Remembering the definition of leadership as:
“The ability to influence, motivate and enable others to contribute to the effectiveness and success of the organisations of which they are members.”
What are the roles a leader needs to play and is this different depending on style?
At a very high level within any organisation and within any individual aiming towards a goal we need to make decisions and get tasks done. In essence, there is a constant interplay between these 2 roles. One without the other doesn’t make your practice effective in reaching its goals. You can make the right decisions but never get stuff done and you won’t get anywhere, you can get stuff done without it being the right stuff and again you won’t get anywhere.
If you do not involve anybody else in doing this then there is no leadership at play, whereas if you involve others in getting these tasks done or making decisions then there is. If you involve others, then no matter what style of leadership you follow, decisions will need to be made and tasks will need to get done.
If we refer back to the styles of leadership then how you do this will be very different.
Coercive – do what I say
Authoritative – come with me approach which states the overall goal but gives people the freedom to choose their own means of achieving it
Affiliative – people come first attitude with a focus on building harmonious teams
Democratic – gives team members a voice in decisions
Pace-setting – sets high-performance standards and exemplifies them themselves
Coaching – focuses on the personal development of team members
Employing different approaches in different situations makes you really effective, using 4 or more of the different styles. Yet, I believe there are some base elements of leadership which are important to do and can go along with all the styles even if they seem to fit more within certain styles:
- Setting the overall direction of the dental practice. Setting the vision, the goals, the purpose and the values of the practice. Although more within the authoritative style I really believe this is a critical component of leadership and a good adjunct to all the styles. If people don’t know where they are going and what they are part of they will be less motivated to do stuff and make the right decisions.
- Creating time and space for reflection. No matter your style, there needs to be time and space for people and individuals to step back and look at what they are doing to make effective decisions. To review what is working and what is not working. Giving a certain structure and almost cadence to the business.
- Organising the tasks of the business so that individuals understand clearly who is doing what.
If you are running a practice do you have all these clearly in place?
If you are part of a practice are you clear on what these are? If not, why not proactively ask these questions to the practice owner?
There is another element of leadership that doesn’t fit within being coercive or pace setting but for me is a base requirement for good leadership and that is what I overall call being human.
Article by Jamie Morley, Leadership Coach & Owner of Fitting Leadership