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    Are you a boss or a leader?

    Editor’s Note: Welcome to “Eye Catching: Let's Chat,” a blog series featuring contributions from members of the ophthalmic community. These blogs are an opportunity for ophthalmic bloggers to engage with readers with about a topic that is top of mind, whether it is practice management, experiences with patients, the industry, medicine in general, or healthcare reform. The series continues with this blog by Donna Suter, president of Suter Consulting Group. The views expressed in these blogs are those of their respective contributors and do not represent the views of Ophthalmology Times or UBM Medica.

    Are you a leader? Being the boss and being thought of as a leader aren’t the same thing, are they? Join me in a trip down memory lane: That first day of being the manager of the practice you were filled with so much excitement and confidence. The world was yours for the taking and the sky was the limit.

    If that day, the day you took over leadership in the office, was your first exposure to managing a work team, you might have been a little nervous—but not really. You had leveraged your talents, abilities, and education successfully in the past and you were confident you could do it again. Everything was coming up roses.

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    Or so you naively thoughPay off debt or invest my money: What is the right way to go?t. Those first few months may have been a true reality check. You may have found yourself putting out fires constantly, telling employees­—who you thought were bright self-starters—how to fill their days; and ultimately faced with some pretty daunting barriers.

    Suddenly, your dreams looked too lofty and your confidence melted like snow in the spring. Your rose garden was filled with weeds and the sweet smell of success was choked out by the stench of low morale and bad attitudes.

    Managing your team was and continues to be the biggest challenge you ever faced.

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    Allow me to offer a ray of sunshine. Leadership is a skill that can be learned and honed with practice. Your natural abilities will become more effective when reinforced with self-study, continuing education (practice management CE), or management/leadership courses available in your area.

    Effective leaders, often called managers, are key team members who are able to plan in practical and concrete terms. A peak performing leader is one that is able to break your growth plan into action steps and motivate others to use their talents and abilities to achieve your practice goals.

    Art of persuasion

    Donna Suter
    Donna Suter is president of Suter Consulting Group.

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