Beware of Recreating Your Past
This is the “New Normal”
Be careful of going back to what you once were instead of moving forward to what you have yet to become.
“To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to do.”
Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
Like water, we have this incredible tendency to subconsciously settle into the groove, the path, of least resistance. Our subconcious minds operate at the astonishing rate of 11-million bits of information per second; consciously, we can only process up to 60 bits of information per second. So, taking the path of least resistance can become a subconscious behavior and culture in any practice. The only problem with this is that it only has 1 result: recreating the past. Since the past is gone forever, you must work to stay relevant and grow your practice.
Many naturopathic physicians have been practicing and leading in the same place, same position, and with the same expectations and same challenges for so long that this groove is created – a groove that steals passion and innovation, 1 small piece at a time. We feel it sneak up on us like the cold at night. Gradually we find ourselves unchallenged and resting in this emotionless zone of doing what we have always done.
We can wake up and make the change now, realizing that it’s never too late to be who we might have been. Or, we can settle in and wait until we are fired, forced out, or no longer have the passion to be productive, only to look back, and realize the powerhouses we could have been, the changes we could have made in the world, or the dreams we could have realized for ourselves or our family.
How You Plan Makes All the Difference
One cure is in the way you plan and, therefore, the way you lead.
- Option 1: You can plan and make decisions based off of looking at where you have been – Result = Recreating the past
- Option 2: You can plan and make decisions based off of looking at your present circumstances – Result = Recreating the past
- Option 3: You can plan and make decisions based off of looking to the future – Result = Forecasting the future
- Option 4: You can plan and move your actions and life into the future and act now, how you want your future to be – Result = Creating and controlling your destiny
Staying Out of the Groove
Implementation of your plan to stay out of the groove becomes the key to success. Four things must exist to stay out of the groove as an organization:
- Vision must be communicated. Commitment = Vision + Communication. How can a team operate like the team it wants to become if the vision of the future is hazy? A vision must exist, it must be clear, compelling, and communicated. Money and people follow vision: Need money? Need people? Then you need a compelling vision.
- Values must become more than a list on the wall. They must be integrated into the culture so that it becomes palatable in the organization. Enforcing, rewarding, and acknowledging behavior that is in alignment with your core values is crucial. If a core value is “innovation,” and the janitor finds an innovative way to remove trash, than a reward and acknowledgement from leadership will solidify that as a piece of the culture.
- Accountability must exist. Accountability to measurable results is something that many of us talk about, but very few actually follow through on. In a flat organization, accountability to a team in a collective environment is proving to be very effective in companies such as Gore (the company that makes Gore Tex products) and Tom’s Shoes.
- Teamwork and personal growth are crucial. This can almost go without saying; an attitude of collective thought, collaboration on ideas, and cooperation must be the very foundation of an organization that wants to avoid the groove of mediocrity. Personal growth will require that everyone on the team is moving forward. It is better to have the team drinking from a flowing stream than a stagnant pond, and an organization of perpetual learners will keep the company fresh and out of the groove.
The choice and the challenge we make in leadership is to first decide which option of planning your organization will be implemented. Which do you use? Personally? Professionally? Smart doctors will work hard to paint a clear vision of the future and communicate in such powerfully compelling ways that everyone on the team and even their patients can see who they need to become today, to be a part of helping the practice reach the vision tomorrow.
Smart organizations know that having a plan and a vision communicated is merely the starting point. Implementation of the plan, execution, and realization of the vision will come with your culture, your communication, attitudes, accountability to measurable results, and a commitment to personal growth. When these things are in place, there will be no chance of sliding into the path of mediocrity and living a life of simply subconscious action.
The choice is yours to make every day: rely on circumstances and the groove to guide yourself to the future, or decide your own path now and move forward to where you have never yet been.
Beware the gravitational force that is always trying to pull you back to where you already were.
Walking into the wonderful unknown…
Jon Bohm is a personal and corporate coach, national speaker, and president of the company, Driven Coaching. Jon helps naturopathic physicians and leaders not only be more efficient, but build the plan and the business that gets them to their personal dreams faster. Jon has worked with “Fortune 100″ companies and leaders in over 80 different industries, helping them to make more money and improve their personal lives at the same time. Jon can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org; jonbohm.com; email@example.com; (623) 505-9330.