Sherman Shares is a monthly publication
of Sherman College.

  Creating a Culture of Leadership in Chiropractic
by Jon Schwartzbauer, B.S., D.C.
Director, Leadership and Practice Management Institute


Jon Schwartzbauer, D.C.

In a recent article I read on leadership in colleges and universities, professor Ken Hammer stated that, “department chairs are too conservative in their exercise of leadership, often viewing themselves as the “keeper of the keys” and not recognizing the influence they have on their departments and the institution.”

In relating this to chiropractic I realized that many individual chiropractors receive little recognition and often minimize their influence as leaders in their communities. This might be due to the fact that they’re not taking their role as a leader as seriously as they should. I know that most of you are thinking, "I didn’t get into chiropractic to be a leader.” However, don’t we all possess some leadership potential? Don’t we all have an influence in the path our patients take? Don’t we all have an influence in the direction our profession is taking? We do, whether we are willing to admit it or not.

Creating a culture of leadership in chiropractic first involves individual chiropractors understanding themselves better along with understanding the competencies involved in leading people and groups. We can learn a great deal from reading leadership literature. Developing the Leader Within You by John C. Maxwell and John P. Kotter's What Leaders Really Do are just a couple of good books to start with.

After learning about leadership skills we need to put what we’ve learned into practice. This process takes time but it gives you a chance to learn which skills work best for you. This way we’ll also be able to see progress in our abilities to lead as we explore putting leadership ideas to work.

Next we need to realize that leadership is not only for presidents of chiropractic colleges and trade associations. Each chiropractor is in influential positions in his/her community, and we should share these leadership responsibilities equally. Certainly, there’s value in being a leader beyond the benefits it provides to the practicing chiropractor, and we need leaders in all regions of the world in order to keep straight chiropractic as an option for future generations of chiropractic care consumers.

Finally, we need to be ready to step up our leadership roles. Our current leaders won’t be around forever. We all should be empowered to take the lead as a major shift in our profession's leaders will inevitably take place. The timing is now for us to prepare to be the leaders of tomorrow.

Please accept an invitation to join us at Sherman College of Straight Chiropractic for our inaugural Success Colloquium, Thursday, March 9, 2006, at 6:00pm. The program will be held in the Scallon Building, room, 39. For a small investment of $35.00 you will hear leadership ideas from the likes of Fabrizio Mancini, D.C., President of Parker College of Chiropractic, Thom Gelardi, D.C., Interim President of Sherman College and George Auger, D.C., Board of Directors in the Federation of Straight Chiropractors and Organizations. Don’t wait. This program is new, it’s inspiring and it’s in your backyard. Contact Jon Schwartzbauer at 864-578-8770 or 800-849-8771, ext. 285;