CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER
Leaders are givers. That is literally the job description. Give direction, give priorities, give vision, give training, give solutions, give motivation, etc. As practice owner and team leader, you probably have days when you feel you have given all you can give to the outflow of energy needed.
But leaders need inflow too, and sources to draw upon for ideas and energy. How, as a leader in a profession where most doctors work in isolation from their peers and colleagues, do you receive the creative and motivational boost that keeps your leadership battery charged?
The truth is you’re not going to find it within your practice working alone. Even if your practice is a great one, it becomes an echo chamber of systems and strategies. The most successful practices will coast toward a well-worn comfort zone over time. New ideas that keep the pot stirred and a motivated leader who has the energy to nudge the practice forward is needed to keep practices dynamic, enjoyable and growing.
To find energy and motivational inputs as a leader, the best place to look is your endodontic colleagues. That means getting outside your daily operational environment and into environments where you are bumping elbows with other doctors, absorbing their energy and ideas, discussing visions and strategies, and enjoying collegial friendships.
In two weeks, we’ll be at the AAE22 annual meeting in Phoenix, which is one of my favorite events … precisely for the reason that it is a great assembly of endodontists. There are educational programs, speakers, new products on the market, and doctors meeting up with their professional friendships … some of which go all the way back to dental school and their endodontic residency.
For Endo Mastery, we love this meeting because our team gets to connect with incredible doctors, including our clients and former clients. We love to hear about the wonderful things doctors are accomplishing. These conversations are so vital, which is why our booth is set up to encourage socializing and sharing ideas for success between colleagues. If you’re at the AAE meeting this year, please drop in and join other doctors in conversation.
Beyond the AAE meeting, there are other great opportunities for you to engage with your colleagues and learn from endodontic leaders. Local and state endodontic groups are very accessible options. There are online options too … some of which are interactive and some that are information-driven, such as the AAE’s stimulating monthly podcast Endo Voices hosted by Dr. Marcus D. Johnson.
Study clubs are also a great option. At Endo Mastery, we have Mastery Circle for our clients who have progressed to a certain level through coaching. Mastery Circle is directed and hosted by Dr. Ace Goerig, and it is focused on continued practice success and personal financial growth. Member doctors also share their own ideas, and the overall approach is to have insightful conversations in an enjoyable, friendly and supportive forum.
Overcoming the Isolation Blues
So many doctors keep their nose to the grindstone and over time they find themselves feeling very distant from the profession. They might reminisce about the camaraderie of residency and wonder where those colleagues are now.
This sense of professional isolation can actually create a lot of stress. Doctors can feel that everyone (patients, team, referrers, family) are depending on them for everything, but nobody is concerned about helping the doctor with their problems. Many doctors feel so out of balance that they are running on empty all the time … both in the practice and at home.
Lots of things can change that negative trajectory, including re-establishing or forming new professional connections that can relate to the unique challenges of owning a practice and practicing endodontics. It might take some effort and time, but seeking new voices (from colleagues, leaders, coaches and mentors) can shift your internal dialog and help you reinvigorate your joy of the profession.