AADOM Members |3 min read

How to Apply Excellence in 2022

Cindy McCourt, MS, FAADOM. Text: Real-world insights from AADOM authors.

Here we are in 2022, the year of reset.

I decided to focus on “Excellence” this year, and it’s not a wrong goal to have!

What is excellence?

Do we understand the true meaning? I decided to take a deep dive into becoming a leader of Excellence.

While it’s not a new concept, our approach toward Excellence should be.

Merriam Webster defines Excellence as “the quality of being outstanding or extremely good.”

Wiki calls it “outstanding practices in managing an organization and achieving results, all based on a set of fundamental concepts or values.”

Excellence involves every aspect of our practice.

We must surpass the ordinary and offer high-quality, professionalism in patient care.

Patients need to feel welcomed in our office. Their dental treatment must be flawless. Additionally, we must go above and beyond the standard of care to establish lifelong patients.

Excellence allows us to accomplish the goal of earning the trust of our patients.

Dare we consider it a privilege to treat each person that sits in our treatment room?

What does it take to be excellent?

Some attributes of Excellence include honesty, integrity, flexibility, proactive planning, always growing and learning, being willing to do what others are not, and taking ownership of our mistakes.

As leaders, it’s vital to incorporate each attribute every single day. We must be good listeners who tap into our emotional intelligence.

Excellence means being recognized for your skills as a communicator and serving as a role model to others.

We ought to create a calm, safe space for patients and staff alike.

We’re each dealing with the challenge of uncertainty and change. We are met with obstacles that seem almost impossible to overcome, such as being short-staffed, the inability to obtain and stock PPE, and receiving supplies in a timely manner to keep the office running.

Flexibility and resilience allow us to cope with changes. We lead by example, always learning, being accountable with NO excuses, as failure can still lead to success.

Excellence means that we have honesty and integrity.

We cannot allow ourselves to give excuses for shortcomings simply; rather, find ways to overcome and know exactly what to do if faced with the same circumstances again.

Through our processes and management, we must motivate and educate our staff toward Excellence.

One way is getting to know our staff members, finding out what truly motivates them, showing them they are valuable, and giving them a voice in decisions that will affect their day-to-day activities. I created signs that are posted throughout the office with the word EXCELLENCE.

They’re meant to encourage the staff to put their best foot forward, pay attention to detail, and ask themselves, “Is this the best I can do?” Motivated staff wants to come to work.

Their positive attitudes are contagious, which keeps them happy and satisfied, leading to better performance.

Patients feel the energy and have no doubts that they are going to be cared for in the best possible way.

Excellence is much more than being the best. It’s leading. We match our behavior with good values that people appreciate since Excellence is hard to find.

I believe that our passion for leading is a huge motivator in obtaining Excellence. Excellence in dentistry is a passion for helping people and improving their lives.

Meet the author

Cindy McCourt, MS, FAADOM wearing blue dress and pearl necklaces.Cindy McCourt, FAADOM began her career in 1981 as a dental assistant and in 2021 celebrated 40 years in dentistry.

She currently serves as the Practice Manager for Lake Highlands Dental… This text opens a new tab to the Lake High Land Dental website…, a private multi-specialty practice in Dallas, Texas.

Cindy holds a degree in Business and a master’s degree in Management. She was inducted as an AADOM Fellow in 2017. She received AADOM’s Practice Administrator of Distinction Award in 2017 and 2018, the Dental Practice of the Year Award from Dentrix in 2019.

Cindy will be inducted into the 2022 class of AADOM Masters. She has a passion for helping people and serves as a Court Appointed Special Advocate for children in foster care.


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