Each of us needs structure to live and lead effectively.
The First Universal Promise of Leadership is: Set the right direction and create meaningful work.
Setting the right direction requires clarity regarding our desired destination.
How do you set the right direction for your team and create meaningful work for your practice?
What story do you want your life and your life’s work to tell?
Is it a story worth telling?
Will it inspire other people to want to go with you?
What will it take to get there?
How and where do you start?
Set the Right Direction
The structure of destination and meaning comes from your vision, mission and values. Your vision is critical to communicate a clear picture of your destination. Your mission is critical to understanding what you must overcome and connecting each person’s role to it. Values guide us from deep within.
The process of clarifying your vision, mission and values sets into motion self and organizational transformation.
- Your vision transforms you into an Inspiration Maker.
- Your mission transforms you into a Meaning Maker.
- Your values transform you into a Behavior Maker.
When your vision, mission and values saturate your organizational culture, you begin to enjoy the rewards of that effort. The shared mental model provides a structure for thinking with one mind, speaking with one voice, and feeling with one heart. Your energy and effort are channelled into one powerful coherent force that is aligned at all levels and moving in the direction of your destination.
Create Meaningful Work
Here’s an example of how in my dental practice we routinely review whether we are on course to our destination in alignment with our values. Recently, in our morning huddle today, we did an After-Action Review (ARR) of our performance as a team on the previous afternoon. It was a routinely busy day that got pushed in the last two hours with several important emergency appointments.
An AAR examines the performance of the entire team and asks key questions:
- What did we intend to do?
- What did we actually do?
- What were the results?
- What would we do next time?
- Were our actions consistent with our values?
I started the discussion. Quickly, several key team members expressed their thoughts and emotions that our performance as a team did not produce the results that we want and were not consistent with “Who We Are” and “Who We Hope to Be” at our best.
It was a difficult but very productive conversation…and I think, essential to creating better future performance.
These kinds of conversations invite every team member to have a voice in the critical moments of how we perform as a team, which increases the meaning of their work and recognizes the value of their contributions. It also allows us to evaluate if our behavior and performance as a team is moving the practice in the direction of our vision. Clarity wins. These conversations clarify.
Both are great examples of how to put that first universal promise of leadership into play: You will set the right direction and create meaningful work.
You can read more about the Four Promises of Universal Leadership: Leadership Development is about Developing Yourself First.
Stay tuned for the second promise of leadership which will be coming soon.
If you want to learn more about how Leadership and Coaching Culture can change your team dynamics, then download our free ebook: 7 Surprising Steps to Grow your Practice Through Leadership.
Dr. Joel Small and Dr. Edwin McDonald, the founders of Line of Sight Coaching, are dental practitioners, authors, speakers and Business Leadership Coaches who work with healthcare professionals to help them build more successful practices so they can live the balanced life they seek.