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Episode : #735: This Is What It Takes to Improve Your Practice

Podcast Description

Are you doing what’s necessary to take your business where it needs to go? In this episode, Kiera asks some challenging questions meant to inspire listeners to take a good, hard look at their dedication to the workplace. If you want your team to be made up of hard workers who believe in the practice, it starts with the tone set by leadership.

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0:00:05.8 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone, welcome to The Dental A Team podcast. I’m your host, Kiera Dent. And I had this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member’s perspective, because let’s face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I’ve been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants where we have traveled to over 165 different offices, coaching teams. Yep, we don’t just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress and create A teams. Welcome to The Dental A Team podcast.


0:00:51.4 Kiera Dent: Hello, Dental A Team, listeners. This is Kiera and oh, today is a great day. It’s been podcasting day, I’ve been able to hang out with you guys. I truly do love podcast days because I feel like I get to connect with you. It’s fun to do it on video because I imagine you guys on the other side of this video where we’re looking in the eyes together, we’re having a conversation together, we’re enjoying this time together. So I hope you are enjoying that, I hope you are living your best life, and I hope you know how much I truly care about you as a person. I want you to be living your best life, I want you to be happy, I want you to be thrilled, I want you to be so successful, is what my hope is for each of you. So with that today, if this podcast has blessed your life in any way, shape or form, please go do me a huge favor and share this with someone that you think could benefit them. My goal is to truly get this into the hands of millions to bless and inspire and to positively impact the world of dentistry in the greatest way possible. So please do me a favor, go leave that five-star review and share this with a friend.

0:01:48.2 Kiera Dent: Honestly, I know you think everyone else is going to do it, but no I’m talking to you, the person on the other side of this video, the person on the other side of this podcast, the person listening to me in the car, the person listening to me on their walk, the person listening to this podcast while you’re flying, the person listening while you’re driving, the person listening while you’re at work on your lunch break, the person who’s listening as a team with your team, doing this as a team meeting. The person who is listening to me in all the random places you guys have told me, mowing the lawn, shoveling the walk, all the different places, on vacation, traveling the world. Thank you for taking me with you. Thank you for allowing me to inspire you, I truly believe the greatest gift we can give anybody is the gift of our time, and so the fact you’re willing to give up your time and hang out with me speaks volumes. And I don’t take that lightly, I am committed to always giving you the best content, the best information, the best consulting to make you the best office, the most profitable office, the most fulfilled office I can.

0:02:43.9 Kiera Dent: But it’s a two-way street. I can show up, but you need to show up. And oftentimes offices who work with us, I’d tell them, you’re not ready. You’re not ready to make the hard changes, you’re not ready to let go. You’re not ready to do the things that it takes. Some people come in and they say, “But Kiera, I hired you to do these things,” and I say, “Guess what? You’ve had several years of building this, it’s not gonna be overnight, I can change this. You’re gonna need to change your leadership style, you’re gonna need to change how you show up for your team, you’re gonna need to show up differently on how you have your one-on-one conversations with your team. You’re gonna need to change how you have accountability, and if you’re not ready to do those hard things, don’t call me because you’re not ready.”

0:03:20.5 Kiera Dent: But if you are, if you’re truly there, I heard it as rock bottom, right? When you’ve hit rock bottom and you will do whatever it takes, I know you’re ready. I know you’re ready because you will be fertile ground ready to go. It’s crazy, so many people tell me, “Kiera, how long does it take to turn around an office?” And the answer is actually very simple, it depends on the owner and the leader. If the leader is willing to do whatever we say, and is willing to jump in 100% get on board, not whatever we say blindly doing it, but challenging it, having true back and forth healthy debate and executing, we can turn a practice around in 90 days. But if an office is there giving excuses and justifying their mistakes and telling us why this can’t be done and saying, “We already do that,” instead of just trying, we’re 12 months, 24 months, 36 months, and they are like, “Kiera nothing’s changed.”

0:04:11.0 Kiera Dent: And I say it has, but have you been willing to do the hard work of changing you? Of changing habits, of changing behaviors. One of the things that I have learned through all of my coaching has been, I have to change, I have to do things differently. You guys, I’m not the greatest decision maker, but that’s old Kiera. CEO Kiera has to make decisions. I constantly am priming my mind and tell myself that I make the best decisions, and I execute. That is radically different than who I was before. Talk to my husband, he was fiance number three, do you think I’m an easy decision maker? The answer is no. But I had to change, I had to morph. I had to decide that who I was wasn’t the person that would take my practice where it needed to go. I wasn’t the person that could grow the company to where it is today. And I would ask you as leaders, are you the person today that is doing what’s needed and necessary to take your business where it needs to go? Are you willing to let go of team members that aren’t serving you?

