If you want to grow and expand your PT business, as an owner you need the right management team. You need to find the right people who align with your purpose. Don’t just hire anyone who is looking for a higher paycheck. You really need to coach your management team. In this episode, we take that advice one step further. In order for your team to grow most effectively, they must receive coaching as well. This can be done by you, the owner, thru one-on-one effort and the structure of a leadership development program, or you can leverage a coach to help you. Join Nathan Shields as he talks to Michelle Bambenek of Multiplexit. Michelle shares what she does as a coach for Clinic Directors and Front Office Managers to support and take that burden off the owner and how owners can do it as well.
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Gotta Have This If You’re Gonna Expand Your Business: Coaching Your Management Team w/ Michelle Bambenek, PT, DPT
I’ve got a previous guest, a great friend and co-worker in my life, Michelle Bambenek joining us again. Michelle, thanks for coming on.
Nathan, it’s so good to be back on here with you. It’s always a joy and what a treat. I get to spend your birthday with you.
Happy birthday to me. Thanks for coming. When you scheduled it for my birthday, I was like, “That suck. This is my birthday but no, I want to hang out with Michelle. That’s cool.”
I was like, “Should I reschedule? It’s his birthday.”
No, this is great.
I’m glad to be here.
I was excited to bring you on because we met up at PPS, and it was cool to see you in person again and network. It is one of the beauties of going to conferences, especially PPS, and hobnobbing and rubbing shoulders with PT owners. I want to bring you on because you’re in a new position and I want to highlight that, but also talk about the nuances of that. I don’t think a lot of owners have considered what you’re doing at this point. For those who are in a stage where they might be considering it, it’d be great to highlight you and what you’re doing. Maybe some of them are doing the same for their employees. Let’s start there. Tell us where you’re at and what you’re doing nowadays.
I saw you at PPS. I was there with a friend of the show and a long-term friend of yours and mine, Will Humphreys. I was working the booth at Healthcare Business Academy. That is our overall arching movement toward being a presence in the world of physical therapy in general but more specifically, working underneath that in the College of Leadership but also Multiple Exit.
Since you and I last spoke, I have joined forces with Will and Scott. I’m also now a partner in Multiple Exit, where we do a lot of coaching for those people that are looking to exit their practices. On the flip side, a part of that is mainly Will and myself, and me leading up a lot of that coaching with directors. I’m doing a bit more of the hands-on coaching and consulting much as we do for our owners for their second-in-command or their clinical directors. If they don’t have a clinical director in place, oftentimes, it’s their practice manager. That’s something that’s new and exciting that we’re excited to offer. It’s in development but also there’s a lot behind it already that we’re excited to share with people.
I know you guys are doing a lot of great work. You have 30 practices with Multiple Exit.
It’s around that.
You’re doing a lot of good work with not just the owners but also their teams, which is interesting. I noticed that when Will and I started doing some consulting for ourselves on how to be better business owners, how to improve the value of our companies, and systematize, some significant additional value came when we started introducing these same coaches and consultants that we had to our teams.
We had a number of them over the years, especially our management teams like you, Stephanie, and Stacy. Everybody was getting coaching as well besides Will and myself. It’s something that I highlight and have for the entire four years that I’ve been doing the show. My mantra has been to reach out, step out, and network. Reach out is find some resources and get some support in terms of coaching and consulting.
You guys are taking it to the next level. What Will and myself did as owners were to also get coaching and consulting for our teams. I want to highlight you because this particular situation came up with someone that I’m working with. The Front Office statistics aren’t going so hot and he signed on with the Dee Bills program, which is awesome, Front Office GURU, and he’s expecting his Front Office team to watch the videos. Let’s say five videos a week, which equates to maybe an hour or an hour and a half.
They’re not getting it done. As I’m talking to him, he has a coordinator in place but he’s feeling the need to ensure that the front desk personnel are doing their videos. I’m like, “What is the coordinator doing? Why isn’t this manager of the front desk isn’t doing that?” It comes back to the fact that he’s not comfortable coaching and training and holding accountable a manager, let alone the front desk team. He doesn’t have those capacities.
We don’t inherently do. We don’t have that skill. That’s a skill that needs to be developed in us. Most people lead. Asking the owner to now train someone else on how to lead and hold accountable can be very difficult if they don’t know how to do it themselves. Using that scenario, where would you come in and help in a situation like that?
