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Episode #549: Why Investing in Your Team Is So Important, with Jenni Poulos

Your team is your most important asset. If you want a better practice, investing in your team members is one of the best things you can ever do. To share how you can commit to their growth, Kirk Behrendt brings back Jenni Poulos, one of ACT’s amazing lead coaches, with advice for training, educating, and growing the people around you. When you take care of your team, they will take care of you! To learn how to build a better team for a better practice and a better life, listen to Episode 549 of The Best Practices Show!

Episode Resources:

Links Mentioned in This Episode:

Rocky Mountain Dental Convention: https://rmdconline.com

Atomic Habits by James Clear: https://jamesclear.com/atomic-habits

Main Takeaways:

Let go. Learn to delegate and elevate.

Commit to growing the people on your team.

Invest in your team’s education the same way as your own.

A two-hour team meeting, done right, is a worthwhile investment.

Your team members are the people who will bring your vision to life.

Quotes:

“We oftentimes think team members should come trained, they should come educated, and the time that they spend in the practice should be enough. Dentists are quick to invest in themselves on tons of education. Clinical education, they will fly all over, spend top dollar for top education. They see it as an investment. But they don’t, for some reason, take that leap to, ‘I need to invest in my team in the same way,’ because they need to stay in their circle, and they need to delegate and elevate their team members so they can be ballers everywhere else in the practice. And the way to do that is to invest in education.” (2:49—3:34) -Jenni

“As leaders, what we need to get really good at is letting go of the things that a) are not our highest and best, the things that we shouldn’t and don’t have to be spending our time doing. We want to delegate those items to other team members that are going to be better at them so we can stay doing the things that are best for us. We can put them executing and killing it at the things that they want to do that they’re best at. And by doing that, we continually elevate the people around us. We trust them. We have to let go of the vine, let them take the reins, delegate where we can, and we continually grow the people around us. You have to invest in them, invest in some education, invest in bringing them into a room where they can hear you speak, laugh, have a good time, learn something new, and be in this amazing community and this amazing environment, and go back and say, ‘I want to take the reins. I want to take this over. I want to kill it for you, and I want you to stay in that op doing what you do best. You delegate the money to me. You delegate these things to me, and I’m going to grow for you.” (3:52—5:07) -Jenni

“You’re going to build a team. It is your most important asset. Facebook ads, your CBCT, your building — those are not your most important assets. Your most important assets, your secret sauce, is when you have the right people in the right seats. That’s the whole jam. When you make that happen, your life gets better by the minute.” (5:14—5:32) -Kirk

“The real issue here is that dentists take on extra stuff because they think, ‘Nobody is smart enough,’ and they just take it on. Well, you have to take on less in order to grow.” (5:38—5:48) -Kirk

“As a dentist, there are people that can talk money. There are people that can do scheduling. There are people that can do photography. There are people that can do anesthesia. You shouldn’t have to do all of those things. It all depends on your vision, now. And every time you do that, the “elevate” comes with the time. You free up more time. So, you now can invest your time into the things that you want. But you have to have the fundamental thought process like, ‘We’re going to delegate and elevate together.’ So, it’s not just taking people to education. You’ve got to invest in them in team meetings, other things like that.” (5:54—6:25) -Kirk

“You’ve got to commit. You have to commit to growing your people. You have to commit to your values and what you want, and you have to stop, sit down, work on the practice, and you have to allow your people time to work on the practice as well.” (6:48—7:08) -Jenni

“Some doctors who are listening don’t think a two-hour team meeting is a worthwhile investment. I’m just going to say this. If you work 32 clinical hours, you give me two hours. You don’t need to work all 32. You can work 30 clinical hours, pay your team for 32, and I promise you, if it’s done right, they will kill it for you.” (7:10—7:34) -Kirk

