For years, I have been expressing concern to my close friends and colleagues in chiropractic, many of whom have also been practicing for several decades, about where our profession will find its next group of leaders.It seems as if the old saying, "When the problem occurred, the leadership appeared" has not been ringing true, at least not in my opinion. Then again, as we mature, our own egos can lead us to believe that no one else can ever replace us! Maybe the leadership is there, but we're simply not recognizing it.
One recent evening, I was conducting a virtual meeting with a group of seminar instructors. When it came time for the youngest of the group to brief the more senior members on the curriculum program he had completed, I sat in amazement at his knowledge, passion, and perhaps most impressive, his substantial inventory of raw energy. While I have always considered myself a high-energy individual, his level of enthusiasm and excitement made a real impact on me.
To say that I was delighted is an understatement. I had finally discovered what I had been seeking for a long time. Without a doubt, this individual is an emerging leader in chiropractic. I breathed a sigh of relief and was inspired to shift from an active leadership role to one of mentor, to provide guidance and support as this young man honed his own leadership skills.
Over that weekend, my revelations were further reinforced by Harvey MacKay's syndicated column in the Sunday paper. His column is one of my favorites, and this week's entry focused on providing a formula for successful leadership that I believe should be shared with our entire profession.
MacKay said, "If I were a cook, here would be my recipe: Have all ingredients at body temperature. Sift intelligence, ambition and understanding together. Mix cooperation, initiative and open-mindedness until dissolved. Gradually add ability, tactfulness and responsibility. Stir in positive attitude and judgment. Beat in patience until smooth. Blend all ingredients well. Sprinkle liberally with cheerfulness and bake in the oven of determination. When absorbed thoroughly, cool and spread with kindness and common sense."
MacKay explained that while the list seems long, good leadership will not come to fruition without the right ingredients. In the same column, he also shared a story about the Duke of Wellington, the military leader who defeated Napoleon at Waterloo. The duke was a demanding general and never complimented any of his officers. When asked at the end of his life what he would have done differently, he said he would have given his team more compliments.
Tomorrow, I am making a call to the newly discovered leader on my team, who has all the ingredients of MacKay's recipe, to tell him that I am proud of him and that he has inspired me. I look forward to meeting more leaders like him as they reveal themselves and demonstrate that they, too, have the right ingredients to move our profession forward.
Click here for previous articles by Arlan Fuhr, DC.