Growing Your Medical Practice Starts with You

October 28, 2014

You may talk about growth at your medical practice, but are you walking the walk? Here are three ways to boost both personal and professional growth.

Growth. Every practice seeks it, but how many managers and physicians are truly working on moving their practices forward?

To make that progress on an organizational level means starting with personal development, according to bestselling author John C. Maxwell, a keynote speaker at the 2014 Medical Group Management Association (MGMA) Annual Conference on Mon., Oct. 27.

"So key to your success is … the ability to develop yourself and the teams around you central to your success," said Maxwell, the author of 74 books on leadership and growth and the founder of West Palm Beach, Fla.-based The John Maxwell Company.

Maxwell shared three of his "15 Invaluable Laws of Growth," from the book of the same name with MGMA attendees, beginning with the law of intentionality.

"Growth doesn't just happen," he said. "Most people think growth is automatic; that if they go to work every day, they'll get better over time. That's not true. …We need to be intentional about personal growth and development."

Maxwell urged the audience members to start focusing on their own growth, set a direction and move forward. As they do, they can then work on moving those around them forward as well. But he also cautioned that this will take time, as his own journey has been more than 40 years in the making.

"Success is an uphill battle," he said. "There is no coasting to success. … Nothing automatic comes to you that's good and that's why being intentional is so important."

The second law of growth, according to Maxwell, is the law of consistency.  Admitting "consistency is not sexy," he added that "motivation gets you going, but discipline keeps you growing." So like your first words and first steps, the more you do it with regularity- the more consistent you are - the better you'll be and growth will follow.

As a writer, Maxwell said he abides by the "rule of five," five things he does each day: read; think; file; ask questions; and write. He told the audience members to find their five things and then apply them to their role in their medical practices.

"You need to understand that the secret to success … is what we do daily," he said. "Every day, you are either repairing or preparing; repairing what you didn't do correctly yesterday or preparing [for growth]."

The final law Maxwell shared with MGMA attendees is the law of environment. He reminded the audience that "growth thrives in conducive surroundings." That includes a place where others are consistently challenged and where the focus is always forward; the kind of place you should make your medical practice.

"Do you have a growth environment for your people? I know you are training them to do their jobs, but are you developing your people?" he asked. "As a leader, you need to create an environment for growth."