Lead the life you love
Adam Morgan explains that it doesn’t matter if you are a business owner, practice manager or team member, you can all be great leaders
Today I want to talk about the impact you have as a leader. Now, before you switch off and think “I’m not a leader,” or “I’ve got this,” I want to assure you – you are more important than you probably realise. One thing I find fascinating about human behaviour is this – it is rarely the owner of the company who has all of the power or is the real leader. Yes, they have a certain amount of authority with the ability to terminate a contract – but that is not the real powerhouse of the team.
I often find that it is someone that does not hold a managerial role who has the most influence over the team. Leadership, simply put, is influence Whoever has the most influence is the strongest leader, for good or bad.
I have met more bad leaders in my working lifetime than good ones and the sad thing I often see is that underneath their poor leadership is a team of beat-down, worn-out employees who would flourish with the right leader in place.
Regardless of whether you are the positional leader – such as the business owner – or you are the influential leader, you truly have the ability to make or break your team. Let me ask you this: Have you ever worked for someone who motivated you to do your best, who valued you as a person and not just for what you brought to the table and made you a better version of yourself just by being around them? These people are extremely rare – and often earn vast amounts of money for large organisations because of the impact they have on the whole company.
In our world of dentistry, we need more great leaders and people who ignite passion in the people around them. We also need more people who are consistent from one day to the next in their approach to become better.
Leadership, as we all know, is such a huge topic but I want to share with you just a few ways that
if implemented religiously will help you to become a stronger, more effective leader – regardless of whether you are the business owner, associate, manager, or member of the team. Remember this – you do not have to be the one at the top to be a great leader.
Lead yourself first
If you want to become a better leader, start by investing in yourself.
1. Read, learn and grow
No one can become better at anything by reading one book or going to one conference! It takes time and discipline to invest in your own vault of knowledge and skill. If you want to be able to lead others well, you need a constant well from which to draw strength and wisdom. A few of my favourite leadership books are: The 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership and Failing Forward – both by John C Maxwell. I have a reading list that continues to grow and, as I learn more, more books, podcasts and events appeal to me as my mind grows and opens to new thinking and ways to lead.
If you don’t know where to start, email me and I will happily share some brilliant books and podcasts to get you going. The thing to remember is – do not leave it in the book. Use what you learn every day.
2. Seek out people that inspire you
When I was 16, I attended an event held by a local successful entrepreneur. He was a bit of a celebrity in the town and I was so excited to see what he had to say. At the end of his speech the group had the opportunity to ask questions. My hand shot up and I asked: “What one thing helped you the most, to get to where you are today?” He sat and thought for a moment and then said: “I learned early on, that I had to surround myself with people that had what I wanted and were where I wanted to be.”
That one line has impacted my life in immeasurable ways. In my own words – surround yourself with people that are further down the path than you are. I have a handful of people in my life that all have very different skills and careers, but they all inspire me to be better. I learn more from these five people than any book has ever taught me or ever will. Find people that you admire and wholeheartedly respect. Get to know them and learn – find people outside of your usual circle and the world will instantly open new doors for you.
Do not allow others to determine your success
If you work with someone right now who is holding you back from doing the type of work you would like to do more of or from giving the type of service you know should be given, then to do something about it.
Show others what to do differently. Teach new skills or raise the bar. Great leaders know how to help others do and be better. They take the time to show others how to raise their game and in doing so, elevate their own influence and leadership. You can only get better by helping others get better too.
Good leaders also choose their battles carefully. If you need to have a difficult or challenging conversation to lift the lid or break the ceiling that has been in place, then always do it in private. What is said in private should not be discussed with anyone else outside of the people involved. Gossip and bad-mouthing are the fastest ways to ruin your influence and leadership – do not engage in it and actively cut it off if you hear others doing it. Great leaders do not take value from others – they elevate and intentionally add value to them.
Be interested and interesting
This is a very personal point about being someone that people want to follow and be around. If you want to lead others well, you have to be interested in other people’s lives and be someone who is interesting in return. Great leaders always make people feel important by taking a keen interest in what is important in their lives. They remember details and spend time talking and being around them.
Too often I see the business owner shut themselves away at lunch times to “catch up on paperwork” or do admin. This should never happen. When the team is enjoying time together, you should be there too. Have fun with the team and in turn have something interesting to say. This is not about work – it is about taking an interest in others, knowing what is important to them and then adding to the conversation.
Be someone who is interesting – add colour to your life by joining a club or following a passion from your youth. Get back in touch with something you enjoyed doing and then put on hold when life got busy. The more colourful your world is, the more you are able to add colour to other people’s worlds. Remember – there aren’t many beige masterpieces out there – the best are all full of colour and complexity.
Give people a part of yourself that is interesting and alive with passion, depth and colour. All of the great leaders I know are the most interesting people I have ever met. They make me feel great about who I am and what I do and they always teach me something when I least expect it. They are as steady and consistent as a steam train and they are constantly growing and developing themselves to be even better.
It really doesn’t matter whether you own the business or are part of the team – anyone can be a great leader that takes the whole team to higher levels of success. Do something today that will make tomorrow even better, for yourself, your team and your life for years to come.
About the author
Adam Morgan is an award-winning training specialist who teaches businesses and individuals how to grow and create greatness in their marketplace. His fresh approach and dynamic style make him highly popular with companies around the world.
Adam works specifically with practices throughout the UK and helps dental teams to raise the bar, be more successful and achieve their goals and vision. With more than a decade of expertise working with many of the leading hotels and resorts, retailers, financial institutions of the world, he is a talented consultant able to deliver results.