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  • Writer's pictureRene Caruso

Square Peg, Round Hole

Losing Perspective, Regaining Balance, pt 2

It's a metaphor I've been thinking a lot about in terms of my own career these past few years.


I’m a very curious person and one of the things I truly enjoy about being a consultant is that I’ve been able to work in a variety of industries I knew little about, eventually becoming very fluent about the market; antimicrobial barriers, event planning, business management for professional speaker, playground safety surfacing, medical spas, anti-aging longevity center…all these business needed processes and systems established or internal structuring, restructured. I love the building process! All the while, the freedom of being a consultant has allowed me to continue to expand my knowledge and practice in the area I’m most passionate about, health and longevity.



And then it happened, the perfect opportunity


I’d been consulting with a business owner and his med spa since 2019. Part of his expansion plans included opening an IV Center.


The owner(s) took me out to dinner and proposed a longer-term arrangement. Would I be interested in staying, build the practice, eventually opening multiple clinics in and out of the state. Our responsibilities would grow but they would be divided; the medical director would do what medical directors do (oversight), I would run the clinic(s) and all that entails, the partner would handle marketing and all that entails.


The opportunity to do what I really love – helping people turn their health around using all we offer (and what I’ve been passionately studying, practicing, and teaching for decades) while developing new programs and being at the forefront of “new medicine” (medicine 3.0 as Dr. Peter Attia calls it).



Of course, I said yes!


I remember calling my husband and my mom on the ride home. I was so excited!



Chaos management

Having already worked with this owner three years prior, we’d had our share of ups and downs but always managed to bridge our communication shortfalls and move forward. And truthfully, I learned a lot from him. I felt this new arrangement would be manageable, as well as a way for me to become a better communicator and leader.


I’m a Driver predominately (aka Commander, Director) in terms of personality type and practice servant leadership. This is a balancing act, but my feeling is that sustainable growth only happens when team members feel empowered and contribute because they feel respected and appreciated.


The owner is an Analyzer (aka Thinker, Objective Thinker) and “practices” chaos management.


Like most people, I have skills that I’m very good at but don’t really love, I have other skills I’m very good at and get to do often enough that it balances out and keeps me motivated even to do the things I don’t really love. What makes this compromise untenable in the long term, is working with people that have a completely different philosophical viewpoints for management of the business and respective teams.



Poor communication is a killer in any relationship


A rift was growing as well as an increasing lack of organizational clarity. I internalized the mounting tensions. Knots in my stomach were always present, except for days when the owner was not around.


I knew this problem would not go away, we needed to find a way to break through, not just for the good of the business, but for the investment we’ve all made and the clientele we served.


Over time the things we weren’t talking about became more important than the “safe topics” we did address. I was assigned more projects such as opening a second location and introducing new services, but nothing could proceed without the owner’s final approval. The more times I put the initiatives in front of him, the less responsive he became and at the same time the more frustrated he became that projects weren’t happening.


I felt undervalued and stuck.


We ended the consulting arrangement.


I no longer have knots in my stomach.

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