My last post on leadership addressed being a leader in your office. This post looks more closely at becoming a leader in your community.
The formula is pretty simple and goes like this:
Engage + Be Congruent + Produce Results= Leader
As you can see, engagement is a necessary ingredient. If you never show up you won’t ever lead anything. What are you showing up at in your community? Are you donating your time to educate school aged children about what health is and what chiropractors do? Are you a member of a service organization or non-profit? Chamber of commerce? PTA? Where ever you decide to show up though, make sure it is congruent with your values and the values of chiropractic.
Motivation vs Inspiration: Perturbation or Love
Being a chiropractor is not for the faint of heart. We continue to have a strong negative brand equity although the stigma attached to being a chiropractor is nowhere close to where it was years ago. Even still, we are faced every day with a public that has virtually no concept of what we actually do. What are you doing to step outside your comfort zones and tackle this issue?
Most seminar speakers and coaches use perturbation to motivate or prod us into action. Dr. Patrick Gentempo recently spoke about this issue. Perturbed means “to make someone anxious or unsettled.” Viewing the current state of our healthcare system and the abuses by the pharmaceutical industry certainly causes most chiropractors to be perturbed. While the emotional energy may be enough to generate action on your part (it worked for me initially), the results on your own health and the health of the community may not be the most desirable.
When you are perturbed, you are not fully present and in a balanced state of mind or perception.
Truly engaging the community means you are starting a conversation and not simply yelling at them.
I get it. It’s tempting to start screaming. The problem with standing on a soap box with a megaphone though is that it only attracts a few like-minded people and scares or offends the majority away.
Here’s a scenario. You’re fired up. You’re pissed off. You go out and do a lecture on any number of popular health topics. The majority of the public is not angry and upset over these issues. How do you think they perceive you? Chiropractic? When beliefs are challenged with a hammer, shields go up.
Now imagine if instead we came from a place of love and empathy for the community. What if instead we painted a beautiful picture for them with the possibilities for their lives lived through a properly functioning nervous system and a mind unfettered from a faulty paradigm?
The focus is much different. What you and chiropractic offer is clear and it is much less likely to drive people away. The perturbation angle certainly works. You’ll have plenty of people come up to you and high five you both inside and outside the profession, but is that what you or your community really need?
Are you producing results? Showing up is nice. Everyone appreciates those that show up, but they generally don’t think of those people as leaders. Especially if they are showing up for the wrong reasons. Show up, volunteer, make promises and produce results.
What about in your office? Are your providing a superior service that produces objective and tangible changes for your practice members? It’s great to lead by example and providing educational opportunities to the community, but if your service is subpar your reputation will follow. Ensure your procedures and technique are reflective of a 5-star service.
Becoming a leader in your community is not hard. Anyone can become a recognized leader in their community by following these simple, intuitive suggestions. Showing up for the right reasons however is not a learned trait. It comes from inside of us. If your motivation is self-serving, your impact will be minimal. If your inspiration comes from a higher calling of service and purpose, people will naturally be attracted to you and follow your lead.
Steve Tullius, D.C., ACP
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