Today it’s just me. I thought I’d spend this episode talking about a powerful tool that you can use to set goals for your clinics, surgery centers, divisions, and organizations.

This is in follow-up to Episode #52, in which I talked about the skills and experiences needed to become a physician executive. You’ll recall that there were five major domains, beyond character and medical knowledge, that recruiters and CEOs consider when filling an executive position:

  • Data Management
  • Financial Management
  • Business Practices
  • Leadership Skills, and
  • Talent Management

Powerful Tool

Today I want to describe a powerful tool that managers and leaders use to set goals. The ability to properly identify, describe and measure goals is important to all managers, directors, executives, and leaders in any organization.

Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash

Writing proper goals falls into the Business Practices domain of my model. And, I’ll talk about that briefly today. Sometimes goals are self-evident, driven by universal business needs, such as growing volumes or improving profits.

But sometimes a good leader needs a tool to help her team surface new initiatives, based on a more thoughtful consideration of internal and external factors. That’s where the SWOT Analysis can be an extremely powerful tool. In my model, a SWOT Analysis falls under the Leadership Domain.

For those of you who haven’t heard that term before, I didn’t say “swat” analysis, like swatting flies. No, SWOT is an acronym that stands for Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats.

The  development of the SWOT Analysis (or Matrix) has been attributed to Albert S. Humphrey, although he disavowed having invented it. Countless business leaders have used this tool to assist in planning. As a physician manager, director, or leader, you should become very comfortable using it.

What Are the Components?

The strengths and weaknesses generally refer to internal characteristics of an organization. This includes financial resources and performance, human resources, branding, and customer loyalty. It also might include cultural issues, such as whether your organization is nimble or slow-moving.

The opportunities and threats describe external considerations. How is the local economy doing? Is the market growing or shrinking? What are the demographics of your clients or patients? Is your competition strong or weak? What is the regulatory environment like? Are there major hurdles to entering a new market?

From SWOT Analysis to Goal Setting

To use a SWOT Analysis, goals can be developed from the intersection of Strengths and Weaknesses with Opportunities and Threats from the SWOT Analysis. The following table shows this:

powerful tool swot analysis

During this episode, I go into great detail on how to use the information in the table to create SMART goals, using examples from an imaginary team considering the opening of an urgent care center.

If you’d like more help in pursuing a CMO job or any other executive healthcare position, I’ve developed a new mentoring program for you that I rolled out in Episode 52.

It’s called Become CMO in a Year.

It’s designed for board certified physicians who work at least part-time in a hospital setting, who want to move into hospital or medical group management. Through the mentoring program, you will identify and fill the gaps in your resume that you need to be irresistible to recruiters and CEOs.

You can learn more by heading over to

Thanks again for listening today.

Please join me again next week for an exciting interview with a previous guest on the podcast who has a fantastic new program that I'm sure you'll want to hear about.

As always, I welcome your comments and feedback.

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The opinions expressed here are mine, and my guest where applicable. While the information published is true and accurate to the best of my knowledge, there is no express or implied guarantee that using the methods discussed will lead to success in your career, life or business.

The opinions are my own, and my guest's, and not those of any organization(s) that I'm a member of, or affiliated with. The information presented is for entertainment and/or informational purposes only. It should not be construed as advice, such a medical, legal, tax, emotional or other types of advice.

If you take action on any information provided on the blog or podcast, it is at your own risk. Always consult a professional, e.g., attorney, accountant, career counsellor, etc., before making any major decisions related to the subject matter of the blog and podcast.

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