Dream, Believe, Execute — Repeat

rock staircase overgrown with weeds

Execute the steps needed to avoid obstacles and move your practice forward

By Beth Winkler

As business owners and entrepreneurs, we love to dream. It’s in our blood. It’s why we took the risk to go out on our own. But a dream and a vision can only take us so far. We have to be able to execute, which involves a detailed plan with goals and targets. For many of us dreamers, this can prove to be a challenge. It is crucial to break goals up into small, doable steps.

  1. Pick a goal you want to reach in the next 90 days. Ensure it is something you can measure in a specific time frame. (For example, you might set a goal of “increase patient arrival rate to 92%” rather than just “improve patient arrival rate.”)
  2. List all of the obstacles you might encounter. Armed with that information, devise action steps required to reach this goal. Ensure these are very small steps that take no more than 30 minutes to achieve. If they aren’t, break them down even further. Delegate some of these steps to your team, or better yet, ask them what they want to be responsible for to get their buy-in.
  3. Create a visual for the team that shows progress toward the goal and post it in a visible place. (This can be as simple as a thermometer on a dry-erase board.)
  4. Meet weekly to review progress on action items. Hold one another accountable. If you notice tasks aren’t getting done on time, break them down into smaller steps. Pick one action item to be completed per person per week. The smaller the steps, the better chance of completing the targets.
  5. Block off time on your schedule weekly and label it “implementation time.” This is the time you will use to complete the action steps. In Stephen R. Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People,1 he says we each have important, urgent items — items that need to be dealt with immediately. Then we have important but not urgent items — items that are important but do not require your immediate attention, and therefore require scheduled time to complete. This is where our execution can fail. If we are constantly handling urgent items (aka “putting out fires”), the important actions that are more proactive in nature and prevent the fires from occurring in the first place get put on the back burner. Ensure this is undisturbed time and keep it sacred. This is precious time you are spending to grow your company!
  6. Do this every quarter with your team. 
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1Covey S. The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People. Free Press; 1989.

Marc Anderson

Beth Winkler, a PPS member, is the owner of Magnolia Physical Therapy in New Orleans and a coach for private physical therapy practice owners. She can be reached at bethw@magnoliatherapyla.com.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.

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