Why it's critical to lead with vision and goals in the dental practice

October 28, 2015

When dentists ask me what it takes to be a good practice leader, I give them a simple answer: Vision. Only when you have a clear, specific idea of where you want to take your practice can you effectively plan your growth, make the best decisions and inspire staff.

When dentists ask me what it takes to be a good practice leader, I give them a simple answer: Vision. Only when you have a clear, specific idea of where you want to take your practice can you effectively plan your growth, make the best decisions and inspire staff.

Your vision gives you a sense of purpose and a benchmark against which everything you and your team do can be measured.

You may be thinking right now that you have a vision, but if you haven’t written it down or shared it with your team, it won’t do you much good. Based on Levin Group’s experience with thousands of highly successful practice leaders, I strongly recommend you take the following steps.

Continue to the next page to see Dr. Levin's recommendations.

 

 

Create a written vision statement

Spend some time thinking about your personal and professional future, imagining what would provide the greatest sense of achievement and satisfaction. Where would your practice need to go, what exactly would it be like, for you to fulfill your dream? Now, translate that long-range picture into one that fits a three-to-five-year timeframe. Write it down in no more than a few short paragraphs, and run it by your spouse, trusted friends and colleagues to tighten it up. That’s it. Of course, you’ll go through this same process again in three-to-five years (or sooner if you’ve progressed quickly or circumstances have changed).

 

 

 

 

 

Create a set of goals that will take you toward your vision

 To motivate yourself and your team and drive daily performance, you need a set of specific goals. To be effective, they must be:

  • Written down: Like your vision, defining your goals in black and white is essential.

  • Measurable: Vagueness will undermine the whole process. Rather than just saying you want to “grow production,” specify that you want to “increase production to $1.5 million.”

  • Deadline driven: For greater focus and motivation, nothing beats a deadline. “Increase the collection rate to 99 percent” may be a worthwhile goal, but it takes on new power when you add “… by the end of this year.”

 

 

 

 

 

Share the vision and goals with your practice team

Introduce and discuss them at a special staff meeting, and remind staff members regularly of what you’re all striving to achieve. As you monitor progress over time, celebrate outstanding performance and troubleshoot problem areas as a group. This will improve team coherence and esprit de corps while fine-tuning operations and increasing overall efficiency.

 

 

 

     

Conclusion

Whether you envision your practice as highly profitable, a great place to work, renowned as the finest in the community or all of the above, articulate your vision, attach measurable goals with deadlines and engage the whole team in pursuing them. That’s what it means to be a good practice leader.

Learn how to implement the systems needed for your practice to reach your vision. You can save$100 on a two-day seminar or $50 on a one-day seminar by Dr. Levin when you register 30 days in advance. See the 2016 seminar schedule and get your savings here. Use code EARLYBIRD16.