What dentists can learn from CEOs about managing their energy

2013 08 19 16 17 54 253 Roger Levin 200

DrBicuspid.com is proud to present an excerpt from Dr. Roger P. Levin's latest book, What Dentists Can Learn From Top CEOs, which was published in April. It draws together many of his observations about how techniques used by top corporate leaders can be applied successfully in dental practices.

Following is an excerpt from the chapter entitled "CEOs Manage Their Energy."

The best CEOs are experts at prioritizing and time management.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.Roger P. Levin, DDS, chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.

I love reading about CEOs. Whether it is biographies or features in magazines such as Forbes, Fortune, Business Week, Harvard Business Review, and others, I can never get enough information about how top business leaders become and stay successful. One fact that used to continually surprise me was how many CEOs actually found time to do interesting things outside of work, including sailing, flying planes, hunting, and charitable activities, to name a few. I used to wonder where these high-powered business people found the time to exercise, pursue hobbies, and spend time with their families.

Eventually, it became obvious to me that these leaders were experts at prioritizing and time management. They work long hours, but they also take breaks, go on vacations, and pursue outside interests. Successful CEOs strive to find the right balance between work, family, and other activities.

Fatigue, stress, and inefficiency

Like CEOs, dentists are committed to making their practices financially successful. While they work fewer hours per week on average than most Americans, dentists are very focused in the office. Working with patients requires large amounts of both physical and mental energy. In the seminars that I present each year, I often ask dentists to raise their hands if they feel that they are tired by 3:30 in the afternoon.

What Dentists Can Learn From Top CEOs by Dr. Roger Levin.What Dentists Can Learn From Top CEOs by Dr. Roger Levin.

Naturally, most of those in the audience raise their hands. I then explain that this may be the first sign that something is wrong with the practice's systems and operations. There really is no reason doctors should be fatigued or exhausted by midafternoon.

The dentistry itself doesn't tire us out. It's all the other aspects of operating a practice. Most fatigue comes from stress, which results from inefficient management and marketing systems. Inefficiency induces the doctor to shift focus, answer questions, and micromanage administrative duties. All these nonclinical activities drain energy, leaving doctors spent before the end of the day.

Of course, it does not have to be that way. Many dentists and specialists leave the office with the same amount of energy they had when they arrived that morning, thanks to the power of high-performance systems. In fact, as one client put it, "I now have more energy at the end of the day than when I start. This is probably because I spend the day doing what I love, which is an energizing experience."

The best CEOs manage their energy by taking care of themselves -- getting yearly physicals, exercising regularly, spending time with their families, and taking time off throughout the year. Most importantly, these leaders know how to renew each day. Whether it is exercise, reading, hobbies, or time spent with family and friends, CEOs are experts at renewal, and dentists should be too. This allows you to do an even better job as a CEO of your practice and enjoy what you do even more.

Roger P. Levin, DDS, is the chairman and CEO of practice management consulting firm Levin Group.

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The comments and observations expressed herein do not necessarily reflect the opinions of DrBicuspid.com, nor should they be construed as an endorsement or admonishment of any particular idea, vendor, or organization.

Copyright © 2014, Levin Group, Inc. Reprinted with permission.

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