Authenticity brings personal, business rewards

Michelle Collie | Performance Physical Therapy CEO

Fifteen years ago, when I was eight months pregnant, I became a business owner.

Until then I had been a physical therapist, overseeing the original Performance Physical Therapy clinic in Pawtucket. I had no knowledge or experience of how to run a business. Yet here I was suddenly in a role where I was responsible not only for the health and well-being of patients but also the legal, financial and personal responsibilities that come with owning a business.

I have now been a physical therapist for almost 25 years and during this time have seen dramatic changes in every aspect of health care.

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But whether I am wearing the hat of the CEO, a health care provider or a consumer, I have learned that authentic relationships are invaluable. Being authentic requires me being comfortable with who I am. This necessitates taking responsibility for my mistakes and continuing to work on being a better leader and person.

As I look back now, it’s clear the hormones of pregnancy gave me the courage to go from physical therapist to business owner overnight. But I believe it’s the effort and time in developing authentic relationships with employees, other health care providers, business partners, payers and the community that have led to our success.

Maybe I am a little too candid and overly advocate for my beliefs. But I can sleep at night knowing I am not wasting energy on “acting” a certain way, putting on a façade, and I am being true to who I am.