Dos and don'ts for leadership: Leading the practice to growth

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Leadership can be incredibly challenging for dentists due to the amount of time spent on patient care, yet it is only the doctor who can lead the practice to the highest levels of achievement. Without effective leadership, practices will continue to struggle.


Plan strategically. Look toward the future and determine the practice's direction. Good leaders examine the current status of their practices and plan a course of action. For strategic planning to be effective, the doctor must engage in "outside-the-office" thinking. As the leader of the practice, the dentist must be willing to spend the time necessary to set the direction, anticipate future needs and threats, and envision where the practice will be in three, five, or even seven years.


Don't be a creature of habit. Habits can be good or bad depending on the situation. As clinicians, dentists are taught to perform procedures the same way every time. Repetition breeds excellence. When it comes to leading the practice, relying on old and tired habits can hamper dentists from making the best decisions, especially in a difficult economic environment. Good leaders realize that what worked in the past may not work now. Developing new solutions can lead to greater success.

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