The Four Universal Promises of Leadership - Part 1

June 8, 2020 Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Warren Bennis, in his book, On Becoming A Leader, says, ”Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it’s also that difficult…First and foremost, find out what it is that you are all about, and be that.”

In other words, leadership development is about developing yourself. As appealing as that sounds, it is one of the most resisted journeys that any human being can attempt to make. One of the most extraordinary writers, thinkers, and influencers I have ever read is Auschwitz survivor Victor Frankl. He said, ”When we are no longer able to change a situation, we are challenged to change ourselves.”

Changing ourselves can appear to be a daunting task, but it is the work required to become a great leader.


My favorite definition of leadership says that Leadership is about the deployment of self into circumstances. But which of your selves is deployed? Is it your best self that shows up with clarity, conviction, courage, and compassion as the essential qualities of a great leader? Or is it some other less powerful version of you? The performance of the organization that you lead will be in large part determined by how you show up to the most important people that you have been given the gift of leading. That organization ranges from your family, to your community, as well as the business organization that you lead.

Four Universal Promises

When you decided to become a healthcare professional, you decided to become a leader, whether you knew it or not. That role as a leader comes with four promises that are universal. We will examine those promises in this blog series, and you will get the opportunity to determine how well you are keeping them. Your future and the future of the organization you lead depends upon it.

  1. You promise you will set the right direction and create meaningful work.
  2. You promise you will engage all stakeholders and hold them accountable for performance.
  3. You promise you will ensure that your strategies, systems and processes facilitate focus and execution.
  4. You promise you will lead effectively by maintaining relationships of trust to achieve and sustain results.

Until next week…

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About Author

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Edwin "Mac" McDonald DDS

Dr. Edwin A. McDonald III received his Bachelor of Science degree in Chemistry and Economics from Midwestern State University. He earned his DDS degree from the University of Texas Dental Branch at Houston. Dr. McDonald has completed extensive training in dental implant dentistry through the University of Florida Center for Implant Dentistry. He has also completed extensive aesthetic dentistry training through various programs including the Seattle Institute, The Pankey Institute and Spear Education. Mac is a general dentist in Plano Texas. His practice is focused on esthetic and restorative dentistry. He is a visiting faculty member at the Pankey Institute. Mac also lectures at meetings around the country and has been very active with both the Dallas County Dental Association and the Texas Dental Association. Currently, he is a student in the Naveen Jindal School of Business at the University of Texas at Dallas pursuing a graduate certificate in Executive and Professional Coaching. With Dr. Joel Small, he is co-founder of Line of Sight Coaching, dedicated to helping healthcare professionals develop leadership and coaching skills that improve the effectiveness, morale and productivity of their teams.

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