THE SILKIN SYSTEMS METHODOLOGY
Ashley Tuma didn't always know she wanted to be a veterinarian. In fact, for two years she majored in architecture! It wasn't until 9/11 changed the industry of high-rise construction that she decided to switch careers.
"I've always been a "doer" - I like to strive for being above average. When I graduated with my veterinary license, I started out working for the first four years as an associate in Chicago. I was always going to my bosses with ideas to make things easier, smoother, etc., - but often those ideas got rejected. That's when I realized I wanted a place that wouldn't stifle my growth." - Dr. Tuma
In 2018, she found that place as the proud new owner of Atglen Veterinary Hospital.
Now in her second year as a Silkin client, we interviewed Dr. Tuma about her experience taking over a long-established veterinary practice, and what it has meant for her career to get management training early on.
Silkin: Hello Ashley! Thank you so much for joining us today. We're excited to talk to you about your experience as a Silkin client. So tell me, what has 2020 been like for you?
Ashley: Crazy! But I keep telling my team I just want to do the right thing. I try to care for COVID-19 in a responsible way for both my clients and my team.
When things first started to shut down, we held true to our core values and told the staff, "No matter what happens, you'll have a job."
I decided not to furlough them, but instead we hired more team members to help us handle curbside and just kept right on growing.
Silkin: And your numbers really show it! Has the growth been too much for you? You really seem to be taking the rocket ride in stride! What tips do you have for new veterinarians hoping to cultivate that cool as a cucumber attitude?
Ashley: We were very lucky that we had a whole year of Silkin training & consulting prior to the pandemic. In fact, we had just gotten our second year program and finished the Silkin Basic Management Workshops - Level B, so it was amazing but we actually knew what to do! In the first few months, I didn't even need extra time with Scott (our consultant). We just applied what we had learned.
However, recently I've used him a lot because we're hiring again. The testing, hiring process and ability to ask him any question that comes up has been very helpful.
Silkin: That's great. Now, do you have any advice for new Silkin clients - on how to get the most out of their consulting?
Ashley: Take a deep breath! (laugh) You're in good hands. For me, as things went on our goals changed. I would say, believe in the process and be willing to pivot when your consultant says to. Personally, I love how positive the Silkin method is. We aren't constantly having to be negative or discipline our staff - instead I just learned how to build them up into a team where I don't have to!
- Ashley Tuma
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