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April 7th, 2021

What Kind of Boss Are You? (Part 1)

“We all have superpowers…and we all have kryptonite.”

It will behoove you to understand what kind of leader you are so you can identify and understand it and know how to better support yourself and not be affected by that. In the first part of this series, we dig into the 4 types of leaders – visionary, improver, analyst, and superstar – and look at the:

  • Superpowers and how to leverage them in your business
  • Blind sides, and how they affect the team
  • And how to align your strengths and weaknesses into a competitive advantage

Don’t miss an episode! Subscribe on iTunes & Spotify.


REGAN: Reagan Robertson here with Everyday Practices Podcast. And I have a question for you. What type of boss are you? That’s the question Dr. Chad Johnson and I unpacked thanks to a white hot paper, Victoria Peterson dropped recently, to help dentists and business owners discover what type of boss they are, and how it can support and potentially hinder growth. Let’s get into it.

CHAD: Hi, everybody. It’s Chad Johnson and I’m here with my co host, Reagan Robertson Reagan. How you doing?

REGAN: I’m doing really well. today. I’m excited for our sit down coffee chat we’re gonna have.

CHAD: Yeah, our special guests ourselves. Right? Well, for the audience’s sake to kind of define what we’re up to today. Victoria Peterson, who is co founder of Productive Dentist Academy started us off this week by releasing via email and on the website and everything like that our white paper. And its its title is What Kind of Boss Am I and so it got us thinking we should be kind of talking that through. So that’s why we’re recording today is is talking about, you know, like on on the first page leading change because it matters. And so, Reagan when you read through this, what were some of your thoughts regarding the the white paper that people are downloading left and right right now?

REGAN: Well, the biggest thing that that really surfaced for me with this is I’ve been through leadership programs. I know a lot of Dentists have been through leadership programs. And I even going through those, you know, year plus long programs, I still felt like I really carried a lot of the burden as a leader. And I understood that you can be a leader in any you know, in any role doesn’t mean you have to necessarily be a business owner. But I still shouldered a lot of being a leader and what I was really actually pretty mind blowing to me is that you know, self identifying what type of leader you are it showcased to me that no matter what leader you are, you need to have support, you will have blind spots no matter what.

CHAD: Right. So in other words, it’s Rock, paper, scissors, rock can be, you know, scissors, but not paper and paper can be you know, so each one has a strength, but then it also has a weakness. And it’s okay to know your strengths. But it’s also, therefore, when you know your strength, you can help define your weakness to be able to mitigate that risk.

REGAN: I totally went down the superhero path with that. Yes, you just captured that well.

CHAD: Oh, okay. Tell me what you mean?

REGAN: Well, we all have kryptonite. And I think that’s, I think that’s part of it, you know, part of the undefined ways that we get, you know, anxiety as leaders is we think we have to know it all and have it all and there no matter what, like no matter what, there will be a weakness there will be a kryptonite to you. And, and it will behoove you to understand what type of leader you are, so that you can be better prepared to handle that, like, identify and understand that kryptonite and know how to support your, you know, protect yourself from getting affected by that. So we’re looking at it I guess, right? So just to kind of, you know, go through this.

There were defined for different kinds of leader. And so let’s call ourself the, you know, out of the leadership styles, the dentist will assume that you guys are the leader, because I suppose in some, you know, instances, you might be thinking, well, I actually don’t need it and stuff like that, but most people listening to this, you’re the leader. So there are four different leadership styles. Reagan, fill us in on those four.

REGAN: There’s the visionary, improver, improver analyst. Okay. And superstar.

CHAD: So visionary. And when I read this I, you know, seemed to think that that kind of was, was along my style, but you know, obviously with the word visionary, you know, like, are you a dreamer? Do you see the bigger picture that kind of stuff? You know? And are you, you know, creative to think about, you know, the the bigger problems, the bigger solutions and stuff like that. So the visionary, there’s a blind side to that that was highlighted in the paper and Reagan, let’s talk about that.

