“Beware the monster you create”

These are the words said to me by a previous employer on telling her that I was leaving to start my own business. These words have stayed with me for 25 years. They come to the fore when I am confronted with all of the things that making the day to day running of a health business difficult.

There are challenges that come with leading a people focused organisation. Whether it is the people that make up your team or your customers and referrers, they all have their own wants and needs. It can be difficult to meet these consistently all of the time. You might find yourself faced with the sudden resignation of one of your key staff or have to manage performance of a team-member who has slipped.

Your clients and referrers will come with their own expectations. It can be difficult to meet these consistently.. Any business will receive feedback that is unexpected and at times difficult to hear.

There is always the fear of those “quieter times” and the uncertainty about whether it was something we had done that had caused the down-turn or wondering if it is the natural fluxes and flows of how business behaves. Is this is a sign of difficult times ahead?

We are always striving to do better however self-doubt is often our companion.

No matter how big or small our businesses, these are some of the challenges that come with our commitment to our clients, our referrers and our team- these are all part of our “monster”.

Has “my” monster created stress; dread, sleepless nights, and a desire to run away? At times, it has done all of these. It has never been realistic to run away from my monster, as much as I have felt like it every now and again. I have had to confront it, learn how to manage the situations and challenges that the monster brings with it. This means being open to new skills of managing difficult situations, conversations and managing myself.

Each health business has its own monster. Our monster is our “muse”. Our vehicle to discover,to learn, to grow and to get better at our purpose.

Do not fear your monster; embrace it and the discomfort that it brings.

Dianna Howell: January 2021

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