Engage Your Veterinary Team to Build a Powerful Vision

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By Randy Hall

May 31, 2024

I was working with a veterinary team recently and asked them a few simple questions to gauge their understanding of the practice's direction:

  • Do you know where the practice wants to be in a few years?
  • Can you describe what success looks like for your practice?
  • What's the practice's vision for the future?

How a Vision for Your Veterinary Practice Becomes Powerful

The answers were vague and uncertain. It was evident they had no clear picture of what the practice aspired to be in the long term. Without that understanding, the team couldn't actively contribute to making it happen; it was much like a ship without a compass.

The owner was surprised when I shared this feedback. "But I already told them," they insisted, describing meetings where the vision was laid out in detail—a vision that involved reaching X dollars in revenue within five years, expanding services, and even opening a second location. 

This well-intentioned leader was missing a key point: a vision only becomes truly powerful when everyone in the practice not only hears it, but internalizes it and feels intrinsically motivated by it. Until then, it's merely a statement, not a shared destination that everyone is working towards.

From Words to Action: Everyone Contributes

In the veterinary world, there's been a lot of talk about creating mission and vision statements. Many practices have one, but for most, it's like buying top-of-the-line golf clubs without improving your swing—the potential is there, but the impact is minimal.

A true vision isn't about the eloquently crafted statement itself. It's about each and every person in the practice, from the veterinarians and technicians to the receptionists and kennel staff, understanding how their individual role and daily tasks contribute to the bigger picture. It's about knowing, at the end of each day, week, or year, if they've made tangible progress towards that vision. It's about being able to articulate the vision in their own words, connecting with it on a personal level, and feeling genuinely inspired to make it a reality.

Empower Your Veterinary Team to Create a Shared Vision

Creating a shared vision with your veterinary team

Communicating a vision can't just be a one-way announcement, a "Here's the vision, now go forth and conquer." Each department and individual, with their unique perspectives and insights, needs to be actively involved in the process of shaping and refining the vision. People are far more likely to buy into something they helped create, a vision that resonates with their own values and aspirations.

Leaders often think their job is done after the vision is announced in a grand meeting. But, in truth, that's just the starting line. The real work begins with active listening. Engage in meaningful conversations with your team. Hear how they feel about the vision, brainstorm ways they can contribute, and be open to their suggestions for adjustments or additions.

Empower Your Team, Achieve Your Vision

As a veterinary leader, you have two distinct paths:

  1. 1
    Create your own vision in isolation and watch it slowly lose momentum.
  2. 2
    Actively involve your team in building a shared vision and watch it take flight.

This collaborative approach doesn't mean sacrificing your own aspirations or settling for something less ambitious. It's about recognizing the collective wisdom and potential of your team, allowing them to mold and refine the initial vision into something that truly resonates with them, making it more compelling and tangible. If you don't, you'll be left admiring a beautifully framed vision on the wall, forever out of reach.

If you already have a vision, that's fantastic! You've taken a crucial first step. Now, don't let that momentum fade. Empower your team to embrace it, adapt it, and make it their own. Otherwise, that first step won't lead to lasting change or growth, no matter how impressive the vision looks on your website or marketing materials.

Ready to realize the full potential of your team? 

Explore VetLead's membership today and start your 7-day free trial. Learn proven strategies and practical tools to create a shared vision that fuels your practice's growth, fosters a thriving team culture, and ultimately leads to greater success.

Does your practice have a vision everyone feels a part of? Share it in the comments below.

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