How I Set Goals and Objectives

Since the new year is almost upon us, I thought I would share how I go about setting goals and objectives. It’s a simple process, and I’ve found it to be reliable and successful.

Start with Mission and Purpose

If you have been following my work for a while, you’ve heard me use the term mission and purpose. I use these words because they have specific meanings and help me stay focused. My mission is the what I am doing. It’s the thing I actually do. It’s my writing. It’s my teaching at conferences. It’s providing patients medical care. The purpose is the why I do these things.

For my writing and teaching activities, my mission and purpose are:

Mission - create educational material that raises the business intelligence of the consumer

Purpose - help the client have the business they desire

For my medical practice, my mission and purpose are:

Mission - provide safe and effective anesthesia to the patient

Purpose - enable the patient to...

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How I Combat My Physician Burnout

I recently finished a great book titled Rest. In it, the author discusses some excellent points on recharging your mind and body. He provides excellent data and studies to support his points. I think many points in this book may be used to combat fatigue and physician burnout.

Go for a walk. Get out in nature and some fresh air. Enjoy the sunshine. Take walks daily and walk at your own pace. Avoid any distractions. That means no iPods, music, podcasts, or other things to distract you. Approach the walk, not as an exercise thing you must do but as a break for your mind. If we approach it as a physical activity, we might be tempted to bring along some of our work. That’s not the point of the walk. Instead, the point is to let your mind wander and recharge. Just walk and let your mind wander. We actually can renew our minds, bodies, and spirits by not focusing and letting our minds wander. It will be challenging at first not to bring some work along for the walk, but after a few...

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Good Leaders Can Say "I Was Wrong"

I’ve been watching physician leaders over the years and have seen some excellent leaders and some weak ones. I think there is one trait that separates these two camps - humility.

Humility Isn’t Being Weak

Webster’s defines humility as “freedom from pride or arrogance.” It comes from the word humble which means being free of haughtiness. Throughout history, when we examine the lives of good leaders there is a common problem which contributes to their fall. It is pride that gets many leaders into trouble. They display an attitude of superiority and contempt for people they perceived to be inferior to them.

Humility isn’t thinking less of yourself. Humility is knowing your strengths and weaknesses. It’s understanding that you don’t have all the answers and may need to rely on others to provide you that information. Humility isn’t being weak; it’s having the right mindset to lead.

Humility is a Mindset that Sets the Direction...

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Don't Waste Your Tuition

Everyone makes mistakes, even leaders. I’ve made more mistakes than I want to admit as a leader. Mistakes can be costly, but nothing is more expensive than not learning from your mistakes. Do not waste the tuition costs of your mistakes.

I've seen people from all walks of life fail to maximize the tuition their mistakes cost them. Mistakes, missteps, and errors provide us an opportunity to learn. If we fail to realize the teaching point, we will be worse off because we will likely make the same mistake again.

How to Learn From Your Mistakes

Learning from your mistakes isn't always easy and straightforward. Sometimes it can be straightforward, yet other times, the water is a bit murky. The best way to analyze the learning experience is to ask yourself some questions. Here are a few questions that can help you begin your trek down the learning path.

  • What happened?

    Ask yourself what really happened? Do you understand the gravity of the situation? Write down on a piece of paper...

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