Last week, David attended a one-day conference on Leadership. He was struck by the different angles that can be taken for leadership, and also by the commonalities of each of those angles. We thought it would be interesting to reflect on those and share them with you.
“One of the main things that I took away,” David observed, “was the truth of the statement: ‘Leaders are made, not born.’ Each of the three keynote speakers at the event was a seemingly ordinary person who had become a leader due to events that had happened in their life, and how they chose to respond to those events.”
The conference was for the study club directors of Dentinal Tubules and for representatives of some of the big dental companies that are partners to Dentinal Tubules. With very few exceptions, everyone in the audience was either a dentist or worked in the dental industry.
The opening speaker was the Founder of Dentinal Tubules, Dr Dhru Shah. In a passionate, honest presentation he set out his own story; his journey of self-discovery from being a foreign dental student in the UK to being the leader he is today. Dhru didn’t take any courses in leadership. He didn’t set out to become a leader. His mission was, is and will always be to bring education to the world. He is driven by a deep, inner belief that has been shaped by the experiences in his life, and he has evolved into the leader of a growing tribe.
Nearly 100 people were in the audience for his opening speech. After going through a number of definitions of leadership gleaned from the Internet, Dhru set out the three key factors that he believed made a strong leader:
- Leaders set direction, build an inspiring vision and create something new
- Leaders help themselves and others to do the right thing
- Leaders motivate a group of people to act towards achieving a common goal
The second speaker was Daniel Priestley, the Founder of Dent Global. In a poll recently conducted by Enterprise Nation, Daniel was voted as the top advisor in Leadership and Management in the UK. It was the first time at a Dentinal Tubules event that someone who was not a dentist was a keynote speaker. There were a few murmurs and rumblings from the audience about what a non-dentist could teach dentists about leadership. Daniel soon puts those to bed.
After taking the audience through a few key demographic trends that are impacting the world we live in, Daniel showed the audience how the tools from his Key Person of Influence methodology applied equally to dentists as to anyone else. Giving examples from many different people in different industries, he took them through several case studies of seemingly ordinary people in competitive industries who applied the 5Ps of the KPI methodology – Pitch, Publish, Product, Profile and Partnerships – and used them to position themselves at the top of their industry.
In discussions with many of the conference participants over lunch, it was clear to David that Daniel’s message had come through loud and clear. They saw a real opportunity for them to apply what Daniel had said, and how it could help them to become leaders in their own way.
The final speaker was Dr Colin Campbell, who gave a warm and entertaining account of how he built his business, The Campbell Academy, based on his own ideas of leadership. Simple, clear ideas like treating people with respect.
“People are not expendable pieces of machinery,” Campbell says. “They’re exactly the same as us. What they want is fairness, predictability and a voice.”
In Campbell’s view, leadership is not complicated. It’s all about setting the right example. Saying you’re going to do the right thing and doing it. Whether you happen to run a dental clinic (or any other business for that matter) in a small town or village, or you’re the CEO of an international conglomerate, the same principles of leadership apply.
Three ordinary people, each successful in their own right, speaking about what leadership is and how they apply it and help others in their day to day lives. It was an inspiring day.
Leave a comment below and let us know what you are doing to apply leadership in your business on a day-to-day basis.
Until next time.