The Rudiments of Leadership

By Dr. Gregory Hopkins

Hopkins Blog PictureWe have, as optometrists, so many opportunities to display leadership! Take a look at the “word cloud” pictured above. Perhaps you would like for those characteristics to describe your habitual demeanor in the exam room with patients, during staff meetings, teaching students/residents, managing your household, raising your children (if applicable), etc.? Leadership is certainly an important topic—a google search will net >151,000,000 books on the subject (and counting). Leadership is the process of dealing with change, and our world is changing at an ever-accelerating pace. Certainly, we all do our best to manage this change, but there is a difference between leadership and management. We need both processes to succeed, and all of us have a distinct set of strengths and values to bring to the table. Let the unique reasons “WHY” you practice optometry drive “HOW” you set the culture of your practice. In the end, “WHAT” you do in your office reflects on your beliefs regarding the style of eye care you provide. Work outwards from the vision you have for your practice and you’ll be sure to attract loyal patients and staff—best of luck!

Opportunities abound to develop our leadership skills! Find mentors in your community, attend local zone meetings, volunteer to give RealEyes Presentations, serve your zone or seek positions on OOA committees or the board. There’s always great CE to be found on the topic of leadership at EastWest Eye Conference. The OOA Board runs a Leadership Academy for New Optometrists, with 40 new member-doctors poised to spend the coming year performing committee work and attending OOA events. If you graduated in optometry 2008 or later and would like to be part of the Leadership Academy, contact the OOA.

Dr. Walt West at Practice Management Institute

In addition to Dr. Chuck Brownlow’s Medical Records Compliance Workshop, Dr. Walt West will present two courses at Practice Management Institute in Columbus. Education for ODs and Allied Eye Professionals:

The Future of Independent Optometry and Change as a Strategic Advantage
. . . . Preparing For the Healthcare Affordability Act
(COPE applied for)
9:30 am – 11:30 am
Learn the key elements that allow you to turn the frustration of change into your strategic advantage. Discover the techniques that allow you to lead more effectively in a rapidly changing environment and understand the fundamentals that will best prepare you to embrace and leverage change. You will learn how to identify productive and non-productive change behaviors within your organization, and apply communication techniques that reduce conflict, improve understanding, and increase buy-in by your employees. By applying the principles presented you will be prepared to leverage change for a sustainable strategic advantage and better align the goals of your individual employees with your vision of success in practice.

Pulse Points of a Million Dollar Practice
1:30 pm – 3:30 pm
This course identifies 10 key areas where business owners can improve their individual performance and increase the size and success of their practice. Use these techniques to take your office to the next level.

Register online here. Download printable registration here.

Zone 11 Event – February 18

What: A Case Study in Addressing Your Presbyopic Patients’ Vision Correction Needs
Sponsored by: Alcon
Presented by: Dr. Roy Kline
When: February 18 @ 6:00 pm
Where: Final Cut, Hollywood Casino, 777 Hollywood Blvd., Toledo, OH 43605
RSVP by February 4 to Beth Samenuk – (567)686-2108 or

Future Zone 11 MeetingsMarch 26 – Allergan Meeting @ Mancy’s Italian Grill

Contact: Dr. Bill Kegerize: 419-885-3640

Zone 12 Restasis Meeting – March 20

Consortium of Research and Education Promotional Presentation of Restasis
Presented by: Brian Mathie, OD
When: March 20 @ 6:30 pm
Where: Smith & Wollensky, 4145 The Strand, Easton Town Center, Columbus, 43219
RSVP by March 13 to Allergan Representative Amy Gordon: (614)264-6440
or online:

Future Zone 12 Meetings:
March 5 – Residents’ Night @ J.Liu
April 16 – Student Night @ Fawcett Center
May 15 – CE event with Midwest Retina
June – Staff/Family Appreciation @ Columbus Clippers