3.24.17 Issue #785 info@mckenziemgmt.com 1-877-777-6151 Forward This Newsletter

How to Become a Better Practice CEO
By Sally McKenzie, CEO

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Most successful CEOs have years to develop their skills, learn from their failures and build on their successes. Unfortunately, dentists don’t have that luxury. They’re typically thrown into the role of CEO as soon as they open their first practice, without a lot of training or experience to guide them.

And of course most dentists don’t have much interest in the business side of running a practice. They’d much rather just focus on the dentistry and let the rest sort itself out. If that’s your philosophy, I’m willing to bet your practice is struggling and you’re feeling more than a little stressed out.

This all sounds bleak, I know, but if you embrace your role as CEO you’ll notice a huge change in your practice and even in team morale. And keep in mind you don’t have to do this on your own. Through classes like my Dentist CEO Training Program, you’ll learn the skills you need to be an effective leader.

In the meantime, I’ve put together some tips to help you get started on your path to becoming not only a talented dentist, but a successful business owner.

Have a clear vision for your practice.
The ability to articulate where you see the practice in the future is critical to your success. A clear vision will help motivate your team, as well as ensure everyone is on the same page. Without it, both you and your team members will likely feel a little lost. You’ll spend your days just going through the motions, rather than working toward specific goals.

If you haven’t already, sit down with your team members and craft a vision for your practice. Involving them in the process will give them more ownership of the goals you set, motivating them to excel in their roles and truly contribute to practice success.

Renew your passion for dentistry.
I know how easy it is to feel burnt out as a dentist. The daily grind can begin to take its toll, especially if your practice is struggling. But to be successful, you truly have to love what you do. If you don’t, both your team members and your patients will know, which could lead to lackluster performance and a dip in patient retention numbers.

It’s important to remember why you became a dentist in the first place. Invest in technology to keep practicing exciting, and carve out time to attend CE courses and learn new skills. Travel to a few tradeshows each year to connect with colleagues and learn about the new products manufacturers have to offer. This will not only keep you energized, it will help renew your passion for the profession you chose.  

When you’re passionate about what you do, it comes through in your interactions with team members and patients. Team members will be more motivated to excel and patients will be more likely to accept the treatment you recommend.

Be open with your employees.
I suggest you create an environment where team members feel like their voices can be heard. Encourage them to share any concerns they have as well as their opinions on how to improve the practice.

Everyone should be aware of the practice vision and your goals. Give team members continual feedback (both positive and constructive) and make your expectations clear through detailed job descriptions and performance measurements. Being open with your team members and creating a collaborative environment will not only raise morale, it will lead to a more efficient practice that consistently meets and even exceeds goals. This level of involvement will also help reduce staff turnover. Team members will be more fulfilled in their jobs, and that will make them excited to come to work each day.

While there are many other steps you can take to become a more effective CEO, focusing on these three areas will set the foundation for excellence in your practice. Keep in mind you also need to develop practical skills to run the business side of your practice, which is where I can help.

If you’re struggling with your role as a business owner, don’t wait to make the necessary changes. The situation will only get worse if you ignore the problem, but if you take the proper steps, you can increase case acceptance and patient retention, boost team morale, reduce your turnover rate and finally meet your full potential.

Next week: Improve your leadership skills and grow your bottom line

For additional information on this topic and more, visit my blog: The Lighter Side

Interested in speaking to me about your practice concerns? Email sallymck@mckenziemgmt.com
Interested in having McKenzie Management Seminars speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.
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