Dynamic Chiropractic – September 1, 1991, Vol. 09, Issue 18

Management Transformational Leadership

By J.C. Smith, MA, DC
If there is one label that best describes the role of a chiropractor, one characteristic common to most every successful chiropractor, I believe it is transformational leadership. Leadership is the ability to get people from where they are to where they need to be.
As doctors, we help patients achieve better health or a more stable spine with our care, and with staff we help them achieve better clinical or administrative efficiency. With everyone we work around, chiropractors are forever involved in the process of transformational management.

Are you a transformational leader? Good question, and perhaps even strikes at the heart of your potential ability to succeed. What will it take to succeed as a transformational leader? Professor Noel M. Tichy gives seven characteristics shared by leaders worldwide.

  1. See themselves as agents for change. They're comfortable with that label.


  2. Are courageous. They're willing to take clear, strong stands even when those stands are not popular.


  3. Believe in people. They understand that a transformation is nothing without people on board.


  4. Are value driven. Leaders have a set of core values that provided an anchor as they go through the transformation process.


  5. Are lifelong learners. They embrace new situations and are able to leverage them off into the future.


  6. Can deal with complexity, ambiguity, and uncertainty.


  7. Are visionaries. They are in touch with a dream that provides the ultimate energy for directing the transformation process.

Think about how well each of these characteristics describes you as a manager, and work towards developing them. Then you'll be ready to transform your office for the 21st century.

There are three stages in the transformational process. The first stage is to wake up the office to improve or perish. Most businesses are slow to recognize this first stage and wait to be hurt in the marketplace before they do wake up. Don't wait. This has happened to the auto industry, to consumer electronics, to the steel industry, to banking, and to medicine. Beware of resistance to change, especially if your office is already successful. Don't think gimmicks or management hula-hoops will help you out of the first stage. That will only occur when you create a vision.

Stage two is to create a vision of your preferred practice paradigm. Be specific in the type and size of practice dependent upon capacity factors that are realistic. If you can give your stuff and patients a clear picture of health care, most will follow your path. Without a clear picture of your office, no one can imagine what you are trying to do. The better you paint your picture the better response you will get.

Stage three is the reworking of the office, developing workers and procedures to fit the new vision you have created. The make over of a clinic is perhaps as much fun as the make over I have seen in most patients. Keep in mind that once this transformation ends, you will most probably begin another -- the basic principle of on-going improvement.

J.C. Smith, D.C.
Warner Robins, Georgia

Dr. J.C. Smith, 1978 graduate of Life Chiropractic College, is the author of The Medical War Against Chiropractors: The Untold Story From Persecution to Vindication. Contact Dr. Smith via his website, www.chiropractorsforfairjournalism.com.


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