0:05:09.5 Kiera Dent: Interesting question. Are you willing to let go of habits that don’t serve you? Are you willing to admit that maybe you don’t stay as consistent as you need to be to be a successful practice? Are you willing to admit that maybe you like to choose lazy habits instead of being disciplined and dedicated? Are you willing to accept that you maybe don’t have ownership? These are hard questions. I don’t know where I’m coming from. It’s been podcast day. Maybe I’m on a roll because I want you to know that those are the things that it takes to do change. Change is not easy, potentially, but it can also be the easiest thing. You can change in an instant, if you don’t believe me, go turn on your favorite song and your mood will radically change in a second. You can change in a second. But so many of us wanna hold on to our favorite excuses, our favorite reasons, our favorite lies, our favorite stories we love to tell ourselves, and therefore we stay stuck and trapped. Today’s topic is, how long Kiera does it take to create an A team? And my answer is, it depends on the leader truly. Go read Extreme Ownership, if it’s been a while. It’s all about the leader and the leadership as to how long it takes to build an A team.

0:06:13.0 Kiera Dent: Are you the owner who is so obsessed with being like AKA Kiera Dent, to where you let so many bad behaviors fly that you had such a hard culture for about three years. I remember saying during 2020 that I felt like I was Johnny Depp sitting on my boat burning in the ocean, knowing another boat was gonna come by at some point, but I was so far sunk because I had been such a lackluster leader. That was a hard pill to swallow. My coach said, “Kiera, you need to show up as a leader, you’re the one who created this culture and you need to fix it.” Well, that really felt terrible. Thank you, Liz. Thank you, Liz for saying the hard things to me. Thank you, Liz. But I also say thank you, Kiera, that I was willing to be humble enough to accept that I needed to create change. An A team takes time. Full transparency, 2020 to 2023. We’re doing way better. It took grit, it took discipline, it took dedication, it took lots of coaches, it took lots of podcasts, it took a lot of personal development on my side, it took me asking my team for anonymous feedback of, where is my greatest weakness? Do you know how good that feels? For some of you you might be like, “That feels great, I love the feedback.”

0:07:23.5 Kiera Dent: For me, as someone who loves and craves people, words of affirmation, telling me I’m awesome, yeah, that’s really, really, really hard for me. But I knew if I didn’t ask and I didn’t change, I would be the limiting factor of my own personal growth and professional growth, and I feel like all of us have an obligation to show up, to ask the hard questions, to face the hard realities, and then execute. So how long does it take to develop an A team? Like what does that even look like? It’s different for every person. For me, an A team are team of players who all take ownership, team players who all follow our core values, and for us, our core values are, do the right thing, ownership, passion for excellence, ease, make things easy, then it’s grit, innovate or die and fun. Those are our core values. So that’s what I think for an A team for us, are we getting the results that we want as a company, are we hitting the metrics? Are we profitable as a company, are we hitting those profitability metrics, these are things I track every single week, these are things I assess every single quarter, these are things I talk to every team member about every single month, and it took me three years plus I do culture things, a Friday Five.

0:08:34.1 Kiera Dent: I send a Friday Five email, so many people want that A team, but they’re not willing to put in the hard work. And it starts with the leader. So many doctors call me and say, “Kiera, I hired you so I wouldn’t have to work this hard,” and I’m like, “I get it, but I need you to also go through some hard work to build systems and to change culture to get you to your ultimate goal.” That’s what it’s really about. And do you wanna know what happens? People either face it or they run from it, it’s one or two things every single time, people are like, “Kiera, I didn’t see any results,” and I say, “Cool, what did you do?” I don’t let you slide away. And I think so many of us are so afraid of it. Is it scary? Yeah, it’s scary, it’s scary of rejection, it’s scary for people to hate me, it’s scary for me to go get bad reviews, but I would rather tell you the honest truth of what you need to get you to success than to lie to your face and tell you you’re doing a great job. I’m gonna tell you you are doing a great job and we need to fix these things, it doesn’t change overnight, but with consistency, continuity, discipline, dedication you’re going to get there.

