Customized Consulting Virtual Academy Podcast Events About Contact SCHEDULE A CALL Login

385: Humanize Your Leadership Style

Uncategorized Jun 24, 2021

The fabulous Mary Pat Knight, author, speaker, coach, and “student of life,” joins the podcast! Alongside Kiera, Mary Pat shares her thoughts on human development and its role in leadership. We all experience the highs and lows of life, professionally and personally; Mary Pat encourages reinvention to progress toward your best self.

This episode also includes topics such as…

  • The drama triangle

  • Sharing responsibility with coworkers

  • Delegating and elevating

Is your office seeking a guiding hand to inspire better leadership styles? Don’t forget that the Dental A-Team can help you with that! We cater our methods directly to your practice. Join the gang today.

Episode resources:

Read The Humanized Leader by Mary Pat Knight

Connect with Mary Pat by email or on LinkedIn

Reach out to Kiera

Subscribe to The Dental A-Team podcast

Become Dental A-Team Platinum!

Review the podcast on iTunes

Podcast Transcript:

Kiera Dent:

Hey, everyone. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent. And I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective because, let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives.

            I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner. And I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yup, we don't just understand you. We are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental. And I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team Podcast.

            Hello, Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera, and you, guys. Ha, I'm so excited for today's podcast. You guys know when I get this pumped up and amped up and I'm waking up early to podcast. It's because we have one of the most incredible guests that I could ever bring onto the podcast. This is somebody that was introduced to me by Mike Paton, author of Get a Grip. He is our Traction coach. He's actually coaching me this year. And I said, "Mike, I need an incredible speaker for our Dental A Team Summit. I want somebody who's not in dentistry. I want somebody who thinks outside the box. And I want somebody who really can hone in on leadership." And Mike Paton delivered.

            So, he introduced me to Mary Pat Knight, the author of the Humanized Leader. And if you missed her speaking in our platinum group, you missed out because she is incredible. So, I decided to give you, guys, a little taste of what she was delivering at summit just because I feel like her message of The Humanized Leader, what she does, her mission truly is one of the most impactful missions that I've been able to see and be a part of. So, I am so thrilled to welcome Mary Pat today. Mary Pat, how are you?

Mary Pat Knight:

I am fantastic. Thanks for having me.

Kiera Dent:

Absolutely. So, Mary Pat, you and I have chatted a couple of times. This might be the first time that some of our listeners are being introduced to you. I do run a book club every so often. Your book is definitely going to be listed on my next one. But for those who don't know you, give us a little background on you and kind of how you got to being this incredible author that now speaks for all these people and, of course, a topic called The Humanized Leader, very interesting story, I'm sure. So, share with us how you got here.

Mary Pat Knight:

All right. Well, I don't know how far back you want me to go. [crosstalk 00:02:31] Let's start at the very beginning. My first career was as an actor.

Kiera Dent:

Really?

Mary Pat Knight:

I was an actor.

Kiera Dent:

I didn't know this.

Mary Pat Knight:

Yeah. And I haven't, for years, actually put that as part of my story. But it's become really important when I trace back the cosmology of how I'm doing the work that I'm doing. So, as an actor and I'm from the age of 12, that's what I wanted to do with my life. I went to theater school. I did theater. I did film. I did TV until I hit late 20s. And then, I stopped.

            But the reason why I say it's important is that the work that I do is about the human condition. It's about how do you understand yourself at a level, a self-assess at a level so that you can embrace growth, you can acquire emotional intelligence, and then, you can lead and inspire other people who then inspire the world. So, that's kind of my mission. When you are an inspired leader inspiring other peoples, you change people's worlds, the entire world.

            So, I trace it back to the beginning because, as an actor, I needed to be a student of life. So, you can't bring your goodness to the stage unless you understand what the humans around you are feeling, doing, thinking what their motivators are. Bringing that to the stage gave me an eye for what makes people tick. So, it's been a through line my entire career. I ended up in business after theater. And I kind of took that expertise with me into the business world.

Kiera Dent:

Okay. So, I'm still fascinated. Tell us some random fact about your acting. What did you do? You said you were on TV as well. I'm stuck on that for just a minute because dive a little deeper. I mean there's not many people I've interviewed that tell me like, "Oh, and lo and behold, I was a TV actor once upon a time."

