Steve Cartin: Leadership Word-of-Mouth

Steve Cartin knows more about dentistry than most pastors.

A dental practice management consultant, Steve is sought after by dentists for advice on leadership, amongother things. And as a faithful follower of the greatest Leader, he has sure wisdom to share.

His own leadership style was transformed when he heard about Lead Like Jesus following “the worst speaking engagement” he had ever done. “I thought, ‘I have to do something different,’” he remembers.

Steve has now been an Lead Like Jesus certified facilitator for four years and a Regional Representative for two.

“Lead Like Jesus started by changing my ministry, then it changed my business, then it changed my relationship with my wife and my relationships with my adult children,” he says. He remembers how Ken Blanchard best explained this transformation in his life: “He put his finger gently into my chest and said, ‘No, it’s changed you.’

“He was right,” says Steve. “Because by changing me, Lead Like Jesus changed everything I touch.”

Now, in his dental practice management consulting, Steve takes every opportunity to share the same transforming message with his clients. “When I sense an opening, I try to walk through it.”

His objective is to help dentists grow their practices, care for their teams, and care for their patients. “I tell them I’m a Christian and a pastor before I begin working with them,” he says. “When they get really hungry, I tell them openly about Lead Like Jesus.”

Steve grins at the memory of one dentist who came back to him saying, “What was that servant leadership thing you were talking about?”

“A dental office is a hectic workspace,” Steve says. “A dentist’s hands are in mouths most of the day, so he or she can’t be checking on the people at the front desk or on the people answering the phones. Since they are directly responsible for producing most of the money, they can easily get a sense that everyone serves them.”

According to Steve, a dentist’s secret to success is solving people issues. “The Way of the Carpenter and understanding what it means to be a serving leader opens them up to new levels of success and fulfilment.”

A few years ago, one of Steve’s clients in Ireland lamented to him about having to fire an employee. Seeing an opportunity, Steve grabbed a piece of printer paper and drew out the diagram of Lead Like Jesus’ pride and fear model. His client’s eyes got big and he pointed to the “fear” side. “This is me in every area of my life,” he confided.

The breakthrough with this Irish client led to personal coaching and the sharing of Lead Like Jesus and other Ken Blanchard materials; it resulted in an inspired man and a transformed dentist office. “It was powerful,” says Steve.

“It takes a lot of planting seeds,” he adds. “I have planted Lead Like Jesus seeds that took years to sprout; it just takes persistence, but I have seen how it helps my clients and turns practices around.”