Leadership does NOT take a specific type of person to lead successfully. It does, however, require you to BECOME something more. The dictionary defines leadership as the leading of a group of people or an organization; Webster says it is a noun that seems odd to me. Leadership is a verb. And before any logophile (those are “word lovers”) tells me that “lead” is the verb, I don’t care, because the definition of that is “be in charge or command of,” and that is just absurd and obsolete. Let’s be clear; this isn’t an article about diction.

I believe leadership is as much an act of doing as it is an act of becoming. Which means leadership is a choice. Like other capabilities, if you decide to learn it, you can develop your leadership skills. Do this by focusing on the following four domains by committing the time and money investment and adopting the passion for it. You will need to study them, get trained, and put into practice what you gain along the way…leadership is like golf, art, or dentistry; the more you study, train, and implement, the better you BECOME…leadership is a journey. So pack up and get moving. I am going to give you the map to follow. 

Leadership Mindset.

Start here: You must build and maintain an understanding of what leadership is and what is not leadership. You may find it enlightening and surprising what you find. Discover where and how leadership fits into building the dental practice of your dreams, how it should work for you, and instill it into your office team’s culture. Here are just a few examples of the areas of knowledge you need to explore and understand to construct your leadership mindset;

  • Theory of Leadership
  • Psychology of Leadership
  • Purpose of Leadership
  • Leading vs. managing

Communication

As a leader, your messaging, its content and qualities, must be rooted in your practice’s values and culture. Learn the significant importance of communication to key stakeholders in your dental business and infuse that into how you communicate. Define and learn what quality communication looks like with employees, patients, vendors, and other strategic partners.

Having extraordinary communication skills is simply vital to leadership, can’t have one without the other. And to get there here are seven key domains to dive into:

  • Managing Conflict
  • Delivering Feedback
  • Speaking Skills
  • Nonverbal Skills
  • Making Decisions
  • Culture Building (yup, that’s part of communication)

Prioritization. 

Have you ever found that you’ve spent too much time or money on the wrong part of the business? Or have you experienced that feeling of having too much to deal with and no idea where to start? If so, congratulations, you are human. Being superhuman requires new talent, a skill you can acquire: Understanding how to prioritize is a key requirement for successful leadership. The benefits are exponentially valuable to your dental office performance. Team management becomes much easier when you have a well-defined idea of the practice’s objectives and tasks you need to do, whether they be daily or longer-term, and the best order in which to do them. Here are the key components to becoming a prioritization wiz;

  • Identifying the practice’s Core Values
  • Strategic Planning
  • Priority Management
  • Setting Goals
  • Delegation
  • Accountability

Master Your Emotions

Improve your emotional intelligence (a.k.a. EQ) by better identifying and managing your emotions. Learning emotion-management tools to ensure that your emotional responses are more accurate, adapted, and effective will bring your leadership, and overall emotional well being, into rare air. Strengthening your EQ will lead you to more thoughtful and deliberate decisions. 

Mastery of EQ is an ongoing process, of constant and never-ending improvement and vigilance. So that you can move your EQ score upwards, you will need to dig deep down into these subjects:

  • Theory of Emotional Intelligence
  • Self-Awareness
  • Self-Management
  • Social-Awareness
  • Relationship Management
  • Power of Influence

Leadership is a verb that is preceded by another verb, choosing…leadership is a choice that once made needs a plan to follow. You can start to become the best version of yourself right now if you make that choice, and if you need help along the way, call me. Seriously. Zip me a text when you need me or to share your thoughts. 

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