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11.4.05 Issue #191  
Setting a New Direction: Leading for Peak Performance

Dr. Nancy Haller
Executive Coach
McKenzie Management

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I’ve worked with a lot of leaders in a wide variety of industries. Teamwork is essential in every sector of the business world, especially in today’s economy. But aside from emergency room personnel, fire and police departments, nowhere is teamwork more crucial than in a dental office.
If you are going to run a successful practice, your employees must be functioning like a well-oiled machine. When one part of the ‘dental engine’ stalls, it impacts everyone and everything. Just like the quarterback in football or the coxswain in rowing, a high performing dental team requires peak performance leadership.
I’ve written about the age-old question, ‘Are good leaders born or made?’ before. Most experts agree that some people are gifted with natural leadership traits. They are the fortunate ones. Motivating others comes more easily to them. However, research shows that leadership is a skill that also can be taught and learned. And regardless if born or made, personality is an important element that impacts leadership.

In a recent article, I wrote that when strengths are overused they become weaknesses. What’s important for effective leadership is keeping the right balance. That requires self-awareness of the behavioral tendencies linked to personality make-up.

Effective leadership requires an awareness of the situation too. Sometimes certain personality characteristics need to be reined in. For example, a gregarious dentist needs to stop talking and listen to a patient’s concerns. Peak performance leadership also means that from time to time some personality tendencies need to be magnified. Orderliness can be overdone in the office, but not when it comes to sterilization guidelines. A good leader in a dental practice must ensure safety for staff and patients alike. Errors are life threatening.

The bottom line is if you are going to take your practice to a new level, you need to know your personality. Whether you want your staff to perform more efficiently or your patients to be more amenable to treatment recommendations, your capacity to consistently motivate others depends on your personality!

The good news is that you don’t need to spend years ‘on the couch’ analyzing your early childhood to figure out what makes you tick. Now you can learn about your personality in the comfort of your own office or home with Staffing Solutions On-Line Employee Assessment Test – Dentist Profile. You’ll answer 107 true-false questions. It takes less than a half an hour. It’s incredibly affordable. In minutes you’ll have a comparison of your score with those of working dentists who have been identified as peak performers.

Before you take the test, however, assess yourself informally. Rate yourself on a scale of 1 to 10, with 10 being high. How strong are you on the following 12 personality dimensions?

1. Cool, Reserved

Warm, Easygoing

2. Easily Upset

Calm, Stable

3. Not Assertive


4. Sober, Serious


5. Expedient


6. Shy, Timid


7. Suspicious


8. Practical


9. Self-Doubting


10. Traditional

Open Minded

11. Group-Oriented


12. Undisciplined


Then evaluate yourself on these five global factors of personality. Use the same 10 point rating scale as you did before.

1. Introverted


2. Stress-Prone


3. Receptive

Tough Minded

4. Accommodating


5. Unrestrained


Now click onto the Staffing Solutions web page and order the Dentist Profile. When you receive your report, do a comparison between your self-assessment and the formal results. If you know yourself well, there should be close alignment. If there are gaps, identify areas where you can begin adjusting your behavior.

I have been working with testing for over 25 years in numerous applications. I assure you that the Staffing Solutions On-Line Assessment may seem simple, but it is based on nearly 50 years of research done by the Institute for Personality and Ability Testing (IPAT). IPAT has partnered exclusively with The McKenzie Company to create this exciting and specialized application for the dental field.

If you wish you could have a team of employees who perform to your expectations, turn that dream into a reality by taking the first step. Assess your personality and determine the fundamental drivers that influence your behavior. Become a peak performing leader starting today!

Contact Dr. Haller at For each Dentist Profile you purchase in the month of November, she’ll give you a complimentary test for a member of your staff. 

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McKenzie Management's Seminar Schedule
2005 Location Sponsor Information Topic Speaker
Nov. 18-19 Griffin, GA Endo Magic Root Camp 877-478-9748 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Dec. 1 Cincinnati, OH Cincinnati Dental Society 513-984-3443 Breakdown Sally McKenzie
Jan. 26-28 Dallas, TX Dallas County Dental Society* 877-777-6151 Top Issues Sally McKenzie
Feb. 9-10 Santa Barbara, CA The Art of Endodontics 800-528-1590 Max. Prod. Sally McKenzie
Mar. 1-5 Palm Springs, CA CDA 1201 Grand Indian Wells* 877-777-6151 Exhibit Only N/A
Mar. 9 Vancouver, BC Pacific Dental Conference 604-736-3781 Overhead Sally McKenzie
Mar. 16-17 Santa Barbara, CA The Art of Endodontics 800-528-1590 Max. Prod. Sally McKenzie
* The McKenzie Company will be exhibiting at this location

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