Mary Pat Knight:

All right. Well, let's right-size this, okay, because I was early in my career. I did a lot of theater from the age of 12. From the age of 12 until my mid-20s, I was never not in some sort of show. So, it was a complete through line, dance classes, theater classes, music classes, singing classes, and show, show, show, show, show, show. It was my life. TV, I had a couple of little stints here and there. I walked next to Marlo Thomas as her prison warden.

            I was on a show called Jack and Mike where I was a flirty girl in a bar. And I did some beer commercials. And I did some other commercials. So, the bulk of my work was on the stage though.

Kiera Dent:

So, fun. Okay. So, I'm definitely going to be YouTubing you, checking it out after this podcast ends. I think everybody else will. So, you have this acting career. That's what you wanted to do. And then, mid-20s, it switches. What kind of was that shift because for somebody who's grown up in it, I mean I did modeling for a while, fun fact there, and there was a point in time that I decided I didn't want to do it. But I'm curious what your reasons were because it was a drastic shift for me. I mean I was just building up that career and then decided, "No, I'm going to switch." So, what was your shifting pivoting that took you into business?

Mary Pat Knight:

You're right. It is a drastic shift.

Kiera Dent:

It is.

Mary Pat Knight:

And actually, in hindsight, it kind of happened. You can see that it's actually happening over time. But it was a drastic shift. So, I suffered a couple of losses. I had a very young marriage. And it was breaking up at the time. So, I knew I needed to create some additional security for myself. And the job that I was in which was a waitress, I was a waitress, the restaurant burned down.

Kiera Dent:

Oh no.

Mary Pat Knight:

And I didn't have a job anymore.

Kiera Dent:

So, okay, it's like I think life is just telling you to move on, and, hey, I'm going to lead you in a different direction. Okay. All right.

Mary Pat Knight:

Yeah. And actually, it's interesting. It wasn't fun. All that much fun anymore when I had to earn a living at it, what was a hobby was beautiful and avocation was so beautiful needing to make sure that I put food on the table, paid my bills. I think I looked at it and said, "Wow, I want to see if I have other skills to explore here." And by the luck of a draw, somebody called me and said, "We need somebody to do public relations for our theater company. Would you do it for us?" And I was like, "Sure."

Kiera Dent:

It's like in the same vein, but doing something different. Sure.

Mary Pat Knight:

Yeah. And if I take a look at the trajectory of my career, frankly, it was one lucky break, lucky opening, one person taking a chance on me after the other. And it actually grew a brilliant career by staying open to what was possible. I really think that when I look back on all of it, stay open to what is possible because if I put limits on my possibilities, then shame on me.

Kiera Dent:

I think that we should definitely hone in on that because this is definitely a team podcast. We have a lot of team members listening to this. And I love what you just said of don't limit your possibilities. And I know a lot of people know my story of I went from dental assistant to now consultant, business owner, practice owner as well which that's not a very common trajectory for dental assistants. But like you said, I set my sights high. And one opportunity after another came to me. But I also think it didn't just happen stance. Kiera was doted in gold, but she slipped down out of the heavens. I think it's truthfully like Mary Pat, we weren't just dipped in gold, and there's something that nobody else can achieve.

            I love what you said of being open to possibilities because if I'm not, shame on me. That has nothing else to do with it. So, okay. So, then your business, and now, you're this author, and you speak, and you coach people. How did you go from business to author, speaker, writer, awesome human.

Mary Pat Knight:

I wouldn't say how about we do an up graph, down graph, up graph, down graph, up down graph, down graph. Say that six times fast.

Kiera Dent:

Up graph, down graph.

Mary Pat Knight:

And that actually represents my journey in and out of both corporate experience and entrepreneurial adventures. So, early on, after I did my little stint of PR, somebody took a chance on me and brought me into direct advertising for pretty large theater concern in Chicago. And I didn't know what I was doing. But I reached out and had an entire community help me which was amazing when I look back on it. So, it was really pre-computer digital stuff. It was all hand-done phone calls. And I had an entire community teach me how to be a director of advertising and promotion which was pretty cool. And then, I got too big for my britches, and thought I'd start my first business.

Kiera Dent:

It happens to the best of us. There's an entrepreneurial spirit.

Mary Pat Knight:

I know.

Kiera Dent:

I like it.

Mary Pat Knight:

I knew how to plan media I knew how to buy media. I knew how to create relationships with people all day long. I had no idea how to run a business. So, I did a great technical job of getting the job done. I did a horrible job of running a business.

Kiera Dent:

Fair.

Mary Pat Knight:

So, I closed that business. And I actually was recruited into a company called Lettuce Entertain You which is the premiere [crosstalk 00:09:32].

