Dr. Howard Farran and I do a deep dive into what it means to build a team. So many dentists are holding themselves back by refusing to believe that those around them have a brain. You CAN, and MUST delegate, and to feel comfortable doing this, you need to do a couple of things. First, you must fill your office with those that you believe can think for themselves, and push your practice forward. Second, you must actually give them autonomy to do so.
This and much more on today’s episode! We brought down the house with this one folks!
Creating Freedom with a Practice Maturity Date
You learned in dental school that in order to make more money, it took more time in the operatory – you traded time for money. That is the Income Producer’s Game. Practice owners who are playing the Practice Leader’s Game learn how to make MORE money in LESS time, get off the treadmill, and get back to the passion that brought them into dentistry. It doesn’t have to take thirty years to build a practice that makes you money when you are not there. In three to five years you can regularly be taking time off while the practice is open and making money without you, and decades before you retire you can reach your Ideal Lifestyle.
BUT – you have to deal with the Tyranny of the Urgent, and focus instead on the Priority of the Important. If you don’t, you will wear out. Practices don’t fail, dentists get tired and get stuck at Stage Four Stability, which brings in great money and steals all your time.
This podcast will show you how to turn all that around. Stop intending to work hard and intend to build a practice that makes money when you’re not there. Put a Practice Maturity Date (PMD) on when you intend for that to happen, start playing the Practice Leader’s Game, and build a life of freedom.
Most dentists are just rich – they have money. Intend to be wealthy, with both time and money, then use those resources to build a life of significance! Get off that treadmill.
Money, we need it, but does it make you happy? Dr. Costes shares his story, and how the moment he realized that he had a million dollars in the bank and had net a million dollars in a year, was the most unhappy he had ever been. We talk freedom mapping, goal setting that counts, and pulling it all together to realize your ideal lifestyle.
Goals are incredibly motivating, and important to pull you through the rough times. However, do you have a big why? A goal that can never be checked off, thus continually pulls you to bigger and greater heights.
Dr. Mark Costes is founder of over a dozen successful dental clinics, the Dental Success Institute, author of the International and #1 Amazon Best Selling book Pillars of Dental Success, host of The Dentalpreneur Podcast, and most recently a founder of The Dental Success Network. Mark and his wife Leslie have three sons; Bryce, Brendan, and Brady. They live in Prescott, AZ.
Pillars of Dental Success is a roadmap that any dentist can follow to exponentially increase the profitability and productivity of his or her dental practice. The systems and strategies covered within the pages of book represent the culmination of struggle, failure, and redemption during Dr. Mark Costes’s journey from one struggling practice to a six practice multi-million dollar dental empire. Some of the topics covered in this book include: – How to FINALLY get your practice’s overhead and cash flow under control. – How to create airtight systems that will maximize the performance of every department of your organization while decreasing chaos and stress. – The step-by-step system for getting a flood of new patient referrals from your existing patient base. – The advanced marketing strategies that will neutralize the competition in your market and drive a flood of new patients into your practice. – The simple and effective approach to reactivating “lost” patients. – How to position yourself as a local celebrity and community leader. Dr. Costes’s refreshing approach to the business side of dentistry offers straightforward and practical solutions that can be implemented immediately. If you’re interested in taking to the next level and beyond, you owe it to yourself to read this book!
Why No Office Manager Is Necessary
Why do managers exist? The assumption, born in slavery, through serfdom, through the military and into the Industrial Age Factory System, was that managers are necessary because people will not produce as much without them. The notion is that managers justify their existence by causing people to produce so much extra that they cover their own salary and bring extra profit to the practice.
There isn’t a single study that supports the assumption that managers make people more productive. To the contrary, research shows that fifteen of the twenty reasons someone will leave their job are directly related to their manager. Remove managers and you remove 75% of the reasons someone will leave you. And they are more likely to reduce productivity than to increase it.
So why do we put up with this antiquated organizing anchor? For 125 years research paper after research paper reveals that the manager role is fraught with problems, but rather than look for another solution, we have instead slapped lipstick on the pig for over a century in a vain attempt to make a model work for the emerging work world that was designed to control slaves, serfs, and unwilling militia.
There is a better way.
