By Dan Fine, Management Consultant at Hive Business
Hive is in the business of helping dental practice owners become wealthier and more fulfilled by living a life that’s more aligned with their values. It’s a complex task because change is one of the hardest things that a human being can do. In my experience, having worked with practice owners for several years, change only happens when it meets or exceeds a threshold of meaning for the individual.
We all know what it feels like to live a life that lacks meaning. When you’re working for the sake of it and you’ve lost sight of what it’s all for. We meet a lot of practice owners in that place. It’s not that they lack the will or capacity to work hard, it’s that they haven’t found their why, and as Friedrich Nietzsche said, he who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.
The foundation of much of Hive’s management consultancy service is to help practice owners establish their why as a foundation on which to build their business and life. Sometimes the content we produce can be a spark that starts this process.
A video we put out about our Leadership Course, for example, attracted hundreds of comments and likes from people from many industries asking if we could help them. Around the same time Jonathan Fine, who runs the course with me, described the experience of realising he had become a cliché by being 63 and wasting money on a Porsche. That touched a nerve and got unusually high engagement too.
Everyone’s got an inkling that there’s something intangible they should be working on but they don’t know quite what it is. When there’s a sense that it’s being touched on, they respond. I had this experience when I did an MBA. Starting it, I felt quite cynical, recognising that I was probably undertaking it mainly in order to give myself credibility as a young person who was giving advice to high net worth people who were often over 50.
I expected to benefit from the letters after my name and from learning some practical skills in marketing, finance, etc. Almost the opposite turned out to be the case. I learned that practical, discipline-specific skills have little application in business leadership. For instance, I did an accounting module but haven’t needed to apply these skills. One week of accountancy clearly does not match up to my peers’ 20+, but this is not to say I did not get anything from the module; I got vast amounts but very little in the way of practical accounting skills.
On the other hand I felt cynical about the personal transformation module that ran throughout the two year period, only later realising this was the most powerful part. I rolled my eyes at the first assignment, 1,000 words on “Why an MBA and why now?” I thought, “Why does this matter and how will it make me a better business person?” Then I began to write and had my first experience of written reflection, discovering one of the most powerful and practical tools of the programme. What followed was an illuminating journey into the importance of context, purpose, and meaning.
There is no way I would have done the MBA if I’d known that’s what it was, I would have assumed it was some new age madness that I could get from the horoscope section of The Sun. However without any doubt it is this work that has had the most impact on my capability as a business leader and it is the kind of transformation I now help our clients undertake.
Are you ready to begin your personal transformation? We can support you through it and out the other side. Get in touch to find out more or sign up to our next Leadership Course.