From the President

Michael Horsfield
By Mike Horsfield, PT, MBA


What would you be doing differently if you weren’t afraid?

Several years ago, I came across this thoughtful question. I remember stopping, reflecting, getting uncomfortable, and concluding, “Nothing. I’m not afraid.” That response comforted me in the moment, but the restless inquiry kept reappearing in different forms and in different voices. What wasn’t I doing that I should be? Was I afraid? Afraid of what?

Many long bike rides, journaling sessions, and thoughtful conversations with dear friends revealed many answers to this one question. What would I do differently if I wasn’t afraid?

I would lead with authenticity. I would stop apologizing for not being the leader in the last book I read. I would say “I don’t know” more often. I would stop telling myself stories that aren’t true. I would start seeing “busy” as an excuse and not a badge of honor. I would start empowering rather than rescuing. I would start stepping back so others could step up.

Taking the pen from my ego so the next chapter of my leadership journey would end differently was imperative. It was the origin of the fear I denied, and, more importantly, my determiner of self-worth. Egos need to be fed, so this required changing the equation of life and redefining the definition of success. Fires put out, patients seen and hours worked needed to be replaced with a healthier diet of outcomes that mattered more—ones focused on leadership impact, not input. “Making Better Lives” is our company mission. “If that happens, what happens?” Repeatedly asking this question would lead to my new picture of success. When we make our patients’ lives better, what happens? They show up (arrival rate), complete their course of care (visits per new patient), and tell their friends and family (growth rate). When we make our co-workers lives better, what happens? They are engaged (highly productive), stay (low turnover), and help us find our next great co-worker (short time to fill open positions).

This month’s edition of Impact will take you through the final and most important “are we there yet?” part of this journey. Benchmarking silences the voice that keeps us afraid and, in return, stifles the ugly ego. Benchmarks provide comparisons that eliminate the need to ask if you are doing a good job. You will know.

Thanks to hundreds of brave and curious members who have participated in the PPS KPI Benchmarking over the past five years, we know what successful businesses of various sizes, geographical locations, and patient care models look like. If you are brave enough to ask, “how I am doing?” AND are ready to absorb, not rationalize, the answer, then you are in the right place. Our Section has many resources and kind souls waiting to assist when you are not afraid to do so.

Together, we got this!

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