1. Overpromising and underdelivering

Perhaps the worst sin of them all!

From promising equity, payrises, rivers of gold, full caseloads of their ideal clients, not working weekends or after hours, and the list goes on. Perhaps the biggest enthusiasm killer for the physio employee is the boss who promises the earth, and doesn’t deliver.

I can understand why bosses overpromise. You at times feel desperate to secure that ideal team member, and you are prepared to sell your soul (at least a little bit) to get them. You think in the interview “what can I offer them (or not offer them) to get them over the line?” and from there the white lies begin.

I don’t believe you are a bad person if you do this – generally you just haven’t thought through the impact of overpromising. When it comes to putting your money where your mouth is and having the conversation about the payrise, shifts, equity and all of these other sweeteners – make sure the feeling of not delivering is in your mind when you consider the initial overpromise.

2. The boss always changing their mind

Large scale surveys of employees have found a simple answer when asked the question “what is the main thing you want from your leadership?”. Guess what the overwhelming response to this question is?


Doing what you say you will do. All of the time.

Whinging that someone needs to be fired? Have you said this to other employees in your business? Guess what? You had better do it or be rendered a toothless tiger, or worse still, someone who says one thing and does another.

My pet hate in life is when people say one thing and do another. As a boss this happens to you all of the time, especially when you have team members that aren’t a fit. Sometimes you suspect someone is doing this and sometimes you are right, other times you are not.

But as the boss you simply can’t do this. If you say one thing and do another this is the standard you are setting for your team members.

Of course you are allowed to change your mind – just don’t be doing it every single day.

There is a personality type whose greatest fear is change. They are amongst the most common personality types who study a physio degree – introverted, people focused team members. Change your mind with these guys at your peril.

When you do what you way you will do you learn to live a life of honour, and people know what they will get from you. Even if you possess some less than desirable traits as a boss, your people will say “at least you always know where you stand with the boss”.

3. Asking them to do something you don’t do

Do as I say and not as I do.

The incongruence of asking your team to do something you can’t or won’t do is definitely the stuff that nightmares at work are made of.

Case in point – asking young physios to do block booking and treatment plans if you don’t do this yourself. Asking young physios to do GP letters, Workcover phonecalls and recalls when you don’t do these things yourself. Asking physio team members to do sports coverage, work nights and weekend when you don’t do these things yourself.

Of course it goes without saying that you are the boss – and you may have worked Saturdays for years, so it is time to have your team step up – but don’t ask them to work a Saturday if this is something you have never done.

There is one great way to get your team to do stuff – do it yourself, lead by example, show them how and help them succeed.

I hear clinic owners carrying on about how their staff won’t do what they want them to do. I am even seeing this stuff all over the facebook ads of business coaches, some of whom are claiming this can all be fixed with a clever system.

I will tell you what that system is called:

Becoming a leader, stepping up, leading by example, and learning to coach.

Rant over.

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