Habits of the Most Successful Veterinary Practice Leaders
Dr. Becky Nicholson
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Being a successful veterinary practice leader is a relatively new concept. An outdated population of practice owners is being replaced by a slick generation of efficient business-like bosses. Some of the old-school heads are at the forefront, having recognized an opportunity to improve. The newer recruits bring excitement, energy, and fresh ideas. This combination of experience and effervescence is directing the profession to a deeper understanding of good leadership. Is your leadership in tune? Here are a few of the key secrets:
Prioritize your well-being
First-up and probably most significant – prioritize your well-being. Delegate, don’t procrastinate and maximize your efficiency. Enjoy time away from the grindstone to keep you sane and satisfied.
Prioritize your well-being. Delegate, don’t procrastinate and maximize your efficiency.
Be clear about your rules and red-lines
In leadership, you must be committed to what you preach. Be clear about your rules and red-lines – and stick to them. Being firm but flexible is an art, but it is achievable.
Making yourself a list of your leadership priorities is very useful – and be open about them to your staff. Communication is central to leadership, and if people know the mission statement, they can accomplish it more readily.
If you need time to think, take it
Try to make wise decisions – if you need time to think, take it – but when you reach a conclusion, be unfaltering.
make your strengths rock-solid first
Everyone has strengths so find a leadership style that works with yours. Don’t be too concerned about improving your weaknesses — make your strengths rock-solid first, then fill in the gaps.
Be self-analytical when you don’t feel you’ve excelled. Take what you learn forwards with you so the next time you handle it better. Not getting your head down about the tough times is something your team will look for in you. If you know every negative can become a positive, it’s easier to be optimistic.
Becky has worked as a vet in the South West of England since graduating in 2011. Having worked with farm animals and horses in the past, Becky now works solely with pet animals. She particularly enjoys caring for elderly patients and those with long-term health conditions.