Who’s Leading Your Marketing Strategy?
The top dental practices in the US have something in common. Individually and collectively, they are led by highly intelligent men and women who excel as healthcare providers. Furthermore, they share a commitment to excellence in leadership, personal and professional growth, and success in business.
As individuals, these top dentists stand out as leaders. They understand that marketing drives business, and an exceptional business leads to richly rewarding success. What’s more, it takes leaders (who just happen to be busy dentists) to develop a profitable and people-based service business.
The following leadership habits, tips and ideas will help you stand out as one of the top few marketing-savvy dentists. Consider it a starting point, and know that the adoption of any new set of skills and behaviors is a process which takes time, and for which you might benefit from the assistance of a trained professional coach or consultant.
1. Envision success daily. Take time each day (however long you need) to mentally picture your definition of success. Focus your daily tasks, large and small, on achieving these goals. Be sure to reward yourself for making any movement toward your goals.
2. Share your vision. Communicate your values, plans and ideas within your practice. When staff are engaged and understand strategies and goals, they can contribute to achieving the vision. Collective strength propels positive change and motivated growth. And the creation by the leader of a sense of urgency puts it all in motion.
3. Patients are first. Healthcare leaders know, understand and respect the consumer – the patient. It doesn’t matter much what the practice wants to do; what the patient needs, wants and can benefit from is what counts most. Success follows when leadership shapes an organization to meet and exceed the expectations of the customer (even when it isn’t easy to do).
4. Manage effectively. Business success, especially in a service business, is driven by how people interact, communicate and work toward common goals with the consumer/patient. Successful team leadership requires exceptional people skills. Another way of thinking of people skills is ‘perception management.’ Do you have a good idea of how you come across to others?
5. Neither success nor failure in business is final. Growing a dental practice requires energy to sustain business achievements, guard against the competition, and to push past setbacks. What systems do you have in place to keep your practice moving forward?
6. Service and satisfaction is what you should be “selling.” The ‘patient experience’ has become a critical test of success in healthcare delivery. Leaders create a culture of excellent clinical care and best possible outcomes in a patient-centered and service-excellence environment. Are you and your staff learning and developing ways of creating such an environment?
7. Leaders lead by example. Colleagues, staff members and even organizational cultures are shaped and motivated by clear role models they can emulate. Your success depends on the success of others. Recognize their contributions, help them grow, and remember – they are looking to you for the example of how to feel, behave, and create and sustain needed change.
8. Risk has its rewards. The familiarity of a “comfort zone” is often a barrier to personal, professional and financial growth. Leaders take well-considered risks to push the boundaries and reach new territory. That’s where new rewards are found.
9. Times are ever-changing. To stay competitive, and to lead the industry, you and your practice must innovate or die. Increased competition and near-constant change in the healthcare delivery system is the new norm. And, just as you need to stay current with advances in dental science for clinical excellence, the same holds true for survival in the business of healthcare. Leaders find ways to differentiate. They look ahead, identify trends, adapt plans and innovate regularly.
10. Hire the right people to help you lead most effectively. Finding and retaining the right people – the exceptional ones – is a challenging task, but well worth the effort. Leaders understand that in many ways people are the business. Organizations willing to accept and tolerate “adequate” or “acceptable” performance do not fare well amongst the growing competition and changing times. For excellence that drives success, leaders should be willing to “hire slow and fire fast.” Behavioral interviewing is quite an effective way to learn the most about the candidate in a short amount of time. To learn more about this technique, look up the STAR interviewing technique.
Many of these tips are logical and probably things you already know. However, implementing them and stepping into successful leadership in these ways is not easy at all. Do not hesitate to ask for help from professionals who can guide you in the right direction.
Dr. Gale provides coaching and training to enhance leadership skills, interpersonal communications and team building. If you would like to learn more, contact him at email@example.comForward this article to a friend
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