Recharge and Plan for September: Proactive versus Reactive Leadership

There is a definite lightness in the air now that we are in Stage 3, offices are back on their regular summer schedules, dentists and team are taking vacations and it seems that everyone is finally taking time to recharge. 

Recharging is not only for your body, but it is also a good time to take a step back and look at the current trajectory of your practice. Living and working through a pandemic made everyone very reactive in their decisions because there was no other choice at the time. Now is the time to decide how you want to move forward, do you want to remain reactive and move through every day hoping to keep your head above water or do you want to reset and become a proactive leader with a plan for your practice moving forward?

Some of the drawbacks of being a reactive leader would include:

  • Ignoring status quo situations that you know aren’t good, but you don’t want to deal with change and the waves that change may make
  • Making decisions that have not been researched and thought out as to how they will affect your long-term goals
  • Making decisions that are based on “gut reactions” instead of analyzing data

Reactive leaders tend to react to situations as they arise and will often be in crisis mode. Very often dental practices that lack formal policies and protocols will find themselves in stressful situations. Making on-the-spot decisions will reflect inconsistent and incoherent leadership.

Some of the benefits of being a proactive leader would include:

  • Having long term plans that will service all parts of your life, this includes your financial future, your family goals and your professional goals
  • Setting small steps along the way to achieve your plans
  • Having professionals in each area help you set the goals and provide the steps you need along the way
  • Sharing your plans with others to provide accountability
  • Your plans with your team should not just be financial they should be the type of experience a patient has in the practice, they can include the type of employer you want to be known as and the highest level of technical care you are able to deliver by always updating your skills and sharing them with your team 

You will notice that when you are a proactive leader the words goals and plans are completely interchangeable so that you can use whichever feels more comfortable for you. A proactive leader will have policies and protocols in place to avoid stress and tension for themselves and their team members. There will be a path that everyone can follow and know where they are going even when a curve ball is thrown their way. A proactive leader will also have team members who are fully engaged in the office because there will be little stress as to where the practice is heading.

The decision is always yours as to what kind of leader you want to be. Even if being a reactive leader is your natural tendency you can have professionals help you set up as a proactive leader. Have your accountant and financial planner set out a realistic financial plan. You can have a Practice Management Coach come to your office to put all of the policies and protocols in place and provide you and your team with strategies to keep your office functioning in a proactive manner.

Enjoy your vacation this summer, take time to relax, enjoy your family and decide how you want to move forward when you return to the office.

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