While there is no one size fits all strategy for leadership in a dental practice, I want to give you 6 simple steps to start being the leader that changes the culture of your practice.
- Be accessible: Set aside quality time for direct communications on a regular basis with each staff member. Use the time to mentor, inspire, boost morale and make sure you’re on the same page with goals and expectations. Employees find great value in time with you. It’s both empowering and a learning opportunity, so do it consistently. It is not a one and done scenario.
- Model by being the voice of your practice mission statement: Employees look to leaders for clarity of purpose. Simply put, let them know what is important to you, what you expect from your team and why. Back up your words with actions and put your money where your mouth is. Employees want to work for offices where the doctor invests in them professionally, and where they can grow their skills through training and flourish.
- Be the pulse-taker: The best way to gauge your practice’s vital signs is to stay on top of how employees feel. Successful practices prioritize their search for and commitment to talent. The key is understanding what talent attributes you need and bulking your business around a diverse group who embody them.
- Be the standard bearer: Great leadership requires reinforcement of your practice standards. Doctors need to remind everyone what they expect in terms of deliverables. Standards of behavior and quality can slip if the owner/leader/doctor doesn’t lead by example. Employees are more likely to live up to and perform at higher standards if they know why it impacts the outcome.
- Be the compass and rudder: Set the direction, make the growth strategy clear and maintain a steady course. When times are tough, keep your staff focused on the big picture including them by revisiting your vision. It is a leader’s role to remind their team that the problems will work themselves out. Providing timely guidance and a personal touch when it’s needed most will always be relevant.
- Be a co-pilot: The best leaders know they can’t fly solo. Develop a group of mentors and coaches that inspire you and motivate you to strive for excellence in ALL aspects of your practice.
Michael Abernathy, DDS
PS. If you’d like to get a copy of my book, The Super General Dental Practice, you can download it for free here. Also you can purchase a hard copy of the book by clicking here. You’ll find a lot more about leadership in it’s pages.