Over the 14 years that I’ve worked as an office manager, I have had many different type of experiences and accounts that have presented me with valuable insights about what it takes to run a successful practice. And by successful, I do not mean increased practice revenue (although, in my case, it’s been proven that there’s been a positive correlation between revenue and effective leadership). Rather, my definition of success is based on a non-financial measure, one that is impossible to quantify.
I personally believe that behind every successful organization (or practice), there lies a great (and effective) leader. They are absolutely crucial to the livelihood and longevity of a practice.
But in order to be effective in leading a team, one must first identify the principles of great leadership. Then put them into practice. Below, I share my top five that will help you go from good to GREAT.
Know Your Values. You should be able to identify and have a good sense of your personal values as those of the company. Why? Because this is what shows what’s important to us and help us better understand what our priorities are. Values dictate our behavior and are the guiding principles behind how people live their life. They are like a code of ethics and being clear about what matters to you most will help you understand what is non-negotiable and will help keep you on the “right” path, especially during challenging times.
Lead By Example. A leadership role entails that one who acquires it, is expected to “lead” others to accomplish a goal or assigned task. They “command” the group and set the tone (and pace) for others, showing them what’s acceptable and what isn’t. People are also more inclined to follow those true to their word so make sure you practice what you preach. Thus, if you come to work late every day, you may find that your employees will start to follow in your footsteps and do the same. Don’t expect others to take anything you assign to them seriously, if you yourself exhibit signs of disregard for it. So to be an effective and influential leader, you must walk the walk. All eyes are on YOU.
Transparency. I believe that transparency creates TRUST which affects employee engagement, performance, and the impact you have as a leader. When you are candid with your team, they will reciprocate it back and will be less afraid to own up to their mistakes. Transparency amongst co-workers creates a special type of dynamic, one where it feels safe to express feelings, ideas, and encourages conversation. In result, hostility and conflict is decreased.
Accountability. Accountability, although challenging and sometimes time-consuming, is absolutely necessary if you want to see results and change unwanted employee behavior. Without this, new assigned tasks and projects can easily fall through the cracks. For example, when implementing a new policy or protocol, follow up on it at your monthly meeting or simply by checking in daily. Or when assigning a task to an employee, set a due date when you need it by. Create reminders for yourself to follow up with important matters.
Responsibility (Taking Ownership). One of the best things you can do as a leader is to take responsibility for your actions. Humility goes a long way and shows others that despite your title, you’re human just like them. Which means, you make mistakes just like everyone else. Taking ownership of your mistakes or admitting that something is challenging, you show others it is safe to do the same. In fact, less mistakes will be made because there will be an opportunity to address and correct the problem. Otherwise, it goes on staying hidden or worse, blamed on someone or something else for the fear of being wrong or incompetent.