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Passion, People and Principles

What Kind of Provider Are You? – new careers podcast episode

post # 312 — February 19, 2007 — a General post

Stop and ask yourself: over the course of your career, what will you be recognized for? At any given point in your career, there is a need both to understand what kind of role you are specializing in, and, if you wish to progress, how the skills for the next role in your career differ from those that brought you to where you are.

This week’s podcast episode, What Kind of Provider Are You?, discusses a paradigm of four distinctive roles you may play on your path to greatness: the Pharmacist, the Nurse, the Brain Surgeon, and the Family Doctor; along with a guide for how to pick the best role for yourself, and how to nurture your resulting competitive advantage.


  • 00:43 — 5 critical career distinction points
  • 02:25 — The 4-role model: Pharmacist, Nurse, Brain Surgeon, Family Doctor
  • 02:57 — The Pharmacist
  • 06:12 — The Nurse
  • 07:46 — The Brain Surgeon
  • 08:53 — The Family Doctor
  • 10:08 — Towards a deeper understanding of the differences between these important roles
  • 13:23 — The importance of focusing on your competitive advantage
  • 17:17 — How to determine which role is for you

You can download What Kind of Provider Are You? or sign up to receive new Business Masterclass seminars automatically with iTunes or other podcast players. (Click here for step-by-step instructions on how to subscribe.) My seminars are always available for download at no cost.


Barry Wilkinson said:

I found this fascinating.

I consult largely with small/medium UK law firms (generally 30-200 people).

I have found the 4-box medical matrix to be exceptionally useful in explaining market positioning, and in explaining the different managerial approaches required to run each kind of business, rather than as a career planning tool.

However, I have always treated the pharmacist as a retailer rather than a manufacturer of aspirins. Why? Because a member of my golf club sold his pharmacy chain for £68m (over $100m US) and it always helps to have real life anecdotes in a presentation.

Ask a group of partners – how many brain surgeons do you know who made £68m in their working life (this is the UK)- and they very quickly see the distinction between the two ways of making money.

Allied to some other self-developed materials, the medical matrix also allows me to highlight the reason for tensions between partners / depts and the need for performance measurement systems which can accommodate different models within the same firm. (At this point some of them think I am a brain surgeon !)

However the greatest insight from this blog for me is that I should continue to develop my position as “family doctor” to introduce the skills of others – whether employed by me, or since we are a very small firm, from my network of trusted associates.

posted on March 4, 2007

Dave Prouhet said:


Great post. My wife is in the medical field and I will definately be sharing your podcast with her as it is not only applicable but directly specific to her.




posted on March 9, 2007

worm said:

yep. Really facinating. looks like this moder is optimal for medium firms, but not for large ones.

posted on April 30, 2007

Maxim said:

Thanks!I’ve found it very exciting!On the whole thanks a lot for your blog!

posted on May 15, 2007