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How to Cultivate Leadership in Dentistry - Steve Dove DDS and Bryan Crawford

Posted by Andrea Baysinger on

Leadership in dentistry is severely lacking in this day and age. I’m not talking about governing bodies—but dentists who are true leaders in their field and practice. Steve Dove, DDS, and Bryan Crawford join me to have a raw and real discussion about cultivating leadership, our heart for dentistry, and our shared vision of growing leaders in the industry.

Disclaimer: we recorded this at the Voices of Dentistry Conference.

Outline of This Episode

  • [0:21] Steve Dove, DDS and Bryan Crawford join the Toothcop!
  • [4:42] Why an ounce of prevention is worth it
  • [10:37] Budget for compliance and prevention
  • [13:45] Steve points out that we live in a numb society
  • [16:10] Dentists need to be passionate about people
  • [18:18] Why Steve and Bryan are launching a leadership podcast
  • [20:15] Cultivate a heart for people—empower and equip them
  • [21:18] Where to follow the ‘Dental Leadership Academy’ podcast

Where does leadership in dentistry begin?

In our discussion, Steve and I agreed that a leader must acknowledge their shortcomings and know where their vulnerabilities are. The next step is actively improving on your weaknesses—or delegating them to someone. Steve struggles with organization tasks but his wife (also a dentist) excels at them. So she tends to take on organizational tasks while he focuses elsewhere.

The key is knowing when to leverage your strengths. Steve points out that you don’t always want to focus on bringing your weaknesses up to average. Instead, focus on your strengths—and the strengths of those around you—and improve those. You can make your strengths incredible. People notice when you’re different—not when you’re average.

An ounce of prevention

Steve shares some kind words in this episode about the value that he sees in what I do as a compliance expert. I’m working to step in as an advocate to make sure dentists are compliant. The goal is to empower them to do better and be better. While you can’t always see an immediate ROI, I do help prevent problems from happening. Dentists aren’t always aware of things going on in their practices that could ruin them, but a focus on compliance and prevention can change that.

Steve points out that dentists don’t often get thanked for the preventative services that they do. People turn down or ‘poo-poo’ getting a sealant put on their teeth. What they don’t realize is that it can prevent cavities down the road. It can prevent needing a root canal in 5 years. An ounce of prevention will save them from using hours of PTO over multiple appointments.

If dentists are preaching to their patients that they must take preventative measures to protect their teeth, why aren’t more dentists taking preventative measures to protect their practice? To protect their livelihood? Or become better leaders? Dentists need to know the repercussions of the things they don’t do.

Learn to be passionate about people

Why do I care so much about dentists? Why am I invested in helping their practices thrive? Because most dentists have giant hearts. They are full of compassion. They do amazing things for people every single day. After all, a beautiful smile is worth more than words can describe. When you notice what’s different about a confident person, more often than not it’s rooted in caring about other people above themselves.

Steve points out that we live in a society that has become numb to what’s going on around them. We snap at the person who hands us our Starbucks coffee. We treat others like crap simply because we can. We need to learn to take a step back and realize they are people. We need to see them for who they are and treat them with respect. We need to reignite a passion for caring for people—and our patients.

Why Steve and Bryan launched their podcast

A dentist can truly make an impact on someone’s life. You have to grow and learn to be a good person—expound on that strength and passion that you already have. At the time of this recording, Steve and Bryan were about to launch their podcast—the ‘Dental Leadership Academy’.

They are passionate about helping dentists grow into leaders. They hope that their podcast can help cultivate a desire for growth in fellow dentists. It all starts by reaching just one person who can reach others. Steve, Bryan, and I all have a heart for dentistry. We want to empower and equip others to be better dentists and leaders.

According to Steve, “A good leader is measured by how many leaders he or she creates”. If you’re ready to become a better leader and dentist, you have to go check out their podcast, the ‘Dental Leadership Academy’—linked below!

Resources & People Mentioned

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