“The Fish Stinks from the Head Down”

This Sicilian expression means the problems in an organization start at the top.

To fix the problems in a practice, you must look to the owner to find the solutions. The owner determines its success or failure, right? Of course, it’s much easier to place the blame elsewhere.

“I’m losing money because of these stupid insurance plans!”
“If my employees were more responsible, we’d see twice as many patients.”
“The bad news about the government/economy/world gives me stress and hurts my practice.”

Patients, staff, insurance companies, your education, your family, the media, your government, the internet, the world and the economy are easy to blame. Yet, no one wins the blame game.

Why You Cannot Win the Blame Game

When you blame someone or something else, you make yourself weak and ineffective. You make yourself “at effect” instead of being “at cause.” You give power to the person or thing you blame.

For example, your production numbers are getting worse and so you blame your office manager. You say, “My office manager is messing up the schedule.” This is just another way of saying, “My office manager has more power over my income more than I.”

The truth is, you are the head of the fish. You can control this problem.

To succeed, you must accept responsibility and say things like, “I need to train my office manager so she knows what she’s doing” or “Okay, you’re right, this old XP software wastes way too much of our time,” or “I’d better replace my office manager with someone who can do the job.”

Some of us even blame our parents for our stress and anxiety. We say, “My parents ruined my life” which means, “My parents are so powerful, they still control me and my emotions.” Of course, that is not true.

More examples: “The government hurts me.” “There are just too many other practices.” “You can’t get good help anymore.”

No matter how well you blame someone or something else, the situation does not improve. No matter how hard you try, blame does not produce a solution. The truth is this: When it comes down to managing a practice, you are the boss.

Taking Command

Accepting responsibility for your practice, and yourself, puts you in control. It makes you right.

“I signed those insurance plan contracts. I can terminate them.”
“My staff members work for me. I’m the one who hired them. I can motivate them, train them, give them raises, promote them or replace them.”
“Patients are only happy with my practice, if I make them happy with my practice.”
“We get new patients if and when I remove the barriers and promote my practice on a daily basis.”

Who Wins?

Responsible practice owners succeed, no matter what. The others limp along, despite the advantages provided to them by the world. Successful practice owners get help, figure it out and move up.
You are the most powerful influence in your practice. Take command and you’ll smell great!

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