Be Bowser, not Mario in your medical practice


Anyone familiar with Nintendo’s Mario franchise is probably very confused by the title of this blog but stay with me here.

My kids have recently become obsessed with Mario. It’s brought back great memories from my childhood of playing Super Mario World on the Super Nintendo Entertainment System way back in the day and “Super Mario Bros.” before that.

As I’ve assisted my kids in defeating a boss here or there, I realized that despite his menacing appearance and antics, Bowser is by far the best manager in the game — and is actually a character we should be emulating in business.

Look at Mario. He’s stuck down in the trenches doing grunt work. He’s got Luigi and Yoshi to help but doesn’t give them any decision making power or autonomy to help advance their mission (re-capture Princess Peach, squash Bowser once and for all, eliminate those annoying plant things, etc.). Mario is the CEO who has to make executive-level strategic decisions, and he’s the one flipping burgers, installing car doors, answering the phones, collecting coins, and stomping “koopas.”

On the other side, you have Bowser.

Every time my kids make it to the boss scene of a kingdom, the same thing plays out. Bowser steps back at the last second, and one of his henchmen takes on Mario. Bowser escapes as Mario, and the henchmen battle it out.

Bowser is king delegator. He knows that his directs can do a good enough job to keep Mario at bay while he works on advancing the company mission and protecting his own time and resources.

Mario fights for and against everything — one coin at a time.

Bowser delegates. He focuses on what only he can do. He lets others practice in their zone of genius. Only once Mario makes it through every single asset Bowser has, does Bowser put his focus, his energy and his risk on the line. In doing so, he’s well-rested, focused, and prepared for the work that only Bowser can do.

So now I ask, in your business, who are you? Are you a Mario — down in the trenches, answering the phones, calling patients with normal lab values, filling out FMLA paperwork, having your mental and physical energy spent on tasks that could be so easily delegated to a well-taught staff member?

Or are you a Bowser — delegating responsibilities and saving your time and energy for the tasks that only you can complete?

If you’re Mario, it’s time to learn to be Bowser and learn to become the ultimate boss.

Phil Boucher is a pediatrician.

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