Can you look at yourself?

Being a Victorian who is interested in sports, this past weekend has been a happy one.

The Richmond and Melbourne Storm wins have raised the energy of the locals, with celebrations said to be continuing through the week.

Richmond’s victory has also raised interest in their coach, Damien Hardwick. How did he manage to turn his team around from finishing 13th on the ladder in 2016 to winning the premiership just one year later? This is the greatest improvement from one season to another in the whole 120 years’ history of the AFL!

Was it the game plan, the player list…luck?

It was Damien.

The past had seen the now premiership coach scrutinise the game and his players to such a degree that his subsequent strategies and tactics confused his players. They would get the ball and not know what to do with it. A person within the club noted Hardwick “became obsessed with statistics and process to the point where he couldn’t see the forest for the trees”.

A club review of Hardwick’s position resulted in him realising his mistakes and taking on a path to learn how to be better. He went to Harvard University to complete a leadership course and came back a renewed man.

A year down the track, the Richmond Football Club is no longer confused. Damien, with a focused and dedicated board and administration team, has created the environment for the players to be triumphant.

Everything a football club does, from analysis and tactics to player list and on-day performance, contributes to its success.  However, Damien Hardwick has demonstrated that effective leadership is the key to bringing all the elements together and building a truly powerful force.

Dental practices are no different. Implementing the right strategies, tracking KPIs and using effective marketing techniques are all important in achieving your practice goals. Yet, it is your team members who put everything into action.

Damien Hardwick was willing to be vulnerable and reflective. He took a good hard look at what he was doing wrong and sought to discover how to do it right. He is a better man for it, and the Richmond Football Club is a stronger club.

I ask you; Are you willing to look at yourself deeply and discover how to be better?

(Look out for Australasian Dental Practice Magazine for my upcoming article Leadership Lessons From Our Sporting Hero’s. I share powerful insights from sporting coaches and tell you how to go on your own self-awareness journey in leadership.)

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