Kiera Dent:

I want a side note real quick, because I think so many people, so many times, we gloss over what those failures were and what we learned from them. And I also am a huge believer in failing successfully because we think often those doors closing mean that we failed and it was something wrong with us when in reality, I believe that failing successfully means it's just pushing us in the direction we need to go. So, if it's not too personal, what was the tragic flaw or flaws or reasons that business failed because I always love learning that piece that I feel so often we just gloss over, because I've made plenty of those? I've shut down plenty of businesses. So, what was maybe one or two things that you learned from that business fail, if you will?

Mary Pat Knight:

Yeah. Actually, I'm really glad you asked that because it actually does tie into the work that I do today. So, you are absolutely right. And somebody coined the phrase, I don't know who it was, you fail forward, and to keep that in mind. And again, that kind of the theme of what possibilities are there for you. I did not have any regret. I did not have any agita or any self-recrimination about closing the business. It was just the next part of the journey.

Kiera Dent:

Sure.

Mary Pat Knight:

However, when I look back, I said, "Why wasn't I successful," I kept trying to do everything myself.

Kiera Dent:

Amen.

Mary Pat Knight:

So, when you go back to we'll talk at some point about the drama triangle which is part of my book. I kept throwing on this hero cape. And I was like, "I can't." And I had three people working for me. And I kept them on staff way longer than I could afford to keep them on staff. And I paid them instead of paying me. So, not only was I a hero. I became a martyr. Because of that, I got very resentful after a while. And then, I became a victim.

            So, you see the trajectory of if I am over caretaking some situation or some person trying to do everything myself and then I get resentful that I don't have results or support, well, I've created this reality. So, that's the reality that I created. And as a result again, technically, really successful, financially a bomb.

Kiera Dent:

Interesting. Okay. Hello, Dental A Team listeners. All right. One of my absolute favorite quotes is you are always one decision away from a totally different life. So, what life do you want to have? Do you want more accountability? Do you want a team that's trained? Do you want to have somebody who thinks outside the box and creates just for you? Do you want to have a coach? Do you want to have team training? Do you just need somebody to kick you in the rear and get you going? Okay. Don’t worry.

            I'm in every single one of those boxes, and that's why we created Dental A Team Silver, Gold, and Platinum. It's going to be customized team training for you on the terms you want. So, Silver, Silver is more for accountability. Gold, Gold includes all of our online training plus the accountability. And Platinum includes all of that, and in office. You, guys, I would strongly suggest you go join Dental A Team Gold today because you're always one decision away from a totally different life. So, what are you waiting for? Hop on over to the thedentalateam.com today. You, guys, we only have so many spaces. So, get over there today and sign up for Dental A Team Silver, Gold or Platinum.

            Thank you for sharing that. And I hope doctors, OMs, all of you are listening. And I definitely am so excited to talk about the drama triangle today because I think as entrepreneurs, as business owners, there is this, I don't know who did this to us. I don't know where society came up with this. I don't know if it's just our own egos that are playing at it that you have to do everything as a business owner. And if you delegate or you let other people shine, that takes something away from you because Mary Pat, you're speaking to my soul right now as a business owner, I feel like I have to do it all.

            And I am just a highly competitive person. And I think that's the only thing that's kept me going a lot of times, is I will not fail. I will not let this business fall. But yet, that also comes at the expense of my own life, my own relationships, my own interactions, my own health. And so, is that really winning? I don't think so because it's losing on so many levels.

            But yet, I'm not willing to let go oftentimes. Like you said, if I put the hero cape on, but then I become resentful. I know I've had several team members that I've looked at. I'm like, "They're literally living the life I intended myself to live." And I'm real bitter about this because why are they doing that? Then, I become, like you said, a victim of woe is me. I become snippy in my leadership and in my management style. And anything they're doing, it's just I'm legitimately bitter. So, okay.

Mary Pat Knight:

And you've created it. So, no. Interesting. And I know you mentioned Mike Paton being your Traction coach. So, there's a component of that program called delegate and elevate. And so, it is a brilliant called from a bunch of, I'm sure, other aspects of people who taught us over the years how to delegate. However, it is an act of will to delegate, an act of will. And again a decision that needs to be made over and over and over again especially for those of us who are highly competitive, highly performing, formerly called A-type business leaders.

