Dental Leadership Qualities
To truly lead your dental practice there are some traits or qualities that you must have.
Now some of these will be natural for you, others you may need to develop.
Ignore leadership at your peril – if you want you dental practice to be successful and profitable you must lead it there.
Essential Leadership Qualities
Vision – if you don’t have one, get one! Make sure the vision achievable otherwise your staff will quickly become demotivated.
Clarity – you must be crystal clear on what you believe to be the important issues and then demonstrate an ability to break these down and explain them in a way your staff can understand. You need to be direct and straight with them and not ‘go round the houses’ to make your point.
Passion – you must have a passion for what you do but remember passion isn’t always enough. Your passion has to be aimed at a target that makes sense.
‘Passion in the hands of those who lack judgement is the most dangerous thing I have ever come across, and it is far better to do nothing with a business than lead it passionately down the wrong path.’
Courage – being an owner, the boss, in charge of everything is quite frightening. You are usually risking your own money and often your family’s future. It is not for the fainthearted and real courage is required to see it through.
Rallying the troops – good leaders aren’t shrinking violets. This is not to say you have to be dripping with charisma, but you do need the ability to tell your staff that you are all in it together and make them feel that they would rather be with you than working somewhere else.
People do actually want to be led, they want to respect the leader and they need to feel excited about the future.
Remember, you set the tone that others will copy; your attitudes and behaviour will, eventually, spread through the entire company.
Consistency – this should speak for itself. Leaders cannot afford to be moody, dealing with one thing or one member of staff in a particular way one day and then adopting a completely different stance the next.
As hard as it often is, you must take control of your reactions and strive to be level-headed, honest and decent in your dealings with everyone. Similarly, be consistent in your goals. People have to feel that the way ahead is clear and not constantly changing tack.
Delegation – you cannot do absolutely everything yourself. Good leaders identify what they are and are not good at and then hire the right people to take over those latter tasks. Don’t be frightened of letting go.
I’m not saying you have to suddenly become Winston Churchill or Richard Branson in order to run your dental practice more effectively, but please give some thought to the concept of leadership in your dental office, as the effort will repay you generously every time.