The 6 Steps of Effective Leadership

Mastering Leadership

“A person’s success in life can be measured by the number of difficult conversations he or she is willing to have” -Tim Farris

This is one of my favorite quotes and one that we live by in the Dental Success Mastermind Group. Mastering difficult conversations is vital for becoming a great leader, but it isn’t the only key.

In this 20 min. video from the Dental Success Summit 2021 I share not only the six steps of effective leadership, but how to master and execute each of them.

 

 

In Summary

Our High Performance Dentist Academy room inside of DSN has more information, strategies, and exercises on becoming a better leader. If you aren’t a member check out the 45 Day Free Trial of Dental Success Network.

 

Hiring The Next Generation

Understanding Younger Generations

I was talking with a friend the other day, and we were discussing ‘Millenials’ and ‘Gen Z’. My friend is much older, and we were trying to discover why there’s always a disconnect. Ok, boomer, let’s dig in deeper on that subject.

We all think we just “don’t understand” these “kids”. (I feel that a lot actually even though I’m a Millennial.) My friend (Gen X) reminded me that it happens with every generation. He’s managed, coached, and mentored many in the younger Gen X and Millenial group and he remembers his early bosses saying the same about his generation.

As leaders, it’s important that we need to get into the weeds to understand how to keep these employees engaged and attract the best talent. So, I wanted to research how to best coach up the next generation.

Let’s start with the generational ‘Cutoffs’ below:

 

 

 

What Younger Generations Are Looking For In the Workplace

Next, I researched a bit more into what these generations look for in an employer. I found that Gallup and other sources have generally settled on a few keys that younger generations look for in ‘work’.

These differ quite a bit from older generations, but since we’re all hiring mostly Millenial and Gen Z, let’s look at those:

 

In Summary

If you’re looking for more help on how to grow your leadership skills, and thereby your leadership team in general, check out the ‘High Performance Dentist Academy’ room inside of Dental Success Network. It’s a very active room that gives many strategies and tactics about leadership and ways to become a better leader.

Not a DSN member? Get 45 days free HERE.

The Job Shortage: UGH-Another Team Member Just Quit…

How do you reduce employee turnover?

So a few weeks ago this happened just down the street from my wife’s family, and it just so happened to grab national attention.

 

 

It came to be understood that management was not listening to the concerns of the General Manager at the restaurant level. The kitchen air conditioning was broken and the kitchen was getting above 90 degrees- causing heat exhaustion for workers. This problem seems avoidable, but for whatever reason the regional management company didn’t address it timely and so the entire staff quit and got a raise by going to another establishment.

 

Does this happen in dental?

I would usually say no, but in this job market….I can see it happening.

The job shortage is real….unemployment generally in my area is supposedly at 2%…which according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics is below what is considered ‘healthy’ for the economy. The BLS usually states that 4-5% unemployment is ‘full employment’ and is healthy for the economy. This level allows the free movement of employees around the workforce.

In dental, the offices that Dr. Costes and I talk with are seeing almost zero unemployment in dentistry. How do we attack this problem?

1. Focus on Core Values – Usually the ‘touchy-feely’ stuff doesn’t work super well, but sometimes some appreciation, some leadership, and having a great workplace is invaluable. Having some small perks (usually not more money) is enough to keep employees happy and motivated.

2. Hire from outside dentistry and train up – This is actually the reason that we created the Front Office Academy courses called ‘Rookie to Rockstar-Dentistry 101’ and some of the next courses. It takes a total newbie to dentistry and teaches them up to be an assistant or front desk. Selfishly we wanted to use it ourselves, but it’s been very well received by hundreds of dentists so far. If you want to check it out- Front Office Academy!

 

In Summary

Try these two strategies to help reduce turnover and attract the best talent in this crazy market.

Dental Success Network was built by Dr. Mark Costes with the goal of helping dentists run a profitable business, become better clinicians and build a community where like-minded dental practice owners can collaborate and become leaders in the dental industry.

You will find them answering clinical, practice management, and life-related questions every single day in our Workplace community. Our esteemed faculty will also, on occasion, host dental continuing education courses pertaining to their particular domain expertise, so you will have the opportunity to learn clinical and dental practice management skills at a great discount. If you’re looking for more actionable information like this, join DSN!

Dental Practice: Partnership Tracks Deconstructed

Partnership Qualifications

Partnership. One of the biggest decisions you’ll be confronted with as a business owner is whether to bring on a partner and how to properly select and structure the partnership once a decision has been made.

If you are an owning doc, are you wanting to bring on your associate as a partner because you fear that they might go somewhere else?

If you are an associate doc, are you looking for partnership because you feel as though your clinical contribution is worth 50% ownership?

