I’m Kate Dewhirst.

I’m a lawyer who writes about legal issues affecting healthcare in Canada

Kate Dewhirst Health Law - bringing the law to life. Meet Kate (in 13 seconds)

After you set a goal, your first question should be “Who?” not “How?”

Posted by

Tis the season for reflection of the year that’s been and anticipation of the year to come.

How will you define success for 2019?

That was the question posed to a group of over 100 lawyers at a course I launched with the Law Society of Ontario in December.

The responses were personal and varied:

  • Attend yoga 2 times a week
  • Give myself time to build my practice
  • Spend more time with family and friends
  • Improve my social media presence
  • Become a mentor
  • Build my client base
  • Transition from student to practicing lawyer

What are the criteria you use to define success?

Our participants talked about their sign posts of success including:

  • Impact in the world
  • Balance in my personal and professional life
  • Recognition from my peers
  • Financial stability
  • Freedom from stress

When you are looking forward and designing your future – the first thing that often happens is the panic over “how am I going to do that”?

Your vision of the future starts tangling up.  It starts looking complicated. It starts piling up like a ball of rubber bands.

The question of “how do I do that?” can leave you feeling overwhelmed or uninspired or both.

What if when you are designing your future or setting a new goal or starting a new project you started with questions of  “who” before “how”.  That’s what Dan Sullivan, Co-Founder of Strategic Coach recommends in his new book Who Not How. I can tell you from personal experience – it works.

Your “Who” questions might be :

  • Who does this work? Could they do it for me?
  • Who can I ask for advice?
  • Who can I tap to collaborate on this?
  • Who on my team is best to do this?
  • Who can start this? Who could finish this?
  • Who can help me untangle what I want?
  • Who can teach me?

When you “who” a problem as the introductory step you by-pass the overwhelm.  It automatically starts breaking down the problem into smaller pieces.  EVEN if you end up resolving the problem on your own and completing the tasks yourself – the action of asking “who” will force you to examine your problem with a level of objectivity you can never achieve from “how”.

In my coaching, I get people to list their Anchors and Kites. These are people who form their cabinet of advisors. Oprah Winfrey calls her people her “kitchen cabinet”.

In the Anchors and Kites model, Anchors are the people who hold us to our values and keep us focused on what is important.  Kites inspire us to new heights. Kites are the people who provide us with new vantage points.

As you embark on your 2019 journey, think WHO before HOW.  Consider WHO you will invite into your circle this year.  Consider WHO can lighten your load.  Think about WHO could expand your client base and your impact in the world. Consider WHO will be served.

Happy dreaming and goal setting!


If you enjoyed this article please share it:


Previous and next posts from Kate:

Some of Kate’s recent and upcoming events

Team Privacy Training Events
October 16, October 24 and November 21

For Primary Care clinics, Children’s Aid and FHTs

Kate trains health professionals from many more primary care organizations how being privacy-respectful can improve therapeutic relationships. More details...

Speaking event October 23, 2019

Osgoode Professional Development – Mental health Certificate

Kate joins the faculty for this training event. More details...

Primary care webinars: Managing Incapacity & Consent to Treatment

Part of Kate’s monthly webinar series.

Our October webinar is about managing incapacity, and the November title is Consent to Treatment.
Full details of the 2020 webinar series and registration here.

Advanced Privacy Officer training
December 10, 2019

For experienced Privacy Officers within healthcare organisations.

This one day training course focuses on how to handle difficult privacy situations using real-life (but anonymized) case studies and role-play. Full details and registration here...

Privacy Officer training
January 20 & 27 and February 3,10 & 18, 2020

Kate is the program chair for the Osgoode Certificate in Privacy in Healthcare.

This program explores the range of privacy interests that must be protected in the day-to-day treatment of patients, the development of information systems and the creation of institutional policies. More details...

Free healthcare privacy webinar - ask me anything!
October 2, November 6 and December 4

Free webinars - advance registration needed

Whether you're an experienced privacy officer or new in the field, pick Kate’s brain for free for an hour, in this live webinar. No charge, but you’ll need to register in advance.

Kate Dewhirst Health Law

Kate says:

My mission is bringing the law to life. I make legal theory understandable, accessible and fun! I’m available and love to work for all organizations in the healthcare sector across Ontario and beyond.

Subscribe to my mailing list and keep up to date with news:

Latest Tweets

The main message: A doctor (or any other health information custodian) should never ignore a patient’s access reque… https://t.co/HW8mrFymnC

about 22 hours ago

What happens when someone asks for access to recordings? It depends. Here’s a story about what might happen.… https://t.co/kRnDh5IOo2

12:01 PM Oct 12th

When you have an early warning system you don't hold all those reports until the end of the year. You look for proa… https://t.co/mz22nGp89F

12:01 PM Oct 11th

contact details

901 King Street West Suite 400 East Tower
Toronto Ontario M5V 3H5

(416) 855 9557

.