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The Ladder of Success, or Maybe Not

live Aug 09, 2020

And the transformation began...

In outpatient practice, there is a familiar ladder of success.  I recall as a staff therapist being curious about what was happening behind closed doors on a quarterly basis at my clinic.  I had a great deal of respect for every member of the leadership team of our organization even though I didn't really know most of them all that well.  But they had a seat at the table, were responsible for the success of their teams and influencing the direction of the company as a whole.

What I did know - I wanted in!

What I didn't know - the extent of added stress that came along with the new rung.

My way in wasn't as a clinical director, but rather recognizing as a growing company we had a gap.  And an important one, with the mentorship and development of our clinicians.  This was my zone of excellence so I was going to make it happen.

The first obstacle, there wasn't even a formal mentorship program, let alone a position to lead it.  The second, taking a highly skilled therapist with direct referrals off the floor.

So how was I going to get buy in?  Well, that's an entirely different conversation, and in the end, I created 2 different positions related to development and clinical performance.

I know the desire to evolve your influence as your skills, confidence and ability to adapt to the styles of others elevate.  

The truth is that as those attributes develop, and you become more self aware, gain greater perspective and insight, many times the 'command and control' type of hierarchical business structure can demand something quite different from you.  It can demand that you follow a system that creates a uniformity of operations and diminishes you showing up professionally in the highest version of yourself, your zone of excellence.

And that's where the stress comes into the experience.  The demand to conform, to fit into a box, to follow in place the established systems and how-to's.  For many, including myself, I went from 'people pleasing' while learning the systems, to being curious about other possible ways in which to further enhance our clinicians experience, to trying to 'fix' the gaps that seemed to be growing, to......being something that truly wasn't where I thrived, where I loved to be, where my talents were able to make an meaningful impact.

Those ladders can take you in a direction other than the one that you've dedicated extraordinary energy, time and resources to navigate, much like the highly trained climber above.  Those ladders are established by someone else, make sure they fit!  Finding the courage to let go of that path and to discover your own is one of the most rewarding moments of your life.

The simple truth.  Know yourself.  Be yourself.  Find a way to live it.  Every day. 


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