some stuff. Yup…enough said. Some things and people don’t need your immediate time or attention. As your organization grows add layers to your processes…just in your personal life…you don’t want to be ‘all things to all people’.
- Stay honest. Stay authentic. Curse if you must.
- Understand that transparency is not all levels know all things. Each level knows what they should. But realize that, for some, transparency is knowing everything…even if it’s above their level of leadership or understanding. They just want to know..to know. So, stop buying into the “not transparent” feedback at the surface…begin to examine and discern people and placement within your organization.
- Stop trying to please everyone. You won’t. You can’t. It’s impossible.
- If you own a business, step into the world of business. Look -read-get ideas from various industries and apply them to your clinical practice. When you do this, you begin to understand that CVS is always across the street from Walgreens; Target and Walmart are always near one another. You also understand that recruiters call people working at other organizations all the time…this happens in business. You also understand you have a consumer base, but you do not own people (clients or staff)…the verbage “my client” or “my staff” will shift allowing you to focus on building a culture with systems-processes- people and a business culture that exists to serve a plethora of clients waiting for you.
- Say NO. That’s right say no to prospective employees even if they fill an immediate need. Say no to families that don’t fit right now. Saying yes to either of these are costly in time, expenditure, and in the end; will not be worth it. And say no to some requests that come across your desk as a means to keep people around and keep them happy. Happiness of others is not your responsibility (gifts are fleeting). Your job is to provide consistent stability of boundaries- communication – servant leadership of equality and authenticity.
- Train. Focus on Your Personal Best (know your numbers ;-). Beat Your Personal Best …and Repeat.
Goals are the bedrock of measuring client growth in treatment. And looking at numbers can help our organizations get better. As a business owner and a clinical leader, it’s time we shift the ‘sacrifice now benefit later’ mindset. Later is not guaranteed for any of us. Include YOU and Be Your Own Goal.
Here’s To Thriving!
~Landria Seals Green, MA., CCC-SLP, BCBA