Dental Staffing

Dental Leaders: Dental Hygienists and Assistants as Well

I’ve spoken a lot about the Leadership of the Dental Practice Owner and Office Manager, but I’ve learned Leadership skills are found in Dental Assistants and Hygienists as well. I have no problem admitting what a poor leader I was when I ran my own dental practice. They don’t teach those skills in Dental School. In fact, they didn’t do any enlightenment on the skills of successfully running a Dental Practice. I should add that dental skills have less to do with developing a successful practice than one’s Leadership ability and the ability to hire leadership in your Dental Staff.

I’ve just finished reading John Maxwell’s 21 Irrefutable Laws of Leadership for the second time. This time, however, I thought about the auxiliaries I’ve worked with over the years and how they stand out in my mind as great Leaders. The John Maxwell’s Laws work like this:

The Law of the Lid: Leadership ability determines one’s level of effectiveness. There are few ‘born or natural leaders,’ however, leadership skills can be developed over time. See the Law of Process.

The Law of Influence: He states the true measure of how effective you are as a leader is influence. I’ve watched Dental Assistants lead the clinical team to its greatest proficiency regarding productivity.

The Law of Process: Leadership develops over time, not overnight. You can become a better leader!

The Law of Navigation: It takes a leader to lay out the goals and vision of their position. A leader in a Dental Hygienist wants to develop a sound hygiene department and ensure success for the patient’s health while developing appropriate  production goals.

The Law of Addition: Leaders in all positions in the practice add value by serving each other.

The Law of Solid Ground: Great leaders develop trust as the foundation of their position in the practice. Without trust, a leader cannot effectively lead.

The Law of Respect: It’s natural for team members to follow someone stronger than themselves.

The Law of Intuition: Mr. Maxwell says this is the most difficult to teach. I’ve read everyone has some level of intuition; leaders evaluate every decision with a leadership bias utilizing their intuition..

The Law of Magnetism: Maxwell says: ‘who you are is who you attract.”  Stop and think on this one!

The Law of Connection: This makes perfect sense: “leaders touch a heart before they ask for a hand.”

The Law of the Inner Circle: Your fullest potential will be determined by those closest to you. Chose your inner circle carefully!

The Law of Empowerment: A secure leader will give power to others. Maxwell said: “Leading is not about enriching yourself, but about empowering others.” To empower an individual who needs to make a change, sandwich the change you’d like to see: I like how well you do this, this could better be accomplished if you’d do it this way, you did an excellent job on this project. Like-make the change-like.

The Law of the Picture: Norman Vincent Peale said: “nothing is more confusing than someone who gives good advice, but sets a bad example.” The Law of the Picture: people do what they see (especially children).

The Law of the Buy-In: People buy into the leader before the leader’s vision. Do you have a great vision how you want to organize and manage your area of the dental practice. Work on leadership first, then they’ll follow.

The Law of Victory: A great leader finds a way for the whole team to win. Bonuses are a great incentive to reach a goal, as well as promised team outings.

The Law of the Big Mo: Leaders need momentum; it’s their best friend.

The Law of Priorities: Just because you’re busy doesn’t mean you are accomplishing what’s most important.

The Law of Sacrifice: Strong leaders know they must give up certain things to move up.

The Law of Timing: When to lead a goal is as important as what you’re planning and where its going.

The Law of Explosive Growth: Growth will come by leading your followers, but explosive growth comes when you lead leaders. Are you a team leader and, do you empower your teammates? A firm “YES!” is a sign they  respect your leadership.

The Law of Legacy: When it’s time to sell the practice and retire, you should have more to sell than strong production numbers. A Dental Staff of Leaders will increase the value of said practice, especially to a young graduate who isn’t a natural born leader.




“The most powerful leadership tool you have
your own personal example."
- John Wooden