Let Go and Let Them


We’ve all heard the term “Let go and let God”.  For sure, I have to remind myself of that mantra from time to time.

Have you ever noticed that when you hover or micromanage your team, even less gets done? You’re all busy tripping over each other and it becomes a power struggle between you and your team.

I recently worked with a young dentist in Florida who was having this exact problem. He just couldn’t understand why his hygiene team wasn’t excited about their potential to create a powerful, productive, service-oriented department. He has tried and tried to tell them how to do it.  They knew he was in control and he wasn’t ready to let go of the reins long enough to give them room to “step up”.

Well, with the help of his PDA practice coach he realized it was time for him to step up as a strong leader and then step aside. I coached him to set up very clear performance and service expectations for his hygiene team.  He created a system for them to create their own pay increase as related to the growth of the department and told them he would support them with whatever they need. Now he’s done “telling” them what to do and what they’re doing wrong.

Guess what? His hygienists are really excited. They’re determined to grow hygiene and they have some skin in the game as motivation.

I’ve just finished reading a great book called “You Don’t Need a Title to Be a Leader” by Mark Sanborn. It’s a quick read and has some very practical tips for growing leaders within your team.

In the book, he quotes Erwin McManus, a community leader working with kids in LA. “We spend so much time worrying about our kids (team) being good…that we often forget to invite them to be great”.

Sanborn goes on to define true leadership as “an invitation to greatness that we extend to others.”  There is a catch, though, he says. “We can’t give what we don’t have. We can’t extend an invitation we haven’t already accepted”.

That’ll give us something to think about…

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