You may think that the newest technology, a new sign or an amazing new team member will be the catalyst to make your practice successful. In reality, all of those items will help a bit but the one magic bullet you need is to actually become a great leader yourself, some people will say that leaders are born yet most grow into this position with effort. The best practices, the best teams and the most productive practices always have the best leaders.
It’s no different in any other business in this world, if you take a look you will find there is always a great leader behind a great practice. The big question is how you become a great leader because we know it isn’t part of our DNA.
If you take the time for some honest self-reflection you may be able to put the puzzle pieces together to come up with ways to change your leadership style. Here are some ideas to get started on:
- The hardest part of the journey is starting with the truth. Take the time to learn more about how you positively or negatively influence the trajectory of your own life as well as your practice. Very often you might see how patients cause their own dental problems whether they admit it or not, look at your own world and see how you might avoid problems moving forward.
- Encourage the people around you. A great leader will take the time to help those around them grow. In a dental office this may mean bringing in experts to increase your team’s knowledge in certain areas or encouraging CE for all team members. Some dentists may look at this as extra costs but if you flip that around to an investment in your team you will quickly realize that there is a return. A team member who feels that you are helping them grow is more likely to stay on your team.
- Make it a lifelong goal to become more self-aware. Learn how emotional intelligence will help you have the ability to pause between an event and a response. Take a beat to ensure that your response will provide a positive outcome to any circumstance. Ask for feedback from others to determine if you are as self-aware about your responses as you think you are.
- Get a coach or mentor and listen to their feedback. They will be able to see and point out things that you will never pick up on for yourself.
- You need to believe that you will never have it all figured out. If you believe this, you will constantly be open to learning and change. The leaders who tell you that they have it all figured out are likely the ones that have it the least figured out.
- Create a leadership team (likely you and your Operations Manager) who have the ability to always be open and honest with each other. Trust each other’s opinions and figure out solutions from any observations.
The magic bullet to growing your practice is actually You. If you grow your ability to understand your practice, communicate with people and to nurture great team members, you will be successful. Remember to keep growing and don’t let yourself get stagnant.