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This Ain’t No Country Tune: Life Begins at the End of Your Comfort Zone

By Stewart Gandolf, Chief Executive Officer

"Panic" and "Calm" street signs with sunny skiesThe second in a two-part series about intelligent individuals that allow their personality or attitudes to block their potential for success. Read part one: Staff Secretly Takes Assertiveness Training.

We continue with the second of our true tales from the field about doctors who step on their own marketing toes.

Previously, we wrote about the (now recovering) “Iron Man” personality. In many respects, here is the other side of the coin among some doctor marketing decision-makers.

The Deer-in-Headlights: Physicians can be risk-adverse to a fault with business decisions. Although they are clear about the goals they want to achieve, for one reason or another, they resist taking action or getting into game at all.

In some circumstances, we find the doctor is unfamiliar (or uncomfortable) with the concept of marketing and advertising and is afraid to begin. Analysis Paralysis takes over and/or they want “everything to be ideal,” or they fear prospective solutions that are new to them Or they want total reassurance that whatever they do could not possibly fail. Or, perhaps in a group practice situation, marketing is a “committee” decision where everyone and no one is in command.

The Red Flag Warnings: The goals and the strategies to achieve the goals are vague. Deadlines and due dates (if any) slip easily. Wait-and-see feels so much more comfortable. There is no empowered leader willing to take action or group consensus never arrives. The plan is set but the resources are not. Responsibilities and accountability is "shared."

The Down Side: The usual product of inaction is, at the least, lost opportunity…or worse. Your competition is grateful when there are fewer players. They love it. You’re not just lingering at the starting line...they’re pushing you off the field. And you can’t win the game sitting in the locker room.

The Solution: Accept the fact that there are no guarantees in marketing and advertising, but sound advice is based on tested and proven experience. Strategies and tactics that have worked for others lower the risk. If you’re waiting for all things to be perfect, or if one person is the barrier, perhaps a dose of assertiveness training is what’s need.

Some words of wisdom that seem appropriate for both the Iron Man and the Deer-in-Headlights: “Life begins at the end of your comfort zone.” Doing nothing is not a strategy, and it's often necessary to step beyond what's familiar and trust in the knowledge and experience of others for success.

Our recommendation here is a well-considered and well-executed plan of action is needed to achieve clear and specific goals. Get qualified outside help if necessary. Have confidence in your staff and expert help, and empower them to produce results

For more on this subject, see the first of this two-part series: Staff Secretly Takes Assertiveness Training. This Doctor Has a Problem.

Lonnie Hirsch

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