Strong leadership has never been so important to the success of a dental practice. The fast-paced demands of the dental industry are ever evolving and having key team members to support effective an efficient workflows equals success.
When there is a lack of leadership a disconnect can develop between team members, as recognized by poor transparency and poor understanding of common practice goals and philosophies. This can lead to poor team culture and negatively impact patient care. Ultimately, leaving a dental practice extremely vulnerable.
It's important to note that effective leadership doesn't just happen with a snap of a finger. Leadership also isn’t about "the one person" with a certain title to lead at the practice, such as the most senior teammate, the dentist or the manager. It can be those that have a natural tendency to be a good listeners and have the dedication to support those they work with.
When dental practice teams make a conscious effort to recognize individuals with the ability and desire to learn from their past experiences, to help set-up the team for success they will win every time. Winning is when everyone experiences the benefits of elevated leadership at the practice.
Once a practice identifies stronger leadership is needed, it’s critical to put a plan of action in place. The first step is ensuring specific individuals taking on leadership roles at the practice can set time aside to focus on team needs and plan for creating synergies, collaboration, calibration and shared goals to create desired results for all.
The second step is having a plan in place that supports development of leaders. We’ve all heard the statement “Leaders aren’t born, they’re made”. I believe part of this to be true, while I agree leadership is a process of learning and developing I also believe some people are born with natural desires to help those around them, and can connect with people in a way that creates natural influence. That being said, there is a great need to also focus on growth as a leader, to be capable of supporting dynamic teams. This involves taking on further development opportunities, that result in understanding one's unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as those they work with.
Effective leadership at a dental practice is one of the main components in creating a cohesive and high-performing dental team. Leaders who are able to clearly communicate the dental practice vision and lead team members, to be part of the vision will have massive success with goal achievement. With strong leadership comes open communication and collaboration, that ensures everyone is working towards the same goals. Resulting in improved patient care, increased job satisfaction for team members, and overall, greater success for the practice as a whole.
Ultimately, leadership is about empowering others to be their best selves and achieve their full potential. By investing in leadership development within the dental team, practices can build a strong foundation for success and create a culture of excellence that benefits everyone involved.
There is a quote by Jim Rohn that I believe sums up the mindset and leadership presence practices must focus on in order to keep up with the fast-paced demands of the dental industry, “either you run the day or the day runs you”. Team alignment on the need for strong leadership will allow for the former.