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March 27th, 2018

Leadership Mastermind Series: Building Your Team

Hear it from the doctor’s mouth! PDA Tribe Member, Dr. Chad Johnson, shares with PDA Vice President, Patti Sooy, about what it’s like to attend a BlueSky workshop and what doctors and teams can expect from the experience. Hear what Dr. Johnson has to say about leadership, delegation, work/vacation planning, networking, and more.

And don’t miss this next installment in our Leadership Mastermind Series.

No Super-Chickens – Building a Successful Team

By Kari Stoddard, Financial Controller

According to conventional wisdom, when hiring for a job, you should seek out the “superstar.” We all know superstars: they’re the individuals who are so good at their job they put the average human to shame. After all, they have very desirable attributes that you look for in people you are considering adding to your team. Most people want to hire someone who has:

  • A strong work ethic
  • Proven success in their field
  • Problem-solving skills
  • Ability to learn
  • Know what they want in their career
  • A superstar in their field

Those are all great qualities to have in a team member. But building a team comprised of “superstars” has some surprising drawbacks.

The Downside of Superstars

By all rights, America’s 2004 Olympic basketball team should have easily taken gold with basketball greats such as LeBron James, Dwayne Wade, Carmelo Anthony, Allen Iverson, Tim Duncan, and Lamar Odom, all playing on the same team. But the only reason this team is noted today is because it is recorded as one of the most disappointing Olympic teams that the US has ever fielded. They hold the dubious record for most losses of a US basketball team in the Olympics. Why? This team was comprised of nothing but “superstars.” Their success should have been a slam dunk guarantee.

In the early 1990s, William Muir of Purdue University studied this phenomenon, commonly known as the “super-chicken” model. In his study, Muir observed two groups of chickens over six generations. One “standard” flock was composed of a mix of average egg layers and super-producing chickens, and the other flock was composed of only super-producing chickens. At the end of the study, the standard flock was healthy, plump, and highly productive. In the super-producer flock, all but three chickens were dead.

Talent Saturation Point

The problem is superstars often jockey for position within the organization, which can cause overall production to go down. Superstars are often very competitive and individualistic—they are more about “I” than “us”. When individual performance matters more to a person than the success of the team, they will sacrifice the team in favor of their personal agenda and goals.

Just like the 2004 Olympic basketball team and the flock of “super-producer” chickens, a group of superstar team members may have massive amounts of individual talent but will inevitably fail as a whole. When building or expanding your team, consider the personalities of your current team and the personality you want to add to that mix. And remember, it doesn’t matter how successful an individual is; dentistry is a team sport.

Components of a Successful Team

Each team member serves a vital role in your practice. They wouldn’t be there otherwise. But think about this: how often do great ideas come fully formed? Very rarely! The best ideas are developed and formed by the contributions of people who have different perspectives. To that end, the most successful teams are comprised of individuals who are empathetic of each other and are given equal amounts of time to contribute to discussions and decisions.

  • Empathy – Empathy is the ability of an individual to understand the feelings of others. Empathy links people together. When team members show empathy towards each other, they are building the foundations of trust.
  • Build Relationships – Provide opportunities to mingle in a social setting so the team can get to know each other as people; not just a job title.
  • Given Equal Time to Contribute – While it’s important to have a good mix of superstars and average team members, establishing boundaries and participation requirements is key. When people are given equal opportunity to participate, it eliminates those who are along for the free ride and prevents dominant people from taking over. The key to a healthy team is one where each individual feels they have a stake in the conversation and outcome.

Don’t stop here! Learn how to build trust among your team members by watching Kari’s full Leadership Mastermind Series video.

About PDA’s Leadership Mastermind Series
Productive Dentist Academy is offering a complimentary 10-Month Leadership Mastermind Series of videos leading up to our BlueSky 2018 event November 2-4 in Scottsdale, Arizona. At our PDA Members’ requests, the focus of BlueSky 2018 is leadership and team development, and annual business development planning. The Leadership Mastermind Series is intended to give you actionable items to implement in your practice now, so you and your team can come prepared with ideas, questions, and a healthy understanding of leadership principles. Click here to learn more about BlueSky 2018.

Get Your Complimentary Practice Discovery Today!

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