As the leader of your dental practice, are you in control?

May 22, 2019
Dr. Roger Levin says that many dentists believe they are in control of their practices. But they may actually need to ask a few questions and take a close look at their leadership styles. They might be surprised at what they learn.
Roger P. Levin, DDS, CEO and Founder, Levin Group

Challenges, disappointments, and setbacks. Unfortunately, you can count on experiencing all of these from time to time in your practice. But can your team count on you to lead them through all of the ups and downs?

One of the hallmarks of great leadership is emotional control and consistency. You must possess these factors, or your leadership will break down, which results in fragmentation of the entire dental team. So, I ask, are you in control?

 Emotional control

 Great leaders have emotional control. Rarely do people who have blowups or display an inconsistent personality last long-term as leaders. Leaders can be emotional, but they cannot show it in extremes on a regular basis. It’s OK to have occasional feelings of disappointment or anger, but how do you display them to your team?

 It can be hard to stop and think about how you’re affecting other people during an emotionally turbulent moment. However, you must always keep in mind that a leader’s minor blowup can have a huge impact on their team members’ confidence and commitment. That’s why emotional control is critical.

 Consistency in leadership

 Great leaders understand that they need to be consistent with their team. They consistently let people know when they’re underperforming, and then they recommend solutions. They consistently encourage people to work on and improve their skills. They consistently tell people when they’re doing a great job. And they consistently seek to encourage and motivate their entire staff.

 So the real question is, are you consistent? Many doctors reading this will answer, “Yes, of course I’m consistent.” However, having worked with thousands of practices, we know that the leader’s perception of himself or herself is not always the same as it is for those who are being led. We have seen staff members report time and time again that the leader—whether it’s a doctor, office manager, or department head—is not as consistent as the leader might think. We would all like to be supermodels and sometimes we look in the mirror and think we see one … but it’s really just us.

 It’s better to be realistic. Take the time to ask your team for feedback on your leadership so that you can work on any areas that they feel need improvement.

 Leadership is not simple, but it’s not hard either. Just work to maintain emotional control and be authentic and consistent. That is about 90% of what you need to know to be a great leader.

 Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the CEO of Levin Group, a leading dental management consulting firm. Founded in 1985, Levin Group has worked with over 30,000 dental practices. Dr. Levin is a sought-after speaker in dentistry and is authority on dental practice success and sustainable growth. Through extensive research and cutting-edge innovation, Dr. Levin is a recognized expert on propelling practices into the top 10%. He has authored 65 books and over 4,000 articles on dental practice management and marketing. To contact Dr. Levin, visit levingroup.com or email [email protected]. 

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