Visionary practice leaders are an inspirational group of people. Many dentists consider themselves visionary leaders. I am a visionary leader.
Visionary leaders set big goals. We have big dreams. We can’t help ourselves. We see opportunities to make a positive impact beyond our practices and cannot help but pursue those opportunities.
That passion helps us achieve amazing things and inspire our team members. But it also presents challenges when it comes to leading more introverted or detail-oriented team members. If you consider yourself a visionary leader, it is important to understand those challenges and how to support your team members so you can get the support you need to achieve your big dreams.
The Benefits and Challenges of Visionary Leadership in Dental Practices
Visionary leaders are community changers. We are world changers. We want to impact the world beyond our practices. We want to change dentistry for the better. We are driven. We are relentless. We do not accept the status quo. We will not continue doing something just because that is what the dentists who came before us did.
While that passion and focus can lead to incredible things in our communities, the dental industry, and the world around us, it presents two key challenges for employees.
First, in the world, it can become intense. We set high expectations for ourselves and our team. We are not satisfied showing up, fixing teeth, and going home.
It can get uncomfortable for our team members.
Sometimes it becomes a little bit difficult for our team members to be able to handle our expectations.
How to Support Team Members When You are a Visionary Leader
The best way to support your team members is to put yourself in their shoes and let them know you recognize the challenges of working with a visionary leader.
Their days are full. They have a list of tasks. And then all of a sudden, you burst in with a great idea that will change the world. That can be overwhelming to them. Let them know you recognize the challenges of working with a visionary leader. (They already know the challenges; let them know you know.)
Tell them you know you have some ideas that might be crazy. Tell them you know that on a whim, you come up with ideas that you believe will change the world.
Let them know you need to get your idea out right away, but that does not mean they always need to do the work right away. Most of the time, we do not need things done immediately. But we need to get our ideas written down and scheduled.
Finally, when you give them a new idea, ask them what else they are working on. Then help them prioritize the work.
These things help you ensure that your team members feel supported.
How to Get Support Team Members When You are a Visionary Leader
Getting the support you need from your team can take time. But you can get the support you need by helping them help you. Here is how to do that.
First, be open and honest about what you expect from them. If you need something done right away, let them know.
Second, give them the tools they need to do their work well and efficiently. My team and I have been using Asana to organize and prioritize tasks. Invite them to ask questions on Asana so you can reply as soon as possible and keep all communications in one place.
Third, encourage questions. No matter how amazing your team members are, it is unreasonable to expect them to have the same vision as you. Be open to questions. It will improve results. Be patient.
A Visionary Leadership Case Study
Sara, one of my amazing Delivering WOW team members, is a high C in the DISC personality test. She is extremely detail-oriented. She is a planner. She knows exactly what she has to do at the beginning of each day, down to the smallest details such as when she’s going to walk her dog and eat.
When she first started working with me, she was not used to working with a visionary leader. She would be the first person to tell you it took her months to adjust. But we got into a rhythm, and we work very well together. I committed to supporting her, and she committed to supporting me.
So when she gets a message (or ten) from me with another idea, she knows exactly what to do. First, she asks, “How important is this task, and when would you like it done by?” This helps her stay organized.
She also lets me know what she already needs to get done that day. If this is a higher priority than that work, we set new deadlines for those projects. If not, she suggests a deadline for my new idea. Most of the time, her suggested deadline will be fine. Sometimes, I will want it sooner, so I will push out another task she is working on.
Either way, we both get what we need. She gets order to what would seem like disorder. I get the support I need to implement ideas.
Are you getting the support you need from your team members?
Are you a visionary leader? Do you feel like you are getting the support you need from your team? If not, be sure to get them the support they need to help you. Then work with them to ensure you get the support you need in return.
To learn more about getting the support you need in your practice, check out the leadership and tools tracks in Dental Profit Academy.
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.