A doctor should always assume and demonstrate leadership skills to positively influence their team. Most doctors do not realize the power leadership actions have on the level of team stress, job satisfaction, and practice profitability. Over our many years of coaching pediatric dental practices across the country, we can emphatically say, when a doctor is not performing leadership actions, they experience more stress and lower profitability due to lack of planning and low employee job performance, thus resulting in poor functioning systems and teamwork.
Anyone can be a great leader, regardless of their personality type if they consistently and successfully carry out the following leadership actions:
CONTINUALLY EVALUATE IF THINGS CAN BE DONE BETTER. DO NOT SETTLE FOR THE STATUS QUO.
Strive to improve efficiency, systems, and team members.
PROCURE EXCELLENT ADVISORS, MENTORS, AND SUPPORT SYSTEMS.
These may include an accountant, attorney, practice management consultant/coach, etc. Find successful professionals who are willing to share their knowledge
LEAD BY EXAMPLE AND CULTIVATE A HEALTHY PRACTICE CULTURE.
Remember that a doctor is in control of the practice culture. The doctor’s behavior sets the standard and defines this culture; therefore, doctors must hold themselves to high standards.
DEFINE YOUR PRACTICE VISION AND SHARE IT WITH YOUR TEAM.
When all team members are working toward a common vision and goals, the probability of success greatly increases, and the team’s energy becomes symbiotic.
HAVE STRONG FISCAL MANAGEMENT.
Create an annual business plan, set regularly monitored goals, utilize reports in practice management software, etc.
BE “PEOPLE SMART”: UNDERSTAND PEOPLE’S DIFFERENT BEHAVIOR TRAITS AND STRENGTHS.
Being “People Smart” is a powerful leadership tool that helps a doctor better lead, manage and hire people by understanding:
People possess different mixtures of behavior traits and how this impacts their job performance.
A person’s strengths and limitations to be able to hire and coach effectively.
Each person’s motivators that empower them to be more productive and experience greater job satisfaction.
HOLD EMPLOYEES ACCOUNTABLE.
When a doctor does not hold team members accountable for proper job performance and attitude, it becomes discouraging and in turn, the industrious team members will lose respect for the doctor.
MOTIVATE WITH PRAISE, APPRECIATION, AND RECOGNITION.
Know each employee’s goals and motivators and encourage their development and growth.
HOLD REGULAR MEETINGS.
Morning meetings, monthly meetings, quarterly department meetings.
Recognize your team’s efforts with things like dinner or lunch, a surprise spa day, cash bonuses, or special gifts at 5, 10, 15, and 20 year employment anniversaries.