In this dental practice advice observation, I have realized that leaders and made, not born.
Behavioral scientists have figured out that prodigies almost never exist. There’s that one in a 100 million be it very special brain or brawn but most who become great start out simply as above average. Years of dedicated study resulted in what gets applauded as genius. There’s also some luck of circumstance of right place/right time but that’s another topic.
The same holds true with leaders. The most famous arise from dire circumstances (Churchill, Roosevelt, Mandela, and Ataturk). Since “dire” is something few of us can lay claim to having ever experienced in practice, the key to becoming good or great for the professional is creating reasons “WHY” certain results are demanded which helps drive us into taking actions that make us better leaders.
Another leadership truism I’ve seen based on years of member observation is that in order to leave behind anything that is basic and to become advanced is impossible without assertion of leadership. This dental practice advice can apply to the doctor and to team in their roles in the practice.
By default, most in the profession aren’t working on the basics much less moving up the food chain. It’s why “average “is what it is. It’s acceptable that you can choose to not work on yourself, but, shame on you if you don’t provide your team with better tools to grow and operate at higher levels because they will always look at the owner for such guidance. It’s part of working for someone versus being the boss.
With patients, leadership is stepping up to help them with better decision making (not via admonishment or finger wags but by influencing behavior, use of better communication, and systems that manage the steps you and the team take) and use of my dental practice advice based on my experience. To learn more about how to be a better leader try my book on Amazon.
A friend of mine, who runs a decent size private equity firm, went to Princeton and Harvard and because of such he rubs shoulders with some big name leaders. More importantly, he interacts one on one with people who study, research, and write books (both lay and academic) on leadership and the behaviors of the best.
A few of the things he puts on the list of what to “get” when it comes to you being a leader: leadership development is both an active decision (“I am a good leader” or “I am now choosing to become one” or “I am always curious at how this can be done better which elevates my ability to lead.”) an ongoing process (not static), and that there is an ‘arc of leadership’ based on circumstances, desires, study, self-talk, etc.
The sad thing in the profession is for every dentist that doesn’t improve their arc of leadership, there are hundreds if not thousands of patients downstream from them that get the short end of the stick.
The best news is no matter where you feel you fall on the arc, you can move forward and it’s never too late. In fact, there are no laws against anyone getting onto the arc and pushing one’s leadership development at any age.
What are you waiting for ? Go to my website and become the leader in your niche that you are supposed to be.