That’s a good question. I love to paint this picture because it does create a lot of freedom for the owner whenever I step in and provide this clarity. It’s not uncommon for other industries to have a significant amount of coaching in their life. It’s not normally the case for physical therapists. We don’t readily have owners being coached by business leaders and consultants and things like that.
The beauty is that we’re moving in that direction. People like yourself, Will, me, and some others are out there showing the benefits of what this can bring to your practice. Not only in the day-to-day but as the practice matures and you want to move on, and step other people into this role. That being said, training the owner is one thing. What we do is come in and support the owner by not necessarily taking the accountability away from them, but shouldering a little bit of the responsibility. It’s maybe holding an accountability line or making sure that processes that we go over have action items and steps for implementation.
There’s knowledge by the owner of what’s going on, what should be done, and how things are happening, but they’re not necessarily the ones that are handholding the process of how it gets implemented. That’s what we come in and provide. As of now, I’m doing masterminds for my clinical directors, as well as a separate one for my admin leads.
It’s run like any mastermind for an owner would be. There’s an area where we go over our statistics. We have that forum of other people at your same level as we talk about when we were at PPS. How cool is it to go there and meet with other entrepreneurs and get to know a little bit about what’s going on in their world? This spliced down a little bit at the clinical director level. They have their own sets of needs, wants, hopes, desires, action items, stocks, and successes and I love to work with them on that level.
That’s what you did with us. You were over clinic directors. We had the clinic directors get together. I never recognized the beauty of it. It was a short amount of time into having weekly clinic director meetings from the different clinics getting together. One of them mentioned after the fact like, “I need to step up my game because the other clinic over there is killing it with their stats,” because they’re sharing stats. “I need to do better because they’re doing this.” They also got to share successful actions with each other. This is beautiful that it allows these clinic directors to work with other clinic directors that are even outside of their company in terms of your mastermind.
That’s right. They’re meeting with other clinical directors across the continents of the United States, so different people and at different stages in their journey. Maybe some of them are starting out. Some of them have years on them. They’ve encountered different things along their journeys. You get to learn and maybe they can help you immediately around something that you’re facing, maybe a stuck that you’re having. Maybe you’re turning decades into days by being in association with them because they’re sharing something that you haven’t yet encountered. Now you have that knowledge base to either move around it or maybe make sure that that doesn’t happen, or you’re teeing yourself up for a different level of success because of that knowledge.
What’s the feedback that you’re getting from the owners as you’re working with some of these clinic directors?
We’re getting good feedback in regard to having a means of holding them accountable.
That’s where I see it. It’s like if I could just have someone help me and guide me. A part of my brain is thinking, “Offload me just a little bit. Let me focus on some of these other things.” I want to coach them but that takes time and effort and accountability. If someone else can help me offload that a little bit, get their feet wet, get them up and going, which is the hard part. That’s the initial push to get the flywheel going. You can show me and I can guide you. We can set up this system of accountability with your help. That’s huge. That’s where the expertise comes in.
That’s right. I’m in a unique position and being a partner eventually with Rise Rehab. I came in as a clinical director. I became an entrepreneur that grew into an entrepreneur through coaching and working with you and Will and the rest of the team at Rise Rehab. That’s essentially what I’m trying to do with these individuals.
It’s taking my journey and my story, seeing the success that it brought us and trying to recreate that in a unique way that’s specific to them and what they need in their individual environment. That came with knowing I was being trusted. I got the tools to take charge of my own actionable potential and move in that direction.As your coaching owners, take your journey and success and try to recreate that in a way that is specific to them. Click To Tweet
Also, that line of accountability. You tee up the next person and it offloads you guys to build Rise Diagnostics or all the other things that are available to other practice owners as you start to move in that direction. The last thing you want to do is then create a space where the owner has now additional training to do for their leaders. That’s what I’m here for. It is to help offload that.
Even me as a coach. I’m like, “You need to coach your management team but you’re still not doing your stats.” I don’t want to distract from, “We still need to track your stats.” I can see where that’s helpful. I would imagine it’s nice for your clinic directors and front office managers, you call them admin leads, to have you as a third party. They’re maybe in some situations stuck because of the owner not doing something, distracted by something else, or not clear on what the owner wants them to do. I’m assuming that you’ve probably experienced this. What are you doing now to help those clinic directors get clearer in their communication with the owners and what they need?
