Are you a young doctor looking to carve out a role as a leader in your clinic or field? Being a real leader doesn’t come easy. But these tips will help get you there faster.
Doctors are respected authority figures everywhere in the world. They’re usually trusted, highly educated and are looked to for reliable information. But as a young doctor with little experience, you might not feel like you’re there yet.
That’s why cultivating leadership is so important. It will help you achieve the bigger picture of becoming that authority in your field, while fast-tracking your career, establishing rapport with patients and colleagues and helping you overcome challenges on the way.
So how can you develop as a leader? Here are some ways to get started.
Network your way to leadership
There’s a lower risk of failure – and even fear of failure – when you have a support system of people you respect and who respect you.
When you don’t know the answer to a problem or need some advice before making a decision, it helps to have some reliable sources you can consult. Doing so builds your own reserve of knowledge and experience and will make you more qualified as a leader.
Networking also helps you to establish a presence in your community and field of practice. As you gain experience and grow, others will notice your progress and see you distinguish yourself as a leader.
Keep up with continuing education
Leadership means always learning. It isn’t just about hitting your CPD points and staying compliant with local laws and regulations.
It might mean formal, continuing education or it could be informal – taking on challenges that stretch you as a person, mentoring, or being mentored.
When you constantly strive to learn and apply new things, you’ll acquire skills that will help you stand out and stay ahead of the game.
Accept input from your team
“Leader” and “manager” are two very different things.
Being an employer or medical practice owner doesn’t make you a leader. A leader is someone who inspires others to follow them rather than pressuring them to perform under them.
In order to lead effectively, you need to be in tune with your team. Listen to their concerns, complaints and ideas and demonstrate a willingness to make changes accordingly. Get input from all parties involved before making a decision that will affect them. Show empathy, always.
A leader is someone who helps others to keep up, and pushes them ahead … not cast them out the way or use them as a stepping stone. Create opportunities for others. Find out how you can help those who work with and for you and they’ll be more motivated to contribute positively to your success.
Maintain a realistic view of yourself
You can’t be a leader without humility. Chasing a title and calling yourself a leader doesn’t actually make you one. Stay balanced by always modestly acknowledging your faults and areas you need to improve in. Ask for feedback from others to find out how you are truly perceived.
It’s also key to maintain a reasonable work-life balance. True leaders appreciate the important things in life and accept the fact that working until they suffer burnout can negatively impact their ability to lead.
Focus on your long-term goals
Having a long-term view will help you make the best short-term decisions. Look to the future and stay focused on where you want to go. Have a plan that will get you there and stick to it.
Work with other industry leaders
Want to be the best leader you can be? Surround yourself with other industry leaders, like the medical accountants at Nitschke Nancarrow.
Contact Nitschke Nancarrow, experts in all aspects of medical accounting, financial planning and business. We operate in Adelaide, Sydney, Melbourne and throughout Australia. Managing partner Kym Nitschke is available for a free initial discussion about your situation. Call us on (08) 8379 9950 or send me an email.
– Kym Nitschke
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