Last evening I attended a women’s philanthropic event in our community. The keynote speaker was Laurie Ann Goldman, the CEO of Spanx. I love hearing what strong, powerful women have to say about being a good leader in both their professional and family lives. When Ms. Goldman stops to reevaluate, or “reset her personal GPS” as she calls it, she asks herself three questions: am I doing what I love? Am I still learning? Am I leading as well as I can? On the eve of the three-year anniversary of Akler Eye Center’s inception, it is a good time for me to take a breath and ask myself these questions.
Am I doing what I love? Yes, absolutely. I feel privileged to work in a field where I am making a difference in patients’ lives every day. I believe Akler Eye Center patients can feel the passion I and my team have about providing state-of-the art ophthalmic care, and often comment that they have never had such a positive doctor’s office experience.
Am I still learning? In the ever-changing field of ophthalmology, the learning can never stop. In the past year I continued to hone my skills performing femtosecond laser cataract surgery and ORA intraoperative aberrometry, while simultaneously implementing electronic medical records into our practice.
Am I leading as well as I can? Depending on the day, my staff and my family may have different answers. What I do believe is that I model what my expectations are of those around me – setting long-term goals and working hard to achieve them.
Ms. Goldman also noted that to lead effectively, you have to grow and stretch like an elastic band. As I look forward to the next 3 years, I promise my family, friends, staff and patients that I will keep reaching and stretching. I can’t wait to see what happens next.
Michelle E. Akler, MD