Thoughts and ideas from The Physician Executive
The Power of a Clear Physician Leadership Vision
April 29, 2019 at 12:00 AM
by The Physician Executive
leadership vision

Whether we’re aware of it or not, each of us has a vision of what we want to accomplish professionally when we start in an organization as a leader. We sometimes have a hard time articulating it!

To begin defining your vision, the first question to answer is "What is the future you want to create for yourself and the folks you lead?"

On one level the answer is usually very simple -- "oh, I suppose my leadership role will be something that will provide me with a steady income and a job!”

On another level, the answer requires us to reflect deeply, to balance boldness and reality to describe the future state that we intend to create.

The process of envisioning the future demands that we take responsibility for creating an intentional future, rather than leaving it to happenstance or the whims of our bosses or colleagues.

Every job can be graced and enhanced with a Vision  

There are seven elements contained within a clearly articulated Vision, according to the One Page Business Plan methodology that I use:

  1. Time frame (usually 18 months to two years)
  2. Name of your department, organization or business
  3. Annual gross revenues you're aiming for e.g. $1.2 million, or $250,000 (no need to use the term “annual gross revenues” as this is generally assumed in business circles)
  4. Scope of business e.g. local, regional, national, North American, European, global etc.
  5. Type of department, company or business e.g. Quality Improvement, Medical Affairs, regional clinics, information technology company etc.
  6. Services (and, if relevant, products) you deliver
  7. Target market of patients, customers and/or clients (try to be as specific about your target market as possible)

Examples of clear Vision statements: 

Within 18 months, grow ABC Company into a $350,000 national hospital management consulting practice providing consulting services and training to hospital systems with two or more hospitals


Within 12 months, impact the bottom line of DEF's Service Line by adding $600,000 of revenue through device standardization and development of evidence-based guidelines for use by 80% of orthopedic surgeons on staff.


Within one year, grow my part-time Medical Director position into a local $275,000 full-time XYZ healthcare system role, providing oversight of medical quality and patient experience to assist the C-suite in achieving their organizational objectives.

I encourage you to look for the seven elements in each of the above examples.

Why have a Vision Statement? 

Can you imagine sharing this kind of Vision Statement with a prospective dyad partner, or your boss? With a physician leadership Vision statement, your boldly and clearly stating where you're taking your people or your role!

As I hope the above examples illustrate, the immediate roadmap and future direction for your physician leadership role, are then set.

Of course, you have to work on making your leadership Vision happen -- which is where the rest of an effective business planning process comes into play. The other components of your Leadership Business Plan should include:

  • Mission
  • Objectives
  • Strategies
  • Action Plans

Next week, I'll tackle the more challenging topic of your Mission.

In the meanwhile, I challenge you to look at your existing leadership role, and to create your written Vision Statement using the above format. Please feel free to e-mail it to me if you want me to take a peek at it -- I look forward to hearing from you!

Happy envisioning!