With so much on our plates as dentists and practice leaders, it can be difficult to achieve continuous practice growth. We may experience short-term growth. We may achieve success in one area of our practice only to see another area of our practice struggle. Or we may hit a ceiling where everything we do works but only to a certain extent.
You get stuck. You are too busy to do everything yourself. You are too tired or stressed to micromanage. Maybe you are overwhelmed and just need to get away.
That is normal. Many of us hit a ceiling in our businesses. But how do you bust through a ceiling? The way to break through the ceiling is to develop five leadership abilities. As you read through these abilities, ask yourself whether you need to work on one or more of these. Do you practice them consistently? If not, chances are you are slipping in one of these areas.
1. Your Ability to Simplify
Business is complex. Patient care is complex. Managing people is complex. The more that you can simplify your business, simplify your processes, the more successful your practice will become. Many of us make things really complicated. When you make things complicated, your team’s performance will be inconsistent at best. If you struggle to simplify things, your team will struggle to perform tasks.
2. Your Ability to Delegate and Elevate
The more you can delegate, the more you can accomplish as a practice. You avoid being a bottleneck. You avoid having tasks pile up. And when you can delegate effectively, you can elevate other people to take ownership of tasks or rise to leadership positions. The more you can get other people to take things off your plate, the faster and the better you can grow.
3. Your Ability to Predict
Regarding your business, looking forward, can you predict what will happen? Do you know where your next patients will come from? Can you project costs or revenue? Can you predict what will happen when you change things about your operations or marketing?
I can predict that if I keep doing everything the same way I am doing it now, I will become stagnant. I might lose a team member. I might eventually not have a full schedule.
The better you can predict what will happen if you do nothing or when you change in certain ways, the better you will be able lead your practice forward. You will be able to prioritize tasks that will yield better results. You will be able to cut expenses that are not worth continuing. You will be able to better direct your entire team.
4. Your Ability to Systemize
I am not suggesting you need a five-hundred-page systems manual. Nobody will read that, and it would probably be out of date by the time you get it finished.
But I do suggest you simplify and document the most important processes in your practice. Then, I suggest you keep those processes in a place every team member can find. The team member who is responsible for those tasks can use the process to achieve better and more consistent results. And if that team member is out, another team member can step in and perform tasks using the processes.
If you are just getting started, pick a few important processes you need to be done the same way every single time.
For example, how do you want people to hand things off from the front to the back? How do you want people to answer the phone? How do you want them to describe an implant? What are the systems inside that make things consistent?
Then document the steps you want to be done every time, or ask a reliable team member to do so. Share those instructions with your team, and you have yourself your first system.
5. Your Ability to Structure
Nobody likes chaos. Nobody likes going into work and having no idea what they are doing. Nobody likes to get to work and not know where they are supposed to go. Nobody likes showing up for a new job and realizing their job description does not match their job responsibilities.
The more you can provide structure for your team members and patients, the more trust you will build with them.
Your team members will know what is expected of them, and your patients will know what experience to expect when they come in.
Take Your Leadership to the Next Level
If you find yourself hitting a ceiling in your practice, revisit this post, and ask yourself if you are slipping in one of these categories. Are you overcomplicating things? Are you not delegating and elevating effectively? Are you unable to predict the future impact of your actions or inactions? Are your systems outdated (or nonexistent)? Does your practice lack structure?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, that might be what is keeping you from consistent practice growth.
If you want help building your leadership abilities, visit our Leadership Track inside Dental Profit Academy. There you will find several lessons on improving your leadership skills and abilities.
You can also join my free Dental Marketing and Profits Facebook group, where thousands of dentists and I help each other build better practices.