This week, dental business consultant Andy McDougall from Spot On Business Planning, continues his series of blogs about leadership.
Andy says leadership begins with a compelling vision. You have to know where you are heading before you can ask other people to follow. And your vision needs to be captivating enough that people will want to follow you in its pursuit.
A vision isn’t woolly
It may be aspirational but in essence it sets out what you would like the business to achieve in the planning horizon – over the next three years. It acts as the anchor for determining the most appropriate strategic actions for your dental practice in the short and medium term.
A vision is not set in stone
Richard Branson’s vision when he set off wasn’t to launch a global brand with fingers in the banking, transport and soft drinks’ markets; it was to have several successful record shops. But as each vision was realised, he created a new one that underpinned the next stage of his journey.
It’s not a popularity contest
Leaders set the direction and make certain they have the right people, in the right positions, doing the right things to the highest level of performance. They have passion and drive to overcome obstacles. They have strong beliefs and they stick close to their values. Leaders inspire and they have courage. They know it’s not a popularity contest and they use their great communication skills to keep their teams in close pursuit of the target.
Change is inevitable
There always comes a point where the old answers just don’t work any more so change is inevitable. A key element of leadership is change: change doesn’t happen without leadership. One of the best-known business gurus, Peter Drucker said, ‘Leadership is about doing the right things. Management is about doing things right’. Leaders determine what needs to be done and managers make certain those things are done well.
Does your dental team follow you?
There are many definitions of leadership, but probably the best one suggests that a leader is someone who has followers. So no matter how good a leader you think you are, if your team are not following, maybe you ‘re not as good as you think.
Most of all, leaders make decisions and take action. Just as a vision without the means to implement it is a delusion, a decision without action is not a resolution but a whimsical thought – a wish or a desire for change but without the desired outcome.
So knowing a little more about leadership, would you be led by you?
Leaders make decisions and take action
To run your dental practice differently you have to run your brain differently. You have to get better at making decisions.
Making the right decisions is not a simple matter. For some, making any decision is a challenge. Do you recognise your own behaviour in any of the following scenarios?
- You’re not afraid to make decisions, in fact you make them all the time. You just don’t follow them through into action.
- You dither and delay about making decisions but did you know that not making a decision is a decision in itself?
- You fire off decisions every day. And they change so frequently that no-one takes much notice.
- You make decisions but they are the wrong ones!
Making the right decisions and implementing them successfully are key attributes of great leadership. More on this coming soon…
Book a free consultation with Andy
At Spot On Business Planning we do things differently. Instead of giving advice then leaving you to implement it, we take the journey with you, as your business partner. We ensure you and your team understand how to run your dental practice by transferring the necessary leadership, decision making and business planning skills along the way.
You can learn a lot about your dental business with a free consultation with Andy McDougall. Send us your last three years financial accounts, Andy will analyse them and visit you to explain the strengths and weaknesses he reads in your numbers.
Contact us to find out more.