5 Traits of Inspiring Leadership in a Chiropractic Practice
Hey everyone. This is Dr. George Birnbach, and welcome, welcome, welcome. I’m excited about today. I love talking about management skills and leadership skills. Today I want to talk about something really fun, inspirational leadership. Everyone wants to be an inspiring leader, and what you need to understand is it’s not as hard as you think it is. You see, becoming an inspiring leader is really only about three things. It’s about getting your people in your environment, getting your staff, your associate doctors, and your patients, to speak, think, and act, in alignment with the benefit of the organization. It’s about getting people to think, speak, or act in a way that benefits your organization, your practice, your vision. You see what I mean?
One of the things you need to really catch onto is that inspirational leadership is a developed skill. Most companies don’t have them, and quite honestly people think that, I’m just not born speaking like Martin Luther King, or I’m just not as charismatic as a Tony Robbins or a Jim Rohn, but they weren’t either at some point. You see? Inspirational leaders are developed through developing skillsets and habits. They’re not born. They’re developed. That’s really important because you need to understand that it’s not that difficult to learn. You just have to want to have that. Because there are things like stress tolerance, self-regard, or self-awareness, and optimism, trying to find that positive in a world where things look a little shaky.
Stress tolerance, self-awareness, and optimism, help these leaders develop inner resources, vitality, humility, empathy. That allows people to connect. Openness, unselfishness, the ability to be a little vulnerable, that sets the tone of truth, and vision, focus, and a focus especially on serving the population. Right? Servanthood I think it’s called, or servitude, helps them generate that vision that is easy to trust. Well realistically, not even great leaders have every quality that I’ve just listed. Right? Most of them have a few, and that is the key to becoming a better leader, is to really nurture just a few key areas in order to become better than you were. So how leaders and managers can inspire the people around them, there are a few key traits that keep coming up.
Number one, they always are committed to working just a little bit harder than the people they’re working with. If they’re on a team as a staff member, the best leaders, the best people, are always committed to working just a little bit harder than everyone else they’re working for. As the owner of a practice, I have to be committed to putting in just a little bit more than anyone who works for me. You see? The second one is, you must have a higher level of integrity. You have to stand for something. You have to have a value set that you are going to stick up for. That doesn’t mean being blind to changes or blind to change, but it does mean that there’s a level of integrity that is there in you.
I think this was John F. Kennedy. I think this was JFK. He said, “I think you have to be able to communicate a sense of conviction, and a sense of intelligence, and honestly, some integrity in order to be a good leader.” I believe that was a JFK. Maybe not a perfect quote, but that’s the gist of it. Right? I think you have to be able to communicate a sense of conviction, intelligence, and integrity, in order to lead a group. See, good leaders don’t have the same level of commitment to one value over another value. They have it in greater amounts. You see, they’re just more committed overall. It’s the above average or the exceptional trait that makes inspiration possible. Someone who is just more honest, who is more driven, who is more passionate about chiropractic.
That is what creates the inspiration and allows people who are looking up at that value to rise up to try to produce at that level themselves. You see? Most people in management learn the meaning and the importance of honesty, and loyalty, and moral values, and they try to find systems to nurture them in their staff into at least the average, if not the above average, and hopefully the exceptional. But that has to be led from the top down. So if we said the first trait that you need to focus on is you need to work a little bit harder than the people around you, and the second trait is to show integrity so people can trust you, the third is to always have a great attitude. One of the most important tests of any employee is the attitude that they bring to work every day.
Whether it’s the associate doctor who comes in wanting to grow, or it’s the staff member who comes in wanting to make the machine run so it’s a fun-filled day that does good work for people. In a condensed form a great attitude is a combination of positive thinking and positive speech both on a work and a personal level, and that also means both on the outside and the inside of your mind. So it’s a combination of positive thinking and positive speech. Right? Managers who can develop a consistently positive attitude will always find a way to find that optimistic look. They’ll find a way to be grateful without sounding phony. Gratitude, great attitude, it’s learnable, and you should put some time into that.
The fourth one I want to tell you about today, the fourth trait, is that great leadership, inspirational leadership, gives to the company and gives to the employees unconditionally and freely. I was speaking to Dr. Horn yesterday and he said, “George, one of the things I like about you is you are always willing to work in order to help someone succeed,” and I am. I always have been that way from the first memories I have as a child until now, I care that you’re winning. It means something to me. Now, I wouldn’t put myself on the unselfish hall of fame list, but unselfishness is on the list of traits for inspiring leadership.
Some people find it by accident because they find a passion project, and some people are just curious, or kind, or empathetic, to the point where they see someone who needs help and they help. But it’s a skill that you can work on. You have to work to shift your focus from yourself to others. I started caring more about my staff and I believe that they understood that. Because of that we’ve always had a great connection in that practice, and we didn’t just have people who were punching in and punching out. They were willing to listen, willing to work, willing to help, but I had to be willing to do that for them too. Honestly, going back to trait number one, I have to be willing to do it at a higher level than they’ve ever had to do it.
Number five, and the last one to round out this list, is inspirational leaders constantly ask questions. They listen deeply and they learn, curiously learn, forever. They’re always willing to sort things out a little further. How can it be better? How can it be more fun? That’s the fifth trait, always be inquisitive. If something’s broken, why? And if you get an I don’t know, work it backwards. Well, what are we trying to get as an outcome? Is there another way all together? Is there a clear thing that we’re avoiding or that’s broken? Work that system backwards and you’ll get to that answer even quicker. There’s a never-ending path of self-development, and you don’t need to find it on a bookshelf. You don’t need to find it in a therapist’s office. You don’t need to find it doing yoga under a tree, but you can. You find your path.
Find a path that works for you, makes sense to you emotionally and logically, and do it consistently. The never-ending path of self-development will make leaders above average, maybe even exceptional, but it will certainly help you become inspirational. But you have to make a deeper commitment than the people who are leading, and watching, and listening to you because no one gets inspiration from working for someone who’s merely average. Lead people well. Lead them with passion, integrity, ethics. Learn this concept. How can I today think, speak, and act in a way that benefits my practice? Then look at your office, and how can I get each staff person, each patient, thinking, speaking, and acting in a way that benefits us all? All right? My name is Dr. George Birnbach. I’ll talk to you soon. Bye-bye.