What’s the secret?

The secret to running a successful business that is. Rather than having that successful business run you.

Because some people seem to thrive on the success of their businesses. But others seem weighed down by the responsibilities and demands that come with business success.

At dental school, we learn how to be a great dentist, but we are not taught how to run a great business.

After graduation, many dentists figure out the intricacies and the basics of practice management, however, very few master leadership.

There’s a common misconception that leaders are somehow born rather than made. But leadership is just like any other skill and, with time, patience and practice, it can be mastered.

And here’s what leadership has to do with business success.

If you want your practice to reach its maximum potential, you must be willing to develop leadership skills. As your practice grows and you seek to increase the level of scalability, leadership becomes the key.

If you choose not to pursue the path of leadership you will be stuck in the typical owner-operator practice that’s so commonplace in the market today.

When that happens, you’ll be the most highly paid hamster on the wheel, pedalling harder and harder for those ever-diminishing returns.

Here’s how I coach my clients to become better leaders, so they thrive on success.


6 Ways To Become A Better Leader

1. Know The Difference Between Leadership and Management

The main difference between leaders and managers is that a leader’s job is to inspire and motivate. People follow and look up to them and see their vision.

Managers, on the other hand, plan and direct tasks. A successful practice owner needs to be a strong leader and manager to get their team on board. They create the vision to get the work done.

Once you know the difference between leadership and management, you’ll start learning when to use each modality. And you’ll need to switch between the two to get the best results.

2. Have A Clear Vision For Your Team

If the leader does not have a clear vision for the business, how can the team be excited and involved in the process of developing the business?

Without a clear destination to focus on, small irritations become major headaches and teams can become distracted and disheartened. So be sure to create a vision for your business, and articulate it to your team. Get them excited!

Set milestones and be sure to keep the vision clear and in front of them at all times. During moments of difficulty, it will be the vision that supports the team through.

3. Develop Excellent Communication Skills

The leader needs to be an excellent communicator, but many tend to operate in isolation. They close themselves off in a bubble and leave the team to fend for themselves.

The solution is to talk to your team. Even if it’s about things that seem incidental. I’m a big believer in incidental conversations leading to big things.

Besides, the more you communicate, the better you’ll get.

A team that communicates well performs well. And leaders who communicate well with their teams can inspire them to higher levels of performance.

Communication skills can be learnt, so there’s no excuse not to learn how to improve. Strong communication skills will help your business soar! (Click to Tweet)

4. Know What To Delegate

Ultimately, when a business owner is not delegating effectively they are tied to mundane, low-value tasks, which is not a good use of their time. This ensures the business will fail to fulfil its’ potential.

While you may be the most capable person to handle a particular task in a given scenario, it doesn’t necessarily mean you should be the one executing it. Steve Jobs didn’t build his Apple products, he envisioned them and delegated the creation to others.

Follow his lead, create an elite team and delegate effectively. Effective delegation ensures each task is handled by the most appropriate person, so each team member is making the best use of their time.

This will improve productivity and profitability, but also ensure they are fulfilled and stimulated. So brush up on your delegation skills to be sure you’re getting the most out of your team.

5. Develop Other Leaders

Often teams are excited to travel with their leader, yet if there are no clear expectations, they can quickly become disengaged. Teams like to know what is expected of them and when they’re hitting their targets because it gives them something to aim for.

Without clear expectations, it is very hard to ensure targets are being met and for appropriate action to be taken if they are not.

Create an environment where the team can grow and actively develop other leaders in the business.

Rather than driving the team to perform, coach them. Facilitate their performance, rather than demanding it.

6. Set Clear Expectations

Employees can sometimes be treated as an asset where the maximum return is achieved on the salary dollar. When you drive and work your employees you might get their time and energy, but not their heart and soul – and that’s what makes all the difference.

Remember that your team consists of individuals. They have thoughts and aspirations and dreams. If you can work out how to support each other, you’ll build loyalty, and you’ll find your team will go out of their way to help you reach your goals.

This means each team member is clear about what their job entails and the metrics to determine success.

When you set actions, outcomes and review times with individual members of your team, they know what’s expected of them. You can jointly agree on the Key Performance Indicators and review times, so your staff members strive to meet – or exceed – your expectations.

Look Into The Future

Imagine leading a team that is self-driven, self-regulated and self-starting. Imagine you’re able to operate your business without having to be on-site every moment of the day.

Imagine creating a business where you could come and go, and know it’s in excellent hands. A business that remains ever-profitable and productive.

You can have this business.

The key is coupling effective leadership with a winning team; neither can exist without the other.

A winning team must include an effective leader.

Take the time to develop your leadership skills. This is the first – and most crucial – step in building your scaled business.

A business that creates time and financial freedom. Start striving for freedom today.


This post is based on an extract from How To Build A High Performance Dental Practice by Dr Jesse Green. Download your free copy of the full report here.