December 7, 2020
by Shawn Peers, DentalPeers
As we find ourselves in the final month of 2020, I am sure many of us would rather just turn the page to 2021 rather than look back on this crazy year.
However, looking back can provide an incredible perspective. We learn what we did well so we can duplicate it. More importantly, we learn what areas we may need to focus on to improve going forward.
One of the greatest lessons we will likely observe is the importance of leadership in dentistry. We have all heard how businesses had to learn to “pivot” in 2020. Perhaps “pivot” is one of the terms we are most tired of hearing. But in a year that seemed to defy all the expected rules, the ability to “pivot” was paramount.
Good leadership was a key component to being able to “pivot” quickly and effectively. Without it, pivoting can be a precarious exercise. Picture trying to change directions in your car to avoid a sudden collision…in the snow…with summer tires…that have no tread!
The results are usually not pretty!
So how does good leadership make a difference?
Good leadership put some offices in a better position to pivot long before anyone knew it would be necessary to do so. Good leaders already recognized that dentistry was changing and improving basic business fundamentals would be key to future success.
By having sound business practices in place before the pandemic, these offices were better able to respond to the sudden change in the environment. The leaders, themselves, may not have had all the answers…but they had an idea on the important questions.
To some extent, team members could help provide some of the answers to these questions. That is because good leaders recognize the importance of surrounding themselves with an empowered team.
Empowered, well-led teams quickly reached out to patients to reassure them that the dental team was there for them. Then, these teams turned their attention to how dentistry was about to change and what they needed to meet that change successfully.
Good leaders also recognize what they and their teams do best…and are not afraid to seek outside, expert advice for some tasks. Whether it is marketing, HR management or any other task, there are a host of excellent service providers that leaders work with to make them look good.
Leaders are not afraid to consult a business coach. Some may work with a consultant to guide them. Others may prefer an excellent do-it-yourself dental business coaching program that is available. Whatever option you go with, leaders recognize they cannot do it alone.
That may be the key for moving forward…that even in private practice, it is difficult for dentists to do it all by themselves. Most importantly, you don’t have to! By empowering your team, contracting out some services and working with a solid coach or coaching system, you can make private practice more profitable even during challenging times.
And you can do it in a way that frees up as much time as possible to do the work you love…dentistry.
So, as we head into 2021, I hope you can all commit to improving your leadership skills. We are certainly here to help…because we believe it will be the key to your future professional and financial success…and happiness.
With that, all of us at DentalPeers would like to wish you the best of the Holiday Season and a very Happy New Year!
About the Author
Shawn Peers is the President of DentalPeers. DentalPeers is one of Canada’s oldest, continuous operating buying groups exclusively for dentists.
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