This weekend we have spent time as a team reflecting on the way we grow our leadership skills. One great leader is Walt Disney. I have found so much inspiration from him as I look to my life, my company and my leadership. Walt Disney once said, “The greatest moments in life are not concerned with selfish achievements but rather with the things we do for the people we love and esteem, and whose respect we need.” One of my greatest goals is to gain the respect of my team, clients, and competitors as a solidly grounded leader.
To be this effective leader, we should be “passionately curious” while encouraging our employees to share ideas; something we can do by asking questions to better understand the current concerns and opportunities on our teams. This simple practice can help leaders gain the respect of the team, while also creating a collaborative environment that can help solve new or previously unsolved problems.
One Disney best practice that can help leaders stay actively involved is “leader walks,” which are opportunities for leaders to be immersed with their team in the midst of the operation and to get to know their Cast Members on a more personal level.
Some leaders take this a step farther, opting to periodically work a front-line shift alongside their teams in full costume. Through this type of direct experience, leaders develop a healthy respect for the work of the team, along with a greater understanding and empathy for the myriad challenges sometimes faced by the individuals in these roles.
I still find it inspiring when I help my team post payments, verify eligibility or answer phones here at Dentistry Support and they are shocked. Many of them tell me not to do the work but I love helping them. I love them trusting that I will not ever leave them alone when work gets tough, the piles stack high and support internally is needed.
Do not be embarrassed as a leader that your patients or clients will think you are weak, less of a company, unworthy of business or any other degrading title. Serving is everything. If serving is below you, you are not ready to be a true leader.
Lastly, Think about this: Does your organization encourage leaders to stay actively involved with those working the front line? Does your office know you can handle the work each of them is expected to perform? How can you more intentionally practice “management by wandering around?”
Cheers to a great week,