REGAN: Well, I love visionaries. I’ve worked with a lot of visionaries. And and it is it’s a common I think, Victoria has described descriptor in it was so appropriate, because they are the big dreamers, they aren’t like they, there’s no rules for them, they color outside the lines to them there, there are no lines. And, you know, as an integrator, myself, that’s always been really fascinating to see a visionary because there are, there are no rules. And so the blindside in that, though, is really, it’s, it’s an inability to understand details. And I don’t know, really, if it’s an inability to understand the details, I think of our brains like big computer systems, and I don’t know that they take up the harddrive space to get the details. I think they, you know, they know it’s possible because they can dream it up. So the details are just what’s left underneath it. And so that can be a potentially we can see, you know, right out of the gate, where that would be a huge problem. If you think something is just easy, go do it. And you don’t look behind the curtain and realize that there are 52 steps and you know, 3000 worth of hours, man hours to get that accomplished.

CHAD: Yeah, it kind of reminds me when I would buy a model airplane or model car, and my mom would totally believed in me, but one funny thing that she’ll hate that I brought up, you know, but, you know, she’d be like, you’re not gonna put that together. Because, in essence, you know, she’d be like, you know, that it’s, it’s, it’s too detail oriented for you to care to, you know, get done, and I’ll be like, No, no, I got this, you know, and, and so I, you know, pop the pieces out, and, you know, start kind of like, looking at it and you know, figuring out Okay, so these are the wings. All right, so here’s the left wing. Here’s the right wing. Sure. And this looks like the fuselage. The body of the plane. Okay, good. Got it. Okay, so I probably need to glue this on here. About an hour into it. I’m just like, this is dumb. You know? And, and, and, you know, she’s like, well, where are you on the instructions? I’m like, I haven’t even seen the instructions. You know,

REGAN: Like, start them because you just wanted to figure it out yourself?

CHAD: Yeah, I was just like, I mean, I don’t want to be sequential. I think maybe that’s the point is, you know, that a visionary doesn’t necessarily love getting sequential in making baby steps to make it happen. So I don’t remember if it’s the traction, you know, EOS style, or if it’s the others that you know, talk about the the visionary versus the integrator. And, and, but, you know, those are kind of the the words that I’m thinking about where they, they don’t necessarily want to integrate AI because I’m down with making it happen. But I, I don’t stay laser focused on that.

REGAN: Well, I think a good case study for that would definitely be our favorite pal, Elan Musk, who self identifies as an engineer, but saying, taking his vision of going to Mars. I think, Gwen, I think her name is Gwynne Shotwell. She’s the president of SpaceX, and she has been touted as his secret weapon for a very long time. So how do you take such an audacious goal is we’re going to Mars and make that a reality when to us regular humans. It just seems like a really big overwhelming goal to achieve. So I think supporting yourself I think, in this identification here, I think Victoria highlights really well. What type of support you need. So you do you need someone that can that has a passion for creating those instruction sheets in a really clear manner so that the team can get aligned and and make it a reality?

CHAD: Well, it’s funny because like you said, audacious goal. If Ilan said when what’s her name again?

REGAN: Gwen Gwynne Shotwell, I think I can look it up here. Gwynne Shotwell.

CHAD: So, what’s interesting is, is Ilan could say, Hey, we’re going to go to Mars and and someone else could say that’s going to take a lot of fuel. And he’d be like, yeah, like, we’ll work it out. Like, that’s the, if that’s your biggest Yeah, but that’s the dumbest thing. Like, who cares? We’re like, hook more fuel on to the dumb thing. Let’s go to Mars. So that’s the visionary. Let’s move on to the next one improver.

REGAN: Well, before we before we move to him, improver I wanted to say I you know, you it was interesting that you just said that because I think visionaries have an abundant mindset. And I don’t want to I don’t I don’t want to go past that really quick. If you’re a visionary, you you do you have this, this can do manifestation of, of resources. And that could be capital that could be, you know, team that could be whatever, whatever the the manifestation is that you want. I think that that is something that is inherent to great visionary leaders. They just believe it’s going to happen and, and focus their energy towards that belief. And I think that belief sometimes really does it, it tells the story, and it pulls people along with you that are willing to support your mission. So I think that’s a very powerful superpower element to the visionary.

CHAD: Yeah, yeah, I think, you know, we are focusing on the downfall to that, but there there definitely is a an upside to having a visionary. I mean, really, a company isn’t going to be the highest performing if they don’t have someone working in the capacity and hopefully a natural capacity of being the visionary.