That’s exactly what we do. Just like any other mastermind, we create a space where there’s not only accountability but also confidentiality. They’re going to all encounter different situations. They’re going to come into an issue with their owner or maybe a team lead. We want to make a space that’s safe for us to walk through that.
I take a Socratic approach around the way that I coach them through that. I want people to be empowered around making their own decisions. If they’re going off course, I’ll redirect them and bring them back to focus. At the same time, it’s a lot of leading questions and getting to using some emotional intelligence, seeing all the objective data. It’s not just emotionally based but also logically based on how these things are painted out.
Maybe take other people’s thoughts, considerations, hopes and dreams, as well as what’s currently going on in the rhythm of the business, how that’s working, where are the bottom line figures, and how are these decisions coming about. Long story to say is to make sure that they’re coming up with a good answer on their own with some guidance from us. That being said, you get input from other people, “I’m at a big stuck. Has anybody encountered this? How have you addressed this?”
Create that space where they are empowered to then have that conversation with their owner. Have those crucial conversations and put them into a position where you get to create how the rest of this goes. You get to see how this plays out because you are the one at cause over it. That’s where those types of questions and things go along. That’s not just with the owners. It’s with team members. Maybe it’s somebody that’s not billing appropriately, skilled units are significantly down, or have an early graduation rate compared to the rest of the team. It’s all those types of things that we talk about which are often revealed through our statistics.
Where do you find that you’re starting typically when you come up against a new clinic director that you’re starting to work with? They might be experienced or new. I don’t know but where do you find yourself starting most of the time when you’re starting to work with them?
It’s like any other great relationship in terms of a coaching relationship. It’s getting to know that person and figuring out what makes them tick, but then how does it relate to the company for which they’re working for? How are they aligned with the values? How are they aligned with the purpose and vision of the organization? Where are they within their buy-in to the clinic?
Usually, if they’re in that clinical directorship position, they’ve been vetted. They’re in a position where they’re there. It’s an interesting position that I found myself in early on as a leader, where you’re halfway between being a part of the team because you’re still heavily involved in clinical care, but you see the importance of the business aspect.
Sometimes there are tough decisions that need to be made on that side that relate to the team. Maybe it’s not always favorable in the same direction. We always seek that win-win for everybody but sometimes hard decisions are needed. That being said, it’s balancing that and me developing a relationship with them and realizing that they have to stand in their power around making some conscious decisions for the organization above all else.As an owner, you have to stand in your power when it comes to making conscious decisions for the organization above all else. Click To Tweet
You occasionally sit in with the owner on the call and the clinic director. Is it sometimes the three of you on the call?
We have done that in the past. Now, we’re having them join my mastermind. It’s me getting to know them, but more often than not, I know the owner already. There is some type of introduction that gets had with me and the clinical director, getting to know them a little bit and seeing where they’re at. I’m trying to hone up on where they are in terms of culture, mission, vision, values, core values, and things like that. Also, getting an understanding of where they are in their leadership realm. Are you looking at stats? Are you reporting stats? Are you the primary mover of that? Are you involved in any of the accountability conversations? All of that goes into determining where we need to move with them. Usually, it starts with getting a look at the numbers of how to manage those stats.
As you’re working with clinic directors, are you thinking, “The owner needs to get trained on this, that or the other?” Are you looking up the org board and thinking, “They might need some help.”
The clinic director is like, “I need blank. I need guidance. I need a vision,” and they’re not getting it. I’m seeing it in that term but are there other things that you’re seeing on a regular basis where the owners maybe not doing enough for a clinic director?
Most often, that’s what I see a lot. Sometimes, when we get to this position, the owners are still trying to work out what they’re trying to know and learn. I’m synonymously trying to teach the clinical director. Oftentimes my action items are, “I need you to get with your owners and your executive team and iron out. What are my baseline targets? What are my skilled units per visit? What are my visits per hour?”
That’s going to come off of the work that we’re also doing with the owners. We’re teaching the owners, “What’s the bottom line? What is your average reimbursement per visit? What does that look like with all your expenses going through?” We can then come down to that step for our clinical directors and cascade that down. That’s where the gap often comes in. When we get into coaching, a lot of us as clinical directors for sure but owners even don’t know what we don’t know until we get in the hands of a coach who is telling us what to look at.