Kiera Dent:

Right. Exactly. Okay. So, we've already like wet people's appetites with the drama triangle. And I know I'm itching to get there as well. So, Mary Pat, you have a failed business. And then, you go actually back into the Lettuce Entertain, I think, was what you said.

Mary Pat Knight:

Lettuce Entertain You was a restaurant company. So, that was a business. From there, I had another stint after that. And then, I started my second business which was super successful because I made a migration from sales and marketing to human development is what I called it. I eventually ended up in human resources. That was the next path, the next [inaudible 00:15:17] that it took me. But human development was really about how do we design, how do we design frameworks that allow you to bring your most human self to your business, grow as a leader, create the business and the teams that you desire.

            And some of my early focus was on family-owned businesses. And so, I cut my teeth because if anyone's listening, and I'm sure in some of the dental practices, they're family-owned businesses, you sometimes forget that you're not the 12-year-old brother anymore. You're actually the four-year-old partner. So, that was actually a real interesting study in Humanized Leadership to coin my book.

Kiera Dent:

I like it. Interesting. So, that second business, did that continue on? Is that what you're currently running or was that another business stint that-

Mary Pat Knight:

It was a stint. It was an entrepreneurial stint. It lasted. And it was very successful. I learned how to run a business. So, I was really happy about that. I had a couple of other life situations that said, "You better go back into corporate." And I'll tell you, one of the things, I think, it was a calling from above that said, "Go back. There's more you need to learn." So, I did go back into business. And then, in 2008 tried to open a third business which 2008 if anyone remembers what was going on, was big no go. So, I ended up in a really wonderful position with a big, big, big hotel firm.

            And really, The Humanized Leader program, I brought that program into the organization. And I ended up being able to train 300 people in that organization using this program to create a personal transformation in the area of emotional intelligence. So, I'm telling you, what I'm saying to you is fail forward because every single time something happens that causes you to switch, it's not happening to you. Nothing happened to me. It all happened for me.

Kiera Dent:

Right. I love that so much. And I hope people are listening. And what I love, Mary Pat, is you actually shared, like you said, the up down, up down graph of life because I think, so often, we have this weird notion, a lot of business owners, a lot of team members that I'm only supposed to be on this trajectory forward. I'm never supposed to have a valley. I'm only supposed to have peaks, endless peaks, in my career. And yet, I think that I'm like, "Why am I in this valley again?" And yet, I love that you just shared your story because I think oftentimes people look at you. They see you, and they're like, "Well, Mary Pat's so successful. This was her journey." But they forget that it was literally a journey of ups and downs all around, and that made you who you are.

            And I love that you said when something like closed the door, it was because, hey, you've got to go back and learn more. There's more for you to learn. And so, I think helping people learn that is part of it. I was just talking to a doctor yesterday, and he's like, "Kiera, I'm so sick of running a business." And I'm like, "Amen." I think we forget that as business owners, as dental practice owners, as dentists, as office managers, as team members, that not every day is glorious. That is part of running a business, is there are high times, and there are low times, and that's all part of that journey.

            So, let's now pivot gears, Mary Pat, to the Humanized Leader. Explain to us the drama triangle. Just kind of give us some highlights. You, guys, there is a book, The Humanized Leader. You can snag it on Amazon. You can snag it on her website. Fantastic book. Our Platinum clients are actually getting Mary Pat's book. She also signed them for all of our Platinum clients.

            So, I'm so excited to share this book with all of our Plats. You guys can obviously be a Platinum client. If you're not, you guys can email us hello at thedentalateam.com because cool people like Mary Pat come into our lives. And we get to share those with our Platinum clients. So, Mary Pat, walk us through this Humanized Leader. What exactly is a Humanized Leader? What does that mean? Let's kind of start there.

Mary Pat Knight:

So, you know what? I'm actually going to look at the back of my books. I don't want to leave a thing out. The Humanized Leader shows up in authentic and conscious leadership. In other words, you're awake. You know what you're doing and why you're doing it. Okay. You are able to manage workplace emotions. That's where the drama triangle comes in. Mine and yours, I have some skills around that. You communicate with clarity and with the purpose of making connection, not caretaking, but making connection because you want to call people to their highest self.

            You guide performance. Okay. You don't do everything yourself. You guide performance to build a culture of accountability. And then, you understand your own secret sauce of genius so you can stay in your lane and delegate to those who have genius that goes alongside you. So, I think a Humanized Leader says, "I'm a human being. You're a human being." And let's use that as a basis. All right. And we have work we're doing together. We're going to get the work done together. I'm going to be very, very clear about expectations. We're going to co-create what accountability looks like.

