Dr. Kevin Fitzgerald: Do you delegate?


"Delegating is an art. I would call it a lost art, but I'm not certain that it has ever been found."

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Do you delegate?

How would you describe your management style? Is it like Attila the Hun and the horse cultures or the organization-centered culture of the Roman or British Empires? Do you micromanage, fretting endlessly about every interaction at your hospital or are you a hands-off motivator, giving your people support but letting them make their mistakes?

Delegating is an art. I would call it a lost art, but I'm not certain that it has ever been found. Delegation requires you to trust yourself. You have to trust that you've hired and surrounded yourself with good people; people strong enough to perform and succeed without your backseat driving, strong enough to follow through without your constantly prodding them, and strong enough to fail and self-correct.

Veterinarians have strong personalities-opinionated and stubborn. We get where we are through moxie and hard work. We know what has been successful for us and, generally, we are reluctant to try alternate routes over territory that we've already covered. “Why should I do it that way when it has always worked for me this way?”

Why not help yourself? Why not grow? By demonstrating trust in your staff, trust that they know what needs to be done in order to succeed, you invest tremendously in the strength and health of your practice. This is not to say that your people are not still responsible to you, but delegating builds tremendous karma with your staff members by demonstrating your belief in them! It is frightening at first, but once you start to delegate, you will be amazed at what your staff members can do when you let them run with the ball. Certain people, if given the chance, will surpass your wildest expectations. Definitely, the opposite can be true as well, but trust your instincts!

By delegating and demonstrating your trust, staff members gain confidence and self-esteem and experience valuable personal growth. You gain tremendously from such worthy personal investment and your practice will prosper. Stop being Attila. Delegate.

See you next week, Kev

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