What Kind of CEO Will You Be in 2011?
At last, we stand at the summit of 2010. Each of us a year older, and I hope wiser. Some are battle scarred and road weary from the lessons, trials, and tribulations that they have endured over the past year. Others are rejoicing in the newfound opportunities and victories that enabled them to achieve goals and realize long held dreams. While I do believe that each day is the opportunity to begin anew, there is nothing like the final days of December to cause us to take stock of the last 12 months. And for most, we simply cannot help but consider what we want to change, improve, and achieve in the New Year.
For dentists, success is for the taking, and the opportunities are virtually limitless. You have the opportunity to improve clinically. You have the chance to achieve goals you never believed possible. You have the power to create a team of rock star performers. But most importantly, you have a choice: accept where you are and what you’ve achieved in your career as “good enough” and settle in for more of the same - or take a close look at yourself and what you can do differently to become the leader of your practice and the creator of your success. If you choose the latter, your journey begins with acknowledging your vitally important role as the CEO of your business. It is generally accepted that there are several important factors that impact the success of the dental practice CEO. Below are the top 6:
Consider the first factor - credibility. Do you walk the walk or merely talk the talk? You insist that your employees be ready for the morning huddle at 7:45, but most days you don’t pull into the parking lot until 7:50 a.m. Your Collections Coordinator is expected to meet specific collection goals, but you routinely undermine her/his efforts by giving “friends and family” discounts. You claim that you encourage your employees to take ownership of their responsibilities, to solve problems, and do what needs to be done. Yet, all the while you are criticizing, second guessing, and micromanaging virtually everything they do. You tell staff that the practice is hurting financially then wonder why they aren’t excited about your flashy new Jaguar.
How about communication - do you communicate clearly and specifically? It is said that some two-thirds of employees do not know their employers’ goals or business philosophy. Open the lines of communication with your team. Express your practice goals and objectives to your staff. Encourage ongoing discussion, feedback, and problem solving from everyone. Communicate your expectations clearly because if you don’t, no one can be held responsible except you when those expectations aren’t met.
Do you have a vision and do your employees know what it is? Vision is the ability to see your practice, not where it is today, but where you want it to be when you're done. If so, share your vision as well as your passion for achieving it. If you see the practice you want in your mind’s eye, and you share that with your team, you can develop the systems and strategies to make the vision your reality.
Motivate and inspire your employees - are you honest with your team and do you provide ongoing constructive feedback? Feedback is protein for your practice, creating high performance energy day-in and day-out. Be generous with your positive feedback, ensure that it is sincere, and if possible, give it in front of others. Be constructive with your negative feedback. Provide it in private and use it as a precise instructional tool in which you are carefully carving out your perfect employee, not as a hammer in which you’re going to smash both the problem and the employee’s self esteem to smithereens. Don’t mix positive and negative feedback. The employee will only focus on the negative and the positive will mean nothing.
Next week - creating a culture for success in your practice.
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