            We're going to rock and roll as a team in a very human way. There's not this bureaucracy or this hierarchy or this I'm an overlord, and you're an underling. It really is we're walking side by side. And we know our places. We know our contributions. So, to me, that's kind of the nutshell of it.

Kiera Dent:

I am so excited about this because I feel this is a cutting-edge idea. And I think it's becoming the new way of leadership. I think in the past, it was show up eight to five. I'm going to tell you what to do and move on. And now, we've entered millennials. We've entered Gen X where they're like, "No. Don't tell me what to do. I have a lot of really great ideas. And if I don't like you and I don't like my job, I'm out of here because there's somebody else that's going to actually listen to what I want to do. They're going to respect me as a human."

            And so, I think it's time that we realize that maybe old ways, old habits, old behaviors that may have worked in the past, it's time for us to reinvent ourselves, if you will. And I really love this approach because I know I've become very obsessed with this because I just feel there's got to be a better way to lead than me delegating to you. But the delegate and elevate, the let me not do everything myself, and have massive burnout, but let me co-create with you-

Mary Pat Knight:

Co-create.

Kiera Dent:

... as a human being. So, let's talk. You've teased it out. Let's talk drama triangle. I'm so excited.

Mary Pat Knight:

Okay. So, let's talk about drama triangle.

Kiera Dent:

Because there's so much more, guys. Get her book. There's a ton more. But we're going to dive into drama triangle.

Mary Pat Knight:

And the reason why it's important to this conversation and to the book is I actually think thanks to this past year and the pandemic, we've all had an invitation into the drama training. We have just been invited into something outside of ourselves that we cannot control. There was no way to control a worldwide pandemic.

Kiera Dent:

I agree.

Mary Pat Knight:

The only thing that you could control or influence is how you showed up around it. And so, because a lot of us are... And we all are in many ways, human beings, we are outer referred. So, we look for validation or we look for affirmation or direction from outside of us rather than inside of us which is what I'd like everyone to get to. I am my own authority. I am my own inner warrior. But we're really outer referred. So, the drama triangle, it's not my work. I've adapted it into corporate, as others have as well.

            It's a drama triangle of villain, victim, and hero. And so, a villain, when you look at the villain, really wants power and control. But they don't necessarily want to take care of the problem. They'd actually like to blame you for the problem because, in some ways, they feel justified. You created the problem. The world created the problem. Someone has to pay. That's kind of the motive. And then, victims say, "Well, the world outside myself is handing me a bag of doo doo. And I don't necessarily..." I can't believe I just said doo doo on your podcast.

Kiera Dent:

I like it. I like it so much. I liked it.

Mary Pat Knight:

So, they handed me this bag of you know what. And I can't be responsible for this. You didn't train me well enough. You don't pay me well enough.

Kiera Dent:

I don't have any time for this, Mary Pat.

Mary Pat Knight:

I don’t have time for this. So, it's all outside. And I could [inaudible 00:23:29] complain, gossip and generally don't take any accountability as well. All right. And also, this group, these victims do not like change. Do not change things for me. The world has changed.

Kiera Dent:

Welcome. Welcome to 2021. It's been good thinking.

Mary Pat Knight:

And then, let's go right back to where we started our conversation with those who throw the hero cape on the hero actually swoops in to save the day whether the day needs to be saved or not. So, this is the person who will jump in front of someone and make sure the job is done well. If it's to be, it's up to me. I'm the only one who can do this. I'm the only one who's been trained. Everyone out of my way, I will fix it.

Kiera Dent:

I know how to do this better than anyone else. I can save time doing it myself versus anybody else.

Mary Pat Knight:

And so, this is what you and I were talking about at the beginning of our session today, is that was the death of my first business. Get out of my way. I can do it. If it's to be, it's up to... I will not ask you to do anything that I wouldn't do myself. Well, now I'll tell you as my career has grown, I ask everyone to do things that I don't know how to do. That makes the team strong. That makes all of us, our efforts pay off. But anyway, the hero swoops in and actually kind of keeps the glue of the villain in the victim game going.

            There's a book explores the way out, you've got the power to stop that behavior for yourself and to also coach others out of that behavior as well because they all three have a secret weapon that they're actually if they got into function and leadership would really support your business. You have to support them to get out of dysfunction.