Is there one or two things commonly that are missing as you’re working with clinic directors, either in what they’re not getting from owners or what they’re not doing with their teams? Either direction.
I don’t know that I can say one thing specifically outside of stats for sure. They’re not clear on stats.
They’re not clear on which stats or what the expectations are.
I find that very often still. In a lot of people that I work with, you get like, “Hire a PT.” We’re like, “Great. Go to work.” Without fully communicating, these are your targets. This is where you need to be. This is what I’m going to have my expectation for our win-win. That’s our fair exchange level. This is what looks like if you’re on the high side of that. This is what it looks like when you’re not meeting those expectations before they even get hired.
A lot of times I run into that cleanup of now and then having to hold a line of accountability that was never previously there. How do you do that? How do you establish that? How do you bridge that conversation that stats is now woven into something that you have to be keyed into? That’s one thing that we as practice owners collectively could do a better job of. It is outlining, “What is it going to need for me to be profitable so I can communicate to my hires when they come in, and hold that line as we move forward together in our relationship?”
I have an idea of how it would go. Would you go down that road a little?
I am so ready to go down that road.
I’m imagining there are owners that are reading this now or years from now that think, “I never did that. I need to set some stats.” I’ll give them a little credit. They’ve decided these are the stats that we’re going to look at, these 2 or 3 stats, and these are my expectations. How would you introduce that now to a team member? There are two ways we could go with this. What would you say to a team member to introduce those stats or how would you coach a management team member to coach a team member in those stats?
All of them are coming in together. Whenever we have to introduce any type of statistics, we have to remember the reason why we came into this profession. What is our why? What is the purpose of our why? How does it relate to us being in business? My always direct approach is trying to figure out at the heartbeat of who we are, why we exist, and how if we’re not doing our job, we’re doing a disservice to our community. That links into the statistic. If I’m truly being honorable in my profession and what I’m here to do and servicing others and getting them back to function, that means I want to serve as many people as possible. How can we do that? It’s through connecting through that heart set around that. It’s my approach.
I totally agree. That’s the biggest issue when people start introducing statistics. The default, correct me if I’m wrong from your experience, is that you’re all about the numbers. You’re trying to line your pockets. You’re trying to make money because you as the leader didn’t tie it back to the overall purpose of the company and their individual purposes as physical therapists.
If we’re doing a great job, we should be actively promoting and providing as much care as we can physically possibly provide. When we do so, we should get reimbursed as much as we can possibly get reimbursed because we believe what we provide is that valuable. You have to tie it back to purpose. It can’t be the purpose of the owner themselves, but rather a singular statistic like the average frequency of visits per week for an occupation.
Is it better that our patient comes in one time a week or three times a week majority of the time or two times? Whatever you want. If they come in more often, do we get better faster in general? We’re going to measure that singular statistic to see if we’re getting patients better faster. If that measure goes down, we know they’re not getting measured. It goes on. If you don’t make that connection back to the patients, the benefit of the patients, the benefit of the providers, and the benefit of the clinic, then they’re going to come up with their own ideas. I love that that’s where you start.
We can be altruistic in what we want for our patients, but we also can’t do it at the expense of the company. It doesn’t have to be the conversation that goes full circle. It ties to our purpose as to why, but then also we have to do a certain level of XYZ production, skilled units, visits per week, what have you in order for us to be that entity that provides that service to our community.
In order for us to do this, we have to value ourselves for what we bring to the community. That means billing for what we’re worth. Not giving away services because we’re bleeding hearts within the industry. It’s standing in our worth along that and getting them to come in for their visits as prescribed. As you said, the people that come in once a week are the people that say, “I tried PT,” which is insane to say in and of itself. They go back to their doctor and say it didn’t work. It does take work to make the changes that we’re making in these people’s lives.You have to value your business for what you bring to the community and that means billing for what you're worth. Click To Tweet
I can see with that using that as a conversation starter. For my friend, he should be there with his coordinator, the manager of the front office, with a front office member, and probably initially doing that in front of the manager to model what that conversation looks like. What’s our purpose? At the front desk, your job is to help as many people and get as many people in the clinic as possible for our providers to provide awesome care and benefit the community. One of the things we use to do that is through the system provided by Dee Bills. How would you expect to learn that system and ask questions like that?
