Would your staff keep you or vote you off the island?

Sept. 30, 2014
It's time for you to figure out if you're performing at a high enough level for your team.

BY Jay Geier

It's time for you to figure out if you're performing at a high enough level for your team. When it comes down to it, your practice is nothing without your team - your production is zilch, your new patients are zilch, and your collections are ... you guessed it ... zilch! So take a minute, forget about all of the things crowding your brain, and just ask yourself this one simple question - would your staff keep you around, or if given the choice, would they vote you off the island?

My team recently asked me to recommit myself to the Scheduling Institute for another 10 years. They asked me to be their leader, the head of their team, for another 10 years. That's an incredibly long time if you think about it. I signed a contract for them, letting them know that I'm committed to them, and that I'm equally committed to our team, our goals, and our long-term visions for the company.

If you were to actually ask your team the difficult question, "Would you choose to keep me around?" you might be unpleasantly surprised by their answers. Granted, they're probably too scared for their jobs to tell you the truth to your face, but you can probably guess for yourself - if you're being honest - what their answers would be. If they choose to keep you around, that means they admire you and are devoted to you as the leader of their team, which is great! If not, let's assess what the problem might be.

Are you a leader your staff wants to be around? Are you a leader your staff wants to follow? Are you willing to face the truth, and to start asking yourself AND your team these questions?

Being an excellent leader is not as simple as being kind, or witty, or good at what you do. Being an excellent leader means that you hold your team accountable for the quality and efficiency of their work, and that you expect them to hold you equally accountable. Being an excellent leader means that you make your team want to be the best possible people, workers, and teammates that they can possibly be. Being an excellent leader means that you encourage the team's growth in and out of the office, and that you push them toward a remarkable potential they had not imagined possible. Are you any or all of these things?

If what I'm describing sounds like an unreasonable amount of responsibility, then you're misunderstanding me completely! When you commit to your team, you need to put a lot of the expectations and workload back on them. When I recommitted to my team, I told them that they needed to double their efforts, and that I was going to hold them to a much higher standard. I cannot overstate the importance of accountability.

It can be difficult, in a position of authority, to clearly see what is needed from you. You might fall into the roles that you believe are expected of you - "bad cop" or "good cop" to your staff. This means that you are either being trampled on and dominated by your staff members, or that you are unnecessarily difficult, contrary, and harsh. Whether or not you see it this way, playing into these roles is taking the easy way out. You are the only leader of your practice, and the only one holding them accountable. Without your guidance and support, your team will never achieve their greatest individual or cumulative potential.

No matter how painful it might be to address these self-searching questions, you need to rip the Band-Aid off as soon as possible, and discover the truth about your practice. You might be shocked to learn that the real problem in your team is YOU.

For more information about JAY GEIER and the Scheduling Institute coaching programs that are helping dentists become great leaders that develop great teams, call 855-589-2919, or go to www.SchedulingInstitute.com.

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