REGAN: I agree. I agree. So improvers constant improvement over time. Is it ever perfect Chad?

CHAD: Well, it depends if that’s if my hat is you know, in that that mindset at the moment, you know, I suppose there are times when an improver but it’s interesting that Victoria said that their gift is to help others optimize their talents, then the downside to an improver is Phyllis perfectionism.

REGAN: Is that, yeah, it’s the tendency of it, I think, I think it’s the tendency of it’s a balance, I would say it’s a balance between never being done and always striving to be better with, if we’re putting it under the context of improving teams, specifically, it’s keeping up that motivation and helping them understand what continual growth looks like. So it’s a very delicate balance, because you can motivate in the right way to get improved outcomes. Or if you’re not quite skilled at that you could you could come across i think is extremely critical. And so I think you I don’t know if you’ve, you may not have ever heard it, but I know that I’ve heard in different industries, even you know, the time when a team member will say It’s never good enough, nothing’s ever good enough, or nothing’s ever right. And it’s that very downtrodden appearance, but if you frame it in the right way, so if an improver is in their highest and best they, they motivate and pull through team, to to be in that mindset of continuous improvement, it helps you stay competitive, it helps you be on top of your game, it helps you say, this is my best year ever, every year, I think Bruce would call it continuous growth year over year.

REGAN: Well, it’s tough because for example, if your goal is to hit $100,000, in a month of whatever that goal is, I’m just you know, making up a number. And so your team after three months finally hits that $100,000 and you go, great. So now we need to move to 120. And listen, sometimes that just needs to be done sometimes. I mean, it is what it is, but you know or Hey, you know how last year we revamped our communication system. That was good enough now we need to take it to the next level and and that can be exhausting for some people, I think, you know, the The Blind Side for the improver being perfectionism. And being hypercritical one, they almost take that as a compliment to themselves or whatever, they’re just yeah, I’m just kind of, you know, nothing’s ever good enough. And I think, because that’s what they value that in their mind, they think everyone else goes, Wow, that’s amazing, I bet you you always deliver perfect, then, you know, but the key then that I think have to, to temper that with his excellence. You know, not not necessarily saying that it has to be perfect, but having a little bit of tolerance.

CHAD: So that is where like even an engineer mind can come in and say what is your tolerance for imperfection in the perfectionism? Because one example Reagan is people will say, when it becomes a pure big question of would you want one drop of poison in your water, you know, and but it is the solution because we all have a tolerance we think that the tap water you know, dentists know this, but the average population doesn’t know that. It’s just like, your tap water doesn’t mean sterile water. And there’s a certain tolerance of colony forming units Cfu that are coming out of the tap water. So that’s disgusting in one degree that we allow for there to be a tolerance of excellent water coming out of the top, but it’s not perfect. And we understand what that means. So in other ways, we think to ourselves, okay, we have to get the incisal edges of eight, nine. Perfect and it’s like Well, perfect within what? point one degrees? Or one degree or point 01 degrees? Like, what? What is your tolerance for success in having that be looked at, as you know, like, when are you going to give, put down the handpiece and be done piddling with drilling on that tooth? You know, like, how perfect is perfect. And then there’s there come a point where you’re messing it up because you’re trying to make it too perfect.

Well, so you know, for example, we’ve been, you know, given some ideas about perfectionism and whatnot. So the example that, that Victoria used in her white paper was asking your team to help you define what success looks like, when is this excellent. And you can, of course, have feed in but if you allow for your team to have a little buy in and in and ownership into explaining why, you know, this metric is good enough for us to be done. I don’t care. Yeah, I don’t care if it’s the amount of time for your crown prep, you know, or if it’s like, well, as soon as it’s smooth, or you get to run the serac over it, and and scan it, and then you can re prep it if you find a spot, you know, two times, but not five times or, you know, defining those things to help them feel like there’s parameters
that are how many referrals you get a month. Yeah, how many reviews you get? I think that yeah, I think there’s a lot of indicators in the practice that you can establish, as ways of, of, you know, defining your tolerance.

CHAD: Yeah, when is good, good enough. But not just you defining it and saying, I’ll be the arbiter of that, but you know, allowing your team to have control because they lose control when it’s never good enough.

REGAN: That’s right. Thanks for listening in. Join us next week as we go through the second portion of what type of boss are you.

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