The Entrepreneurial MD for Women

Finding the balance between medicine and business

Integrity – a magic ingredient for entrepreneurial physician success

'Tis the season for sleaze! I can barely watch my television as we head into the final month prior to the elections. I'm horrified by the stories of bigotry and intolerance that are surfacing in the media. I'm cynical about so much that passes for "big business".

And yet I've had occasion to experience professional interactions recently that have sparkled with integrity.

One in particular has been characterized by trust and honor. In this relationship, I have no way of tracking whether promises are kept. And yet my colleague, whom I now consider a real friend, has displayed solid integrity. She has inspired me to do nothing less in my own business! (And if she's reading this, I hope she knows who she is and how much I appreciate her!)

What does integrity look like, in action?

  • Making an offer that is free of hype, and is backed by the best intentions

  • Making a commitment that is kept to the best of your ability

  • Keeping a promise even when there's no way for the "promisee" to track results

  • Finding ways to overdeliver on that promise

  • Drawing boundaries between faking knowledge and saying "I don't know. Let me see if I can find out more and get back to you"

  • Looking out for the well-being of others within your circle

  • Acting from a place of abundance rather than scarcity, and believing that there is more than enough to go around

  • Articulating and then forging agreements that both parties can happily buy into

  • Making referrals to high-quality people with their own integrity intact

  • Avoiding gossip or even innuendo about your competition


Why does integrity matter?

There are two great reasons I can think of – I'm sure you'll think of more:

  • It's good for business! Remember – people do business with people they know, like and trust (a.k.a. patients select and refer to doctors that they know, like and trust)

  • Experiencing the impact of someone's integrity is contagious! My dear colleague's actions and follow-through inspire me to show up the same way in my business.


If only we could spread this valuable virus amongst our politicians!

Suggestion: Look back over the last month and see if you can spot the presence or absence of integrity. How did that make you feel?

Now ask yourself, how do you and your staff actively display your integrity in your business or medical practice? And what still needs your attention?
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