16 ways to up your leadership game

2015 05 12 15 59 09 147 Geier Jay 200

If I were a betting man, and I'm not, I would have put money on the Carolina Panthers winning Sunday's Super Bowl game. On paper, it looked as though they would dominate the competition. They finished the season with an impressive 15-1 record and had at their helm the league's most valuable player and offensive player of the year -- quarterback Cam Newton.

Their rival? The Denver Broncos. A strong but inconsistent team with a 12-4 record. It was led by quarterback Peyton Manning, a 39-year-old legend who was rumored to be calling it quits after postseason hip replacement surgery. With sports experts and Las Vegas betting odds putting Carolina on top, this seemed to be the year of the Panthers.

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.

What the oddsmakers didn't account for was the role leadership would play.

Both teams arrived in Santa Clara, CA, with exceptional talent and solid game plans. Both presented amazing athleticism and talent. The difference between them in the end came down to an ability to lead, despite the circumstances. There is no doubt Cam Newton is an extraordinary quarterback. Young, talented, and cocky, he was the face of, and arm behind, a powerhouse team. But it wasn't enough. Like a storybook ending, the steadfast experience in Peyton Manning and his ability to lead his underdog team to victory ultimately dictated the win for the Denver Broncos.

When you went to dental school, your focus was likely on one thing -- graduating with the clinical skills and credentials to practice dentistry. Even if you planned to own your own practice, leading a team of people to your own personal victory -- a highly successful practice -- probably wasn't top of mind.

Leadership isn't a noun -- it's a verb. Being in charge doesn't make you a leader. Effective leadership is providing the vision and motivation to a team so that they work together to toward the same goal.

The Denver Broncos were driven to reach that goal. What do you suppose motivated them? Was it their respect for their leader?

Consider yourself the quarterback of your practice. What is it about how you run your practice that motivates your team to do their best for you to reach that goal? Do you possess the qualities of a good leader, or do you simply oversee the staff?

16 differences

Here are 16 differences between a boss and a leader. Consider yourself in each of these scenarios and, at the end, make a determination.

The boss drives his people.
The leader coaches them.

The boss depends on authority.
The leader depends on goodwill.

The boss inspires fear.
the leader inspires enthusiasm.

The boss says "I."
The leader says "we."

The boss says, "Get here on time."
The leader gets there ahead of time.

The boss places blame for the breakdown.
The leader fixes the breakdown.

The boss knows how it is done.
The leader shows how.

The boss says, "Go."
The leader says, "Let's go."

The boss uses people.
The leader develops them.

The boss sees today.
The leader also looks at tomorrow.

The boss commands.
The leader asks.

The boss never has enough time.
The leader makes time for things that count.

The boss is concerned with things.
The leader is concerned with people.

The boss lets his people know where he stands.
The leader lets his people know where they stand.

The boss works hard to produce.
The leader works hard to let his people produce.

The boss takes the credit.
The leader gives it.

Leadership stands out

People who possess these leadership qualities stand out, through the highs and lows, as the team watches closely. They want to follow good leadership. They want to do more, be more, work smarter, and share in the larger vision. Does your team step up for you and your vision? Do they even know what it is?

Peyton Manning is one of many NFL quarterbacks who take care of the guys who take care of him. Did you know he buys his offensive line -- they guys whose position it is to protect him -- expensive gifts to motivate them to try a little harder, go a little further? He gets the fact that he alone is not responsible for the team's victories. So he takes good care of those he can't do without.

Former Secretary of State Colin Powell has said, "Good leaders are people who are trusted by followers." Fortunately for Cam Newton, he has plenty of years and opportunities to cultivate that trust.

How about you and your team? Do they trust you? Go back over the list above, and wherever you are more boss than leader, start thinking like a leader and begin making changes. Think about how Peyton Manning led his team to the ultimate success in his profession and begin to lead your team to yours.

Jay Geier is the president and founder of the Scheduling Institute.

The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Page 1 of 11
Next Page