How to “Switch Off” a Friend and “Switch On” a Leader?

How to free yourself from operational work?
How to stop being friends and start leading?

Client Request

The owner of a private medical clinic is shouldering the burden, generating 70% of the company’s revenue. She is practically drowning in the operational work, working 24/7 without any time for rest.

“I believe it’s important for employees to be satisfied with their work, as it increases their motivation and yields good results. I pay attention to this. But suddenly, I realize that they don’t perceive me as a leader, rather as a friend. They don’t take my demands seriously, yet they can’t discipline themselves independently. They require my constant involvement in all processes.”


— Establish a hierarchical relationship while maintaining a warm and trusting atmosphere.
— Delegate operational work to enhance business results.
— Attain work-life balance by allocating time for personal well-being and family.


The client’s journey revealed her newfound passion for management. It became evident that she was genuinely motivated by the process of creating a well-functioning system, leading to remarkable business outcomes. The clinic’s physical space expanded twofold, prompting a relocation to a new premises and enabling the addition of 8 specialized doctors. Moreover, the organization invested in state-of-the-art equipment, broadening the spectrum of diagnostic services available to patients. A total of 76 new check-up programs were introduced, marking a twofold increase from the previous year. The clinic experienced a significant surge in incoming inquiries, quadrupling their numbers. These accomplishments were acknowledged with two prestigious awards: “Leader of the Year as the Best Medical Center” and the top-ranking position among the region’s clinics based on patient opinions, as recognized by an esteemed internet portal.


A series of fifteen coaching sessions were conducted with a two-week interval, focusing on two key areas. Firstly, we addressed the client’s personal self-perception and emotional management. Due to her relentless dedication to work, she had not taken any time off, prioritizing the company’s needs over her own dreams of travel or personal purchases. This took a toll on her internal resources, leading to a decline in well-being and compromised decision-making in her business endeavors.

Secondly, we delved into the realm of business organization. The client’s relationship with her subordinates was characterized by a lack of perception of her as a leader. It proved exceptionally challenging, almost insurmountable, for her to take timely action such as dismissing unproductive employees or issuing reprimands. The fear of causing harm to individuals hindered her from making necessary personnel decisions.

After just two sessions, we identified the primary obstacle preventing the client from transitioning from a friend to a leader. The underlying fear was that if she adopted a strict and demanding approach towards her subordinates, they would abandon her and leave the company. Essentially, she viewed the company as a family—a lifelong commitment regardless of personal satisfaction.

The client cultivated her internal mature leader, leading to a transformative shift in her perception of the company. She no longer viewed it as her family but rather as a community of individuals with whom she collaboratively built a thriving business. Consequently, she was determined to establish corresponding relationships with her team.

Subsequent sessions focused on helping the client define boundaries with her employees that prioritized the company’s interests without sacrificing the importance of maintaining strong interpersonal connections. Additionally, we explored how her personal desires had been neglected due to an excessive workload. It became apparent that she had confined herself to the role of a businesswoman, disregarding the need for quality time with her family and neglecting her own interests.

A pivotal moment occurred during an internal session, where the client sought to clarify her expectations to the team and share her vision for the company’s development. We meticulously rehearsed and structured the meeting, taking into account potential objections from her subordinates.

Following this session, a significant shift occurred: the subordinates comprehended the kind of relationships their boss intended to foster. Contrary to her expectations, the individuals were not only prepared but eager to be guided by her leadership. The client had a powerful realization: “I have a team! I don’t have to do everything myself.”

Regular team meetings yielded fruitful outcomes, as the client became adept at asserting her own interests and effectively communicating her vision for achieving the company’s goals to her team.

“I have witnessed the consequences of my immature management, and although it is a bitter realization, it is better to acknowledge it late than never. Now, I approach things differently!”


— Implementation of regular team meetings, streamlining administrative processes and fostering a cohesive corporate culture.
— Significant growth in the clinic's financial turnover, increasing by 3.5 times.
— Transformation of the client's role from being overwhelmed by operational tasks to becoming an inspiring leader and effective problem solver.
— Creation of more personal time for the client, enabling her to focus on her family and individual interests.

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