As a dental student, we’re often not confronted with the importance of experience in business settings. My work history as a human resources professional gave me firsthand insight into the key leadership and management skills that I can use as a practicing dentist.
Thought leaders are recognized as an authority in their fields of expertise. When you want to learn something about a particular subject, these are the people you go to talk to, the ones whose opinions matter most. Thought leaders provide a lot of value, but how do you actually identify if someone is a thought leader or not?
Dr. Mark Costes has a wealth of experience in leadership and practice management, having owned more than 15 dental practices and employed hundreds of people throughout his career. He now has a group of seven practices and a consulting company in the Dental Success Institute. What qualifies him to be a coach? “Having made all the mistakes in the book,” he says. He urges dental students to learn from his experiences, immerse themselves in all of the free self-education resources out there and get out of their comfort zone.
There is no one-size-fits-all pathway to leadership. Every person’s unique experiences add to how they pursue being a leader. Whether or not you consider yourself a leader, the opportunity to take your skills to the next level are right around the corner as an ASDA member. Take a moment to reflect on what leadership means to you, and then see how ASDA can fit into that definition, even as a predental student.
Every year, ASDA’s National Leadership Conference brings together students who are eager to set their foundation as successful dental practitioners, health care leaders and future business owners. With educational programming on career planning, leadership fundamentals, personal development and wellness, chapter management and advocacy, students at every level of their dental school career are sure to leave the event with action items as well as long-term goals for success. ASDA alumni help plan the event through participation on the NLC Planning Committee. Here’s what 2018 alumni committee members are looking forward to most this year.
In April 2012, I emptied my class locker, turned in my required department signatures and stood in line with half a dozen classmates to terminate clinic privileges as a graduating dental student. Maybe I was expecting confetti or balloons. A parade for all of us seemed appropriate. But instead, there was just some paperwork to be completed and the return of my student ID and ASDA office key.
Whether in school or after in a practice setting, achieving your goals will usually come down to one thing: being a good leader. Leaders in a dental practice are the backbone of an operation; a good leader can inspire an inexperienced team to do things that a team that has been together for 10+ years but with no leadership cannot. Because a successful leader is invaluable to any team, at Heartland Dental, we invest in leadership development for supported doctors. While a leader needs to be many things to be successful, here are just a few of the most important traits to have.