Building your dream practice begins with raising your lid.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. Raising my what?? Stay with me for a minute.
A while ago I had the privilege to train in person with John Maxwell, who has consistently ranked as the world’s #1 Leadership Guru for many years now. In John’s book The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership he has a law entitled ‘The Law of the Lid’. It has nothing to do with a toilet, which is for some odd reason what I think about.
What the Law of the Lid says is that Leadership ability determines the level of your effectiveness. What this means is that the higher a person’s ability to lead the higher the ‘lid’ is on their potential.
Your ability to lead, whether it is yourself, your staff, or your patients will have a direct correlation to the success of your practice.
Your leadership skills cannot be a 3, and your practice be a 10. It doesn’t work that way.
I’ll make a bet with you. I bet that if we took 5 separate dental practices and we ranked them from most successful to least successful, then we looked at the doctors in those offices and ranked them according to leadership skills, that the order of those rankings would be pretty similar. Do you agree?
Now I know there are always devil’s advocates out there, and that it is possible that you could find a practice that bucked this trend, but I bet not too often.
Personal and professional success will always be limited without strong leadership ability. The more success you want to achieve, the greater impact you want to have, the higher your leadership ability needs to be.
If the practice owner’s leadership is strong the practice’s potential is high, but if it is low the practice will have an uphill battle. Whatever you want to create or accomplish inside your practice will be either helped or restricted by your ability to lead others.
When I look to build practices, I always want to solidify the foundation. I’m not looking to help someone become successful for 6 months or the next couple years. I want them to have the skills and foundation to be successful for the rest of their careers! Being a strong leader is one of the foundational skills needed.
BUT WHAT IF I AM JUST NOT A GOOD LEADER?
It is true that some people may be born with more natural leadership ability than others. However, all hope is not lost.
I bet when you started dental school there were a few people in your class that seemed to have really good hand skills. I bet some students could wax a tooth that would make G.V. Black sit up in his grave and take notice. But with practice you improved and today your crown preps are just as good if not better, right?
The good news is that leadership is a skill that can be learned. It may take some practice but with studying, reading good books on the topic, practicing, and having the right ‘leaders’ in your life you can raise your leadership lid and by doing that you will raise the potential for your practice.
With every tick your leadership improves so will the prospect for success in your office.
Leadership is a skill that is often overlooked, but that has a profound effect on everything in your life.
NOTHING MORE, NOTHING LESS.
John Maxwell says “leadership is influence, nothing more, nothing less.”
How is your level of influence inside your practice? Does your staff and patients willingly follow you? Your ‘followers’ want to know that YOU are capable of leading them to successful outcomes. It doesn’t matter if it is a more successful practice, a better work environment, or getting a patient out of pain; they have to trust that YOU are the right person for the job before they get on board.
DON’T JUST TAKE A WALK!
There is an old proverb that says, “He who thinks he leads and has no followers is only taking a walk.” As we wrap up, I encourage you to take inventory of your followers.
Spend some time trying to accurately assess what your leadership lid is. Once you spend some intentional time thinking about it you may realize you are doing a great job in your leadership roles.
If you decide it is an area you could improve, congratulations! You are NORMAL! Having the self awareness and honesty to be able discern that there is room for improvement is a great leadership attribute.
I promise you that the time you spend trying to improve your leadership skills will not return void. A key trait in leaders is that they are always looking to grow and improve. You are already doing that by reading this article and taking action if needed! (golf clap!)
To your success!
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