Date: January 10, 2017
Time: 05:45-6:30 p.m.
Event: Dr. Lazar Speaking At Laura DeLong Reality
Topic: Physical vs. Organizational Alignment
Sponsor: Laura DeLong Realty
Venue: Laura DeLong Realty
Location: Eaton Rapids, MI
Public: Private

Let’s Quit All These Stupid Social Games

I was recently on a three week research sabbatical and, man, was I ever surprised at how it went.  More on this later.  In my time and space that I’ve never had the privilege of experiencing before, I was able to make some observations.  One of the loudest observations I made is how many social games people play.  There”s the typical ‘keeping up with the Jones” stuff and then there’s the ‘I’m going to take people down who have more than I have’ stuff.

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The One Question Every Leader Needs To Constantly Ask

Let’s face it: life is busy.  I don’t just mean that there’s a lot to do.  I mean if you don’t duck fast enough, your over committed life will smack you.  In our personal lives, my wife and I have found ourselves asking this question a ton.  It’s obviously a lesson we are in the process of learning.

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Your Greatest Asset as a Leader

There’s this weird dichotomy in our culture.  Some leaders say things like, “Everyone in your organization is replaceable; even upgradable.” or “Don’t think for a second that person can’t be replaced in an instant with someone better who actually wants to do the work.”  Others behave as if they should hand over the keys to the kingdom to their employees because they’re afraid of losing key players.  So which is it?  Are people replaceable or do we need to avoid turnover at all costs?

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How Is This My Fault?

I recently invited some friends of mine to a movie.  We were so excited to have some much needed guy time, as we all have at least 3 kids.  Don’t get me wrong, my wife is the superhero parent in our home, but I have to play the martyr once in a while.  (Enter smiley face emoticon)

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I’ve Been Wrong This Whole Time

I always thought leaders were the people who started the company or led the fight against the opposition. I thought leaders had to have thousands of followers; people looking to the one person in charge waiting with baited breath to find out what the leader wanted them to do. I thought leaders had to approve every decision, know how to do everything, and have an answer immediately available for any scenario. And to fall short of this expectation, a person would be anything but a leader. I might even secretly call them incapable or a failure.

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With this mindset, I have run myself ragged over the past several years trying to have all the answers. And I never did this from a position of pride; I never thought I had to be a know-it-all. I just thought that since my practice is, well…mine, I had to know everything. The truth is (spoiler alert…), I don’t know everything, nor do I need to.

I spoke with Daniel Tardy from Dave Ramsey’s organization last week. He’s somebody I have tremendous respect for. I was telling him how exhausted I get with all the questions I get all the time, and he said something profound. He told me, “Just because you’re the leader doesn’t mean you have to have all the answers. That would be a huge mistake. I used to think that. It just means you have to be willing to go first.”

I have slept through the night every night since that conversation. I’m happy to go first. I’m thrilled that the expectation on me is not necessarily to always know what to do, but to be willing to take the first step. That’s something I can do, and it’s a lot easier than having every detail worked out in my head for every scenario I might someday be asked about.

Where in your life are you willing to go first?

Situational Leadership

The best leaders don’t treat all followers the same, nor do they treat any single follower in the same manner all of the time.  They analyze the situation, identify what the follower needs to function and grow in that particular situation, and then proceed accordingly.

How To Inspire Others When You Don’t Feel Inspired

I used to think the way I felt meant something.  It doesn’t.  I’ve just decided that my ‘gut feelings’ get me paranoid, in trouble, screwed over, or all three.  So I’m learning to make my decisions based on facts, not feelings.

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Photo courtesy of iStock Photo. http://jonathanlazar.com/istock

For instance, I could see a patient demographic print off in our printer in my clinic for a specific doctor.  There are two logical explanations for this.  Option 1: my associate is trying to rip me off by stealing patient demographic information.  With this information, he can quit his job in my office, go down the street, open another office using the ideas and training he received in my office, and then reach out to all those patients and entice them to come to his new office down the street.  Option 2: my associate wanted to see how many new patients came in to see him over the past month, and our practice management software prints the patient’s demographic information as part of this report.  To be honest, my natural tendency is to default to the former.  Yours is too.  I’ll prove it to you.  Have your parents ever called you on a night you decided to go to bed earlier than normal?  Their phone call woke you up, so that must mean one of them has been in an accident, passed out, or died, right?  I’ve been wrong about that 100% of the time I thought or feared that.  Chances are, they’re calling to tell me they got home from vacation safely.

Through trained behavior, we can learn to respond in a healthier, more appropriate way.  Navy Seals do this all the time.  I recently read in the book Damn Few where Seal Rorke Denver’s colleague remained calm and continued to shoot at the enemy after a slight distraction: he was shot in the eye!  Talk about trained behavior!  I’ve never been shot in the eye, but if by some chance I happened to be shooting a gun at an enemy and I did get shot in the eye, I would probably just freak out.

So next time you don’t feel inspired, do your work anyway.  Connect people.  Serve people.  Success loves action.  So take action and, chances are, the feelings of inspiration will follow.