I’ll start by saying that I fully realize this is not my average dental marketing post. I do agree however that there’s no greater new patient magnet than by building a happy, healthy and motivated team. I will also start by admitting guilt to some of these awful tendencies.
Any successful small business owner wears many hats. At times, leadership can be exciting and rewarding. At other times, it can cause exhaustion. The stress brought on by rapid business growth can cause anxiety that can seep into the atmosphere and rust the well-oiled machine you’ve worked so hard to build.
If you notice yourself committing any of the following characteristics of the weak minded leader, it may be time for a period of reflection and recharge, allowing you to perform with your best foot forward.
- Weak minded leaders seek revenge. When an employee quits, you may find yourself wanting to with hold a letter of recommendation. You may feel a slight urge to show a lack of support for their next endeavor, after all, you may have invested years of your time training this person. Strong leaders are confident in their business. They see set backs as opportunities. In this example, a strong leader will view this as an opportunity to find someone who’s a better fit.
- Weak leaders internalize critical feedback. It’s bound to happen at some point. Some business “guru” will offer you their unsolicited advice. Of course, you listen to it. Find how it may benefit you. At times however, it’s best to put is aside and keep moving forward. Strong leaders are confident in their decisions, open to criticism and do not fear disagreement. Strong leaders do not take critical feedback personally. They also do not allow it to slow them down.
- Weak leaders avoid confrontation. A patient or employee has displayed disrespect or appears to be attempting to manipulate you. Instead of avoiding the issue, you attempt to side step, change the subject or perhaps even turn to humor to lighten the mood. Strong leaders do not fear confrontation. They realize respectful, open and honest communication will get both parties on the same page quickly. It will build trust and can restore a strained relationship. If open and honest communication does not restore the relationship, it may be a relationship worth ending–immediately.
- Weak leaders seek validation for unqualified people. Whether you’re changing your business, structure, investments, marketing plan or even your hours, it’s important to have a trusted advisors. Make sure your trusted advisors do not include your fraternity brothers / sorority sisters from college whom you see twice a year at a reunion. Yes, these people care about you, however if they are not trained in this area, and very familiar with your practice and goals, do not solicit their advice. I can’t even begin to explain how many amazing dental brands have been destroyed by the feedback of loving mothers, who think they know best. Strong leaders consider the source, always.
- Weak leaders avoid change and risk. These are the 2 things necessary for growth. Weak leaders wait until “everyone else is doing it” or “everyone else has it” or “everyone else is going” before they take any kind of risk. Strong leaders listen to their gut, make quick but deliberate decisions. Strong leaders evaluate risk, but are not afraid to jump at the right time.
- Weak leaders seek the “cheapest” solutions. The business owners always looking for the cheapest phones, software, CE, marketing, accounting, etc. are almost always slow growing. These types learn lessons the hard way – by their own experiences. Strong leaders learn from the mistakes of others, are not afraid to invest for the right fit solution. Strong leaders know their worth and are confident in their abilities to produce and perform at a level that will accommodate their budget. They are smart about investing, do not over commit and evaluate their return on investment. Money, however is not their only determining factor.
- Weak leaders talk poorly about others. People who talk poorly of others lack confidence in themselves. They fear someone will take their accomplishments from them. They fear people are against them. Strong leaders look to build others up. If they see something they don’t agree with, they may shed light on an issue without mentioning an offender. Strong leaders aim to educate and influence in a positive manner.
Success is a result of small efforts, repeated regularly over time. If there’s any way I can help you become more successful, please don’t hesitate to contact me.