How to become a leader and not just a manager

Managing and leading are two very different things. As a manager we are concerned with things being done right but as leaders we are concerned with doing the right things. If you are a practice principal or a practice manager then this blog is for you.

“The manager relies on control; the leader inspires trust”

Effective leadership requires:
• Responsibility
• Accountability
• Decisiveness

As a leader you see yourself as part of a team and in turn your team see you as a team player. You cannot be an effective leader of your dental team if you are completely detached (however, be aware of being too friendly. There needs to a healthy separation).

A good leader needs to provide a vision; a clear focus for everyone to follow and know what part they play in the bigger picture of the practice’s goals and objectives. They will provide the right architecture (structure) for the team to do their job to the best of their abilities by removing obstacles that cause inefficiencies and helping build systems and processes that enable them to perform at their best and provide patients with the very best level of care.

How you can be a good leader

Be a positive role-model – demonstrate the qualities you wish to see in your team. Show commitment, work hard, be a part of the team and in turn evoke passion to do a good job and make a difference.
Be optimistic and forward thinking – as a leader you are responsible for setting the right atmosphere. Don’t let moaning or negativity from some team members overshadow how you want things to be.
Inspire and motivate your team – don’t underestimate the power that you have to influence your team. Positivity breeds positivity and your team need someone to help them see the good and strive to do their best and be their best.
Listen more, speak less – a good leader ‘walks the talk’ and also actively listens. They genuinely encourage others to share their ideas and suggestions.
Ask your team for ideas –A good leader does not dictate how everything should be done. A good leader encourages development, growth and a continual commitment to improvement.
Appreciate each individual team member - a good leader understands that each member of the team is an individual and will play to that individuals’ strengths and help them with any skills that they need to develop.

This isn’t an exhaustive list by all means, but they’re behaviour traits that any good leader possesses and any aspiring leader can replicate.
Are you ready to take that next step to become a leader in your practice?