Written by: Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS
Dentists go to dental school to be a clinician. Most dentists do not go to dental school to become a business owner.
Dental schools do not provide much education on business and owning or running a dental office.
The reason why successful dental practices are profitable and have little employee turn-over is because the doctor-owner has qualities of a great leader.
What are the qualities of a great leader?
You can ask to google or Siri this question however, I have put together a list of what I know to be true.
Often the team is intimidated by not only the doctor/owner/DDS/ DMD title but it is possible that the employee has never worked in a professional atmosphere before. It is important to encourage the team to express their opinions and the owner of the dental practice must have patience and a willingness to listen to what the other employees believe, feel or think.
The owner of the dental practice must provide a safe environment where the employees are not afraid to communicate. It is important the doctor is approachable.
Successful dental practice owners and leaders are expert decision makers. They either facilitate the dialogue to empower their team (employees) to reach a strategic conclusion or they do it
themselves. They focus on “making things happen” at all times – decision making activities that sustain progress and profitability of their dental business. Successful leaders don’t waste their time on issues that disrupt momentum. It is important that business owners can make decisions in 3 mins, 3 days and for big decisions, in less than 3 weeks.
All successful leaders will communicate their vision, mission and the culture they expect their employees to live by. Successful leaders are great communicators and it is important that they communicate their expectations about their employee’s performance, what systems and processes they expect to be completed and when these are to be completed.
The mindset of a successful leader/ dental business owner is one who has a positive attitude. They are open to looking at various systems and processes “Outside the box.” These successful leaders are always looking for areas of improvement not only within themselves but within their business. They have a constant and never-ending commitment for improvement.
Outside of mentoring their employees to be their very best, a successful dental practice owner will hold others accountable and they will also allow others to hold them accountable. They will also allow the team (their employees) to drive the practice so they can be the expert clinician they set out to be at the beginning of their career. The doctor/leader allows the team to sit in the drives seat.
6. Lead by Example
Successful leaders practice what they preach and are mindful of their actions. They know everyone is watching them and therefore are incredibly intuitive about detecting those who are observing their every move, waiting to detect a performance shortfall
7. Know Their Numbers & Reward Performance
Great leaders always have a strong “pulse” on business. They are looking at end of day reports and they always follow end-of month protocols: looking at where their business numbers are and understanding areas of inefficiency in their business; sooner than later. They also review and check-in with their employee’s performance and are quickly to change a pattern of poor performance and they reward when the practice and employees are successful.
8. Seek Expert Advise
Successful leaders will seek the counsel of an expert when they have questions or believe the business is not functioning at its full capacity. From the outside, successful leaders appear to know-it-all – yet on the inside, they have a deep thirst for knowledge and always are on the look-out for new information because of their commitment to making themselves better through the wisdom of others.
9. Problem Solve
Successful leaders tackle issues head-on and know how to discover the heart of the matter at hand, they don’t procrastinate. They become incredibly proficient at problem solving; they learn from and don’t avoid uncomfortable circumstances; they welcome them. Getting ahead in life is about doing the things that most people don’t like doing.
10. Positive Energy & Attitude
Successful leaders create a positive and inspiring workplace culture. Let’s face it, dentistry can be stressful. It is not a place where patients are excited to be. I have to admit that it can be difficult when we have a lot of estrogen trapped between four walls, 8-10 hours a day. Most weeks we spend more time together with our team members than we do with our family so let’s make it a fun place to be.
These ten things are only a few things that will ultimately allow dentist/leaders and business owners to increase the value of their business brand, while at the same time minimize stress and business failure no matter what the economic climate is.
If you would like to know more about your office having a harmonious atmosphere and/or build your leadership skills to create a higher level of success please contact our office to schedule a complimentary practice boost session. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org or call: 949-351-8741.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Debbie Seidel-Bittke, RDH, BS is a dental consultant, coach, speaker and author. She is also CEO of Dental Practice Solutions. Debbie is a world-class leader in creating profitable hygiene departments. She is well-known as a former clinical assistant professor at USC in Los Angeles and a former hygiene department program director. Dentistry Today recognizes Debbie as a Leader in Dental Consulting. She can be reached at (888) 816-1511. Send an e-mail to email@example.com or go to her website: https://www.dentalpracticesolutions.com
Check out the Free 3-Part Hygiene Department Training: http://www.dentalhygiene.solutions