Principles of Business Ownership…


Ivory Tower

Dr. Michael J. O’Connell CEO/Owner of PainCare Centers wanted to share the reasons for his success in operating and growing his medical companies while hospitals and many other health care systems are struggling.  ‘Ivory tower administration’ has not worked in decades, a fact that has not been universally recognized.  Typically, CEOs do not want to ever get their hands dirty; that is a huge mistake” Dr. O’Connell asserts.

Many of the methods, as noted below, may seem frivolous, ill advised, or unconventional, but one just has to compare my companies and methods with many that have failed.

1.   I surround myself with reasonably intelligent, thoughtful folks, but especially those who have been previously underutilized/underappreciated in the organization. ‘Brilliance’ is vastly overrated.

2.   I am flexible, allow long leashes, refrain from critiquing mistakes unless egregious; allow employees to learn their own lessons.

3.   I encourage creativity, independent thinking, and not ridiculing any ideas.

4.   Employees desiring a new role, so they may be more ‘challenged’ is always an opportunity to reshuffle and fertilize.

5.   Training of new employees should never be absolute.  Why turn a free thinking employee into a shackled, stifled automaton?

6.   Always show that when necessary, you the owner, readily steps out of the classic CEO role and paints, clean floors and unplugs toilets; this exemplifies the concept that there are no inviolable job descriptions and no job is beneath anyone.

7.   I have no office, just a modular space as do the other employees, located in a very busy area so that I can hear what is going on and not appear to be secluded and out of touch from staff.  If privacy is necessary, I grab an unused office or conference room.

8.   Cross train, cross train, cross train…

About Dr. Michael J. O'Connell, New Hampshire
Dr. Michael J. O'Connell of Barrington, New Hampshire, has forged a distinguished career spanning over three decades, as entrepreneur, physician, businessman, philanthropist and healthcare consultant. As former owner, administrator and CEO of a 225+ employee multi-specialty medical practice, Dr. O'Connell has dedicated his entire professional life to helping patients with family medicine and especially those experiencing chronic pain and all aspects of addiction. Since selling his family of healthcare businesses, he has never once contemplated retirement despite his rich and fulfilling journey, but instead has turned his focus to consulting in an industry starved for courage and creativity. Having weathered many political, technological and legal challenges, there is hardly a storm he has not confronted, a tempest he has not quelled, an urgent need he has not met. While the talking heads and self-proclaimed experts in the field have assumed the conventions and standards of the times, Dr. O'Connell does not believe in merely reflecting the herd mentality, but rather in leading the charge. Eschewing political correctness, Dr. O'Connell says and does what needs saying and doing, and not what the mindless masses expect. In addition to the continual education afforded by his variegated life experiences, Dr O'Connell earned his BS in Biochemistry at the University of NH in 1975, his Medical Degree from Dartmouth College in 1981, interned at Walter Reed Medical Center in 1982, Residency/Fellowship at UCSF in1986, and finished his Masters in Healthcare Administration at UNH in 1995. Dr. O’Connell enjoys many outdoor activities, including rock climbing, snowboarding, hiking, and golf. Through the decades Dr. O'Connell has supported many non-profit charities to include the St. Charles Home in Rochester NH, the Tri City VNA and Hospice, Hyder House, and Cocheco Valley Humane Society. To the latter organization alone Dr. O'Connell has donated over $180,000 and pledged another $250,000 in the “Bring-Us-Home” campaign for a new building. His “Matching Donations Christmas drive” has generated over $175,000 in charitable giving from the community. In addition Dr. O'Connell has participated in many dozens of other volunteer and donation efforts locally as well as in Africa and the Dominican Republic. For a listing of how I gave back to the community during my career and continue to do see:

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