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Intangible Elements of Successful Medical Practice Leaders


This is a clear reminder that at the heart of nearly every successful business are two simple things: people and relationships.

The majority of our discussions in this forum have focused on specific intelligence and business tactics that support and preserve your success. However, I’m reminded of the less tangible elements of success on a regular basis by people I come across in my work. In most cases the things I make note of are positive, things I want to emulate. In other cases they are things I found repelling.

I wish I could say I did all of these things all of the time, I don’t. I started keeping track of some of these things recently to have an ideal to focus on. I share this list, along with the input of some of the successful people I’m fortunate enough to work with in different ways below. That group includes doctors, a practice management expert, a business coach, fellow attorneys, one the nation’s top tax consultants, a billionaire, and a magazine publisher, among others. These elements apply not just to medicine but to all business leaders and segments. For me, this is a clear reminder that at the heart of nearly every successful business are two simple things: people and relationships.

1. Be of your word on all issues big and small.

2. Be patient when others forget and remind them graciously and kindly.

3. If you are being reminded, act quickly and take responsibility.

4. Try to listen more than you speak.

5. Be on time and value everyone’s time as highly as you do your own, including that of your friends, family and those you work with.

6. Help someone if you can, just because you can, whether it helps you personally or not (it always does even if you don’t know it).

7. Give without any expectation or strings.

8. Have the best “rolodex” possible and surround yourself with experts.

9. Be humble about what you know, and always assume there is more to learn.

10. Pay people what you owe them quickly and without being asked.

11. Have patience and humility with those who know less, there’s always someone smarter than you.

12. Think carefully before you speak.

13. When angry, pause and walk away at least briefly before e-mailing, calling, or confronting someone.

14. Strive to make every business transaction a “win” for all parties that everyone feels good about, will tell others about, and wants to repeat.

15. Have genuine gratitude for all you have been given and all those who have helped you achieve it.

16. Treat friends, family and co-workers as well as you treat your best patient or client - use that as the yardstick to measure your own actions.

17. Be quick to praise and slow to criticize, when you do make it constructive.

18. Don’t avoid conflict and don’t create it. Address issues with others in a timely, respectful way so they can show you their best.

19. Don’t be/stay mad at someone who does not know why.

20. Don’t overpromise.

21. Presume others are doing their best despite your dissatisfaction.

22. Appreciate the big picture and the likelihood no single event, standing alone, will dictate the course of your future.

23. When someone is sorry; forgive.

24. Learn how to pick your fights.

25. Always try to “pay it forward.”

26. Value competency and loyalty most highly in all those you work with. Nearly all else is a non-issue that can be resolved.

27. Give without expecting something in return.

Find out more about Ike Devji and our other Practice Notes bloggers.

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