around in national and international politics and corporate America.
I think it is important to recognize that the concept of leadership
and its relationship to national and international economics makes
perfect sense. In light of the reality that this is a competitive
world, innovations as well as charisma are essential
ingredients for surviving more than just the day.
Today, the concept of leadership from politics and economics has
been rationalized down to the level of the small business. This
process has led to ambiguity, distortion, and confusion over how
it should or should not apply. These detriments not only confuse
the office staff who pines for a great leader on horseback, but
also is distorted by the business owners who perceive themselves
to be more responsible than they really are or need to be.
is more reasonable to clearly understand the distinction between
leadership and management and become accustomed to the accompanying
expectations. These expectations are more pleasant than the never-ending
distortions, exaggerated expectations, and unrealistic office dynamics,
which the self-help and office-help literature fantasizes about.
This week's column is a discussion of the difference between
leadership and management. For the sake of clarity, I believe
that all business owners must be managers first and leaders second.
The reason for this definition is that the goal of the office practice
is simply to carry out the product and services as promised, effectively
and efficiently. The typical office practice is not challenged with
the responsibility of guiding millions of people and billions of
dollars. Ours is a very simple challenge: make money and
enjoy the day.
The basic necessities of your typical office practice require a
very short time line. The typical office is challenged with fulfilling
its obligations to provide a service to clients. That service is
usually performed within a 1 to 2 hour window and the accumulation
of these units of service provides the productivity, which after
expenses leaves us with a profit. This is a short-term arrangement
and therefore is very manageable for the average private
practice business owner.
emphasis on long-term planning can be overstated, and when it is
overstated, it provides for the opportunity to experience unnecessary
disappointment and frustration. I am not implying that long-term
goals are not part of the growth of every business, but rather that
excessive emphasis on a long-term perspective distorts the
true meaning of the day.
Good management allows us to keep our perspective short-term, and
with this perspective, concepts of efficiency and goal achievement
are far more attainable. When things become attainable, the brain
processes this experience as noble and rewarding. Too much emphasis
on long-term perspectives leaves the brain with an information and
experience void, which is unsettling and disorienting.
The basic necessities of your typical office practice require an
excellent grasp of how things are to be done and when they should
take place. This experience leads to a sense of good organization.
It is this perfect sense of organization together with the accomplishment
of our purpose that provides the clarity, as well as one's personal
definition, for every working day.
how to do your job and what is expected of you is part of your personal
management responsibility. The business management responsibility
of the owner comes in knowing how all of these pieces should come
together. When this knowledge is known, everything integrates and
the process of business feels seamless and performs like a smooth
running piece of machinery.
management clearly and effectively makes sure that all of the
human components of the business know how to do their jobs
and when their responsibilities are expected to appear, the flow
of product and service to the customer will be experienced by the
staff and client as smooth and almost natural.
It is this state of naturalness that defines why some office practices
are perceived as better than others are. It is the competency and
the lack of bumps in the road that garner a client's
confidence and their loyalty. Good management knows how to do the
concept of leadership and the element of process takes responsibility
for answering questions such as what are we doing here and why are
we doing it. If you will take a moment to examine seriously this
point, you will see that, while there is great intellectual merit
to imposing such questions, they are useless in the day-to-day performance
of your typical office practice when your team is well trained and
productivity is maximized.
how’s and when’s are very clear to the staff and the
business owner, or at least they should be very clear to everyone
when they arrive at the office on Monday morning. There is no need
to ask why. Asking why is a leadership question
and when asked too often, it only serves to take the emphasis away
from the sense of immediate accomplishment.
a leader asks “why” out loud, they direct everyone toward
feelings and sensations of uncertainty and unlimited
possibilities and definitions. Coping with unlimited definitions
and possibilities is really beyond the scope of the typical office
practice day-to-day responsibility. I believe that most of your
clients would discourage such intellectual bantering in return for
smooth and effective treatment and courtesy.
will continue to discuss the concepts of management and leadership
would like to request your stories of Dentists and Staff members
who have experienced the difference between management and
leadership. Send them to Coach@mckenziemgmt.com.
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