Distributed Decision-making teams, or DDM teams, are the solution. Adults don’t need to be managed, only led – a VERY different thing. Management is nothing more and nothing less than pure, unadulterated codependence. The manager needs someone to tell what to do, and the team member, who is used to being treated like a child, is glad to make no decisions.
DDM Teams are self-managed and do everything the manager used to do that actually added value. It turns out very little the manager did actually adds value. As Peter Drucker said, “Most of what we call management consists of making it hard for people to get their work done.”
Managers tell. Leaders Ask. Treat people like adults, eliminate managers, turn your office manager into an office leader, get them out of the day2day, believe that people will step up, and watch your team become more productive.
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When is the right time, and what is the right way to bring on a partner? Or to offer a pathway to ownership to an associate? This is a heck of a problem that I don’t believe is being answered properly today in most practices. In my book, “Why Employees are Always a Bad Idea” we hit on several of the ideas that we talk with Dr. Phelps about, and I am sure that you will find some new ways of thinking about this after listening to this podcast.
The Practice Leader’s Game
Two Questions That Can Change Your Life
Freedom is the ability to CHOOSE what to do with my time and my money. Money can make you rich, but you are not wealthy until your practice regularly produces both TIME and money for you, which gives you the ability to be truly free; to choose.
Most of us have some kind of graph, plan, or at least a number in our head about how much more money we expect to make next year. We intend to grow our revenue. But how many of us actually have a number and a clear plan for how much TIME we intend to invest in the practice next year?
Why do we have a revenue number for growth, but never a number that says, “last year I spend 48 hours in the practice every week, and this year I intend to invest 30 hours, and the practice revenue will still grow”? Very simply, we think we’re in charge of building revenue and don’t believe we can be in charge of creating more time for ourselves. Or we think that the only we to get more revenue is to spend more time. The two are forever linked in our heads.
This is what we call an Income Producer, not a Pratice Owner. An Income Producer thinks they have to trade time for money. But the Practice Owner believes that the two are not linked. They are committed to building a practice that makes money when they are not there, and continues to grow as they invest less time in the practice. They play the Practice Owner’s game. If you memorize the two questions in this game, and apply them daily, it will change your life. It changed mine.
In this podcast, we’ll give you the two simple, powerful questions to change the way you approach dentistry, and we’ll give you a very simple process for identifying the highest and best use of your time so you can get off the dental treadmill and build a practice that serves you, not the other way around.
Play the Practice Owner’s Game and watch your practice and your life change.
Rita Zamora is the author of the new book, Get Found, Get Liked, Get Patients – Making the Most of Social Media. She is an international speaker and the owner of Rita Zamora Connections, a social media marketing agency for dental and medical professionals.
Since 2007 she and her team have provided social media marketing training and custom monthly management services for general and specialty practices across the country.
The Multiplying Power of Distributed Leadership
With virtually no warning and no opportunity to prepare, Captain David Marquet inherited the Santa Fe, the worst rated submarine in the entire US Navy. Yet in one year he turned it into the best rated sub in the whole fleet, and here’s the kicker, he did it with the same 134 people who had made it the worst for a few years in a row. In just one year, with the same people, the same sub, and the same organization surrounding the sub, they went from worst to first. Stephen Covey visited his sub and called it “the most empowering organization I’ve ever seen”.
What changed? One thing, the leader. And in reality, you wouldn’t have to switch leaders because the real difference here was not brought by a different leader, but by a different belief system, which is one that any leader can adopt. This had nothing to do with charisma, motivational speech, steely-eyed bravery, or brilliant solutions. It was simply about one thing; distributed decision-making, which comes through distributed leadership. Captain Marquet invited the other 134 people to participate in leading by both allowing and requiring them to share in the decision-making.
Managers make a living making decisions. Great leaders make an impact by asking questions. Marquet called it all “Intentional Leadership”. He taught people to only come to him with answers and plans for execution. And instead of telling them what to do, he would then ask questions to see if their plan would work, and if, as their sounding board, he couldn’t poke holes in it. When everyone agreed it was a sound plan, then they executed the plan. In just one year, he took the worst performing boat in the U.S. Navy and turned it into the best performing boat with one very simple practice; distributed decision-making, by formally and fully distributing the leadership.
