By: Steven J. Anderson
If you are a dentist, have you ever considered that your most valuable asset for the health and growth of your practice is right in your office every day? It’s not something that shows up on the balance sheet, it’s something, or somebody, who shows up every morning.
That asset is the people with whom you choose to surround yourself. Many dentists miss the fact that their team either moves the practice forward, or holds it back. How you manage this asset will determine the direction of your practice.
Here are some indicators that you are managing in the wrong direction:
- You have heard yourself say, “My team is not on board.”
If it is something you want to in your practice and your team is holding out on our and stalling the progress, they are not the problem, you are! Somewhere your team got the impression that they have the power to decide the direction of your practice instead of you. They got that impression from you.
- Team members are “too busy” to do the things you ask.
Have you ever heard, “I’m already too busy” or “I’ve got too much to do” or “I don’t know how I can do more than I am already doing.”? If that is what you are hearing when additional tasks come along instead of “Here is what I am working on, where does this fit in the priorities you would like me to have?” then you have a team that has been managed.
- Tasks keep coming back to you that you have asked your team to do.
If you find yourself delegating and then continue to follow up and the task doesn’t get done so you eventually just give up and do it yourself, you are in trouble. You have taught your team that you are not really serious when you delegate. They are running the show, not you.
- You find yourself working to keep your team busy so they won’t bring you more problems to solve.
Every time you put down the hand piece and walk out into the hallway, you cringe because it seems like someone is always bringing you a problem. To prevent this from happening, you find things for your team to do so they will be so busy they won’t have time to bother you with their problems. If this is the case, they are not the problem, you are!
- More often than not, you end up with another “to do” item on YOUR list when you talk to a team member instead of the other way around.
If every time you have a conversation with a team member, the conversation ends with you having to do something instead of them having to do something, you’ve trained them that they are in charge.
- You find yourself coming in late and leaving early without telling anyone so you can avoid your team.
If you avoid encounters with your team for fear of the problems and the tasks that you end up with as a result, you are not in charge of your own business, they are.
- You are “waiting” until you have the “right” team before you invest in them.
When this is your leading reason why you haven’t invested more time and effort into your team, there’s a leadership problem, not a team problem.
If you have two or more of these symptoms, it might be time to take a good, honest look at yourself and ask, “Who’s the boss here? Is the team the problem, or is their leader the problem?” Get clear on the expectations of your team and then communicate those expectations in very clear and unmistakable terms.
For example, help the team understand that if they accept responsibility for a task, the expectation is that they will follow it through to completion. They are always say up front “I’m concerned about where this fits into my priorities and how I’m going to get it done. Can we talk about that?” But once they accept the responsibility, they are expected to carry it through to completion. This is a leadership expectation.
Another example is to create the culture that you, as the leader, seek input on new initiatives and ideas, but once you make your decision to move in any given direction, everyone is expected to gets on board. Holding out is not acceptable.
You’re the boss. Act like it! Take control of your practice and lead. Its what every team needs. It’s what every team member wants.
Steven J. Anderson is the author of “The Culture of Success: 10 Natural Laws for Creating a Place Where Everyone Wants To Work.” For more insight on to create a Culture of Success in your practice, get your copy today at: www.TheCultureofSuccessBook.com