Step up or step out

Dr. Marc Cooper

Dr. Cooper's professional career includes private periodontist, academician, researcher, teacher, practice management consultant, corporate consultant, trainer, seminar director, board director, author, entrepreneur and inventor.Dr. Cooper has studied with masters in many disciplines, participated in formal business educational programs, and worked as an independent contractor with top-flight consulting companies. In 2011, Dr. Cooper was selected as a coach for the prestigious TED Fellows Program.The Mastery Company has been in existence since 1984. Dr. Cooper's client experience in dentistry includes solo private practice, small partnered practices, managed group practices and retail corporate enterprises. Dr. Cooper has worked with numbers of health care entities such as insurance companies, clearing houses, bio-technical companies and disease management companies, as well as the senior executives and boards of large hospitals and hospital systems and a number of their related physician groups. In addition, Dr. Cooper has worked with Silicon Valley start-ups and Fortune 500 companies. He has worked with dental clients in the U.S., U.K. Canada, Chile, Brazil, Portugal, Italy, Greece, Dubai, Abu Dhabi, Oman, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia and Israel.Dr. Cooper is author of eight successful books; Mastering the Business of Practice, Partnerships in Dental Practice, Running on Empty, SOURCE, Valuocity, Valuocity II, Valuocity III, and The Elder. His electronic newsletter reaches thousands of subscribers in 31 countries. Dr. Cooper also co-developed a suite of online dental practice management assessment tools.Dr. Cooper can be contacted

A look at how the concept of employee accountability is important for your practice.

There comes a point in your hires when they either “step up” or you ask them to “step out.” How do you know? They either step into accountability or they don’t.

Accountability is more than commitment, more than strong intention, more than hard work, more than “I'll give it everything I got.” Accountability is all about accepting responsibility.

You need to ask yourself this difficult question: is this person willing to be totally "answerable" for the targets and objectives required to succeed in their work? Are they willing to be fully and wholly responsible for achieving those targets and objectives? If not, they are not accountable.

“The moment you feel the need to tightly manage someone, you’ve made a hiring mistake.”  â€• James C. Collins, Good to Great

There is no such thing as co-accountability. You cannot share accountability. It is either yours or it’s not. You are either the bottom-line or you’re not. You’re either responsible for making the target or you are not. When you are accountable, the only finger you point is at yourself.

Related article: 3 "check ups" every practice leader should do

You can hear accountability in someone’s speech. What you don’t hear is, “I’ll try; I’ll work really hard; if everyone else does what they’re supposed to; I hope to; it will happen if the marketing works,” and so on. People who give themselves a backdoor are not accountable. If you don’t believe that a person can give and keep his or her word, or if you don’t think that they can take the full weight of the task without much direct management and assistance, then that person cannot be accountable.

What you will hear when someone is accountable is, “I will make it happen no matter what; you can absolutely count on me; the results will happen.” People who are accountable are willing to put themselves at risk in their speaking and their being. They are willing to declare they will be the bottom line no matter what. They are willing to step into the danger of failing and the consequences that come with it.

Related article: 6 ways to improve your dental practice in 2017

What you want at your senior levels are those people who are accountable. They don’t require much management. They deliver the result time after time. They don’t make excuses. They don’t windbag, exaggerate, or side step. When someone is accountable they honor themselves as their word. They are able to make their word law. They don’t ask “how,” they ask “when.” If they can’t step up to their responsibilities, it might be time to ask them to step out.