If you are not a “born leader,” take heart. Most real true leaders are created in the crucible of life, or else by mentoring, or by actual training. However we get there, we all need to be leaders in our own endeavors if we are to be successful. Whether you own a practice with no staff or with many, you still need to bring certain qualities and skills out in yourself in order to achieve your goals.
A leader, a boss, a coach, a manager, an executive:
Do these titles all add up to the same thing? In short, pretty much yes. Here are definitions for each of these titles that shed some light on some of the skills you need:
- Leader: a person who leads; directing, commanding, or guiding head, as of a group or activity
- Boss: a person in authority over employees, as an employer, a manager, or a foreman
- Coach: an instructor or trainer; the person who is in overall charge of a team and the strategy in games
- Manager: one who manages a business, etc.; one who manages affairs or expenditures, etc.
- Executive: one who holds a position of administrative or managerial responsibility in an organization
A ship tossed to and fro:
Most Denturists have taken a number of courses over the years, but they usually were not about how to manage a professional office. A client once told me: “The result is that with time, a practice with no skilled leader or management plan becomes like a ship without a rudder and is unable to steer in any set direction. The practice can become like a ship tossed to and fro with every wave that comes its way. Becoming a good leader is necessary in order to put your practice on an even keel and set a true course.”
As the owner of a business that was started from scratch, it all starts with you and your goals for the future. Some folks have bought an existing practice or inherited one, and in which case you have to slowly change aspects of the existing practice to meet your own vision for it.
Many practice owners are under the common misconception that if they have no staff or only one or two, they don’t need to bother to learn how to be a good boss or manager. However, the reverse is actually true because without these skills, you will remain a one-man band, single-handing everything, overworked and underpaid.
Here are tips that you can start applying right away.
Your role as a leader:
Here are a few quotes from famous leaders which highlight some good leadership qualities:
1. You are the Goal Setter:
“The first responsibility of a leader is to define reality. The last is to say thank you.”
– Max DePree
2. You are the Director:
“Leadership is the art of getting someone else to do something you want done because he wants to do it.”
– Dwight Eisenhower
3. You are the Courageous One:
“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.”
– John Wayne
4. You Produce Leaders:
“I start with the premise that the function of leadership is to produce more leaders, not more followers.”
– Ralph Nader
5. You are the Spark that Causes Change:
“Cause change and lead. Accept change and survive. Resist change and die.”
– Ray Norda
More Leadership Qualities for Everyone:
Here are some further leadership traits that you might want to develop or expand on in yourself:
- You always strive to do better.
- You are willing to consider new options.
- You are not afraid to admit you don’t know it all.
- You focus on your future success.
- You are frank, forthright and honest.
- You can change your mind.
- You believe things will turn out well.
- You always strive to do better.
- You think about others’ needs.
- You are patient with others.
- You think in new combinations.
- You follow through on actions.
- You love learning new things.
- You are not afraid to try the unknown.
- You work to bring others “up”.
Challenge yourself to expand your leadership qualities and skills. You can even take one quality per week and make it your focus. If you have staff, get them to do the same and make it a game. At the end of the week, have a short meeting and discuss how it went and how to improve further.
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