Today, I’m tackling error #4 – Failure to learn your associate’s long-term professional and personal goals. This is a serious error with potentially disastrous results.
A few blog posts ago I referenced the first fatal error on my list – Not knowing your own long term and personal goals. It’s easy to understand that if you don’t know where you’re going, how can you lead or anyone follow.
Now it’s time to find out if your potential associate’s goals are compatible with yours. For the applicant, needing a paycheck and being attracted to an energetic and well-run practice is very understandable. It’s possible that our prospective associate may forget or even cover other strong desires in order to land your job and work for you.
However, after a few short days or weeks, when they discover building a great practice is hard work, they may be asking themselves “Why in the world am I doing this?” That’s when the right long term goals are essential.
There answer needs to be “Because my long term professional and personal goals are furthered greatly in my associateship.” You need to know ahead of time that this will be their answer.
If your associate holds different long-term professional and personal goals, you just might be getting a letter on your desk some Monday morning explaining how the two of you weren’t a “good fit.” and a promise to mail the keys to you by the end of the week.
The most important “fit” is in the area of long-term goals. I can’t count the times I’ve taught that “shared goals build unity” and the examples are too numerous to even mention. However, if you know and are perusing your goals and those goals DO NOT support their goals, a split is inevitable. NOW, how do we steer clear of this mistake?
Become an expert at discerning their long term goals:
1. In your interview, ask your candidate “What do you want to be doing in five years?” Listen carefully to what they tell you.
2. If they are strongly committed to goals that are consistent with yours and you’re willing to help them reach those goals – you have a good chance of arriving there together.
3. Show real interest in their answers by asking, “Why is that important? How long have you thought that? Then look for their eyes to light up when they answer.
4. Beware of the person who’s passionate about a totally different practice model than you have. I get nervous when someone tells me they just want to see this group (kids or athletes only). Or they want to “spend a lot of time with their patients to really get to know them.” Both of these answers signal a weak self-image and poor understanding of chiropractic.
5. I’m even more leery of the person without goals or my least favorite, the candidate that tells you he wants to be “cutting back” in five years. Don’t even get me started on THAT guy.
6. In short, become an expert on reading what they really want and why they are in chiropractic in the first place.
NOW, back to YOUR goals. Isn’t it your desire to work shoulder to shoulder to an associate who loves the things you love? Of course it is. It takes a young doctor some time to really understand the process you’re committed to taking them through, but don’t make the potentially fatal error of failing to find out their long-term professional goals.