In this clip from Dental Success Summit 2021, Blackbelt coach Alastair Macdonald and I discuss the difference between qualifying for partnership in a practice and being qualified to partner, for both parties of a dental practice partnership.

Take the time to watch this quick clip. It’ll change the way you view partnerships forever!

 

 

 

In Summary

If you are looking for real time feedback and direct support on partnerships check out the 45-Day Free Trial of Dental Success Network and get answers from our faculty who have been through it!

What Makes a Blackbelt Dental Practice?

Sophisticated Businesses 

You may have heard me use the terms “Blackbelt Coach” and “Blackbelt Practice” on The Dentalpreneur or if you have purchased one of our operations manuals. But, what does that term actually mean?

I’m not referring to practices producing five, ten or even a million dollars. Our Blackbelt level practices are those that can maximize systemization, leadership, culture, and minimize overhead. Sophisticated business owners running sophisticated businesses.

Check out the video below to see exactly what it takes to become a Blackbelt practice.

 

 

 

In Summary

 If you are looking for support or systems on getting your practice to the Blackbelt level be sure to take advantage of 45 days free inside of Dental Success Network.

Where’s your mind at?

Thinking Fast and Slow

One of the most interesting people you will ever read about is an Israeli Psychologist named Daniel Khaneman.  He’s interesting because although he’s a psychologist, he was commissioned into the Israeli Army, where he was quickly assigned the task of helping decide where candidates would be best served.  He helped to figure out who would make the best pilots, soldiers, and so forth.  In doing so, he started noticing patterns. More on that in a moment…

Later in life, Khaneman would develop a great relationship with a man named Amos Tversky.  Tversky was also an Isreali psychologist, but he was commissioned to be a Paratrooper and Commander of a unit.  Through all the conflicts between Israel and Palestine, Tversky made a name for himself as a brash leader and learned that humans often make severe errors in judgement. Tversky and Khaneman became fast friends.  

Through their combined experiences in psychology, war, and human decision making, they became friends and collaborators who ultimately worked together on many projects throughout their lifetime, even while they were separated at different Ivy League Universities.  Unfortunately, Amos’ life was cut short at 59 due to cancer, but not before Khaneman and Tversky wrote many papers and jointly became one of the most famous and well-respected pairs of scientists in the late 20th Century.  

A few years ago, Khaneman won the  ‘Nobel Prize in Economics‘.  (Tversky would have also been named, but Nobel prizes are only awarded to living members of society.)

A few years ago, I picked up a book concerning all their work called, ‘Thinking Fast and Slow’.  It is based primarily around their work on the two ‘systems’ of the brain: one that makes fast decisions and one that works in a slower, more methodical, manner.  Check the book out here.  

If you’re as interested as I am in science, check out their book in the link above.  However, if you want to read a story of their lives, the Isreali Wars, their academic pathways, and their friendship, check out ‘The Undoing Project’ by Michael Lewis here.

 

How does this apply to dentistry? 

 Well….we often make mistakes in our own thinking.  Sometimes we attribute things to wrong inputs, and thereby give ourselves more credit than we should.  Sometimes we see patterns where none exist.  The truth is, we are all flawed human beings who use the reptilian ‘fast system’ constantly, when we should strive to use the ‘slow’ system.  

In this video I discuss how we need to understand both sides (fast and slow) of the brain and use them appropriately in dentistry to have a growth mindset.

 

 

In Summary

 Tactical Tuesday subscribers get 45 Days Free in DSN

Dental Success Network was built by Dr. Mark Costes with the goal of helping dentists run a profitable business, become better clinicians and build a community where like-minded dental practice owners can collaborate and become leaders in the dental industry.

Implementation & Systemization In the Dental Practice

Prioritizing Ideas

Dental practice owners are already in a class of their own–often functioning as clinicians, CEOs, heads of HR, and just about every other imaginable task in between. But, how do you keep your practice moving forward as you implement new growth strategies and systems without getting bogged down?

Check out this clip from our Black Belt Systemization Panel where DSI coach Dr. Kelly Dove shares how she prioritizes ideas, implements, and turns these processes into systems that lead to not only practice growth, but team and culture growth as well.

 

 

In Summary

If you are looking for more, including access to checklists, systems and operations manuals check out the 45 Day Free Trial of Dental Success Network!

Running a Dental Practice: Why Effective Communication Strategies Matter

Poor Communication Can Hurt Your Dental Practice and Policies.

One of the most important habits you can develop at your dental practice is clear and thorough communication. People often think they have an effective communication strategy in place for their team and patients — only to find out there was an issue in the process. To increase productivity in your practice, be crystal clear, over-communicate, and ask questions to ensure understanding has been achieved. There’s no question that communication is the most valuable tool for a dental practice conducting business.