Get them prefrontal. Make sure that they’re answering the questions for them because then they become a part of the solution. They become a part of the action plan innately because you ask the question versus pointing it down the line and giving a delegation, which sometimes is necessary. At the same time, inviting them into that conversation. I love bringing it in, and having that owner and leader there so that there’s mutual accountability or responsibility, the difference between the two, and making sure that there is also perceived power in that relationship being held by that person so that they have the ability to answer to that.
I always leave space for questions. I don’t ever turn and say, “We’re going to start tracking these three stats starting tomorrow.” It’s like, “These are the stats. These are what we’re going to be looking at. I want to allow time for you to come to the next team meeting with any questions that you might have with a projected start time of tracking these independently in a couple of weeks or something like that.”
It allows them time to get behind it, answer the questions, and be a part of that versus marching orders. We, as owners and executives within the organization sometimes forget that. We’ve milled this over in our heads. We’ve thought about this for months potentially, and we’re expecting our team to jump on it just like that. We have to give them a little bit of time to get their questions answered and get their understanding of it fully handled so then they can adopt it as we want them to as entrepreneurs.
To get into the nitty-gritty a little bit, you’re talking about leaders like this, especially ones that you’re training. I have this conversation quite often with people or the owners that I’m coaching, and that is leadership development. Many of them that I’m working with don’t have a clinic director immediately. We talk about what that looks like and how they’re going to be developed over time. Do you have a second to maybe talk about that?
What we did in the past and I don’t know if this has changed for you over the years. We found someone who was productive and aligned with our values and purpose. We didn’t have a lot of misunderstandings. The misunderstandings that did happen were communicated out and communicated professionally and we came to an agreement. We were all in the same boat. We eventually got to a point where we started a title called blank in training. The clinic director in training meant that they were tagged as a future clinic director. It did not come with a pay raise initially but an expectation that they start getting trained in leadership and what was expected out of them. Do you still recommend that? What does that path look like for you as you’re recommending other people do it?
You’re spot on in how I would make that recommendation. It still doesn’t necessarily always happen but hopefully, it’ll start to catch the wind a little bit more as we do more coaching with individuals. What that allows is an opportunity to vet this person in that position. You and I both know that a high producer and somebody that’s values-aligned doesn’t always necessarily make the best leader. They may not have the ability to have crucial conversations. Maybe they have an issue with confronting. Maybe they’re a little bit too hard-nosed. You have to find that.
They love treating patients but they don’t want to lead a team.
They don’t want to interact with the team in that regard. They’re happy closing out their case for the day and going home. Great producers can be just that great producers. With the director in training or XYZ in training, it allows that opportunity for you to see how they perform and act in that. Are they coachable? Are they trainable? Are they taking and adopting the things that you would want in that person to take your space or spot, and carry that forward in the way that you would desire? Are they not yet cutting the mustard?
Are they seeking an opportunity to gain a higher paycheck but don’t necessarily want to take on the responsibilities? Hopefully, we’re getting and hiring people and going through the recruiting process where that’s not going to be the primary issue that we have people that are on board, but it still allows that test time for them and for you. They get to see, “This isn’t what I thought it was going to be.”
The engagement period.
What happens in that is when you automatically give them the director title and then you give them the pay raise, then you realize three weeks down the road that it’s not working or longer. Maybe at that three-week mark, you’re still training. Three months down the line, you’re like, “This is going down fast.” It’s hard to come back from that. It’s hard to strip off a title. It’s hard to reduce the compensation that’s been already provided. It doesn’t end well usually. That’s usually how I like to do it. A little bit more nitty-gritty as that director in training, you start to give them a little bit at a time. You don’t give them the whole playbook.
I was going to ask you that. A guy or girl who’s thinking, “I’ve got this idea for clinic director. I want to develop a leadership program.” Where would you tell them to start? What are some of the ways that they should start creating that clinic director role? Where would you start them?
A lot of times it is right into managing the clinic floor. Making sure that you’re monitoring the flow of the clinic, the atmosphere, and the energy on the floor, and making sure that treatment is going well. We want that to be good. The scheduled monitoring. Are you managing your hourly employees appropriately? Are you taking care of your tech team the way that you should?
