No – I’ve not lost the plot, it’s a genuine question. You see on the 30th of this month I am speaking at an event for dentists. There will be a lot of dentists there. What is the word for many dentists all in one place ? Perhaps – an amalgam of dentists?
Anyway – It made me think of how dentists are leaders. They lead their teams. They lead their clients – by giving advice and support on how to have good oral hygiene and not have to have major work done. Of course one of the pieces of advice is to clean your teeth twice a day and to spot and sort out problems when they are just minor things, rather than wait until you need root canal or an extraction.
All good sensible advice.
And that is a bit like leadership in any type of team / company / business. If you have a quick check over / check in with the team on a daily basis you can often spot little things as they happen and before they become big things.
All makes perfect sense doesn’t it?
So why is it that most people put off going to the dentist until they are in screaming pain, and why is it that most leaders fail to deal with things when they are little?
Is it because they are hoping it will go away and resolve itself (trust me that never happens). Is it because they don’t know what to do about it and so stick their head in the sand (the ostrich principle). Is it because they are scared – doing something about it might be costly or painful in some way (ah yes – here we have it).
Most people ignore little things because we don’t like pain, and we don’t like confrontation or we have other priorities that day and perhaps it will just go away (or perhaps we are just scared of the dentist).
But whatever the reason, leaving things to fester is never a good idea. What was a small pain, given enough time will become a major problem. And then – when it can no longer be ignored – it is dealt with. By then it takes a lot more effort, time, money – or all three. And often it is too hard to resolve and does not end well, where pro-active management could have solved it much sooner.
If you want to know how you can use some proven strategies to deal with issues in your team as and when they arise, and when they are small problems that can more easily be solved – come along to hear me speak at the ToolBox Live event on the 26th Feb in Heathrow. Or if you are a dentist or know a dentist and want to come to the event on the 30th January – email me on firstname.lastname@example.org
And I wonder .…do dentists take their own advice on pro-active (oral hygiene) management when it comes to dealing with problems in their own teams?