Have you ever watched Cesar Millan, The Dog Whisperer, run with a pack of dogs? The dogs literally have one eye on him at all times. What are they looking for? Each dog seems to have a sense of what’s going on and how they fit into the big picture. If one dog steps out of line for a moment, one glance either way between dog and Cesar, and immediately the dog slips back into its rightful place in the pack and they run as a single unit. What’s really happening in this scenario and what’s that got to do with your dental practice?
Well…..lots. Cesar fully understands and embraces his role. Each of the dogs in that harmonious pack also knows and understands their own roles. They are able to focus on these roles because they have a leader who has presence. Malcolm Gladwell agrees. In his book, “What the Dog Saw”, Gladwell takes a close look at what Cesar has that we need (to be great leaders). He pinpoints the number one quality as “presence”.
So, firstly, we have to understand our own roles and then we have to figure out how to get some of that presence!
In my business skills training program (Business Bootcamp for Dentists™) one of the classes focuses almost entirely on understanding all aspects of each of the business roles that dentists must take on with confidence in order to run their practices effectively. Dentistry balances on three focal points; art, science and business. I liken this to a 3-legged stool; if one leg is broken or neglected, the stool falls. Within that focal point of business there are no fewer than 6 key roles to be embraced; business owner, manager, entrepreneur, boss, coach/mentor, leader.
Each role is like wearing a different hat. Business decisions are made within the context of each ‘hat’. Each role has a specific function. Each role carries specific responsibilities. Each role requires something from within us in order to carry out that role with confidence. That something is presence.
I firmly believe that “all leaders are born that way” is a myth. I know beyond doubt that we each have a core or essence that can provide us with what we need to develop into leaders, no matter who we are or how much confidence in ourselves we may currently lack. My experience from years of working with dentists with no leadership skills, training or confidence to speak of has solidified my belief. The key is tapping into that essence.
How we do that will be the subject of my next blog, so stay tuned.