There’s too many of us.

Dentists that is. There are too many dentists in Australia to run a successful business, given the patient to dentist ratio.

So you need to be smart to be successful. Because there are a lot of good dentists out there.

Caring, capable and qualified dentists, just like you.

But are they clever? I mean clever in a business sense. Smart enough to create solid, successful practices.

Smart business owners display strong leadership. They display qualities that other, less successful, business owners don’t.

By ‘strong leadership’ I don’t mean they’re dictatorial or authoritarian. Strong leaders create resilient, supportive teams.

“A team isn’t a bunch of kids out to win. A team is something you belong to, something you have to earn.” 

Gordon Bombay, The Mighty Ducks, 1992

A dental practice can’t survive without a high-performing and elite team, it’s as simple as that. But your team will never survive without a strong and dependable leader.

And if you want your practice to reach its maximum potential, you must be willing to develop your leadership skills.

To progress through the stages and growth of a dental practice requires effective leadership.

The more you thrive, the more your business thrives. For your business to grow, first you as the leader must grow.

Leadership can be tough as James Greenshields shared on the Savvy Dentist podcast. James is an ex-Army Major who recovered from post-traumatic stress after his armoured vehicle was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq back in 2007.

His key learning came in Iraq when his team were not performing at their best. He realised that everyone needs to be initiated into a tribe, and each tribe has a culture.

Initiating people is important so the tribe has trust in the person, but also so that the person has self-trust. We need to nurture people appropriately.

James says we need to give them,

“…the appropriate level of support which at times is tough love, and empathetic compassion but at the same time it’s not destroying another person it’s actually pushing them harder to allow them to grow into the person that they really are.”

So a strong leader needs to exhibit a number of qualities. Let’s look at them.

24 Leadership Qualities For A Successful Business

Great leaders:

  1. Have clear vision and ability to inspire “buy in”
  2. Constantly develop and improve themselves
  3. Focus on the situation, issue, or behaviour, not on the person
  4. Respect others while maintaining their self-confidence and self-esteem
  5. Maintain constructive relationships
  6. Use initiative to make things better
  7. Lead by example
  8. Lead the way
  9. Generate enthusiasm
  10. Say “we”
  11. Show how it is done
  12. Develop and empower people
  13. Give credit
  14. Ask
  15. Say “let’s go”
  16. Prioritise the team
  17. Delegate with appropriate training and development
  18. Demonstrate appreciation
  19. Have a flexible and adaptable leadership style
  20. Are active listeners
  21. Coach employees
  22. Depend on goodwill
  23. Provide feedback in a timely manner
  24. Set expectations

As a dental business coach, these are the attributes I see possessed by leaders of great dental practices.

But there are also different levels of leadership when it comes to your team. They will follow you at different stages of their development too.

The 5 levels of leadership are:

1. Position
People follow you because of your position and because technically they have to.

2. Permission
Your staff follow you because they want to. You have gained their permission and trust.

3. Production
People follow you because of the results you get and what you have done within your business.

4. People development
Your team members will follow because of what you have done for them.

5. Pinnacle
This is about respect. People will follow your lead because, ultimately, they respect who you are and what you represent.

Create a Collaborative Team

Great leaders are constantly improving themselves, both professionally and personally.

They learn to lead themselves so they can lead others. That’s right, they learn to lead.

Just like you can learn to lead. In fact, you must learn to lead if you’re going to have a successful dental practice.

You set the example. You lead your team in the direction you want to take your dental practice.

You owe it to your team, and most importantly, you owe it to yourself.

Because becoming a great leader is the first step in practising to the max, and leading a happy life.

Want to take the next step? Contact me for a strategy session and transform your business and your life today.

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