The Value of Volunteer Leadership
Not being a dentist, I don’t know all the motivations to serve on the MDA Board or as a component officer. I assume there’s a mix of pride, curiosity and colleague relationships that drive the decision. Maybe at times it’s peer pressure or it’s “your time to step up”. What I do know is that the MDA would be sunk without the service-oriented men and women of all ages and all practice models from across the state who give of their time, energy and skills to lead the organization.
The MDA staff team is like a SWAT troop of skilled ninjas ready to execute the plan with Vicki Wilbers (an excellent leader in her own right) at the helm. But what makes the MDA go is the heart and soul of volunteer dentists who wrangle with the issues of the day, steward the member dues and seek the growth of the profession.
Today the MDA Board met via Zoom to tackle an agenda featuring the budget, resolution review, member award recognition and more. I’m sure when Dr. Mike Berry took office last November he was anticipating an enjoyable year of travel and connection. Then COVID hit. Challenges bring good leaders to the forefront. It’s been impressive to watch Dr. Berry, the Board and Vicki lead us through uncharted waters. But it has been others before them that led us, and there must be others after them to lead us. Leadership is not a scepter to wave over people but a baton to be passed to the next one in line. Dr. Tait, are you ready? All those out there reading this, are you ready? Where can you grow personally and professionally by jumping in at some level of leadership? There is always need at the local level. There are often openings on the two foundation boards. There are committees and service projects. Jump in. Grip the baton. We need you!
Quick footnote: Due to tech issues, the MDA Board meeting had to keep reconfiguring its setup. Looking back ,it was comical as Dr. Berry and Vicki and Margie were all re-positioned several times. Thankfully there was not much delay and the rest of the Board was patient. All the business got done. Hooray!
Is the MDA Unsinkable?
Due to COVID, the annual ADA Management Conference for society staff is being held virtually with a series of webinars over several weeks. This past Wednesday we heard from Robert Stevenson as the keynote speaker. He challenged the ADA directly with hard issues that must be addressed if we are to remain relevant. Then a panel of dentists offered some solutions and people voted their agreement or disapproval as a way of gauging the idea’s merit. There was a lot of unity in the votes pointing to the need for change. Now … making that change will be tougher, but it can be done. Do you think it will come down to leadership? It usually does. I’m excited to see what happens.
The Week Ahead
Among the many webinars is the annual New Dentist Committee meeting. This is usually held in person in conjunction with the MDA Board meeting. But “in person” is so last year. I love this group of rising stars in the profession. They have energy, creativity and compassion. We will elect officers and review the student and ND outreach calendar in light of COVID.
Quote of the Week
If you don’t like change, you are going to hate extinction!