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Doctors crave certainty. I get it. We’re scientists and we’re trained to heal patients. Unfortunately, most of the doctors reading this memo are in elective healthcare niches and must also learn how to run a business, manage employees and market their services.

In dentistry and medicine, the best outcomes are achieved by following the rules in very specific and certain terms. No one wants their surgeon “winging it.” However, in the business world, the most successful thrive on differentiation and a willingness to do what no one else is doing.

How would you rate your capacity to tolerate uncertainty? 

How willing are you to get on the emotional roller coaster of trying something new, failing and being judged? Does the thought of rejection or following a new path and having it crash and burn prevent you from ever getting on the roller coaster in the first place?

On a recent coaching call, a smart and capable client couldn’t grasp the critical issue of his employees being unable to complete delegated projects and tasks. With a little digging and a little prodding from me, he understood that the employees weren’t the problem, but his inability to let go and ineffectiveness at delegating were the real issues.

“I know if I give them this project, they’re going to screw it up,” he said. 

“With that approach and mindset, they almost certainly will,” I challenged.

The interesting thing about this member is that he could repeat back to me the three ways systems breakdown and delegation fails: by failure to communicate, failure of oversight or failure to recalibrate. He knew my list, because I had taught it to him years ago.

The issue for this doctor wasn’t a lack of knowledge but a penetrating fear about his uncertainty in turning others loose and getting something back that he isn’t prepared to see. So, projects and tasks that should have been done months or years ago simply stack up on his plate, rendering him completely ineffective at doing the things he must do as a leader.

Think of all the times you’ve tried and failed and yet here you are, still successful, still making progress and growing your practice. Instead of fighting back the butterflies of uncertainty in your stomach, embrace them. Failing is not the worst thing that can happen to you… never trying is.

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