One of the challenges of dental practice is we operate on our own most of the time. If you look at great success stories in business, sports or other endeavors behind the person reaching for the stars are a group of other people. For athletes that group may look like coaches who work on very specific focused areas of performance, sports psychologists and health professionals including nutritionists. In business the group of people who support you are often known as your board of advisers. Do you have this kind of a group?
This is a concept I learned many years ago during a Gallup University High Impact Management course and have practiced ever since. In the process of going back into the role of a practice owner I have been expanding my board of advisors to better fit my new responsibilities. There are some criteria for the people I ask to be on my board and as you develop a board of advisers be clear about what you expect this group of people to do.
- People who know me, sometimes better than I know myself.
- People who have expertise in an area I don’t know and need access to.
- People who will tell me what they think without worrying about my feelings.
- People who will ask me the hard questions.
- People who are cheering for my success loud and clear.
When I invite someone onto my board I share these expectations with them and create a safe space for them to accept or not. In the last few weeks I have been leaning on my board of advisors more heavily, and they have been there for me. Sometimes just having them available to listen allows me to gain clarity over my thoughts. Other times it is the hard questions they ask that force me to look deeply and come up with my answers.
So do you have a board of advisers?