Do you consider yourself to be a leader, or do you consider yourself to be a hearing care professional who runs a business?
If you’ve never given that question much thought, then that’s quite alright. In fact, it’s likely you haven’t needed to up to this point. However, if business growth is high on your agenda, then stepping up as a leader is your best bet, and adopting a “velocity mindset” is, without doubt, where you should put your chips.
Run Down on Ron
As a child who overcame the daunting challenge of a speech impediment, Ron has made it his life’s mission to empower employees, executives, and entrepreneurs all over the world and transform their lives by removing life limiting belief systems.
In Ron’s best-selling book The Velocity Mindset, he sets out frameworks and actionable steps to enable business owners to become leaders to achieve bigger and better results – FASTER.
After being described by Phil as the book “that will leave you feeling like you’ve had a conversation with the smartest person you’ve ever met,” here are some key highlights from Phil’s interview with Ron exclusively for Inner Circle members.
What Is a Velocity Mindset?
Although Ron defines velocity as “speed plus direction,” he defines a velocity mindset as the greatest skill of a leader, wherein they work with their team to conceptualize a clear goal and then work backwards identifying the steps needed to realize it. This, he believes, is the true essence of a good leader and a shining example of velocity mindset in action, which in turn sees everyone’s goals achieved quicker.
But, in order to achieve a velocity mindset, you must first promote yourself from business owner to leader.
The Difference between a Business Owner and a Leader
As a hearing care professional, you’ve got a constant challenge of being both the practitioner and the boss.
It’s likely you get stuck in the daily grind, seeing patients 1-to-1, negotiating with insurance companies, and working hard to keep your bills paid and business afloat, which leaves very little time to focus on the actual direction of your business. Understandable, of course.
Your staff does their jobs and is happy to get their paychecks. It’s rinse and repeat, and a perfectly pleasant way to live life for yourself and your family.
A leader, on the other hand, might very well do all the things a business owner does but with one key difference: She/he has a very clear goal for the business, which everyone around her is both in on and encouraged by.
A leader’s main objective isn’t just to satisfy her needs and successes but to also understand that her true success is reliant upon the success of all those who follow her.
A lot of hearing care professionals don’t set out to be a leader, not because they’re solely focused on themselves but for the simple reason they don’t know how.
The good news is Ron Kerr has laid it all out…
The Steve Jobs Method of Exemplary Leadership
When Steve Jobs first came up with the concept of the iPhone, he didn’t sit his employees down and tell them what he planned to do. Instead, he asked them all to take out their phones and tell him what they wished their phones could do in order to make their lives easier.
One by one, his employees reeled off their “nice-to-haves,” and solely through his employees’ contributions, Steve Jobs, equipped with firsthand confirmation of what people actually wanted from their phones, set his team out to create exactly what they themselves had conceived.
The result? The creation of a life-changing device that seems to just about hit the spot on all accounts.
So how does this relate to the world of hearing care?
Think of it this way – if you gathered your employees and asked each of them to imagine someone dear to them was suffering with a hearing loss, and, if they had the power to create it, what the ultimate care package would look like. How valuable would that information be for you?
Furthermore, how enthused do you think your team would be when talking to your patients about said care package.
Including your team in the decision-making process from the start is so velocity mindset.
There’s a superpower we all possess and yet very few utilize, and it’s called vulnerability.
In a business context, this is showing ourselves to be fallible – to be human and therefore relatable.
Too many business owners are so concerned with the bottom line that they can forget that they’re actually in the people business and therefore the real bottom line is the happiness of those around them.
When you’re leading a team, it’s important for your teammates to know that you’re just as imperfect as them, as it feels familiar, digestible, and comforting. Plus, let’s not forget that perfection is rarely attainable in any guise, so expecting to achieve it in business is futile.
When leaders show their vulnerability, whether it’s admitting when things haven’t gone right, or taking responsibility for a failure without apportioning blame to someone else, they’re communicating on a humble and grounded level, which in turn creates respect.
People talk of being a perfectionist like it’s the holy grail of business, whereas in actual fact, it’s the complete opposite. Sending the message that perfection is the goal is harrowing and would make people fear failure and therefore curb their enthusiasm to try, whereas sending the message that it’s ok to fail creates more confidence and a willingness to try.
Overcoming Fear of Failure
In Velocity Mindset, Ron talks about the importance of helping your team overcome the fear of failure and instead embrace failure as a part of life.
Now, as a hearing care professional, you’d be right in thinking that embracing failure in a medical context isn’t exactly something to aspire to, however, it’s not so much focusing on the thing that went wrong as it is focusing on how to make it right.
As a leader, you can encourage your team to identify where they may have gone wrong and encourage them to come to their own conclusions on what they could do differently next time.
In a similar vein to the Steve Jobs method, involving your team in sourcing the solution is bound to have a more unified result than the blame shame gung-ho approach.
De-bunking the Biggest Myth of Leadership
You’d be forgiven for thinking that in order to be a leader you must have a very clear vision and plan from the off, right? Wrong.
Ron Karr is a firm believer that “you don’t need to have all the answers, you just need to go out and find them.”
After all, although it’s true there was a vision to create Rome, we know it wasn’t built in a day.
Together with your team, you can create a vision for the business that everyone’s on board with, as well as the working out the steps you need to get you there, so in the end everyone benefits.
And that is the power of the velocity mindset.