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Leadership in Dentistry

By John Van der Werff, DDS | March 21, 2017

by John Van der Werff, DDS

Are you a good leader?

I have asked myself this question in many situations. Am I a good leader at home, in the office, at church and in other areas of my life?

Being a good leader is the key to an organization running well. Unfortunately, there is very little, if any, leadership training in medical and dental school.

How do we know what a good leader is? There are many things to look at, for example, inspiring a shared vision, being honest, being an example, being a risk taker, being able to draw people out, being able to seek improvement and learn from mistakes, being able to do what I said I would do and understanding when to be directive and when to be collaborative.

The answer to the question, am I a good leader, cannot be accurately answered by us. The answer needs to come from those whom we lead. In your case, what might they say?

Do you have the courage to ask them? Can you actively listen well?

Jesus was the ultimate leader. He became the ultimate servant/leader because He gave His life for us. Can I say the same about myself? If I am honest, the answer would be no. If we look at Jesus as the ultimate leader, then wouldn’t the standard be to give our lives to those we lead?

Although many of us have heard the cliché, “someone is a born leader,” there is really no such thing. Leadership is learned by experience and training. This means all of us have some skills and can improve those leadership skills. I suspect Jesus learned them from God the Father.

If you wish to become a better leader, countless books, consultants and training programs are available. Perhaps you could suggest some that have been helpful which may help others improve their skills.

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