Beginning in 2012, Dentistry IQ has periodically offered its readers the chance to explore tips from practice management experts that cover all areas of the dental practice, from patient relationships to the staff to financial concerns to front office matters to marketing strategies.
Whatever your role in the dental practice — whether you're a dentist, hygienist, front office worker, or even a consultant — there's sure to be something in this collection of tips that will help you as you continually commit to your job and practice.
The two previous incarnations of the 100 Tips articles have been big hits on the Dentistry IQ website — the original version still ranks as one of the top-read articles on our website. This fall, the Dentistry IQ editors decided to gather another round of tips. Due to a slight decrease in the number of tips we received this time around, and to increase clickability, we've decided to post each category of tips as a separate article. The separate articles will make it easier for readers to read only the tips that benefit them, although we urge you to read as many as you can!
Here are the top three leadership tips from practice management experts:
Have you ever wondered why your team loses their excitement in achieving new levels of success in their job descriptions and in achieving the goals for your practice? The answer comes from one of my favorite quotes: “A task without a vision is drudgery.” When you tell your team what to do, not why, it becomes a hollow action, with no passion. “A vision without a task is but a dream.” Lofty ambitions without a strategy quickly become empty New Year’s resolutions. And finally, “A vision plus task equals action.” If you want to avoid burnout, give your team the vision and the task!
The number one leadership principle is “model the waddle” (lead by example)! There's hardly anything worse for team morale than doctors/managers who practice the "Do as I say, not as I do" philosophy. When this happens, you can see the loss of enthusiasm and goodwill being replaced by cynicism and mistrust. A big part of doctor/manager responsibility is to lead the team with his or her actions and inspire the team to challenge themselves. The doctor/manager must show the team the way. When you “model the waddle,” you create a picture of what's possible.
Judy Kay Mausolf
Practice Solutions Inc.
Leadership is a responsibility of everyone on the team. It begins with owners crafting the vision, philosophy of care, and standards and expectations. The leader must then follow through — first developing the entire team’s commitment and finally supporting, defending, and backing the execution. Empowering the team to be self-directed leaders who are focused on the clearly defined systems that balance being efficient and effective with caring, compassionate patient service can ensure execution. The sky is the limit for the success of these practices: aim high, shoot for the moon, and you will land in the stars!