Leadership: The People Side Of Owning A Successful Dental Business

More often than not we forget, when looking at our business, that the business of dentistry is really the business of managing people.

Because it’s people, and the management of them, that determines our success, or level of success, in business.

The people we need to manage in business fall into the following categories:

  • Our team.
  • Our clients.
  • Our future clients
  • Our past clients
  • Our suppliers
  • Our support team

Because dentistry, firstly and foremost, is a service business.

Our role, as providers of dental services, is to serve.

To serve the public, our clients, customers and patients with our exceptional skills in an exceptional manner.

And we can’t do that on our own.

We can’t complete that transaction without involving other people.

Our decisions in business must be based on the experiences we want for our clients and customers, and the best possible way that our team members can deliver those experiences to those customers in a purposeful and effective and efficient, comfortable process.

Arthur Blank, co-founder of The Home Depot and owner of the Atlanta Falcons, is quoted as saying the hardest part of owning a football team isn’t the business side, off the field, but rather, the on field detail.

“When you see a playbook, you realize that it takes a lot to understand the game. What football executives know, I’ll never know. The best I can do on the football side is make sure we have the best people and get out of their way.”

The *Business* of Dentistry involves the detailed examination and consultation with all those involved to ensure that our best results for our clients and customers are always achieved by our team on a repeatable consistent basis.

We must be results focused in every decision we make in running our business.

Change for change sake is of no benefit except for ego pandering, and that truly is no benefit, if it leaves our valued team and valued clients scratching their heads in bewilderment and asking:

“What the heck did they do that for?”

The reactions we need, the responses we want in business from our clients should always be:


“I can’t believe they thought of doing that!”

And in a positive way.

So that our team, our suppliers, our support, say “Visionary!” about us, their leader, their inspiration.


That’s what they said about Jobs. About Disney. About Mary Kay.

It’s what they *are* saying about Hsieh. And about Schultz.

The best way of growing your business is to encourage and foster and nurture the best, the very best, from your people.

And that creates the best *for* your business.

We’ve all know it:

“Hire good people and get out of their way.”

What this means is that we need to resist the idea of managing, and micro-managing our team.

As dentists, on the whole, we are not known for our management skills and abilities.

We’re technical people.

C Types.

Or even worse, High C Types.

We’re focused on the technical processes of dentistry, sadly, and not the social and human sides of dentistry.

But dentistry, and the delivery of dental services is all about the people.

And *NOT* about the dentistry.

Take a look around.

At parties, at barbeques. At social gatherings.

Do you see groups of people pulling their lips and cheeks about showing their friends their forty-micron margins?

Showing their friends the precision staining and glazing on their latest porcelain crown or onlay?

Heck NO!

But what you will hear them saying is how their new Dental Office made them feel at their recent visit.

They’ll be telling their friends till they’re blue in the face if you made them feel bad, or spoke down to them.

And they’ll also tell anyone who’ll listen how you made them feel special, when they *NEVER* ever expected it from a dentist!

And that’s how to stand out in the market place.

That’s how to create your differential.

You see, the way I look at it, the public have the perception that all dentists are providers of equally exceptional dentistry.

And the public also believe that all Dental Offices have all their systems and protocols in place.

So the only way for the public to differentiate between Dental Offices is how those Dental Offices and Dental people make those patients and clients feel.

And the way we as Dental People make our clients and customers feel is an outward reflection on the way we are feeling.

And that’s what we need to manage and nurture for our team.

To get the best from our team.

Successful vision comes from developing culture.

It’s the culture that we create, that we encourage, that we expect, that brings out the best from our team.

And it comes from above.

So if you don’t have leadership in you, hire it.

Bring it in.

Appoint it. Nurture it. Stroke it. Use it.

But don’t bottle it. Or throttle it.

If you’ve not got the skill of leadership, hire it, rent it, and get out of its way and let it do what it needs to do.

Failing to lead, or developing true leadership, just tortures your people.

Your team. Your clients.

And your business….



The Ultimate Patient Experience is a simple easy to implement system that I developed that allowed me to build an extraordinary dental office in an ordinary Sydney suburb.  If you’d like to know more, ask me about my free special report.

Email me: david@theUPE.com

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