I like to remind my clients that people are not born leaders. And that great leadership skills are learned – which is the good news, but how do we know what makes a great leader?
And for those of us already leading, how do we avoid getting stuck in the rut of managing instead of leading our team?
We don’t always have the answers do we!
But luckily, I ask the right people, including inspirational author and creative thinker, Gary Bertwistle.
We discussed the secrets behind true leadership success on my recent podcast, and whilst numbers are important you may be surprised to discover that the best leaders don’t just focus on the financials.
Here are the top seven secrets to being the best possible leader, as well as some salient and useful action points to help get you started on your journey to true leadership.
Great leaders create their own path:
Being creative may challenge us on our disciplined path, but it also encourages us to design our own lives.
The majority view doesn’t always have to rule. In other words, dare to be creative!
If you know where you’re at and you know where you want to be, then you know how you can lead your team with vision and purpose.
#1 ACTION POINT:
Make the time to pause and reflect on your leadership style. Are you just doing what you think a leader should do? Are you just going with the flow of what other leaders are doing?
Because it may simply be a case of having to rejig a few small things that you do now.
The best leaders hold onto their mojo (Gary Bertwistle writes about this in his books).
I have always associated the term ‘mojo’ with Austin Powers, but it’s something that successful leaders have, and something you can have too.
#2 ACTION POINT:
Get ‘unstuck’ and unlock what you really want, so you can be pumped with energy when you lead others. First of all, ask yourself some key questions: What do I want? Where am I taking my practice? Don’t just focus on the numbers. Think about what you are creating: What does it look like? What does it feel like? What are people saying?
Top leaders know their dream! Do you know yours?
Leaders need to have clarity about their personal dreams, that is why it’s good to know what your perfect day looks like.
Great leaders need to create a dream for their team: People at the practice want purpose, they want to know why they come to work.
#3 ACTION POINT:
Map out your dream, and not just the finances, market share and so on.
Because revenue comes when you are being of service and can fix problems better than the next practice, therefore map out – draw or write down your personal dreams and your dreams for the practice.
Good leaders have good intentions and good outcomes.
Leadership requires effort. Good leaders put effort into what they do because they are grateful for what they already have. Furthermore, great leaders know what’s important and they prioritise the workload before the day starts.
#4 ACTION POINT:
Use your journal in a way that suits you… Journaling is a brilliant business tool for leaders but it won’t do the work for you – you’ve got to do the push-ups!
Write a list that you look at before you go to sleep and set your intention for the following day, include the hard stuff and the stuff that makes you happy.
Great leaders cut out comparison and competition.
Doing your best doesn’t mean judging your outcomes by what others in your field are doing.
It is capability that matters.
Again, ask yourself some key questions like, what am I capable of and how do I identify success in the practice? How do I measure my own personal success?
When defining what success is for you, include all elements that make your life better.
Success is not measured on the sunny days, but on the dark days when you still have to get it all done.
#5 ACTION POINT:
Let go of what your competitors are doing!
Leadership is about the whole team and the bigger picture.
You know I am a fan of sporting analogies…
But I loved Gary’s reference to swimming… During the podcast interview, he said that if you make it to the starting line, and if you’ve done the work then you’ve nothing to be nervous about.
Successful leaders hold themselves accountable.
If you’re a leader – you need to deliver! Thus hold yourself to the standards you expect.
Game recognises game… we need to hold ourselves accountable and only then can we expect it from other people.
#6 ACTION POINT:
Great leaders have the wonderful ability to separate situations and to shake stuff off. It is for this reason, you must step over the threshold into the practice and put other things aside and stay focused on work and on leading.
Be fully present in everything you do.
Great leaders know that courage and confidence are interchangeable.
That is why you must have the courage to be honest and have the confidence to be creative.
#7 ACTION POINT:
Step outside your comfort zone and as a result you’ll gain grit and resilience in your style as a leader.
When you have the courage to do something small and then keep doing it, you build confidence, and gain more courage to try new stuff too.
Growth exists just outside of our comfort zone: Have the courage to take action!
Final note of being the best leader possible…
Finally, remember the difference between taking great notes and getting stuff done is in the implementation.
Take great notes from this blog post; but take action on those great notes!
I recommend you listen to the full ‘epic’ podcast for more of Gary’s wisdom and insights, and for other interviews with inspirational people click here: The Savvy Dentist Podcast
Get true Leadership traction – join us at our June Practice Max Intensive event: Build and Lead a High Performance Team.
Leadership is key to having a successful dental practice, and it’s one of the reasons why the next Practice Max intensive two-day workshop is all about this very subject…
For further information and to register for this inspiring event, click here: Build and Lead a High Performance Team.