You know you have distributed leadership when everyone is making decisions. Until then, there is still work left to do.
We call this the Leader-Leader Organization. By definition, a leader has followers, so on its face it seems absurd and naive that everyone could lead. I assure you it is neither. This is hard-core success strategy for businesses that want to thrive in the emerging work world.
There are at least four ways everyone can lead; being, doing, inspiring and relating. Our traditional view of leadership lifts up the “inspirer”, which is actually one of the rarest forms of leadership. Anyone can lead, and everyone should. But we have a truncated, one-dimensional view of leadership that makes it hard to get this idea cross without redescribing leadership.
What makes a Leader? Where Does Management Fit In? That’s a great question. If we say everyone can lead, how does that work, and where is the place for managers in a leader-leader organization, if they even have a place?
When Dr. Boulden left his apprenticeship, he was told bluntly, and simply that he would fail. This fueled him to become the “Marketer that happens to be a Dentist.” He became a student of business, learning marketing in the digital era, which has lead to the success he now enjoys. As Dr. Boulden shares his journey of mastering dental marketing, you are sure to hear some strategies that you could implement immediately!
Dr. Peter Boulden has been practicing dentistry for over 15 years and has built a very successful, FFS, 3-location enterprise
in Atlanta, GA where he was raised his entire life. He knows smiles have the power to change lives—he’s transformed more than 1,200 of them as one of the most credentialed cosmetic dentists in the world. Recognized in the greater Atlanta area as the “go-to” dentist for high-end cosmetic procedures, Dr. Boulden is the dental professional of choice for celebrities, athletes and prominent community leaders.
We’ll begin with a quick recap of the Seven Stages from the last two podcasts, then we need to talk about the outside influences that can get in the way of your journey through the seven stages of Practice Ownership.
First, there is no timeline for Practice Maturity. I’ve seen practice owners take their practice from Stage One Startup to Stage Six Significance in just a few years. I also know way too many who are stuck in Stage Four Stability, as hostages to their practices and chained to a treadmill, for twenty-five years. But the more intentional you are in getting through them, the faster it will happen.
Secondly, no practice is ever neatly all in one Stage. Life is messy and so is business. But you still get to choose what “Maturity” looks like to you. My business is intentionally strung out across Stages Five, Six and Seven, which is the way I like it. The difference is I can CHOOSE to do production versus having to do it.
Third, no practice owner ever “arrives” at a desired stage and just settles in. Again, life and business are messy, and as a result, every practice will cycle back and forth regularly through two or three stages (rarely four).
Practices in higher stages cycle less. A classic “American Dream” practice stuck in Stage Four Stability will cycle very regularly down and back up—Four, Three, Two, Three, Four, Three, etc. You will spend thirty years cycling between profitability and survival as Treadmill Doctor—another reason why Stage Four is so exhausting over the long haul.
Once we finally get to Stage Four Stability, we now have something to lose. We’re making money, in some cases a lot of it, and taking the risks required to get to Stage Five Success seems too daunting. Even though the voice of quiet desperation is whispering, “Is this all there is?” we weigh what we have with the possibility of losing it and come to the following conclusion: “The pain I know is better than the pain I have yet to experience.”
So we stay stuck in Stage Four for thirty years until, at the end, we sell the practice for its assets and patient list.
Stage Four is a mirage. It looks like a practice, but as we’ve seen, it’s at best a well-paying job. Some months or years are great, but outside influences create conditions that move the practice back into Stage Three, or even Stage Two. Then the owner has to do the long, hard climb back to profitability before the cycle repeats itself.
Do you know what your practice will look like at maturity? Do you know when you want to be there? Most of us have never thought about these things, but if you do, it could be the most motivating thing you’ve ever done. And each stage will seem shorter and less risky because you’ve got something so compelling in front of you. The Tyranny of the Urgent will lose its shrill voice as you focus on the Priority of the Important
Episodes featuring Chuck by himself (with no guest interviewed) will include the title along with, in the bottom of the episode image, the book that the content relates to:
MMIKYB (Making Money Is Killing Your Business)
WEAAABI (Why Employees Are ALWAYS A Bad Idea)