The Fish Rots From The Head

“il pesce marcisce dalla testa” – The Fish Rots From The Head

The final quarter of 2018 saw me speaking throughout the UK on “Leadership and Management”. In preparation I examined the characteristics of both, the differences between them and where they overlap. This exercise meant that I had to take stock of some of the theories that I had espoused and taught over the past 20 years. 

Whilst our knowledge evolves, certain core principle stay the same and one of these comes with the snappy phrase, “The fish rots from the head”; allegedly derived from the Italian, “il pesce marcisce dalla testa”.

What this means is the leadership is the root cause of any organisation’s failure. If the culture of your business is broken, only the leadership can repair it. If the leadership doesn’t establish and maintain a healthy culture then a vacuum is created within which an unhealthy culture will grow and the rot will spread.

I see this happening in many dental businesses. Although the business was healthy at one point, change has meant that the leader has taken their eye off the ball. Often they have believed that by “delegating” work to a practice manager they don’t need to put their energy into leading. What has really happened is abdication not healthy delegation.

Every business large or small must have clear leadership from the top with clarity, guidance and adherence to core values. Without regular examination and renewal, stagnation and disease will occur. The resulting drop off in health means that changes have to be made. 

It is only the leadership that can eliminate disease, remove any necrotic tissue and then make the changes to ensure that the standards it sets are maintained in the future. Unfortunately all too often the cure and remedial treatment is more painful than was needed if business health had been maintained.

(first published in Dentistry.co.uk 22nd January 2019

Sleep isn’t for Wimps.

I had a nickname in my first year at university – “The Midnight Rambler” – I didn’t sleep very well and used to wander around the halls of residence looking for people with their lights on to share a coffee and have a chat. (I suppose the coffee was a clue…)

I finally got around to reading “Why we sleep” by Malcolm Walker and wish it had been compulsory reading 40 years ago, I might have had a more productive life rather than a more manic one. I grew through a period where it was considered macho to go without sleep, I remember the plastic surgery firm at Withington Hospital boasting at 11pm how they had been in theatre all day and were just about to go back there. I always said that I needed less sleep than others – in hindsight I was wrong.

Walker talks about productivity and the effect that sleep (or its lack) has on it. He quotes this article and makes the point that KPIs in most companies are measuring things that are easy to measure – revenue, goals accomplished, profit, new customers etc. Most of these are affected by employee traits creativity, intelligence, motivation, effort, efficiency, effectiveness, sociability, emotional stability and honesty. All of these are systematically dismantled by insufficient sleep.

Would you let a surgeon who had only had 4 hours sleep operate on you? I wouldn’t. 

Would you let a woman who only slept for four hours a night run a country? I wouldn’t do that either.

It’s a great book that will frighten you and convince you to make an early night and sufficient sleep a part of your routine.

Buy it HERE.

 

Who do you trust? Who can you trust? from GDPUK

My latest post for GDPUK:

One of the main tenets of Professor Onora O’Neill’s arguments around the theme of trust is that we must aim to have more trust in the trustworthy but not in the untrustworthy. She says, “I aim positively to try not to trust the untrustworthy.”

Which brings around the questions. Who can you trust? Who do you trust? And then by extension, Who can trust you? Who does trust you?

All of us exist in different circles. At the centre is the Circle of Control. Sometimes when I talk to dentists and their teams they say that they feel they have little control over their lives, I can understand those feelings but they are not correct. We have control on where our focus is from moment to moment. We choose and can control our reactions to events and to others. We control where and how we spend our time and energy. We control how we turn up every day. We also control how trustworthy we are.

The next circle is The Circle of Influence. In here are the things that concern you and that you are able to Influence. When we look at this closely many of the things that cause us concern are beyond our control and influence.

 

Finally the outer circle is the Circle of Concern. In here lie all the things that concern you in your work and life, including health, family, finances, the general economy and so on. Everything inside the circle matters to you, everything outside the circle is of no concern to you.

The lesson around the circles is to “Focus on what you can control and don’t waste energy on the things that you cannot.” To take a topical theme, it is very unlikely that any of us can control the outcome of the UK’s proposed Brexit deal – yet many are losing sleep, getting anxious, losing friends and letting it dominate their thinking.

Continues HERE.

 

 

“I wish someone told me” Ira Glass

My thanks to Will Rees for sharing this.

“Nobody tells this to people who are beginners, I wish someone told me. 

All of us who do creative work, we get into it because we have good taste. 

But there is this gap. 

For the first couple years you make stuff, it’s just not that good. 

It’s trying to be good, it has potential, but it’s not. 

But your taste, the thing that got you into the game, is still killer. 

And your taste is why your work disappoints you. 

A lot of people never get past this phase, they quit. 

Most people I know who do interesting, creative work went through years of this. 

We know our work doesn’t have this special thing that we want it to have. 

We all go through this. 

And if you are just starting out or you are still in this phase, you gotta know its normal and the most important thing you can do is do a lot of work. 

Put yourself on a deadline so that every week you will finish one story. 

It is only by going through a volume of work that you will close that gap, and your work will be as good as your ambitions. 

And I took longer to figure out how to do this than anyone I’ve ever met. 

It’s gonna take awhile. 

It’s normal to take awhile. 

You’ve just gotta fight your way through.”

The Monday Morning Quote #567

 

Most people would rather die than think; in fact, they do so

Bertrand Russell

The Monday Morning Quote #563

I learned long ago, never to wrestle with a pig.”

You get dirty, and besides, the pig likes it.

George Bernard Shaw

 

Your Job Shouldn’t Kill You…

Excellent Blog Post from the Kolbe Connect Blog. Knowing and understanding your Kolbe A can help to cope with and understand what you do and what you should do. My clients who embrace Kolbe Wisdom get so much more from themselves and from their teams.

The World Health Organization (WHO) has officially recognized burnout as a medical condition…

…In addition to concerns about burnout among employees, there has been a rise in awareness about the stress of being an entrepreneur. Inc. magazine released an article, “The Psychological Price of Entrepreneurship”, which states, “it’s time to be honest about how brutal [building a company] is—and the price some founders secretly pay.”…

Most of the advice about dealing with workplace stress, like “take a vacation,” “play harder,” or “bring a pet to work” only offers temporary relief.…

…working with our clients, we’ve consistently seen that when people are required to work against their instinctive strengths they report higher levels of stress, miss more work, and ultimately are more likely to quit or be fired.…

…The long-term solution is creating alignment between a person’s conative strengths and the demands of the job.…

Take a look at my website to take your Kolbe A and find out more about building your perfect team.

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