The Optometric Minute

Leadership is Key to Practice Success

March 21, 2018

Practice leadership is the secret sauce of practice success, according to Steve Vargo, OD, MBA, of IDOC. When practices falter, lack of leadership often is the cause. Leadership requires you to provide clarity of purpose to employees, and to delegate to trusted managers who can then inspire the team to reach your goals. Here are steps to become a practice leader and to cultivate leadership within staff, in an interview with Dr. Vargo, who recently authored Eye on Leadership.

Practice Success Requires Leadership
Provide Leadership Training & Support to Staff

CLARITY. All employees need to know the practice’s mission and their role in it.

DELEGATE. Look internally for an outstanding employee with leadership qualities. If that person doesn’t exist internally, hire from outside the practice. Don’t promote a person who is wrong for a leadership role.

ON-BOARD. Provide a comprehensive new hire orientation that shows new employees what you expect, and how they can accomplish those things.

SUPERVISE. Initially keep close watch on the leader you appoint, or hire, to make sure they are leading in the spirit that you want for your employees.


EDUCATE. Send staff to conferences, symposiums and training offered by optometric alliances and organizations.

EMPHASIZE PRACTICE BRAND. Rather than focus on yourself, emphasize and market the brand of your practice, which associate doctors and staff can reinforce in the care they provide.

STEP BACK. Trust well-trained managers and staff to keep the practice running without you. Be productive in your newly found personal time.

TRACK METRICS. Closely watch key practice metrics after delegating leadership responsibilities to ensure the practice is still on the right track. Strive for  continuous improvement.


Steve Vargo, OD, MBA, is an optometric practice consultant at IDOC. To contact:  

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