Qualities that make a good leader

As a doctor recruiter with Heartland Dental, I spend a lot of time discussing career options with dentists. I tell them that the first impression of who they are, even before talking with them, comes from their resume. Although resumes provide essential details such as work history, education and applied skills, all too often, they fall short of highlighting one important trait that I look for: leadership.

What qualities make up a good leader? To gain more perspective on this, I spoke with some of my administrator colleagues at Heartland Dental to get their take on what they think are valuable traits for supported doctors. The following highlights what they shared with me.


Anybody who has spent time working in a dental office knows that every day is different. A dental schedule never really pans out the way you thought it would when you first walked in the door, and doctor leaders must be amenable to the ever-changing details of the day. To assess this, I might ask the dentist situational questions that address how they have responded to change in the past. This can indicate how one might respond during moments when being flexible is required.

Flexibility also means being open to new ideas and changes within the dental field. As the nation’s largest dental support organization, Heartland Dental is continuously looking for ways to improve access, quality and our supported dental office teams’ ability to enhance their patients’ experiences.


Dr. Rick Workman, Heartland Dental founder, often talks about doing the right thing for the right reason, and everything else takes care of itself. It is crucial to have dentists who treat patients as they would want to be treated. The best leaders model the behaviors they expect.

Although it can be tricky for us to predict one’s aptitude for integrity, asking candidates about their past ethical dilemmas and how they reacted is one way we start this line of conversation.

Communication and passion

Dental office teams comprised of dental assistants, hygienists and front-desk personnel look to the doctor to set the example. This is where a dentist’s passion is key. When comingled with strong organizational skills and positive reinforcement and encouragement, passion is often what makes a leader great. And the ability of the doctor leader to effectively communicate goals to the team can secure desired results.

While communicating your dental skills and education provides a great overview of who you are as a professional, finding ways to incorporate who you are as a leader will set you apart. There are many different qualities make a good leader. Embracing flexibility, integrity, communication and passion will help prepare you for the next phase or chapter of your dental career.

Details about partnership options and the benefits of working with Heartland Dental can be found at info.heartland.com/campus. View current job opportunities at jobs.heartland.com.

~Travis Munson, Doctor Recruiter, Heartland Dental

This content is sponsored and does not necessarily reflect the views of ASDA.

Heartland Dental

Heartland Dental, LLC is the largest dental support organization in the United States with over 950+ supported offices and 1600+ supported doctors. Based in Effingham, IL, Heartland Dental provides non-clinical support services to over 1,300 dentists.

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