As a business advisor and attorney working with doctors and dentists who own their practices, my familiarity with the variety of business-related decisions regarding practice operations extends across a wide range. Avoiding poor decisions, however, and ensuring that the path forward will allow them to reach the desired result, requires those medical professionals to seek the knowledge and experience of their mentors and advisors. Time and time again, we see healthcare professionals—doctors and dentists—make decisions outside of their area of expertise that they may ultimately regret or question. It is unclear why this occurs. Maybe the poor decisions are a result of their confidence in the many correct decisions that they regularly make within the healthcare industry. Perhaps it is ego or pride, although I do not think so. And maybe, it is simply not recognizing that we are all limited by our own knowledge and experiences. This occurs in all walks of life and professions.
I tell our young lawyers and business professionals routinely: sometimes, the best answer that we can provide a client with is: “I do not know, but I will find out.” Additionally, do not speculate and try to fake your way through it, and certainly do not give them false confidence in your position. Rather, do the necessary due diligence to ensure the choice made, and the path chosen for moving forward has been well thought out. It is ok to seek out guidance and advice from others, as part of that well-thought-out process. As author and Pastor Andy Stanley states in his book The Principle of the Path, “asking doesn’t mean you lack wisdom—it’s evidence of wisdom.”
So, when you are getting ready to hire an associate, purchase another practice, address an employee issue, or handle a patient complaint, let’s ensure that we thoroughly vet the decision and have considered the circumstances. Do not fake or guess your way through it. This vetting process should include seeking the guidance of others with the necessary knowledge and experience that will allow and assist you in making the right decision. My goal in working through all of the circumstances that each doctor or dentist is confronted with includes:
- Understanding the desired result
- Anticipating the response
- Identifying any potential unintended consequences
- And, identifying the path forward that will ultimately allow us to maximize profits by minimizing disruption for that particular doctor or dentist
Nardone Tip: Do not allow too much time to pass or allow personal beliefs or characteristics (i.e., ego or pride) prevent you from doing the right thing. Seek guidance from someone with the appropriate experience and knowledge, if, for nothing else, to simply be a sounding board. We can all use a sounding board, and someone to second guess our decisions. Not a “yes” person, but someone that will actually challenge us.
Most professionals and business owners have encountered decisions that they are not comfortable making or regret making altogether. When we seek help from others, we open ourselves up to a new perspective and ideas.
Vince Nardone is an attorney in Columbus, Ohio. If you would like more information or help with addressing a current business decision that you are facing, please contact Vince Nardone at firstname.lastname@example.org