Also checking the stats.
That’s where I was going to go. It’s mainly driven by statistics. You’re looking at the statistics. You’re getting a feel for them. Maybe I’m hand-holding them through that process of, “This is what I’m looking at. These are the stats that I look at on a day-to-day basis.” If this one’s down, that means I need to look at this one. If this one is high, I need to go and find out why so I can make sure that we’re reproducing that. All of the different things that I would go into with the statistics, then eventually handing that over to them so that they’re running it in that capacity.
They can report it to you.
They report it to you, then the cascade goes further. You’re having each individual team member reporting to that clinical director, and that clinical director reporting up. It builds upon each other. That is what creates the power within the clinic. It’s when everybody’s reporting their statistics because then there’s that mutual accountability to each other and the organization as a whole. Owners are able to focus on running the business.
Leading from in front. A few other things that I like doing and I think that’s the biggest part of it. If they can track the statistics and report what’s going up and be responsible for the health of the clinic or their department. Other things I’ve recommended in the past is whatever books have been influential to you and your business ownership, make sure your management team is reading and discussing them and talking about them. Incentivize them to read them if you have to or whatever. Books that are read together, giving them occasional projects, you’re joining in on a fun run. Maybe someone in training would be leading the team in supporting the fun run in the community. It’s little things like that.
Little bits of responsibility.
How did they do? Did it go well? One other thing that I’ve always kept in the back of my mind as a leader if we were doing a weekly meeting is to say, “I want you to find 1 or 2 things that you don’t like about the clinic that isn’t going well. This is the homework that I want you to do. I want you to find 1 or 2 things that you don’t like about the clinic. It could be as simple as laundry, cleaning tables or tech schedules. I want you to consider what you would do to handle it. Give me 2 or 3 solutions regarding that one thing and we’ll talk about it. Maybe I’ll give you the responsibility to fix it.”
I want to throw out as much as possible for people to consider what that leadership training looks like because it could be a number of things. The go-to was, “You’re a great producer. Here’s the title, manage the team.” Let’s do a lot more than that and provide a lot of support in terms of their knowledge base and giving them power, and giving them the ability to fail in small situations that benefit the clinic as a whole and see how they perform.
That reminds me of what we used to do whenever somebody was wanting to become a clinical director or wanted to take an advancement. We had them pre-read a handful of books. They had to go through specific stat training. They also had to read, I can’t remember all of them.
It had to be at least Good to Great.
Leadership and Self-Deception. Those are some of the ones.
The Five Dysfunctions of a Team.
That’s right. The Outward Mindset was one of them. I would add more to that list or even swap out some maybe. These were all great. Maybe not, but add to it.
I’m not going to pay you extra for it. This is your training. I’m investing in you and giving you training, value and skill, and teaching you a skillset to be a part of the team.
The pre-reading was something that I thought about. It showed their desire for somebody more than just that wanted a higher paycheck, which we didn’t do a whole lot of hiring of those types of people. It showed that desire that wants to be a part of something bigger than themselves. A part of the team in a greater capacity and show their influence in that way.
Even handing them some projects, the start, stop and keep. What should we start? What should we stop? What should we keep doing? Here’s your ability to change and make it something of your own. There was something that you said that I wanted to key in on. Throughout this process and even with the people that I coach now.
I said, “Sometimes if they’re going directly off the cliff, I’m going to stop them.” I like to see people fall down because there’s not necessarily a greater way of learning than that way. It’s not necessarily a hard fall, but it’s important for people to realize that the ship is not going to go down if we make a little mistake.As you coach, let people fall down because there's no greater way of learning than that way. Click To Tweet
Sometimes people are afraid to take that step, make that choice, or stand up in their voice because they’re afraid that it’s either going to be impacted negatively on the company or maybe the owner’s going to come down on them in some way because of something. Those small little defeats can stack up to an opportunity to stand within some great strength and growth out of them.
It’s very similar to parenting. You’re trying to take this person into adulthood. You’d rather them make those small mistakes underneath your roof before they make those mistakes in the real world. You’d rather maybe walk them through a breakup with a boyfriend or girlfriend while you’re still there instead of it happening down the road and when they’re out of the house.
