three doctors talking

Calling all Transformers! I began thinking about the power of the seemingly never-ending series of science fiction films during a recent two-hour leadership workshop in which I was presenting to a periodontist's referring doctors.

Being the creative and curious person that I am, I had researched and discovered that there are websites devoted to leadership lessons directly from Optimus Prime's mouth (that is, if he had a mouth). Laugh if you will, but I quickly realized that the Autobot leader is one smart truck!

Here are some key lessons that can be applied to your practice, so that life is less like an action movie involving violent aliens and more like a nice, gentle documentary about ice cream and cookies:

Lesson No. 1: Be an Optimist Prime, not a ‘Negatron’

We all know dentists who are pessimists, who never recognize the positives. This does not allow anyone to experience the feeling of accomplishment or success.

A good coach must be an optimist to recognize the true potential in any situation.

Lesson No. 2: Never Trust a Decepticon

If you are not an authentic and genuine leader, you will never gain the trust, respect and credibility of those that follow. If your team notices any hint of a hidden agenda, from that point forward they will filter everything you say to stay safe.

Be real, feel comfortable being wrong sometimes and admit when you do not have the answers. It goes a long way!

Lesson No. 3: Get in That Car

My favorite quote from the original “Transformers” film was, “50 years from now, when you’re looking back at your life, don’t you want to be able to say you had the guts to get in the car?”

At the workshop, I ran into the type of doctor who runs away in the face of conflict. He asked me if he could share with this team member the financial coordinator job description sample that I had presented.

When I asked why, he said that he wasn’t sure what his financial person did every day. When he would ask, she would tell him, “You don’t need to know,” and walk away.

My response? I put both my hands on his quaking shoulders and quietly whispered, “Get in that car.”

This sad tale takes place far too often in dental practices all over the country. My question to every one of you – do you have the courage to do what you need to do, to get what you want?

If the answer is no, take a lesson from the Autobots.

Amy Morgan is Vice President of Consulting Strategy, a member of Spear Resident Faculty and former CEO of Pride Institute.