North Texas Dentistry Volume 9 Issue 3 2019 ISSUE 3 DE - Page 12

practice management REDEFINING LEADERSHIP by Cathy Jameson, PhD “If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more, and become more, you are a leader.” D o you think of yourself as a leader? Well, I do. If you are on a team, of any kind, includ- ing a dental team, you are a leader. No matter what your role, you are a leader. First, you are a leader of yourself. Each day — every day, you decide how you will approach the day. You decide about the attitude you will bring to the day. You decide if you will be an asset to the organization — or not! You decide if you will exert extra effort to create and main- tain happy patients so they will accept recommendations, follow through with treatment, stay with the practice, and refer others to you. You choose. As a leader of yourself, you decide how you will impact each day — and, ultimately, the productivity of your practice. Second, each person is a leader of team- mates. Teammates must be able to count on one another. Your colleagues need to trust that you will do what you are sup- posed to do, when and how you are sup- – John Quincy Adams posed to do it. And, you have to count on your teammates in the same way. The systems of the practice are so inter- twined that if one person — one system — isn’t working well, everything bottle- necks! Accountability determines the smoothness of operation, the control of stress and the ultimate productivity of the practice. Helping each other makes it possible for the days to run smoothly and successfully. Everyone wins. Third, you are a leader of patients. You cannot — nor would you want — to push a patient into making a decision. How- ever, you can lead them into making a decision — one that is good for them: a decision to accept the treatment that the doctor is recommending for them—treat- ment that will help them to be healthier or more attractive — or both. Your inter- action with patients will influence their opinion of your team, your employer, and your organization. You are the face of the organization with each and every 12 NORTH TEXAS DENTISTRY | interaction. This is called engagement. Engagement is considered the most important factor in businesses in the 21st century. Engaged team members create and retain engaged patients. And engaged team members accept the role of leader and the privileges that come with that role. TWO TYPES OF LEADERSHIP Transactional Leadership In a work environment where the lead- ership style is transactional, the leader dictates down to rest of the team what, when, and how they will do everything. The leader outlines requirements, results that are expected, and rewards. There is little interactive communication. Cre- ativity is not encouraged. Rewards are defined by money not fulfillment or growth. Rewards for work well done are finite. There’s not much room for per- sonal development. Transactional leadership is a hierarchical style of leadership with a top-down style of authority. The employee does not par- ticipate in decision making, nor are their ideas encouraged. Communication chan- nels between executives and employees is limited.