The phrase “effective leadership” has become a bit of a cliché lately. Many dentists and practice managers know intuitively that they need to be “better leaders,” whatever that means in practice. But I am here to tell you that becoming an effective leader will have a tangible, practical impact on your practice—not to mention your quality of life! Why? Because a strong leader creates efficient teams and effective systems… which allows a dental practice to function better and more efficiently, while at the same time reducing the level of direct day-to-day supervision required of the practice manager or dentist. Better service provided, less work required. There is nothing cliché about that! Commit to being a strong and effective leader… starting today! Below are tips to help you get started:
1) Don’t be a nanny… be a teacher. Empower your team. Don’t simply tell your employees what to do, tell them why they are doing it. Help them to see the big picture, to understand what you want them to accomplish. Once your team sees the practice from your perspective, they won’t need to bug you all day long with minor questions—because they will already know the answers.
2) Create self-sustaining systems. What happens if you take a long weekend or leave your office early? Does your team continue to function as they should? Can the practice run without your personal attention? If not, you have some work to do. Create systems to keep your practice running—whether you are there are not.
3) Create a strong culture. Have you ever walked into an Apple store or a Starbucks? Employees at virtually every one of these locations seem to be united by a shared culture. A strong culture is crucial in order to keep your team motivated and happy in their jobs, and it is essential to providing a good customer experience. Create a culture that reflects the values that are important to you. I’ll have more specifics on this in the future!
Effective leadership doesn’t mean micro-managing, and it doesn’t mean doing all of the work by yourself. Effective leadership means teaching employees, creating systems, and building a strong and unifying company culture. And ultimately, effective leadership leads to better customer service, happier employees, and more freedom for dentists and practice managers! Does that sound appealing? Get busy leading… and feel free to contact me with any questions you may have.