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Effective Leadership in a Dental Business: Uniting the Visionary Leader and Efficient Manager

Running a dental business successfully requires a harmonious blend of leadership and management qualities. Whether you have a small team or a larger staff of 200, understanding the differences between leaders and managers and leveraging their respective strengths can significantly impact the success and growth of your dental practice.

Dentistry Support

In this free training by Dentistry Support, we will explore how the qualities of both leaders and managers apply to any dental business, and provide actionable steps to integrate these traits into your dental business.

What is a Leader, Well they are...

Visionary's: Leaders with a clear vision inspire their team members to work towards a common goal. In a dental business context, this vision may involve providing exceptional patient care, embracing advanced technology, or becoming a leader in a specialized field of dentistry. To put this into action:

  • Clearly articulate your vision to your team, emphasizing its importance and benefits.

  • Encourage open discussions and solicit input from team members to ensure alignment.

  • Develop a strategic plan that outlines actionable steps toward realizing your vision.

Innovators: Leaders foster a culture of creativity, embrace change, and seek new ways to improve processes and outcomes. To encourage innovation in your dental business:

  • Create a safe environment where team members are encouraged to share ideas.

  • Allocate resources for professional development and training to stay ahead of industry trends.

  • Implement a system for capturing and evaluating innovative ideas, and reward successful implementations.

Empowering: Leaders empower their team members by granting autonomy and trust, enabling them to make decisions and take ownership of their work. Foster empowerment in your dental business:

  • Delegate responsibilities and provide clear expectations and guidelines.

  • Offer mentorship and support to develop the skills and confidence of your team members.

  • Recognize and celebrate achievements, fostering a sense of pride and ownership.

Influential: Leaders lead by example, inspiring others through their actions and words. Cultivate influence within your dental business:

  • Demonstrate integrity, professionalism, and ethical behavior in all interactions.

  • Communicate effectively, keeping an open-door policy and actively listening to your team.

  • Acknowledge and appreciate the efforts of your team members, publicly recognizing their contributions.

Have a long-term focus: Leaders consider the big picture and develop long-term objectives for the dental practice. To maintain a strategic outlook:

  • Continuously assess market trends and industry advancements.

  • Set measurable goals and regularly evaluate progress towards achieving them.

  • Encourage a culture of continuous learning and improvement.

What is a Manager, well.... they are....

Organizers: Managers excel in planning, organizing, and coordinating tasks and resources to achieve specific goals. To enhance organizational skills in your dental business:

  • Implement systems and protocols for streamlined workflows and efficient task management.

  • Utilize project management tools to delegate tasks, track progress, and ensure accountability.

  • Conduct regular team meetings to align priorities and address any challenges.

Efficient: Managers prioritize productivity and ensure that work is completed efficiently and within deadlines. Foster efficiency within your dental business:

  • Establish clear expectations and provide the necessary resources for optimal productivity.

  • Regularly evaluate workflows and identify areas for improvement or automation.

  • Foster a culture of time management and effective utilization of resources.

Supervisors: Managers oversee the day-to-day activities of their team, providing guidance and support as needed. To be an effective supervisor in your dental practice:

  • Develop strong communication channels to ensure effective information flow.

  • Provide ongoing feedback and coaching to support the professional growth of team members.

  • Create opportunities for professional development and training to enhance skills and knowledge.

Problem solvers: Managers are skilled at identifying and resolving issues that arise within the team or project. Cultivate problem-solving abilities in your dental business:

  • Encourage a proactive approach to problem-solving among team members.

  • Implement a system for reporting and addressing challenges in a timely manner.

  • Foster a culture that embraces constructive feedback and continuous improvement.

Results-oriented: Managers focus on achieving tangible results and meeting targets. To enhance a results-oriented mindset in your dental business:

  • Set clear, measurable goals for individual team members and the practice as a whole.

  • Regularly track and communicate progress towards goals.

  • Recognize and celebrate achievements to maintain motivation and momentum.

A few thoughts...

In a dental business, effective leadership involves harnessing the qualities of both leaders and managers. Visionary leaders provide direction, inspiration, and innovation, while efficient managers ensure effective organization, productivity, and problem-solving. By understanding and embracing the traits from both lists, you can create a thriving dental practice that excels in patient care, attracts talented professionals, and achieves long-term success.

Remember, effective leadership requires continuous improvement and adaptability, so strive to develop and refine these skills over time.

Now, put it into action! Take the listed action items below and make a checklist for yourself. Start with one item and make it a habit, put it on your calendar or discuss it in your next team meeting.

1. Visionary Leadership:

  • Clearly define your vision for the dental business.

  • Communicate the vision to your team members and ensure their understanding.

  • Encourage team members to share their ideas and perspectives on achieving the vision.

  • Develop a strategic plan with actionable steps to move closer to your vision.

  • Regularly revisit and reinforce the vision to keep it at the forefront of everyone's minds.

2. Foster Innovation:

  • Create a safe and open environment for team members to share innovative ideas.

  • Allocate resources for professional development and training to promote creativity.

  • Implement a system to capture, evaluate, and implement innovative ideas.

  • Encourage experimentation and calculated risk-taking to drive continuous improvement.

  • Recognize and reward successful innovations within the dental practice.

3. Empower Your Team:

  • Delegate responsibilities and provide clear expectations and guidelines.

  • Encourage autonomy and decision-making authority for team members.

  • Support professional growth through mentorship and ongoing training opportunities.

  • Foster a culture of trust and open communication among team members.

  • Celebrate individual and team achievements to reinforce a sense of empowerment.

4. Lead by Example:

  • Demonstrate integrity, professionalism, and ethical behavior in all interactions.

  • Practice effective and empathetic communication with your team.

  • Be approachable and receptive to feedback and ideas from team members.

  • Show appreciation and recognition for the efforts and contributions of your team.

  • Continuously invest in your own personal and professional growth.

5. Focus on Results and Efficiency:

  • Set clear, measurable goals for your dental practice and individual team members.

  • Establish systems and protocols for streamlined workflows and task management.

  • Regularly evaluate and optimize processes to maximize efficiency.

  • Provide the necessary resources and support to achieve targets and deadlines.

  • Regularly track progress, communicate results, and celebrate achievements.

Remember, implementing these steps will require ongoing effort and dedication. Start by selecting a few key actions that align with your current needs and work towards integrating them into your dental business. Over time, you can expand and refine your leadership and management approach to cultivate a thriving and successful dental practice.



To learn more about Sarah Beth Herman, the author of all free training content you can read her bio here. These materials are intended to provide helpful information to dentists and dental team members. They are in no way a substitute for actual professional advice based on your unique facts and circumstances. This content is not intended or offered, nor should it be taken, as legal or other professional advice. You should always consult with your own professional advisors (e.g. attorney, accountant, or insurance carrier). To the extent, Dentistry Support ®has included links to any third-party website (s), Dentistry Support ® intends no endorsement of their content and implies no affiliation with the organizations that provide their content. Further, Dentistry Support ® makes no representations or warranties about the information provided on those sites. You can view our privacy policy and terms and conditions by clicking those pages in the footer of our website.


Chris Turtur
Chris Turtur
Jun 22, 2023

This is so great


Jan Arjay Barro
Jan Arjay Barro
Jun 22, 2023

This is great!


Cindy Gabuya
Cindy Gabuya
Jun 22, 2023

Thank you for sharing


Awesome! Thank you for sharing.


Gracee Narag
Gracee Narag
Jun 22, 2023

Thank you for sharing!

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