Everyday Leadership in Orthodontics
Published by Michelle Haupt on
By Jill Allen
Ever come across Drew Dudley’s TED Talk Everyday Leadership about “Lollipop Moments”? It’s quite the concept. In essence, it celebrates the small, seemingly mundane actions that leave a lasting impact on someone’s life. Now, you might be wondering, “What does this have to do with orthodontics?” Well, let’s bridge that gap and explore how this ‘Lollipop Moment’ philosophy can truly reshape our understanding of leadership in the orthodontic realm.
1. Recognizing the Power of Small Gestures Much like the anecdote shared by Dudley about a simple lollipop gesture making an immense impact, orthodontic leaders too can create ripples with tiny acts. It could be a reassuring word to a nervous patient, a thank you note to a staff member, or an unexpected day off for a long-serving team member.
2. Everyday Leadership While it’s essential to have a strategic vision and long-term goals, leadership isn’t just about the big decisions. It’s also about those everyday choices – the way you greet your team in the morning, the patience you show during a particularly challenging procedure, or the extra time you spend explaining a treatment to a concerned patient. Each of these moments can be someone’s ‘Lollipop Moment’.
3. Celebrate the Unsung Heroes Within your practice, there are countless unsung heroes who create their own ‘Lollipop Moments’. It could be the communications coordinator who always has a smile for the patients or the clinical assistant who goes the extra mile to ensure everything runs smoothly. Recognize and celebrate these instances to foster an environment where every team member feels valued.
4. Encourage Feedback Dudley wouldn’t have known about his ‘Lollipop Moment’ had it not been shared with him. Similarly, by fostering an environment of open communication, leaders in orthodontic practices can become more aware of their influence, making them more effective in their roles.
5. Embrace Vulnerability Leaders often feel the need to maintain a facade of infallibility. However, acknowledging mistakes, asking for feedback, and being open about challenges can make leadership more relatable and approachable. Sometimes, admitting a shortcoming can become a transformative ‘Lollipop Moment’ for someone else.
6. Inspire the Chain Reaction By highlighting and acknowledging the ‘Lollipop Moments’ within your practice, you inspire others to recognize and create their own. This not only fosters a positive work environment but also translates to improved patient care, as everyone begins to recognize the impact of their actions.
7. Reflect and Recognize Take the time to reflect on your leadership journey. Think about the ‘Lollipop Moments’ that have shaped you and consider the ones you’ve unknowingly created for others. By recognizing the power of these moments, you become more intentional in your actions and words.
To sum it up, while it’s undeniable that major decisions and strategic direction are paramount in orthodontics, it’s often the subtle ‘Lollipop Moments’ that genuinely define our leadership journey. The next time you interact within your practice, bear in mind that even the simplest gesture, acknowledgment, or guidance might become an unforgettable moment for someone. Sometimes you do need to sweat the small things, especially as it relates to leadership in your office.
Jill Allen is a national orthodontic consultant with a passion for helping doctors bring their practice dreams to fruition. Jill and her team specialize in start-up practices, and training doctors and team members who have been in business for eight years or less, or eight years to retirement. Her goal is to give each team the tools to increase growth and streamline their processes. Jill’s proven management solutions produce positive results in case acceptance and production, creating strong, successful practices for the years to come.