Leadership and Practice Management
Why should Leadership be an integral part of Practice Management?
Because you own the company or manage employees, one of your responsibilities is to be a leader. And, that means you must be a good one. In addition, understand that leadership is second in importance only to your position as the owner. Therefore, let’s explore a small sampling of how you can be a better leader.
The new age definition for leadership is as follows: Leadership is the capacity to influence others by unleashing their power and potential to impact the greater good 
 Blanchard, Carlos, & Randolph. Empowerment Takes More Than a Minute.
Does a Team Approach Work?
Simply put, if you want more out of yourself and your employees, you have to truly believe the quote, “None of us is as smart as all of us.” Therefore, no matter how much you think you know and how experienced you are, adding additional IQ, experience and passion to the mix increases your chances for success. Every employee has something valuable to offer – that includes both positive and negative offerings.
 Blanchard, Ken.
Therefore, do you now see the importance of phrases like “impact the greater good,” “come together for a common purpose” and “mutually responsible for results”? These phrases are all commonalities for exceptional teams and leaders.
Who is Responsible?
Think about this:
- If you want to know why your team is not performing well, step up to the mirror and take a peek,
- If you want to know why your people are performing well, step up to the mirror and take a peek.
When you think about the above statements, do you now see the importance of phrases like “impact the greater good,” “come together for a common purpose” and “mutually responsible for results”? These phrases are all commonalities for exceptional teams and leaders.
Also, you must remember these quotes:
“People without information cannot act responsibly.”
Then, it must follow that:
“People with information are compelled to act responsibly.”
What is the secret to having great employees?
Owners often assume they can go about their day, work hard, be nice to their employees. And, then owners assume, because of the employees’ past training and experience, that the employees will automatically know what to do. YOU need to train them how YOU want things done. If those you are leading don’t know where you are going, they will have a hard time getting excited about the journey.
Your employees don’t care how much you know until
they know how much you care. – Damon Richards
If you cut your employees loose without any direction, they will lose their way. And, your business will suffer immeasurably.
The man who walks in the dark
does not know where he is going. – Bruce Lee
What is The Ideal Performance Management Process?
When you want to start off right with a new employee or start off on a “new leaf” with an existing employee, try this:
1. FIND OUT from them exactly what they do know about their expected responsibilities and what your business does.
2. TELL THEM exactly what you want them to do. Even if they have been highly trained and/or are coming from a previous job; never expect them to know what you want exactly.
3. TEACH THEM exactly you want them to do, even if you think they know or if they think they know what you want.
4. OBSERVE THEM doing the task.
5. PRAISE THEM when they get anything right.
6. REDIRECT AND RETRAIN THEM in the areas they are not getting right.
7. PRAISE THEM, AGAIN. Continue to for any progress, frequently.
8. TELL THEM how you will monitor and measure their progress.
9. MONITOR AND MEASURE their progress on a regular basis.
10. MEET WITH THEM often to praise and redirect (not once/year at their annual review); meet no less than once/month.
What to Consider …
Obviously, as a leader, you no doubt aspire to motivate, influence and become a person whom people want to follow. What about mistakes?
First, mistakes are proof that you are growing. If you or your team have never failed, you are playing it too safe, and safe no longer cuts it in a world that is constantly changing. Making mistakes can be understood better with the acronym, FAIL (First Attempts In Learning). Creating a culture that allows room for mistakes will build an atmosphere of creativity. And, it will promote exploration and engender a growth mindset.
Second, the more you know, the more you realize you don’t know. Collaboration is the key when it comes to creating a cohesive working environment. Relationships are a two-way street, and nothing makes a person feel more valuable than when you ask for their advice. When you ask for assistance or advice, you are strengthening the connection and trust within your team. Remember, our power resides in the present.
Third, your power and ability to motivate those you work with will increase dramatically when you are present, engaged and in the moment. Feeling a lack of appreciation is one of the biggest reasons employees start looking elsewhere for a job. And, no matter how well you think you multitask, if your mind is always three steps ahead, your team will never feel valued, heard or appreciated.
What Else to Consider …
Fourth, you delegate, collaborate and trust the process. Micromanaging says to your team: “I don’t trust you to do your job,” or “You can’t do your job as well as I can.” Neither of thoughts feels good to either party. Do your job well and take the time to discover not only the strengths of your staff but also their values and purpose. Then, you will have the confidence to know they will do a better job than you ever can, AND
Fifth, if you give up perfection, you make room for growth and opportunity. Perfectionism leads to fear-based leadership. This creates procrastination around important deliverables and causes you to micromanage when things get tough, leaving no room for transformational leadership to occur. Let their experiences be fueled by creativity and possibility instead of doubt and dread.
Now, it should be obvious that, when you focus on potential versus perfection, curiosity versus constriction and collaboration versus control, your team will have the energy needed to meet your business’s demands.
 Kolber, Petra. How leaders can measure success without perfectionism. Costco Connection, January 2021. https://www.costcoconnection.com/connection/202101/MobilePagedReplica.action?pm=2&folio=20#pg23
Summing It All Up …
Therefore, even though you know you are the owner and leader, treat them as if they were full partners (i.e., be transparent with your measurements of their progress mentioned above), and they will take ownership of their responsibilities. When you think of your people as partners, they take responsibility for what they do, and that is exactly what you want them to do.
This means you have to show them why you are monitoring and measuring their performance and then give them the tools and training they need to succeed, and show them the targets they need to aim at for success. In summary,
Set clear goals, then observe and measure performance.
Follow by praising progress, even minimal progress,
and redirect inappropriate behavior.