We typically are told to lead from strength, not from weakness. But here is a new perspective on weakness that was illustrated once during our Leadership Academy (formerly called the ToPS Roundtable) where dentists and key team members worked together from all over the country.
Here’s the case study…
The two partner doctors in question discovered after taking the Dental Team Assessment profile that they were naturally low in trust. Because of that natural tendency, they constantly check up on team members to whom they have delegated tasks. Team members follow their example by checking on each other. The result is a low trust work environment. Because of the tendency toward low trust, we worked on a new system to naturally build trust into the culture AND satisfy their need for verification and assurance.
We started with a new delegation system where ONE person would accept accountability for a task or outcome. The moment they accept that accountability, they also agree on a date by which they will report back to the team or “account” for their results. A chart that records tasks, the person accountable, and the date by which that person will report back, is hung on the lunch room wall as a reminder to all.
Now, the leaders can let go with the assurance that there is a date in the future when the accountable party will return with an update on the progress of the assigned task. No need to check up, verify, or micro-manage. The person who accepted the task now OWNS it and OWNS the result. The leader’s job is now to help and support the accountable party in anyway needed. But it is the accountable party’s job to ASK for the help when needed. It changes the culture of the office from low trust to high trust because the system is in place to give everyone the assurance that nothing will fall through the cracks. Hence, a weakness — low trust, has been turned into a strength – a high trust culture.
Weaknesses can naturally be turned into strengths by simply coming up with a system to manage the weakness. The system takes care of the problem.
Can every weakness be turned into a strength with a system? Probably not. But more can be changed than not if you lead with your weaknesses, quit hiding, and start confronting them.
So start taking a look at your weaknesses and come up with the system to turn your weaknesses into a strength and you will be well on your way to Leading a ToP Team!
*The ToPS Leadership Academy is a two-day course designed for ToPS dentists and key team members to provide tools and systems to lead the practice to the ToP. Join us this November for our Year End Leadership Academy for Doctors and Dental Assistants. For dates and more information, call 1-877-399-8677 or email Answers@TotalPatientService.com.