Kiera Dent:

Interesting. Okay. So, because as you were saying it, and Mary Pat, I've read the first parts of it. I'm in the middle of your book. I haven't gotten all the way through it. So, as you were saying it though, my thought was and correct me if I'm wrong because I'm literally student Kiera right here. I'm asking the master on this of, okay, we've got hero, victim, villain. But who should we be? Is that the humanized leader because that was my thought of like, okay, in the middle of this triangle, there can be a humanized leader would be my guess of I'm not the hero. I'm not the victim. I'm not the villain. I see the strengths of all those. But I'm actually able to then work alongside of you. We're going to pull you out of this cycle that we're in because, as you said, that I'm like, "Oh, yup. I've got like the divas over here. I've got the team member who tells me cure. There's absolutely no way that I could ever implement this. This is crazy town. I'm not going to do it." I've got the eye roll people.

            And then, I've got the people that are like, "I'll do everything for you." And I'm like, "You're going to have massive burnout and probably drop the ball left and right on me because you're trying to save the day everywhere." So, who should you be? What's the imagery? What would be the traits or the strengths of somebody who's out of that hero, victim, villain state?

Mary Pat Knight:

Yeah. So I always say a manager reaction go to response. So, reaction says, "I'm not thinking about it. I'm just going to go into one of these three areas." Response says, "I'm really conscious and aware. I see where the pitfalls are. And I'm going to make a different choice." And part of the choice is to see that the villain is able to see the problem. So, how do you encourage yourself if you're as a villain or others through open-ended questions? And that's what a lot of my coaching is about. How do we get people out of this triangle, this mess?

            The victim, if they actually can start to collaborate to solve the problem… I mean the villain, if they can collaborate to solve the problem brings huge strength to your organization. How do you role model that? So, instead of blaming someone for something being wrong, you stop, and you do a root cause analysis. You figure out what's wrong. You fix the problem at the root.

            I mean I know in NEOS, they call it IDS. You identify, discuss, and solve. The victim, sometimes, it's a little hard because they kind of got their heels dug in the mud. However, when they start to see possibility of contribution, possibility of making things better, and again, you cannot lose patience around this. You've got to be persistent. You've got to be persistent.

Kiera Dent:

There's that hero coming in like, "Oh, Mary Pat."

Mary Pat Knight:

Got to be persistent. But the persistence actually is in a way where you are not attached and triggered by someone's defensiveness or someone's unwillingness to change. You keep communicating the expectations, holding people to the expectations, supporting them to see what's possible. And then, from the hero perspective, really, if all of us who have hero tendencies could really understand when we swoop in to save the day, we rob the organization of additional capability.

            And if we say, "I'm going to coach someone to learn how to do this, I'm going to coach someone to the expectations of this," and I'm going to step back, and let them fail forward or let them succeed, celebrate with them, or offer them feedback to help them course correct. Then, you actually are in huge humanity at that point. Humanity says, "We are working together to make something great." And you don't have to deal with all the drama, of those three different personalities in your business.

Kiera Dent:

For sure. And I think, you've said this, I'm so excited about the work that you're doing, and that you're sharing this because I think it feels like a life raft being sent out in this world where I'm like, "A lot of the other leadership hasn't been working. It's not working." It's a new time. It's a new team. It's new emotions that are out there where pushing people harder and harder and harder doesn't work, having these one-on-one conversations of how can we make this better doesn't always get the results we're looking for because we're having the same approach for different personality types.

            And so, it's kind of just sending that life raft out of how can we be a different leader. And what I think I've kind of learned over the course of time is I had... Again, I don't know where all these weird expectations came in my life. But I had this thought of if I run a business and if I am gutsy enough to go out on my limb and do this #dentist and office managers and people like we don't know what we're doing, but we're gutsy enough to do this, by default, by nature, I should be a great leader.

            Again, I don't know where that belief and that psychology came from to me. Maybe, other people disagree with me. But I think I realized that, one, that's not true. And two, I think I also thought like leadership was a one and done. Once I reached this level, I'll be an amazing leader. And what I'm saying to realize is leadership is refining and reforming myself continually and always looking for a better way to do it.

            And once I realize it's more of a journey versus a one-and-done process, and I'm all about systems, I'm all about results of like, "Hey, do this you will get X" But I really think it's humans, like you said. And I think once I spun my mindset and realized I'm not just given a golden ticket to be a great leader because I started a business. I'm not going to be super great at this, and there's lots of different ways to do this. And I need to start investing in leadership, learning different ways to do this, trying this out on my team, seeing if it work letting them know, having them learn alongside of me so that way, we can have all of us speaking the same language thinking different ways.

