Leaders and People Who Lead

Roles of a Leader

Leaders embrace a variety of different roles in the veterinary practice and in the community.

Problem Solving | Problem solving is an integral part of both veterinary medicine and leadership. Your team often looks to you when a medical complication arises or a difficult client walks through the door. You are the person who makes them feel safe when a situation feels overwhelming. Your clients do the same thing when they bring in a sick pet. The way you solve those problems and the way you involve others in the solutions, reflects your leadership style and lays the foundation for the long term relationship you will have with your team or your community.

Thinking in “We” | Leadership is about more than an individual. It is about the success of the entire team. The decisions you make and the actions (or inactions) you choose will have an impact on practice performance, your team and your patients. Learning to look at what everyone can accomplish together, and how your role empowers that effort, is an essential part of a leader’s growth journey.

Empowering Others | Growing your team is a huge component of leadership. Think about your own growth journey. There were times when you needed education or mentorship and other times when you needed the freedom to apply your knowledge in a safe environment. As your team grows, they will need the same support and encouragement you did.

Making Data Driven Decisions | Leaders are decision makers. Those decisions usually come from a combination of a well-educated gut and objective data – clinical experience and evidence-based medicine. The more experience we have and the better we understand the data, the better decisions we can make.

Learning from Successes and Failures | Not everything turns out they way we planned. But a leader learns from both successes and failures. A leader also helps their team find the lessons in those outcomes.

Where are Your Leadership Opportunities?



  1. This was very informative! My best work environment was when the doctors and management thought as “we” and asked how they can help the technicians learn and improve. Being a leader helps foster a positive experience for staff, which in my experience, has helped them want to learn and improve – allowing for improved patient care and less staff turnover.

  2. Learning about different leadership styles was very insightful! I was unaware of how many different ways there were to effectively lead. I have worked in a practice where the leadership was control freak/high-paced and it hurt my self-confidence and the office morale. I agree that the best leaders encourage their staff and coach them to do improve, which in my opinion made people want to work harder and learn more.
    This was a great explanation of various leadership styles and the pros and cons that accompany them!

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