36 year veteran "I've got your back!"
"Be you. What you do, and how you do it should be based on WHY.
WHO you are creates your WHY"
"We signed up for this!"
Captain William D. Swenson (read story here) and his crew were on an operation in Afghanistan when they were ambushed, with many men falling! During the ambush, this leader called for air support then ran through enemy fire to rescue his wounded.
With two comrades, Cpt. Swenson brought in a severely wounded sergeant to a helicopter for medical evacuation. In the video you can see Captain Swenson bend over and give him a kiss, before he turns around to rescue more...
What a leader!
This is the type of leadership we need in business. The leader who gets down in the trenches, and thinks of the people first. Willing to take the bullet. Not only complete empathy, but a plan. Calm, reasoning.
The type of leader who calmly reminds those that he is about to lead they are all heroes. Setting an example and reminding them all "We signed up for this..."
Don't we all have days when we are frustrated? Not only with those we serve, but often with those that lead us. Those that we work with.
There are few leaders that can act like Captain Swenson....in the line of fire, leaning in to show his affection and then going back to show those he leads "We are in this together..."
Many of those leaders are the soldiers. They know how to solve the problems, because they are right there on the front line. A good leader also listens and appreciates those he leads.
The challengers are the leaders of tomorrow!
So many small business owners are challenged with leadership. The skill they earned through education or natural skill entitled them to create something fabulous. It's difficult to take all that hard work and be questioned or shown how to possibly "do it better".
As the businesses build, it gets harder and harder being a leader. Especially when you are under fire and you are being asked to sacrifice yourself for the better of your tribe. The tribe that respects their leader, and followed them because of WHO they are and WHY they do what they do are in it 110%....they often know how to solve the problems since they are facing the issues every day.
While the leader has been busy managing people and the product they created with their WHY, the tribe is busy building it out. Adding ideas. Making it better.
This is Dentistry. An incredible tribe. Problem Solvers.
Dentistry has become the most amazing platform, worldwide of delivering healthcare. A system that works for most every breathing human being. Using a public and private business model. Teaching the benefit of preventive care, where the majority of the world has access to a model that they visit regular for that benefit.
We have the answers. Times of crisis bring out the best (and worst) of people.
If we are truly in this together, I challenge you. Don't just talk about the problem, find the solution!
The challenges we currently face have a lot to do with PPE.
How do we solve this problem?
We have always worked in an aerosol environment with lots of funky bugs. Yet our amazing healthcare platform has never been the cause of any major outbreaks of disease. If we truly want to continue to provide this high level of preventive medicine to a majority of all classes of people....this needs to be resolved. Using science and evidence. Like we always have. Not conjecture.
The N95 is one major roadblock. So what else exists that can overcome this challenge? How about this as an example...
What if we use a NEW PROTOCOL to reduce risk. We will never eliminate risk, its the nature of the "job we signed up for". What protocols would you be able to put in place that would remain AFFORDABLE and TIME efficient yet reduce the risk to your tribe?
Testing perhaps? In PREVENTIVE care, dental health teams could be PROACTIVE in preventing a plethora of disease. There are a lot of GREAT ideas surrounding testing and what this could do for the patients that come to see you regularly...Perhaps its a saliva test to rapidly deliver results using a "pap" smear method like U of Toronto dentist is researching.
Maybe it's a test that can detect diseases in asymptomatic people before they reach a stage that can no longer be treated...not only day one of COVID-19 but a plethora of other diseases all with a deep saliva swab. Developed by award winning scientists MutantDX holds promise.
How about all the advances in Hygiene and prevention? We need hygienists to continue to help advance PREVENTIVE care using science and technique. Aerosol has been a part of eliminating bio-film and this science will continue to advance. In order to continue to provide this VITAL service, we might continue to use the methods and reduction of risk that has worked extremely well. Like Purevac, Nubird. HVE devices that contain most of the aerosol at the source, and then add a device like an Extra Oral evacuator to prevent any missed aerosol from going beyond the patients open oral cavity during treatment.
There is a multitude of products already available that we can start using tomorrow to further reduce risk. The evidence to our current platform is overwhelming that we can efficiently deliver safe healthcare.
The leaders of tomorrow are listening to the front line. The inventions you see are more likely to come from a patient that didn't like wearing a wire and preferred a clear tray.
Your patients are telling you how valuable you are, but they are also saying their time is valuable. Less time in the chair. More convenient locations, times. Work around THEIR schedule. Perform 1 surgery instead of whenever possible. Use a digital scan to help diagnose my mouth, and give me even MORE reasons to come visit your office. Offer me MORE preventive solutions. MORE cosmetic options. EASIER booking.
Most of the answers are out there, Mr. Skeptical.
I know because I've had your back for 36 years and will continue to listen to those people much smarter than myself to continue to provide the solutions....and we are definitely in this together.
My predictions for the future.
Patients will want convenience. The ability to book appointments on their personal schedule. Using a mobile phone. All specialties in one convenient location.
Patients will want a menu of options - "The basics" "upgraded experience" or "deluxe"
Patients will want an experience. Less trauma. Personalized care. Digital one step appointments with finished product (think Cerec).
Patients will demand the latest in health care. Affordability and easy pay methods.
Team members will want a safe environment. Appreciation. Opportunity to advance.
Protocols will change. There will be less patients flowing through a practice, but the ability to offer other services will help keep the doors open. Same day crowns. Invisible aligners. Preventive treatments with saliva testing. Personalized dentistry. Holistic healthcare. Sleep medicine. Lasers. Reduction of anesthetic use. Biocompatible materials. Biofilm elimination.
Cleaner working environments using new technology. Hypochlorous acid. UV/C disinfecting. Automating the entire reprocessing of instruments and tracking and accountability.
Safer, more comfortable PPE. Washable. REusable. Easier to breathe through. Higher level of protection with virus killing fabrics.
Digital scanners will offer higher diagnostic abilities. Watching how patients bite. Offering AI diagnostics.
Dental consolidation will continue. Independent offices will combine to increase revenues and share equipment, space and team. Compete with dental corporations.
The cost of education will decrease, using technology that require less professors and ability to increase the size of classes. Technology will allow for testing using robotics and mixed reality.
Dentists will work much closer with an entire system of healthcare providers to help PREVENT disease. Offering advice and consulting on heathier lifestyle choices. Integrative Health. Total Health.
The world of dentistry will not only survive but will lead ALL OF HEALTHCARE
This is who I am. This is my WHY.