What Kind of Leader Are You In Your Dental Practice?
We hear the term “leadership” so much in business these days. There has been a shift in the thinking of what leadership is in the last decade, and we are no longer looking at humans as resources. Instead, we are looking at our team members as our partners in goal-setting and goal-reaching.
Leadership is a big topic; I could write several books on it. However, I wanted to share a very simple thought experiment with you in today's blog.
When dentists come to me, and we start to discuss leadership, they say things like:
"My manager is excellent. She works hard to make sure the schedule is full."
"My management team is always making sure money gets collected."
"My team leaders are the first ones in and the last ones out. They work the hardest out of anyone."
These things are all great observations of the operations of the practice. However, the very next thing I will ask a dentist is what leadership style have you adopted and implemented in your practice? This question usually gives them pause. Can anyone list off leadership styles on command? Likely not. Is that a requirement to run a business? Definitely no.
My Advice? Don't get wrapped up in the technical descriptions and definitions. Decide what you want the feel of the dental practice to be. How will you establish positivity? How will you define what your company means to your patients? How will your patients know they are getting quality care? How will your team know you deliver quality care?
So many of these things go into determining the leadership style in your office. I think the question we need to ask ourselves continuously is, do my leadership style and practices complement my objectives and goals?
Let me give you an easy example.
Doctor’s goal: "Have a team that can handle the daily duties and then be able to take my practice to the next level."
Then, what are the training and development steps needed to accomplish this goal? Let’s take it a step further: how many days or hours do you use to train a new team member? Are the expectations of that team member the same as the rest of the team? If they are different, for how long are they different? How is their progress measured? If they feel like they are not getting support in training, what other learning resources do they have? Is the training time planned? With so many things to consider, how can you plan this all yourself?
My best advice? Get help. Delegate to your team members the things that they can handle for you. Make sure everything is measurable, and that you have a consistent follow-up system in place with them. Just like a new employee, they may need additional support in this new role.
Ultimately, we want to make sure that we have a plan and that we do everything with intention. If you do, your results will happen faster and last longer!
Until next time!