The best bosses protect their talented team members from low morale, beat back menacing expenses, and transform their practices into headquarters for the best pet-saving heroes around. Cultivating these nine super powers can make you a hero to your healthcare team.

Super Vision

While you may not be able to see through walls, you can keep a motivating picture in your mind of what makes your practice great. Once you have your vision defined, share that inspiring image of success with your team members. Your vision can help you see what others do not and define what is possible. A mission statement can help you communicate this vision with the team. It can also be the standard you use when deciding what is right for you, your practice and your team. Help your team improve their vision by developing a culture that remains true to your mission and sets goals based on your view of what can be.

Fiery Passion

A super boss loves what they do and their passion is obvious to those around them. That passion ignites and excites the people around you to improve and grow, creating a team that strives for the best in all they do. It’s more than just words, it’s obvious in body language, a sense of pride in the work you do, and a can-do attitude. By contrast, burn-out is obvious, too. Physical exhaustion, mental confusion, negative feelings, frustration and anger can be signs that your flame is burning low. It may be time to rekindle your passion or discover a new passion. Some practice owners have found renewed passion by developing an expertise in dentistry, orthopedics or internal medicine. Others have explored new management techniques or alternative medicine. Whatever you choose to do, let it inspire you and those around you. You can’t motivate others if you aren’t motivated yourself.

Adhering to the Hero’s Code

A super boss doesn’t just tell people to do the right thing – a super boss DOES the right thing. To earn your team members’ respect, you need to follow through on what you say and what you ask of others. You can’t demand that employees show up on time and then arrive late yourself. If you ask your associates to write complete medical records, set the standard by consistently doing so yourself. A super boss sets the standard with their own actions and they never ask team members to perform tasks they are unwilling to do themselves.

Rules of Steel

A companion power to the Hero’s Code, super bosses set high standards and refuse to compromise on them. They know what it takes to be the best and they don’t back down. Whether it’s a matter of high-quality medical standards, friendly and efficient customer services, or top-notch cleanliness. Team members may sometimes complain about high standards but they also respect them.

Medals of Honor

Super bosses must keep track of their victories and losses. How do they know if their city-wide fight against poor dental health is working or how many missed vaccinations they’ve recovered if they don’t keep track? The whole team needs to know if their super strategies are working. A super boss will set goals and let employees know how well they are doing in the fight. Set specific goals so you can know if you are meeting or exceeding them. And don’t forget to share your success with your team. Everyone wants to know that they are part of a winning team – whether it’s a financial bonus or a team meal, let them know they are part of a super team.

Awareness of Weakness

Every super hero has a weakness. Like Superman and Kryptonite, super bosses are not different. They know their limitations and accept them. Then they compensate by surrounding themselves with other super heroes who have the skills they lack. The super box understands this and hire team members with the skill set they need to round out their practice. That might mean hiring a super manager or consultant or seeking an associate with a passion and expertise that will help elevate the practice. Understanding your weakness and hiring people who “complete” you allows you and your practice to continue to be successful.

Fearless and Friendly Communication

Super bosses know when to speak to team members about difficult subjects and what to say. But that doesn’t mean it comes easily to them. But they also know that avoiding conflict allows problems to grow. You can learn to ask tough questions and make hard decisions. And the more you cultivate this super power, the easier it becomes. A super box also makes sure to acknowledge the good. Team members need to know when they are doing well. Providing positive reinforcement is essential. Super bosses know the importance of good communication and seek to develop those skills.

Heroic Fairness

Super bosses have some traits in common, including fairness, honesty and consistency. A super boss does not show favoritism to one employee over another, sometimes follow policy but not always, or change standards of care from one client to another. Few things frustrate a team more than favoritism and inconsistency. And a super box is always honest. Lying to employees or asking employees to lie to clients or one another, even little white lies, will lead to distrust in the team. Once broken, it is hard to regarding and rebuild trust. Treating clients and staff with respect, fairness and honesty go a long way toward earning you respect as a super boss.

Super Business Sense

There’s no doubt that super bosses understand and value the importance of business acumen, and team members respect a well-run business. An efficient and well-organized hospital, in which everyone know what they are supposed to do and are held accountable for doing it, is a place where super team members can grow. Team members are very aware of scheduling problems, poor inventory control, or lack of marketing. A super boss understands that they are running a business and must develop appropriate skills or hire someone who has those skills to manage their business effectively. This super power can be closely related to the Awareness of Weakness power. You simply cannot succeed without the right management powers.

So how many super powers do you have? Are there some you’d like to develop? Be a hero to your team and those you serve by fully engaging the powers you have and cultivating a new one or two!


Mark Opperman, CVPM
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