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INSIGHT

Exceeding expectations or resetting the watermark of leadership

By Dale Henry  bio

I’m a service snob! I am addicted to nice hotels, great restaurants, and being pampered. Who isn’t? That feeling of being cared for and having everything you want delivered with a smile is intoxicating to say the least. Once you have had someone exceed your expectations, it is just a little frustrating to have someone do it out of ritual. As they say, it’s hard to go back to the farm once you have stayed at the Ritz.

Leadership is a lot like service. We know when it is good, and we know when it needs improvement. Folks come up to me all the time at the end of a program telling me that they wished the folks back in the office had been there, because they really needed to hear what I said. In my head, I’m thinking, “I’m pretty sure that is why they sent you!”

Improvement is always for others. I mean, after all, I’m good at what I do, right? If you’re reading this blog at home or at the office, there is probably an air conditioner cooling and filtering the air. The air travels from the A/C unit along a duct and then through a vent. Most of us lead like the vent—managing the air flow and directing resources. The true leader is a duct. The word duct comes from a Latin word that means to bring the best of what is available to where it is needed most. It causes us to constantly challenge those around us to be better, work smarter, and deliver greatness.

All of us have seen someone scowl as they say, “I love my job!” When we see that, we want to say, “Well why don’t you tell your face?”

Real leaders become ducts by following DUCTology:

  • Don’t fall victim to negativity. Your Momma was right! If you can’t find something constructive to say, keep it to yourself.
  • Understand you are not always right. You should be amazed when you are! Celebrate wins as a team, not as a soloist.
  • Count how many times a day you build others up. It should be 10. If you lose count, carry 10 pennies, moving pennies from one pocket to the other to help you kept count. Once it is a habit, it becomes easier.
  • Teach others by example. Don’t do what I say, do what I do!

I can spend about 20 minutes in someone’s office, and I can tell you whether they are team-oriented leader or in it for themselves.

I am reminded of an experience I had once in a dear friend of mine’s office. I walked in and was blown away by his beautiful office and exquisite furnishings. I was a little taken aback by the fact his desk was facing the window and his desk chair was placed so that his back was to the door. He could tell from my expression I was perplexed. I was accustomed to the desk and chair both facing the door and his didn’t. He laughed and said, “I don’t like it when furniture gets in the way of leadership. When you come in my office I am always on your side!”

He reset my watermark of leadership.


Dale Henry speaks to and trains America’s top Fortune 500 companies. He is a storyteller, corporate value evangelist, author of two best-selling books, and friend to all he meets.

Dale Henry is a keynote speaker at the 26th Annual PAHCOM Conference, which takes place Oct. 21-23 in Clearwater Beach, FL.


The above information is shared by a guest contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Medical Office Manager.

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