0:09:30.2 Kiera Dent: And those things, I think, are hard to do as human nature. Do you know, I was working the other morning and I decided I’m like, okay, I’m gonna get my laundry done, do you know how many times I picked up my phone to get distracted in a one hour span of time folding laundry, I think I picked it up five times, I picked it up to change my music, I picked it up to look on Instagram, I picked it up to send a Slack message of this great idea I had. And what happens when I did that, I got sucked down the rabbit hole, I’m like, Kiera, just focus, just stay… Just get this laundry done and you’ll be so much happier, but it’s so hard for us in an instantaneous gratification world where we’re constantly bombarded, we are over-stimulated up the wazoo, that for us to actually say, disciplined dedicated to our teams to ourselves is something that I think we’ve lost as a skill set of a lot of members of society. Human nature, we have adapted, we have changed. Think back to our ancestors who’d sit out in the fields for days, who’d sit around campfires doing minimal things, who would literally sit there playing games to pass the time, who would have to sit there and make dinner that took them nine hours or 10 hours or two days and they had to be that dedicated and disciplined.

0:10:46.5 Kiera Dent: We have it within our DNA, it’s just something that I don’t think has been sharpened for a lot of years. And so how long does it take to build your A team? Depends on you as the leader. Are you willing to show up, are you willing to cut the excuses? There are no excuses, there are just results. If your results aren’t showing you what you want, that’s on you. Are you willing to take full ownership of it, are you willing to say, “I’m gonna make the hard decision, no matter what it is,” do you know I have had to let people go that I absolutely love because it was in the best interest of the business. That’s hard, but I knew they weren’t the right fit. Are you willing to make those hard decisions, are you willing to say, business always wins, otherwise, we all fail, and I’m going to do whatever it takes. And that includes not sacrificing yourself, that includes having boundaries where you go and recharge and you’re not constantly there because that also doesn’t serve us. Are you willing to realize that you need shut off times, are you willing to realize those things?

0:11:48.2 Kiera Dent: Because that’s how long it takes to build an A team. An A team, again, go back to Extreme Ownership by Jocko Willink, it says it’s all about the leader at the helm. I still think about the canoe, it is my favorite story of all of the entire book, the one that I think of the most, two canoe teams, two leaders. Canoe team wins, and the leader of the losing team said, “This is ridiculous. He had a better team.” They switch, so different leaders, two the same teams. Right, does that make sense? So like the winning team now has the losing coach, send them out, and once again, the winning coach with the losing team from the prior one won. It’s not the team, it’s the leader. So how long does it take to build an A team? Takes the dedication, the discipline, and sometimes… We didn’t get here overnight. We got here with small steps day in and day out to be here, now we need to take the small steps to unravel it, to create a new culture, to create a new accountability, we might have a full turnover of team, we might have people who don’t agree with it, we might have people that don’t align and that’s okay, outgrowing team members and team members outgrowing us is normal, natural and healthy.

0:13:03.2 Kiera Dent: You just have to be dedicated with a vision of what you want, dedication to core values, and the commitment that you will make the hard decisions, you will follow up and you will show up and you will stop the excuses, and I know you’ll be successful. If I can help you with that, if our team can help you with that, email us, [email protected], go to our website, thedentalateam.com and book a call. If you know you are that person, join us, come, have a call. I have literally told clients that are potential clients, I’ve said, “You’re not ready, come back and see me in a year.” They’re not ready. They’re not willing to make the hard choice. I will not sign up a client just because I want a client, I only want clients that we’re gonna get results with, because that’s fulfilling for me, and if you’re not ready and you’re gonna give me excuse after excuse on the phone, on our first call, I’m gonna tell you lovingly, “Here’s some great tips, go try this out and give me a call in a year, ’cause you’re not ready to start with coaching.”

0:13:53.6 Kiera Dent: “Yes, Kiera, yes, Kiera, I am, I am. I am.” No, you’re not. Because I’m gonna make you do really hard things and I’m gonna show up and I’m gonna push you, and if you’re not ready to do that yourself, you’re not ready yet. So I want you guys, if you know you’re that person and you just need the help and you’re like, “Whatever you say, I’m on board,” reach out, [email protected]. Let’s exponentially accelerate your growth, and I will tell you with a coach, growth is exponential with the right coach, that’s been there, done that and done that successfully, which The Dental A Team has. So come and join us, that’s how long it takes to build your A team and if I can help you, I would love to. As always, guys, thanks for listening, I’ll catch you next time on The Dental A Team podcast.


0:14:33.5 Kiera Dent: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we’ll talk to you next time.

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