Be Sincere. Love. Trust. And Get Ready To Be Hurt. (And It’s OK).



This post started off as a post that I wanted to title as “Trust No One” because of the number of deceptions, betrayals and lies that I had seen and experienced personally as a therapy business owner. This post was about a therapist, let’s call her RB, whom I wanted to bring from a competitor’s practice, whom I know the practice will be facing some changes soon.

And so I met her and as it’s not the first time I had met her, I chatted with her and explained to her the situation and how I’d like for her to consider coming over to work with us. Over a nice lunch and we had a general good time over lunch.

Of course.

I’m stupid and naive.

The next thing I know, the owner of the competitor’s practice told me that “all” his staff value loyalty (hence indicating that RB had no intention of coming over, but was sent instead to find out what was happening to their company – in a sense, they used my naivete and friendship).

This RB…this was the second or third time I had reached out to her…

…and I’m beginning to see a trend: those whom I go out of my way to reach for, tends to not be good deals or situations for me, and tends to play me out. Instead, those that seek me, tends to be better. Ah, more power to her and I hope she does well moving forward, but for me, I don’t think I’d ever want to even consider hiring her again.

Anyway, I digress.

This topic is about therapy business leadership.

In a nutshell, my leadership approach is summed with:

  • technical know-how
  • strategy
  • culture: deep community, trust and love

Deep Community, Trust And Love

One of our very senior physio is always very awed by the culture, or as I call it “Our DNA”, that revolves a lot around a deep sense of community, trust and love. We reach out whenever we can to touch base, to reconnect, to help a friend in need/trouble, to guide, to chaste, to teach and to fellowship.

And I give them plenty of space and freedom and trust in their appointment slots (they can take leave whenever they want to but just have to block slots in advance); I do not micro-manage them or their patients (I deem those I bring in as specialists who know what they do; of course we would have vetted them at least 2-5x amongst a waitlist) and most important of all, I allow them to make mistakes and grow.

Mistakes are not just “wrong”, they’re great opportunities to learn and grow as individuals and as a group.

I trust them and love them as fellow humans, and sometimes, I identify myself as their Surrogate Asian Father, because I think of them all the time, and how to better serve them.

And I think because they feel the love and trust, they then reciprocate and flourish and thrive themselves, and then with one another. This can only flow from top down ie from founder to management to therapists and staff. Even our patients love the ambience, atmosphere and culture, but often they cannot pinpoint how and why it happens.

Of course those that cannot fit this culture, upon multiple engagements, we have to let them go.

But it’s all about deep sense of community (tribe), trust and love.

Because of this, you will be vulnerable, and people may hurt you. Yes, it’d hurt. But you’d heal, and the group will grow stronger.

But this approach is just one third of the entire process: the technical know-how and strategy is equally as important as this.

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