            So, Mary Pat, with that said, do you find that the Humanized Leader is great to read as a leadership team? Is it great to read as a team? How do you implement this into a practice, if you will, or into... I mean you ran it with 300 people. So, you've obviously got some great ideas on how to do this. How do you execute on the Humanized Leader?

Mary Pat Knight:

Well, the multi-part program is really laid out for you. So, you simply could take the four pieces of it and work through even in a year quarter, quarter, quarter, quarter.

Kiera Dent:

Smart. I like your thinking.

Mary Pat Knight:

When I work with teams, I generally start with a six-part interaction so we can go through over six separate sessions. We can go through all of the material. Not everybody works that way. Some people want coaching. Some people just want, "Let's just do one portion of it. This is what we want to focus on for this year." But what I will say too is that it's a series of skills built over time, and that's what you were just talking about, not a one and done. It's a series of skills built over time.

            So, the way the book is laid out on the very first part of it, I would say no matter what, do this which is how do you stabilize the emotions in the workplace? How do you ditch the drama? How do you make sure that your people have emotional and psychological safety working for you, and that you actually can stand more firmly in your leadership to offer guidance what I call to be the bumpers on the bumper car to bump people back into good performance.

            From there, we move into communication leadership because a lot of people who believe they're good listeners are not. Many people who want to offer feedback are reluctant or scared or nervous. And not everyone's a great coach. So, how do you use the emotional leadership to build communication leadership? When you have that accurate self-assessment, it actually can up level your communication. And then, from there, when you have those two other basic skills, you can then go into performance leadership and build a culture of accountability because you're super clear. You've got a formula and a framework for eliciting performance. You create great agreements.

            And then, from there, you can go really strongly into the delegate and elevate aspect of it because what I talk about is genius leadership, is how do you work on purpose. How do you align your core values personally with your company's core values? How do you really know what your contribution is? And how do you stay in that contribution? So, it's just a progressive way of looking at leadership. But everything begins and ends with that emotional safety, in my opinion anyway.

Kiera Dent:

I agree, and that's something where a lot of doctors when they call me, they say, "Kiera, shall I share these things with my team? Should I be a human, or do I need to have myself elevated?" So, that way, they want to follow me. And I tell them all the time, "You can do whatever you want." That's my philosophy. You do whatever works well for you, and you get to be as authentic and genuine as you choose to be because there is that, I guess, safety on your side as well that you've got to feel safe and secure.

            But I will say teams that know that it's very open that there is safety and communication that they can say their own opinions and not get fired. I just had a team yesterday, and we were setting goals with that team. And I asked them. I said, "Everybody just tell me what your thoughts are on goals." And I had some people saying, "Bad. Great. Accomplishment, blah, dah, dah." We have this whole list. And then, I said, "How do you feel about setting office or team goals?"

            And all of a sudden, the moods shift. I felt it. We were on Zoom, and they said, "Well, it depends on how it's presented. It depends on what's going to happen to us if we don't hit our goal. Are we going to be scolded? Are we going to be in trouble? Are we going to be fired?" And I was like, "Right there, this team needs to see that, no, we're going to fail forward. We're going to learn from that. And the expectation will be, yes, we're going to hit these goals. However with that in mind, if we fail, that's a team effort, and let's find out why we failed, how we can improve this for the next time and see that as an opportunity to innovate versus a scolding and a yelling, and you're in trouble, and you'll be fired."

            But I was very intrigued that this team, all of a sudden, didn't feel safe. So, to your point of that teams have to feel that security and that safety, I mean Patrick Lencioni, I think is how we say is the last name, the five dysfunctions of teams literally talks about you have to have trust as your core foundation. And then, you have to be able to have healthy conflict with one another because that then leads right to commitment. And [crosstalk 00:35:08].

Mary Pat Knight:

So, look at your team. The team who said, "Oh, no. Do we have to do team goals," because then here's what happens. You mean I have to trust the person next to me to do what they say they're going to do? Oh, you mean if they don't do it, I may have to have a conflicted conversation with them, because I want the team to win? Oh, you mean we're creating agreements with each other? I'm not only solely responsible? I have to have responsibilities shared with you? Oh, that actually takes a lot of Humanized Leadership to do.

