THE RESULTS OF GREAT LEADERSHIP
We have seen leadership from both the perspective of staff and the actual leader. I want to take us a little further down the road and study the desired outcomes of leadership in your office. Sort of a word picture or beginning with the end in mind look at what your office and culture can become and why you would want to go there.
Leadership is one of those words that has a personal meaning to each of us even though we know that every person sees it a bit differently. Let me make this one point crystal clear: Leadership makes great business sense.
- It Increases productivity and profitability through a consumer driven business model.
- Your management problems will decrease: Staff issues, not clinical issues, are the #1 cause of stress. This is the hidden miracle of great leadership: You never have to micro-manage your team. Leadership is the first step to having a staff ownership culture.
- Because when clarity increases, ambiguity decreases: Leaders communicate the culture’s core ideology, while guarding what is core in your vision of the practice you always thought you would have.
- Because cultures with clarity of purpose and values are self-policing. This is the essence of the Staff Owned practice detailed in chapter 18 of The Super General Dental Practice. This is the at the heart of eliminating 90% of the things you don’t like about ownership and a dental practice.
- Because it improves staff recruitment and retention: You become a magnet for exceptional talent
- Because it creates a more fulfilling environment: Adequate pay, consistent bonus, frequent recognition, and appreciation. Note: Money is a poor motivator and rules and regulations are a poor substitute for values and purpose in a culture. Results-based culture fosters compliance rather than commitment creating low morale and constant turnover.
- Because the first job of a leader is to define reality or core.
- Because it creates harmony between our personal and professional lives: Lack of Duplicity. The Theory of Cognitive Dissonance indicates that stress is created with a difference between our ideal selves and our real selves. The greater the separation = greater degree of discord.
Let’s begin with the end in mind. Let me describe where the 180 Degree Journey is moving you towards and the “why” will be obvious. The ultimate goal of leadership is to:
- Have a committed staff where they need only to know the desired end result. This is in contrast with most practices where they seek compliance. This style of management, not leadership, uses the carrot and stick and creates a culture of fear with little input from each team member.
- No need to manage the people. This one should make you smile. In the Super General Dental Practice with a culture demonstrated by being Purpose Driven, Doctor Led, and Staff Owned, each team member will self-police themselves. They act like owners and will not tolerate mediocre staff members. It is an elite group of self-motivated, engaged, committed employees that live and breath your vision and culture.
- Is to only observe and manage the process. It is not your job to fix everything or do things for others. It is to cast a vision and guard the core tenets of your culture. Everything else can be delegated.
- As a leader you become and remain part of the team. You are truly partnering with each team member and not above living by the rules your vision has created. You stand no taller than any other team member.
- We cannot mold people; we provide a clear vision. Remember that communicating and leading require you to customize the way you teach each team member. You are accountable for making sure that each member heard what you thought you said. You should be the person that always models what you would like to see in each member of your team.
Remember: Lose your excuses and find your results. Regardless of where you start this process, you are driving the vehicle that will travel the 180 Degree Journey. So where ever you are, you have in you the seeds of greatness and the ability to actually create the practice you always thought you would have.
Michael Abernathy, DDS