4 key behaviors of amazing dental leaders

Whether you’re the dentist, hygienist, assistant, or other integral part of your practice there will come a time when you need to take charge and set a good example.

Maybe you have a patient suffering from such high dental anxiety you can’t treat them until you’ve calmed them down. Or you witnessed a fellow team member struggle to complete a task they were assigned. In either case you’ll need to lead.

Anyone can be a great leader if you can do these four things:

  1. Rally behind your “why”
  2. Learn to give and receive feedback
  3. Learn from failures
  4. Give and receive feedback


Each one of these is important, and we’ll get to them over the next few weeks, but today I want to start with the foundation for any good leadership.

Knowing and enthusiastically promoting your “why.”

Your “why” is your purpose. Your mission. Your reason for doing what you do. You need a “why” to lead well, because without it no one has a reason to follow you.

For example, imagine someone—we’ll call him Bob—inherits a bookshop from a long lost aunt. He hates reading but feels pressure to keep the bookshop so begrudgingly takes over. Suddenly the shop goes from a thriving hotspot for all things book-related to a stagnant, soon-to-be-forgotten storefront. Why? There was no motivation, starting at the top and working down. Because Bob didn’t care about the store his new employees lost their passion as well. And soon that lack of passion started effecting customers. There was no drive, no reason to sell or buy the books anymore. No one cared. And the bookshop closed.

Sad story, right? And also maybe a bit dramatic, yes. But it gets the point across.

A strong leader knows and believes in what they’re doing and why they’re leading. That means you (whatever role you have in your office) can lead very well if you visibly show that you are passionate about what you do. Because people want to follow people who care.

That nervous patient I mentioned? Much more likely to be calmed by someone confident that they are doing positive work, rather than someone just there because they’re being paid.

Or that struggling co-worker? They’ll be more willing to learn from someone enthusiastic about doing their job well.

Leadership is all in the way you go after your “why.” If you show that dental care is something worth working for, others will, too. So lead the way.