Self-test: Are you ready to be a manager?


In addition to the specific jobs that managers assume under the five areas of responsibility, there are personal skills, qualities and preferences that managers should either be comfortable with or be interested in refining. Ask yourself these questions.

1. Are you a decider? 

Practice managers must gather and analyze relevant data on different issues to make informed decisions that yield the best solutions.


2. Are you honest and principled?

Practice managers must act with integrity and uphold high standards of ethical conduct. A significant part of the job involves ensuring compliance with laws, handling confidential information and maintaining financial accounts. 


3. Does your head rule?

Strategic thinking and planning are essential to financial forecasting, marketing planning and long-term planning for practice growth. Managers must identify relevant questions, problems and arguments and offer logical and well-reasoned solutions. 


4. Are you a planner?

Practice managers must demonstrate a penchant for organization, efficiency, prioritizing and planning. 


5. Do you believe good communication is a two-way street?

The ability to express your thoughts clearly and understandably and the ability to actively listen are essential to communicate effectively with clients and coworkers.


6. Do you have the write stuff?

Managers are responsible for writing and updating protocols, manuals and handbooks, and they must also understand complex technical information related to different aspects of their job.


7. Are you willing to analyze that?

Many financial, personnel and marketing responsibilities require quantitative reasoning and analytical skills. Managers must grasp complex information and make correct inferences.


8. Do rules rule?

Compliance with federal, state and professional regulations require managers to be detail-oriented and to respect organizational rules and policies.


9. Are you an outside-the-box thinker?

The multi-faceted nature of the job requires practice managers apply resourcefulness, creativity and initiative to their responsibilities.


10. Do you love to learn?

The veterinary field is constantly evolving. Managers must keep up with these changes and actively seek out new information, technologies and learning opportunities. 


11. Can you bounce?

Veterinary hospitals can be stressful workplaces, and practice managers must cope effectively with pressure and setbacks. Effective managers handle crisis situations effectively and maintain their composure under stress.


12. Can you roll?

Because practices can be characterized by a fair amount of uncertainty and unpredictability, the ability to adapt work behavior in response to changing conditions or new information is critical.


13. Can you lead the pack?

Effective managers influence and motivate others at work. They take initiative in organizing and coordinating team members and activities.

How did you do? If the areas of responsibility, knowledge and skills support your interests and skills, it's time to consider the next steps to climb into a management position. 

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Adam Christman
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