For years, I have repeatedly tried to get dentists to come to seminars about leadership. No one ever shows up. Most look at me with that glazed-over’ look when I mention the “L word.” “What does leadership have to do with production?” Plenty.
The best producers are always the best leaders.
But, because it seems boring, most dentists simply breeze over ”all that leadership stuff.” Through the years I have found that it works best to conceal the topic of leadership in my regular coaching program by calling it something “sexy” — something like . . . “Hidden Keys To Decreased Stress And Increased Income,” or, “How To Make Your Life A Whole Lot Easier,” or, “How To Get Your Staff To Do All The Work.”
Shazammm! Now I have your attention.
“So, why is leadership so important and how can it help me in my practice?” Because you’ll have a better, much more profitable practice with less stress. Interested? Let me illustrate.
A True Story…
Not long ago, I was meeting with a group of my doctor clients in Texas. Some of the doctors in the group have their practices running on high-octane fuel and are flying low, while others are running on regular gas. One of the “high-octane” doctors shared her story of the transformation of her practice using the principles the Brady Group teaches. Her net income had gone through the roof. Her stress had gone down with a calmer, less hectic practice. Now the employees were happier. And they were all making a lot more money. She said her team was virtually running the practice. “Ha! Leadership!” I said to myself. I knew this was an opportunity for a teaching moment about leadership so I slipped it into the discussion.
I asked. “What have you done differently to make your practice income soar?” She said, “Well, our case acceptance is so much better, like you taught us, so we’re doing bigger cases—more dentistry on fewer patients. We’re not too busy, so we’re more profitable.” “Thank you,” I said to myself, “but that’s not what I’m looking for.” I repeated, “What have you done differently in leading your team so you have had such great success financially?” Without hesitation she said, “I let go.” When she said those words, I swear there was a choir of angels that started singing from the heavens above. Truer words have never been spoken by mortal lips in a dental meeting in this century. Did you hear that? She “let go.”
How to “Let Go”
Okay, so what does it mean to let go? Simply put:
- It means to get the !*&^%*! out of the way so the practice can grow and literally take off!
- It means to stop micromanaging/hovering.
- It means to clarify the practice vision and let them figure out how to implement your vision.
- It means to “teach them correct principles and let them govern themselves.”
- It means to trust them to do their jobs.
- It means to let them grow by taking off the shackles. Shackles that they may be used to by now and not even notice they have.
- It means to provide the team with the necessary skills and resources for them to be able to take their jobs and run with it.
- It means to throw away your office manual.
- It means to not have them on a time clock.
- It means to allow the team the latitude to learn by failing once in a while.
- It means to pay them a salary and not an hourly wage.
- It means to teach them the “why” about the practice and stay away from the “how.”
- It means to stop telling the patients what they need and respect them enough to let them self-diagnose.
Almost all dentists have a strangle hold on their practices. Do you have the parking brake on while trying to rev the engine up to overcome the stopping power that is generated by the lack of air allowed into the practice? Remember Aesop’s fable about the goose and the golden egg. Don’t strangle the goose. Feed it. Water it. Don’t hover over it. Let go and let the goose do its thing.
Many times leadership is not about doing something, it’s about not doing something. Stop slowing your practice by having a death grip on the team and the systems. Let go.
Some dentists tell me they can’t let go because they are afraid the staff will make mistakes that will hurt the practice. Have you ever made a mistake that hurt the practice? Let go.
Want your production to go up? Let go.
Want your stress to go down? Let go.
Want to have a happier team? Let go.
Want to learn how to let go? CALL US! 800-592-7239