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The Role of a Dental Executive Within a Group

Raising your Dental Support Organization (DSO) to the next level may mean bringing on new executive employees. There are several key factors that can make finding the right executive for your practice more successful.

First, look for a candidate that is like-minded.

An incoming executive should understand both the existing culture and long term vision of the practice. While they will be heavily involved in the day-to-day operations, they also need to be able to look forward. Their five-year vision should align with your own to ensure that goals are reached. 

It’s important to note that “like-minded” doesn’t mean “same.” An effective executive shouldn’t be exactly like you. “That’s boring”, said Jon Fidler, the President and CEO of executive search firm Fidler & Associates. “That’s the last thing you want for an organization.” 

Amol Nirgudkar, CEO of Patient Prism, agrees and notes your new hire “[should] bring something to the table that will help the organization flourish.” 

Nirgudkar’s point leads to the next key factor to look for in a potential partner. The ideal executive will provide new ideas and bring people together to collectively make better business decisions. 

Chief level (C-level) candidates are exceptionally educated and often just as opinionated. That’s a good thing. The end goal in bringing on an executive is to receive new ideas and perspectives, and participate in the kind of collaboration that will help your business grow. 

Receiving differing opinions can be challenging, so it’s important to do an ego-check. As Steve Jobs famously said:

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do; we hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.” 

This is where communication is critical. While it’s imperative for you to consider alternatives in order to grow, it’s also necessary for the executive to understand that all final decisions remain with you, the owner. This should be communicated up-front clearly.  

Finally, an effective executive is a leader that cultivates staff to grow into what you want the organization to be. The executive should be able to empower the people around them.

Fidler explains, “leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders.” 

When it comes to taking your DSO to the next level, getting an executive that is the right person with the right vision, the right culture and the right leadership qualities is crucial. 

Keep these key points in mind and finding someone that’s a perfect fit shouldn’t be any problem at all.


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