Bosses vs. Leaders

Many practice owners have gotten very bogged down in the management of their practices by trying to be “the boss.”  That word can even carry with it some negative connotations and an expectancy on the part of the staff that the boss is going to give them difficult orders or ask them to do undesirable things and force them to do them.

However, “the boss” usually is just trying to run the business in a productive way as best they know how without any particular training.  Too many movies portray the boss as a bad person.  Maybe if we look at what a boss really should be it will help:  he should be “a leader.”

Here are a few famous quotes to differentiate between boss and leader:

  • In the past a leader was a boss. Today’s leaders must be partners with their people … they no longer can lead solely based on positional power.  – Ken Blanchard
  • The difference between a boss and a leader: a boss says, ‘Go!’ whereas a leader says, ‘Let’s go!”  — M. Kelly
  • A boss creates fear, a leader confidence. A boss fixes blame, a leader corrects mistakes.  A boss knows all, a leader asks questions.  A boss makes work drudgery; a leader makes it interesting.  – John Quincy Adams
  • The function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers. – Ralph Nader
  • The first task of a leader is to keep hope alive. – Joe Batten

Leadership Responsibilities

None of the above is meant to imply that you are not the owner of the practice (if you are) and that you should abdicate from your duties and responsibilities of getting the show on the road and making sure that your clientele receive a quality of service that exceeds their expectations.  You are definitely responsible for ensuring that everything gets done in such a way as to achieve the goals and mission statement you may have for the practice.

Rather, it is HOW you go about getting things done.  The above quotes have some great tips that if implemented in your practice will help your whole team row enthusiastically in the same direction.

Empowering the Team

Listening and asking questions of your staff and eliciting from them what they think would be the best ways and means of accomplishing the goals of the practice are key actions of a good leader.  Then helping them accomplish those goals as needed is leadership.  Not that you do the work FOR them, but sometimes it even helps to do certain actions WITH them as a team effort.

Empower and expect your team to accomplish their tasks and you will often be surprised by which staff really get excited by this and put their ALL into their jobs and shine!


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