I think that the people you want on your team want that program. They want that structure. If you were to recruit a physical therapist and if you got a sense that they want to get into leadership and you could say, “We’ve got a leadership development program that involves blank,” I would assume that would light a fire in the right people.
I would imagine so. You and I both know that a lot of times people leave an organization because of a lack of communication. That comes with all of this too. “I don’t know what I’m doing. I don’t even know what I’m working towards. I don’t even know what my targets are, then I come to my raise. All of a sudden, at that point is when I was told I didn’t hit the mark.” All these things surmount into that structure. When there’s a structure within a nice flex-and-give way where there is an opportunity for a bonus, but then there’s also a hard line of accountability, that’s when people start to thrive because they know the lane in which they’re walking.
If they know that I have this path, that they have to decide to take that path or not, that makes it easy instead of being lost and there is no real direction at all. The cool thing about when we trained you and this wasn’t intentional. The result of training you and the other members of our management team, I would say this to Will and other people all the time. You guys took that stuff and ran with it and had such a great love for it more than I did as the owner.
I thought it was valuable stuff but you would then start holding me and Will accountable. “That’s not how we do it here. I thought I was the owner here.” No, that’s not how we do it. I’m like, “That’s how you guys are going to do it now.” It was because we gave you this training. That’s when the company then can take on a life of itself. When it’s more than owner-dependent culture or owner-dependent vibes and systems, then it takes on a life of its own that’s powerful.
I agree, 100%. That’s when it started to take off and even past me. When we cascade those messages down and you get the report back up, I remember very specifically people coming to me and whenever I would step in to treat and they’re like, “You don’t have your notes done.” It’s like, “You’re right I don’t.” I don’t have my exercises marked out for the next one. Rehab coaches will come up and hold me accountable.
That’s the culture you want. No single person on the team is more important than the other. If we’re all working at the same target together collectively, that’s how it works. That’s where the power comes in because then it’s not owner-dependent. It’s not clinical director-dependent. You’re interdependent on each other to make this work.
That’s when the magic happens. Is there anything else you want to share or anything that might have gotten left out that’s in the back of your head?
I could talk about this all day long. I think we can table it for now. We’re excited to help future leaders and help offload owners.
You’re unique in that way. I honestly can’t think of groups out there that want to work with leadership teams. It’s especially valuable to work with owners. You need to start somewhere and you wouldn’t bypass them, but providing additional coaching for those leaders is great. If people wanted to get ahold of you, how do they do that?
They can get a hold of me at Michelle@UnlockHBA.com. We’re focusing on putting directors as well as owners into Mastermind. There are minimal one-on-one coaching spots that we have available. We love to leverage the collective intelligence of those Mastermind groups. I’m excited about that.
Are you on socials?
I am. You can reach me on LinkedIn. You can find me under Michelle Bambenek. You can also reach me on my cell phone at (816) 820-5439.
Thank you so much for joining me. That was great.
It was an absolute pleasure. Thank you so much for having me. I hope we’ll check in soon.
We’ll do it again.
Sounds good. Bye.
- Michelle Bambenek – LinkedIn
- Healthcare Business Academy
- Front Office GURU
- Rise Rehab
- Good to Great
- Leadership and Self-Deception
- The Five Dysfunctions of a Team
- The Outward Mindset
About Michelle Bambenek
Michelle Bambenek is a Physical Therapist in the Phoenix, Arizona area, practicing since 2007. Within a year of graduation, she earned the opportunity to lead her first PT team as a Clinical Director for an outpatient orthopedic and aquatics facility. This was the start of what would later be her devotion to growth and development of herself and those in her field.
In 2011 she joined the team of what would later become Rise Rehabilitation Specialists. As a Partner in Rise Rehab, Michelle was an integral member of the leadership team; navigating the way to not only record breaking company profits, but also in team morale. After merger with Empower Physical Therapy in 2018, Michelle stayed on as Regional Vice President of Operations, leading in the daily production of 10 clinics through the Fall of 2020.
Her love for PT and health care as a whole is only rivaled by her energy and tenacity for helping others achieve greatness and building up teams. This carved the path for her move to leadership coaching and consulting, in and outside of the PT space. (In her down time, she functions as the owner and chief florist of Charlie Parker Petals
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