Kiera Dent:

And as you just pointed that out, I hadn't thought of that, that the team commitment, the team agreement is having that shared responsibility with other people. But I think that that's what makes teams really, really strong. So, when you look at teams that can literally execute in any economic situation, they can execute in any crisis going on. I think it's because they know they've got trust amongst one another. People will follow through on what they say they'll do, and there is just magic and beauty in that because there is that trust. There's that communication. There's safety where they all know like, "No, we're all pulling our equal weight." There's no hero swooping in. There's no villains. There's no victims.

            And if there are, that cape just comes out for a hot minute. And then, it's quickly put back. And we remember who we are. So, Mary Pat, I know for me, my brain is on fire right now thinking of all these ideas, thinking of how I show up continue. I know I swoop in as the hero. I hate that my emails aren't responded to. And I've had to learn to just let them slip, and let people have that opportunity to fail forward.

            I know I've definitely had plenty of times that I've villainized it. And I want to just blame. And I also have the victim side of me that just feels like, "Why me? I'm doing so many great things. Why should this be happening?" So, I see myself in all those drama triangles knowing I add that as well, but knowing that there are ways to escape it. There are ways to have it less and less in our life, and in our team is very empowering.

            So, Mary Pat, if other people you've piqued their interests, they're wanting to know more, I know you do different things. You've got your book. You also coach teams. And I think your coaching goes hand in hand with our coaching which is why I really love what you do. It's just very synergistic. So, how can people find out more? Tell them a little bit about how they can connect with you?

Mary Pat Knight:

 Great. Great. I want to go back to part to answer your earlier question. First, get the book, the Humanized Leader, available on Amazon. You get it at Barnes & Noble. You can get any independent bookseller that you want. Okay. It's an on-demand print book. So, you can get it anywhere you want, anywhere you want to support it.

            And then, do a group do a group study. Do a group study with each other. There's questions at the end of every chapter. I am developing a book study guide. It's just not done yet. Okay. It will be done soon.

Kiera Dent:

I understand that. It's like the idea is there. It's being executed, just not yet.

Mary Pat Knight:

Not yet, almost there. However, actually, a book study would be a really good thing. If you read the book yourself, don't just read it. Do practice it. Do the stuff. I coach. I do executive coaching, I do partnered coaching as well. So, I'm in the EOS world. I do a lot of visionary integrator coaching in other practices like practices with the Dental A Team, partners who might be running the business together so that they are on the same page with each other.

            I do team coaching. And again, I could do executive workshops, one-day workshops, partial day workshops, or the six-part series that I told you about. And I have some online education as well. So, there's multiple ways. And if it's not me, find another leadership coach that you align with. Really work through the Dental A Team to do the things that you need to do to up level your leadership-

Kiera Dent:

For sure.

Mary Pat Knight:

... because the world really needs it right now. We're not floundering. I don't want to say that at all. But we're looking for firmer footing. And the old type of traditional boss-style leadership does not work anymore. It just doesn't. And so, give yourself an opportunity to learn and develop and grow. And ways to find me, LinkedIn is a great way. I do a lot of publishing on LinkedIn. And my LinkedIn is MP Knight. MP K-N-I-G-H-T. Find me on the website, leadersinspired.com. and leaders is plural, leadersinspired.com. And if you want to reach out directly to me, support at leadersinspired.com and my wonderful assistant, again, delegate and elevate, can arrange a time for us to talk.

Kiera Dent:

Awesome, Mary Pat. Well, I just appreciate you. I appreciate you speaking with our platinum offices. I appreciate you taking time to sign all those books for all of our Platinum offices.

Mary Pat Knight:

It's fun.

Kiera Dent:

I mean my husband, I came home from summit, and I said, "Oh, did I get an email?" He's like, "You've got boxes and boxes of books." And I was so excited because we now can share your message and your development with our offices as well. So, you, guys, I strongly encourage you to snag Mary Pat's book. It is excellent to start thinking about leadership in a different way into.

            I know sometimes as leaders, it's humbling to admit that you need help because you feel like you should just know this. And I'm a firm believer that, no, there's nothing that's granted us this we should just know how to do this. I believe it's a forever journey that we get to go on and, like you said, continually have opportunities to show up. Life will continue to deliver that for us if we're looking for it. So, Mary Pat, thank you for getting up early with me today. Thank you for your time. I truly, truly appreciate you.

Mary Pat Knight:

Thank you. Thank you so much for having me.

Kiera Dent:

Of course. All right, you, guys. Thank you for listening. And I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team Podcast. And that wraps it up for another episode of the Dental A Team Podcast. Thank you so much for listening. And we'll talk to you next time.

Close

Grab your FREE Resources