Leadership Development is critical to the success of the Hope Smiles Clinical Model. Investing in the lives of Dental Professionals at home and abroad is essential to the sustainability of our programs. How does Hope Smiles develop leaders who produce more leaders…who produce more leaders?
It starts on day one:
Starting with the initial team member interview, all prospective Hope Smiles team members clearly understand they will be expected to lead. We do not develop workers or employees. We develop leaders. This is made clear during the initial interview process and is reinforced on the first day of work…and each day thereafter. Our focus at Hope Smiles is generational impact, and all of our team members need to grow in leadership daily for generational impact to take place.
Vision and mission direct our steps:
We establish shared values, vision, and mission as a team. From the interview process onwards, we talk about our core values, vision, and mission. They are clear, they are aspirational, and they guide the decisions we make along with how we fulfill our daily responsibilities. Joining the Hope Smiles team means embracing the values, vision, and mission of the organization wholeheartedly.
Leadership is not defined in terms of individual accomplishments. It is defined in relation to the values, vision, and mission of our team and the larger organization. Each standard we set, each process we implement, each responsibility we learn needs to be explained in relation to our shared values, vision, and mission. We strive for excellence not because we want to draw attention to ourselves, but to glorify God through our work. Work done with excellence glorifies God as we thank Him for the talents we have been given. Productive work done from the wrong motivation will result in the downfall of our team as it will produce a team full of individuals driven by ego…instead of the greater values, vision, and mission uniting us.
Leadership is an inward Journey followed by an outward Journey:
Leadership begins internally. Am I continually striving to embrace each day wholeheartedly? Can I admit my mistakes to my fellow team members? Am I personifying the values, vision, and mission of our team? Does each person on my team know I truly love them and want what is best for them? Going through the hard work of answering these questions daily puts our hearts in the right place to go out and lead, regardless of positional authority.
How We Do It:
3 Steps of Practical Leadership:
Clearly set the standards of performance for each team member. Define the performance areas each team member needs to excel within so our team can transform lives through quality, compassionate dental care. Each standard needs to be explained in relation to our core values, vision, and mission. Each team member should be able to explain why their daily responsibilities are important in relations to our shared values, vision, and mission.
Continually work to build a relationship with each person on our team. I must truly love each person on my team. They must know I want them not to simply survive…but thrive! This is not limited to work. This encompasses all of life. People on our teams should be growing as human beings – as mothers, fathers, husbands, wives, friends, community members…as well as team members.
Enforce the standards. Once the standards of performance have been clearly defined, we need to enforce them. We need to encourage each other and work as hard as possible, developing skills that allow us to restore hope and transform lives. We need to help each other discover the talents God has given us and cultivate the discipline needed to develop those talents. We hold each other accountable in love, continually enforcing our standards of performance in relation to our shared vision, values, and mission. We do not excuse substandard performance, but we equip each team member with the tools and understanding to excel in their daily responsibilities on their own.
Most of all, we remember this is a journey. None of us are going to be perfect in this process. We admit when we are wrong and acknowledge when our ego gets in the way. We apologize. We serve with humility, recognizing our smallness before the magnitude of the grand vision we are pursuing. And most importantly, we recognize the smallness of the vision before God.
Through it all, we become the people God created us to be…loving Him, loving others, and working with all of our strength as God uses us to build His Kingdom here on Earth as it is in Heaven.