“One of the things that [a two-hour team meeting] allows us to do is getting back to that delegate and elevate. It gets us in the same room talking about things, and we can create alignment. We can say, ‘Who’s going to be best here? Who’s going to be best here?’ We create systems and we create predictability in our days. So, when we sit down, when we get aligned as a team every week, we stop and we pause and we say, ‘Okay, what are we doing? Where are we struggling? What’s the issue? What do we need to work on? What do we need to improve? Who can own this?’ Suddenly, things start to fall into place. Our days become more predictable. It gets easier. And really, the profits follow that.” (8:41—9:31) -Jenni

“If you’re a dentist and you think your team meetings suck, and it’s a two-hour waste of time, you’re telling yourself the truth. You should look at those two hours like, ‘They might suck right now, but they’re not going to suck forever.’ And that’s why working with a great coach, having a structure, when you get it down, the meeting gets better and better and better, and you start to look forward to it.” (9:41—10:01) -Kirk

“[If] you start being late [ to your team meetings], you don’t show up, then you scream to the team, ‘I don’t care. It’s not important for me and for us to sit down to work on things.’ And I tell everyone, you’ve got to trust. Give it time. You have to actually learn how to run a great meeting. And we had to learn at ACT how to do this as well.” (11:22—11:43)

“A lot of you are looking at your profit and loss statements and, ‘Oh my gosh, dentistry is becoming an expensive profession.’ True. But when you’re looking at the line item that says “team cost”, stop it. Change your name. It’s not a cost. It’s an investment. I’m going to invest in these people, and my job as a business owner is to make sure the rest of the numbers work. So, you can look at that number and you can write checks — if you still write checks — and those checks will be bending. Or you can say, ‘No, I’m investing in human beings. And I’m happy to pay people that because when I think right, it lends itself to the right output.’” (12:39—13:14) -Kirk

“When you invest in [your team], they get better. They invest in you. They care about you. They are engaged and invested in the practice. And when team members are invested, they’re happier, you’re happier, and the patients see it. Again, the profits will follow, and they will stay.” (13:15—13:32) -Jenni

“We have to be even more so invested in creating amazing experiences for our teams in which they feel like they can grow, like they are a part of a team, like they are a part of something, that they come to the practice, and they leave more days with their cup full than empty.” (14:14—14:34) -Jenni

“We’re going to have hard days, and not every day is going to be perfect. And in the dental practice, we have exhausting days. Our motto here is a better practice for a better life. If we leave every day with our cup completely empty, we have no time left for our life outside. So, by creating predictability, by investing in people — yes, we have struggles. Yes, there are days that are really hard. But we band together as a team. We function in our unique abilities, and we work really hard for each other. And when it’s a hard day, we might leave exhausted. But we leave saying, ‘Man, we nailed it today. We accomplished something today.’ And then, we have room left for those big moments that happen outside of [our work] life.” (14:37—15:33) -Jenni

“If you want to build the life that you want in your practice, you want your vision to come to fruition, you want to have this amazing life and this amazing practice where you take care of your patients and you feel like you’re making the world better, like, why you became a dentist, that starts with taking care of the people that are around you. Because when you take care of them, they’re going to take care of you. And they’re the people that are going to bring that vision to life for you.” (15:47—16:21) -Jenni

Snippets:

0:00 Introduction.

2:20 Invest in your team’s education.

3:35 Delegate and elevate, explained.

5:48 Commit to growing your team.

7:08 How a two-hour meeting can change your practice.

12:08 It’s an investment, not a cost.

13:34 Fill your cup.

15:36 Last thoughts.

16:33 About ACT’s future courses and seminars.

Jenni Poulos Bio: 

Jenni brings to dental teams a literal lifetime of experience in dentistry. As the daughter and sister of periodontists and a dental hygienist, she has been working in many facets of the dental world since she first held a summer job turning rooms and pouring models at the age of 12. Now, with over 10 years of experience in managing and leading a large periodontal practice, she has a firm grasp on what it takes to run a thriving business. Her passion for organizational health and culture has been a driving force behind her coaching career. She has witnessed firsthand how creating an aligned and engaged team will take a practice to levels of success that they never believed possible!

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