President’s eMessage, September 2018: Developing and Inspiring Leaders – Identifying the Future of SCCDS Leadership

I hope everybody had a nice summer!  Your SCCDS Board of Directors stayed busy directing staff to carry out the operations of the society.  We met as a board once during the summer. Under the leadership of Drs. Robert Shorey and Louis Tieu, we conducted CDA House of Delegates training sessions.  The Santa Clara County Dental Foundation (SCCDF) met, hosted by Dr. Will Perry, and it was a very successful retreat. Under the leadership of Dr. Shakalpi Pendurkar, the Oral Heath Collaborative met and it has grown to over 80 participants!  Committees continued their meeting activity, and the society office continued to stay busy with meetings and gatherings. We hosted another successful summer picnic at Vasona Park, and it sure was hot again!

September begins the last trimester of the year.  It is time for our leaders, committee chairs, board members, and officers to reflect on their effort and make plans for the future.  During the last quarter of the year, President -Elect Dr. Niloofar Zarkesh will be contacting our committee chairs and officers to assess their interest in continuing in leadership and to ask them to identify developing leaders from amongst their committees and work groups.

Keeping our mission and vision statements in mind is essential.  Our mission statement is as follows:

“The mission of the SCCDS is to serve its members while assisting them in their service to the public.”

Our vision statement reads:

“To be recognized as the primary information resource for our members in the practice of dentistry.”

Leaders who are reaching the end of their service, like me, are charged to identify the future leaders of their organization to keep it moving forward.  I will begin my role as Immediate Past President chairing the Nominating Committee of the SCCDS. We will be looking for our next Secretary who will ascend up the chairs to President of the SCCDS.  After Dr. Thien Bui completes his second term in office, your board will identify a candidate for CDA trustee.

We have identified the best and the brightest of the SCCDS and we have asked them to serve. Collaboration is synergistic, where the product of the effort is greater than the sum of its parts. Hopefully, working in a “Culture of Collaboration” has made their service a learning experience. Hopefully, their leadership has brought smart minds together for the benefit of the SCCDS. Hopefully, their work has been fun!

So, who wrote the book on leadership?  There are many. All of them make statements about moving organizations forward.  All of them make statements about gathering followers, inspiring, developing, and identifying successors to continue strong leadership.  Without these traits, an organization can become stagnant, and it can risk moving backward rather than forward. I have mentioned the fast pace of Silicon Valley in my other submissions.  We must continue to learn. We must practice an evidence based science. We must maintain our status as a profession.

So, what do the respected leadership authors say about identifying successors and empowering developing leaders?  Daniel Goleman said, in Primal Leadership,

“When a leader focuses on people, emotional bonds are created that are the ground in which resonance is sown–and people will follow that leader in good times and bad.  They need to talk, laugh, tell stories and–just perhaps–build a dream together.”

John Maxwell said, in the Five Levels of Leadership,

“If you stick with it, if you continually focus on both growing yourself at every level, and developing leaders who are willing and able to develop other leaders, you may find yourself at the Pinnacle.”  

Posner and Kouses said, in The Leadership Challenge,

Leaders passionately believe that they can make a difference. They envision the future, creating an ideal and unique image of what the organization can become. Through their magnetism and quiet persuasion, leaders enlist others in their dreams. They breathe life into their visions and get people to see exciting possibilities for the future.”

I plan to take time for reflection this month.  I will think about identifying, developing, and inspiring.  I will dream about the future. I challenge you all to do the same.

Ned L. Nix, DDS, MA

President, SCCDS

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