Practice Management |5 min read

4 Leadership Qualities Your Dental Practice Should Have

Christi Bintliff with text,

What’s your superpower?

For me, it starts with a cape and a great pair of high heels. Just kidding, but I would totally rock it! Joking aside, it’s my ability to LEAP. And, it just might be yours too!

As dental leaders, we have an acute awareness that allows us to do what we do. It’s the part of us that is most influential in guiding our team and practice to reach the height of their potential.

Every mature leader has at least four core factors that give them their superpower. These four principles are the ability to successfully lead, engage, align, and perform. It’s what I call LEAP. Each of these leadership abilities requires self-awareness, observation of other people and events, and a whole lot of practice.

4 leadership qualities your dental practice should have

L – The best leaders LEAD with passion and enthusiasm.

They create a clear and inspiring vision of the future. They motivate and inspire their team to engage the same vision. And, they continually coach their team to provide a picture of what is possible. As such, they achieve stellar results even when the odds seem stacked against them.

The greatest leadership display is when they step back and allow someone else to lead, based on training, delegation, or expertise.

Leaders have the ability to see around corners. Not the physical kind, but the business one. They have an instinctual ability to see what can happen, allowing teams to be proactive rather than reactive. It begins with a heightened form of pattern recognition.

We assimilate thousands of nuanced “This happened, and this was the result” data points. What looks like precognition is actually a leap from precedent to probability, based on numerous prior observations.

To achieve progress, they lead by example and implement successful systems. Their team follows positivity and inspiration.

It’s simple:

“Show the team the path you want them to take and they WILL follow.”

E – The best leaders ENGAGE their team.

Engagement is the tie that binds the leader to a high performing team. Leaders that engage have often been in situations where they felt their voice wasn’t heard or that they were not explained the “why” behind the “what.” Sometimes they had an engaging mentor or faced an assignment that required them to win over their peers.

The common thread is the reflection on the early experiences that allows a person to learn something and thus gain self-confidence, humility, and empathy. The trickle-down effect is a leader who engages their team.

Successful leadership is based on vision and engagement that makes the team feel safe and part of the results process. Leaders make a conscious effort to develop relationships and get their team excited about moving the practice to the next level.

“People won’t remember what you do, but they will remember how you made them feel.”

So, engage!

A – The cornerstone of exceptional leadership is ALIGNMENT.

Alignment is a process in which the leader provides the team with clear goals and the tools they need to create a high-performing profitable practice. Leaders delegate, trust, and communicate with their team toward achievable targets. They coach and build so that their team is more effective at achieving a vision.

Team alignment is integral for seamless and effective business processes, both internally and externally (the customer experience). It also encourages collaboration to create happier, more effective team members.

When there is no alignment with leadership, confusion cascades into the practice. It impacts team members in their decision making, engagement, and performance. Other repercussions include damage to the corporate brand, inability to attract and retain top talent, and of course, a negative impact on the practice’s bottom line.

P – Consistently evaluate the PERFORMANCE of the systems, team, and practice.

When leadership creates a strategy for their systems, team members are more likely to stay on track and focus on the end goal. The best leaders should have a checks and balances system that tells them when, how, and with whom the system breaks down and before a crisis reaches mission-critical.

Leaders hone their instincts and intuition. They rely on quantitative and qualitative measurements as a key to long-term success. Along the way, they establish benchmarks to prevent guesswork.

Everyone – leaders included – like to be recognized and appreciated for aiding in practice growth. But the most notable leaders know when it’s best to disappear and let the team say, “We did it,” and celebrating their success.

In summary

If you aspire to be a great leader or achieve “superhero” status, you’ll want to develop these four superpowers. Pick one and work on it until it becomes second nature, then move on to the next.

It isn’t easy, but at least it doesn’t require a quick-change act in the Batcave. However, you will have the deep satisfaction of knowing you had a tremendous impact on helping your practice LEAP to success.

Meet the Author

AADOM Author, Christi Bintliff, smiling in a floral topChristi Bintliff is a practice administrator and in-house coach for a multi-doctor dental practice in Durham, North Carolina. She is also a dental performance and development consultant with more than 30 plus years of experience in dental practice leadership and management.

In 2019, she successfully launched her consulting company, LEAP 2 Solutions… This text opens a new tab to the official website….

In her spare time, she enjoys DIY home projects, recycling and repurposing discarded items in the most unexpected ways, and landscaping and gardening.



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