The BIG game is next week. The hype has started. Maybe you’ll tune in to see if the Rolling Stones have any ‘wardrobe malfunctions’. Perhaps you find the commercials entertaining.
Truth be told, I’m not that interested in football, but I am extremely interested in leadership. And it just so happens that sports is one of the best ways to learn about good (and bad) leadership techniques…and team performance.
I'm not saying that dentistry is like football. But people are people, and the keys to influencing them to perform to their full potential are pretty much the same whether they're playing on a field or working in your practice!
If you’re frustrated by an employee that needs constant pampering, just imagine being a football coach with a group of prima donnas! Leading for peak performance is hard work. And being an NFL coach is the ultimate high-pressure job. What if the media were in your operatories scrutinizing and second-guessing your every move? Add that to the possibility that you might be fired if you didn’t have results.
To make it to the Super Bowl, a team needs leadership. If you want to ‘wear the ring’, the principles and values that ultimately drive Super Bowl victories can help you to achieve greater success in your practice. Just like an NFL coach needs to know more than X’s and O’s to be a winner, you need to go beyond drilling and filling to run a productive dental business.
Pick the best people.
The NFL draft is the selection process for each franchise. Sizable sums of time and money are spent on assessing players. Many teams use psychologists and personality testing to make the most informed decisions. McKenzie’s Employee Assessment Test enables you to identify peak performers so you can hire wisely.
Have a plan.
Clarify job responsibilities with every employee.
Coaches do their most important work before game day. They formulate plays for different scenarios. Winning coaches also meet with their players for alignment with those plans. Then they review films and make adjustments.
Just like a winning coach, give constant feedback. Morning ‘huddles’ are important and so are monthly staff meetings. As the leader, be sure to illuminate what’s working…the good ‘plays’. Show each team member the value of their contributions to practice successes. Help them to improve in areas that need attention. By teaching and training your employees, you enable them to align with your expectations. When each person understands and executes his/her role, it leads to a winning team.
Create a positive bond between members and leaders.
Team chemistry comes from intense training and time together. It doesn’t mean that everyone is each other’s best friend. But if there is competition between team members it’s healthy, not destructive. The competition pushes each to do better.
In addition to staff meetings, schedule time for your team to be together outside the office. Conduct a one or two day retreat that encompasses training with fun activities that unify employees. It will keep your team fresh and motivated to perform.
Hold people accountable.
The NFL suspends players whose outrageous behaviors show they care more about themselves than the quality of teamwork and performance. As leader of your dental team, you must be disciplined…and you must strive for a disciplined staff of employees. Praise and encouragement are as important as constructive criticism.
Be determined and tough-minded.
Mental toughness is a prerequisite to Super Bowl team success. Intercept doom-and-gloom thinking when you’ve had a hard day. Exceptional people don't shrink from set backs. They're willing to sacrifice for themselves, and for others. Challenge negative beliefs and pessimistic forecasting. To build a winning team, keep your employees focused on getting their work done, even in times of chaos and uncertainty. Your team will reflect your actions. Be resilient.
Super Bowl leadership is about relating to people in such a way as to inspire them to give their best effort, for themselves and for their team.
Let Dr. Nancy Haller coach you and your team to higher levels of performance.
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