2.25.11 Issue #468 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

Nancy Haller, P.h. D.
Leadership Coach
McKenzie Management
coach@ mckenziemgmt.com
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The Leadership Academy Award Goes To...
By Nancy Haller, Ph.D., Leadership Coach McKenzie Managemen

There’s something fun­da­men­tal about sto­ry­telling. It’s the way we process and experience life events. Stories res­onate with us, down to an uncon­scious level.  We learn best through stories. History is passed down through stories. And this Sunday, the Motion Picture Academy of Arts and Sciences will award the Oscar to the best “story” in film of the past year. Having seen all of the Best Picture nominees, one story stands out for me. Not because it was the most intriguing or creative (my vote for that category goes to Inception) but because it has the most to teach us about leadership. The film is The King’s Speech.

The story is about the Duke of York who was unexpectedly thrust into leading England when his brother abdicated the throne. It is the brink of WWII, radio mass media is taking off and he has a debilitating stutter. He’s expected to lead the country to war and that means being connected to his people. But he can’t speak. The film tells the remarkable and true story of a man who battled to find his voice, for his country and the world. There are classic themes of heroism imbedded throughout the movie. Here are some parallels that might relate to you and your practice.

Lesson #1: Sometimes we have to accept the role of leadership - even when we don’t want to.
When you chose to go to dental school, I doubt you realized you were signing up to be a “leader.” While learning how to extract teeth and administer nitrous oxide, you probably didn’t give much thought to hiring, firing, handling office disputes, or delegating job responsibilities. You focused on learning clinical skills. Now your success depends on leading people every day. You need to teach your employees what you want them to do, and how. You need to guide your patients, so they’ll comply with treatment recommendations. Accept this reality and look for solutions and support.

Lesson #2: Don’t be afraid of showing imperfections. They are our humanity.
Many people think that being a great leader is about doing everything perfectly. Not true. Strong leaders have many foibles. The difference is that they recognize their own frailties. They are aware of their weaknesses and they tackle them. Stop beating yourself up for failing to be perfect. Admit your shortcomings and find ways to overcome them. Commit to life-long learning.

Lesson #3: Confidence is a fickle thing. Let others provide help.
No leader can ever do it alone. By reaching out, listening, and seeing who supports you, leaders achieve the best version of themselves. If you have a weak point, you should look for someone whose skills can compliment that hole in your armament. Find trusted advisors who can help you with financial, practice management and personnel issues. Business results are better when you don’t do it alone.

Lesson #4: Never give up.
Even if you didn’t see the movie, you know from history that it ultimately works out. But it didn’t happen because of “good luck.” More than any other characteristic or quality, leadership is about perseverance and resiliency. The lesson is that no matter what, you keep at it.

Lesson #5: If you're serious, get a coach.
King George VI was helped by an eccentric speech therapist named Lionel Logue. In contrast to the countless doctors who had tried to "cure" the King, Logue coached him to help him perform better. The right coach helps you set goals and keeps you on track in terms of the work you need to do to progress. They help you to make changes and accomplish goals that really matter to you. Invest in your own Lionel Logue.

Ballots for the 83rd Academy Awards are being tabulated by PricewaterhouseCoopers. The auditors maintain absolute secrecy until the moment the show’s presenters open the envelopes and reveal the winners on live TV. Whether the King’s Speech takes home the grand prize remains to be seen. But its leadership messages are no secret, and they are timeless.

Dr. Haller provides training for leadership effectiveness, interpersonal communication, conflict management, and team building. If you would like to learn more contact her at coach@mckenziemgmt.com

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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