Practice leaders become experts on resilience and optimism
After the pandemic, I see that many practices have been limping along, unsure about how to change their downward trajectory. They’ve become part of the unfortunate fallout for businesses worldwide. I have fielded so many calls and tackled hundreds of challenges practice leaders are facing right now. Things may look bleak, but actionable, practical help is here.
How can you ensure you bounce back from post-pandemic stressors? For that matter, how can you meet any unexpected setback, twist of fortune, or obstacle to your growth or well being that’s sure to arise?
Practice leaders, dust off your dreams
The voices are despondent. They can’t see how to recover after the pandemic slammed the breaks on growth within their practice. Does this sound familiar?
- Have you already resigned yourself to putting your (and your family’s) goals and dreams on hold thinking you can’t possibly emerge from the situation stronger, with better work-life balance and rejuvenated prospects for your practice?
- Do you despair of ever finding a solid footing in a dental landscape that makes you feel your past “modus operandi” is now irrelevant among cutting edge practices with upgraded systems and processes that are leaving you in the dust?
Doctors, partners, and their staff tell me they see the writing on the wall: Adapt or perish.
Long-term leadership–no matter what
I’ve been a crucial leader for dental professionals and practice owners for decades now. With the anniversary of 9-11 just past, it reminds me of what we had to do as healthcare leaders to pivot from that national emergency. The optimism and resilience we as a nation was replicated in practices all over this country as we collectively shook off the pessimism we might have embraced to find a way to go on. Back then, we recommitted to keeping our practices ready to protect patients’ health; our families’ futures; and our own well being as effective, enthusiastic leaders.
Guardrails for change
In my book, Bounce Back from Anything one of the first things I discuss is the importance of sturdy policies and procedures to set (or reset) consistent expectations for your team. These include bonus policies that reward responsive, patient-centric behaviors. They are tied to the complete health journey for patients and the expertise we need as modern dental professionals. If we’re going to offer the whole-person services patients deserve—services that go far beyond the “drill-and-fill” treadmill—we must level set processes that support this monumental change.
Attitude of gratitude
Even if you feel discouraged, even if your team shuffles into your practice in the morning, shoulders hunched, eyes dulled by seemingly never-ending obstacles, these times can make us grateful. We’re grateful that we’re willing to take a clear-eyed view and change. We recognize problems are really opportunities for growth. These challenges pave the way for us to experience a brand-new way of being in the world—one we may never have risen to had we accepted the status quo.
Let it go
It’s okay to feel nostalgic for the old days. But much of what we did back then will not serve us today. Once we firmly place those unexamined habits and unproductive processes in the past, we must leave them there. To set a brighter future for yourself, your team and your patients, now is the time to figure out new ways to not only survive but thrive.
I have watched practice leaders emerge from some pretty scary situations. I have led them in creating teams that love to come to work in the morning. I have seen their families gain newfound hope—maybe Dr. Dad or Dr. Mom will make it home for dinner most nights now or make it to the weekend soccer tournament that’s so important for their child’s self-esteem. There could be time for that anniversary weekender in the mountains or just an after-dinner chat on the deck with the kids. Bouncing back requires focused effort and discipline but rewards like these are so worth it.
It’s time to retrench, rethink, reevaluate, and recommit yourself to the road ahead so you can stay ahead of the competition.