Are You Running For President?

August 27, 2023
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With the first Republican Presidential Debate in the can, the process to choose the next President of the United States is in full swing.  While this process might be interesting to watch, like it or not, YOU live this process daily.  Every day, the people you lead are voting.  And because your practice is not a democracy and your electorate (the people YOU elected to join the practice) can’t vote you out, they can act with the ultimate freedom of choice.   “Do I look at Indeed.com?”   “Do I call in sick today?”  “Do I quiet quit?”  Or, “am I all in?”  The results of their voting will impact your ability to enact your mission and fulfill your vision.

So what does YOUR electorate want to hear from their leader?

The premise is that YOU are a leader.  I’ve seen are leaderless practices, with the doctor unwilling to lead except during a crisis.  Such practices coast at best and more likely languish with diminishing profitability.  A rudderless ship rarely reaches its desired destination.

Moreover, there’s a big difference between a leader, a boss, and a manager.

Personally, I dislike leading a team that must be “managed”.  Having to constantly direct people to do something that they know should be done can be tedious and emotionally draining.  Self-propelled and motivated people make life easier.  After all, as a doctor, you probably have other things on your mind, like caring for patients.  The last thing you need is to keep track of what everyone else is doing.

That is why hiring the right people in the first place, training them properly and reviewing performance, is so crucial.  And it’s often where many businesses fail.  They fill a hole and settle rather than waiting it out for the right person.  They fail to adequately train and then motivate towards growth.

What are the differences between a Leader and a Boss?   Which are YOU?

LEADERS INFLUENCE; BOSSES COMMAND

“I’m the Doctor” attitude is that of a BOSS.  It’s pervasive in Dentistry as if the degree also confers some authority to command others.  Such an attitude is only acceptable by those with the lowest self-esteem.  Commanders will always have an army of doers under them, whereas leaders will have an army of followers beside them.

Learning Dr. Cialdini’s 7 Principles of Influence, can help you turn on and up your leadership.

LEADERS INSPIRE; BOSSES EXPLAIN.

Have you ever had to explain things to an employee more than once?  If so, you can understand the value of having someone who is inspired and motivated to act, rather then one who sees it as a chore.

LEADERS COACH AND MENTOR; BOSSES DISCIPLINE.

Everyone makes mistakes.  How those are dealt with will determine your ability to harness the talents of others to help you achieve a common goal.

People dislike to be disciplined.  It’s demoralizing.  But, it’s much faster than taking the time to coach or mentor.  The results of coaching or mentoring however, justifies the time in long term results and overall team happiness.

LEADERS DELEGATE AUTHORITY; BOSSES DELEGATE TASKS

A strict focus on objectives and following protocol can result in short term effectiveness.  But a leader who can delegate authority can achieve longer-lasting results consistent with the vision.  It will also enable problem solving when the inevitable snafu occurs.  People want to be empowered to do what is necessary and to be trusted.  Bosses don’t trust, and often micromanage as a result.

LEADERS ARE A PART OF THE TEAM; BOSSES ARE ABOVE THE TEAM.

Bosses don’t take the time to get to know their employees.  The relationship is one way, employee to Boss.   Leaders insist on a bi-directional relationship.  Good leaders are genuine, transparent, and loyal.

One way to encourage such a relationship is to have out-of-the-office exercises on a regular basis.  These should NOT be just for the team, they MUST include the leaders.  Anything less sends the wrong message that the leaders are above the team.

Want to be a better leader?  You can be.  Studying the principles of Influence as described by Dr. Robert Cialdini is the first place to start.  You can get access to his trainings HERE!

Towards a happy electorate,

Michael

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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