An example from a Dental Success Network (DSN) member: 

“Had a humbling moment with my team recently. We have cancellation policies and prepayment policies for appointments that are consistently ignored. It has been on my back burner to address, as I see it as a leadership and accountability issue.

What I discovered is that my policy was just really not very clear. While I could elevator pitch it to you, many grey areas made it difficult for my team to commit to it. It demonstrated a breakdown in communication between myself and my team.”

 

What You Say and What They Hear Are Often Two Different Things. 

The issue at hand is effective communication. Often people assume they clearly conveyed their ideas or message but fail to take into account others interpretations. One person may think they clearly explained a concept, but the person next to them might disagree and have questions for more clarification.

 A Dental Success Network (DSN) member has asked for feedback regarding his new cancellation policy. Below you will see some of the feedback other members provided on the poster’s cancellation policy, but you will also see comments about communicating effectively and why that matters.

It’s better to make patients understand the value of the appointment and make it hard for them to reschedule.

Will there always be cancellations and no-shows? Yes. But for those who are trouble, handle them in a specific way.

First Cancellation

  1. Phase one of your policy: try to save the appointment.
  2. If that doesn’t work: listen to the excuse.
  3. If it’s valid and the patient never misses, let it go and let them schedule ASAP.
  4. If it’s not a good excuse, but they are a great patient, let it go the first time.

Second Cancellation

  1. Try to save appointments, but if not, tell them, “sorry, you have to cancel. Let’s find another appointment that works for you. Currently, our first appointment available for XXX is in 6 weeks. Since this was a problematic appointment for you (if that applies because of traffic, work, etc.), perhaps we can find a better day or time for you?”
  2. If they have an appointment for anything major, they ride them very hard and let them know that “this was a (2 / 3) hour appointment with Dr. XXX, and these are “premium” appointments that are very hard to get. Is there anything you can do to make it? Perhaps coming a little late and staying through lunch?”
  3. If it’s a great patient and they never cancel, find another time for them. If not a great patient, push them out – typically, dentists are three months out for non-emergency treatment anyway, so find the first available opening.

It doesn’t happen often, but dentists sometimes have to:

  1. Change appointments because a lab case didn’t come in.
  2.  Change appointments because the Dr. was sick, had a sick family member, or another matter on short notice.
  3.  Ran into an unexpectedly longer appointment than usual and asked the patient if they’d like to stay or come back another time.

Again, this doesn’t happen often, but you certainly don’t want patients looking at a one-sided cancellation policy.

 

Communication is a Critical Component of Success.

This concept of clarity in communication could arguably be our most important job as visionaries of our company. Here is a great example non-related to dentistry.

“We host a workout group every morning at 5 am at our house. Usually, 8-12 people show up every day, and I have become the de facto leader of the group and in charge of coming up with the workouts. This group is some of my closest friends and very accomplished, intelligent people. A doctor, a vet, two high-level bankers, a chemist, a college professor, intelligent people.

Today I organized the workout and jotted down a summary of it on our whiteboard. In my head, it was clear as day. Simple. Straight forward. I started the timer, and the workout began. For the first five minutes, people were confused, didn’t know where to go, how many reps to do, how much weight to use, who they partner with, etc.

They were coming to me with questions DURING THE WORKOUT, and I was getting frustrated, thinking to myself, “are you kidding me?”

In retrospect, I was so UNCLEAR about the workout instructions, and these extremely intelligent people didn’t get it, but they had the insight and courage to approach me for more clarity.

The SAME THING HAS HAPPENED TO ME AT WORK, except I’m probably even less clear, and I’m not dealing with accomplished professionals. I’m dealing with girls making 20 bucks an hour who are very intimidated by me. It’s amazing that we get anything accomplished.”

 

In Summary: Make Certain Your Message is Clear.

The quality of a message depends on how well it is interpreted and classified by those who hear it. You may think that you clearly relayed a concept or an idea and explained it to everyone’s satisfaction; however, another person might disagree with you. People communicate differently, and unless your team is on the same page, your dental practice will not have an effective communication strategy. 

Dental Success Network was built by Dr. Mark Costes with the goal of helping dentists run a profitable business, become better clinicians and build a community where like-minded dental practice owners can collaborate and become leaders in the dental industry.

You will find them answering clinical, practice management, and life-related questions every single day in our Workplace community. Our esteemed faculty will also, on occasion, host dental continuing education courses pertaining to their particular domain expertise, so you will have the opportunity to learn clinical and dental practice management skills at a great discount. If you’re looking for more actionable information like this, join DSN!

 

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