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In my quest to understand how to be a better leader within my organization and move from dentist to investor in my dental practice, I discovered a piece of writing that became an invaluable tool of my leadership development. In his 1977 essay, The Servant As Leader, Robert K. Greenleaf coined the term servant-leadership. Servant-leadership as a philosophy that centers the organization and its leaders as servants to a greater community.

In his essay, Greenleaf describes the necessary qualities and characteristics of servant-leadership and how these qualities contribute to a healthier organization, community and society at large. He also details the skills necessary for effective leadership.

Using Servant-as-Leader Skills in Your Dental Practice

The skills such as awareness, empathy, the ability to listen, anticipation of obstacles are the foundational activities that resonated with me as being the type of leader embodying the values I also wanted to instill throughout my organization.

Improving leadership in your dental practice

Servant-Leadership Skills Vs. Traditional Leadership Qualities in a Dental Practice Setting

  • Servant-Leadership
  • Listens as a Practice
  • Practices Empathy
  • Leads with his/her values
  • Is Aware of Strengths & Weaknesses
  • Practices Inclusivity in Decision-Making
  • Measures Success through a holistic lens
  • Traditional Leadership
  • Speaks as a Practice
  • Leads through Control
  • Is not necessarily guided by personal values
  • Uses Leadership as a rank of value
  • Top-down Decision-Making
  • Measures Success only through Output

My Own Story of Learning to Lead

In my book, Extraction: The Surprising New Formula to Systemize, Scale and Sell Your Business, I go into the skills, principles and qualities I use to guide my leadership style. In fact, I dedicate an entire chapter to this called Leadership and Execution. But it was this pamphlet that really started it all for me, in how I look at leadership and the way I have molded my own path to leadership.

Applying Leadership Skills and Values in Your Dental Practice

This little pamphlet had a profound effect on me. Within its unassuming pages I found a path for instilling my personal values into my leadership style and using them to help me guide my practice in a way that felt most comfortable for me and that honored all voices within my organization. It’s a quick read and I hope you enjoy it as much as I did.

These are the same values, principles and skills that today guide Optimize Practice Services. We really are an organization that practices what it preaches and espouses as its values. If you would like to learn more about OPS, what we stand for and how we can help your organization, take a fast and free assessment and get in touch! We’d love to find out about you too!

Practicing Servant-Leadership in Real Time

One way to discover your values, brush up on your leadership skills and work out your challenges around leadership issues is to speak with other dentists who’ve been in your shoes. Our CEO, Josh Gwinn, runs a monthly mastermind exclusively for dentists.

Each month dentists come together to discuss their biggest issues and find solutions, celebrate each others’ wins and provide feedback and resources to overcome challenges and roadblocks in their practices. It’s an incredible opportunity for dentists to brainstorm together and create a community that works for them. It’s also in alignment with our motto,

We believe the future of dentistry belongs with dentists

Through the values that our founder and president, Dr. Jack Bayramyan, founded OPS on, we are dedicated to providing tools, solutions and long-term strategies to dentists no matter what stage of growth they find themselves. This includes bettering themselves in their mindsets and as leaders of their organizations. Now, you may be asking yourself, what is a mastermind?

One of the Greatest Strategies of Great Leaders

A mastermind is a group of peers that come together on a regular basis to work out their biggest challenges, share resources and lean on each other to get through the rough patches and celebrate the wins. It is the single most effective tool that an entrepreneur has in her entrepreneurial toolkit.

One of the best ways I know to remain steadfast in your goals, bust through your obstacles, find resources and community to keep you strong is joining a Mastermind.  

And you’re in luck! I run a mastermind exclusively for dentists. We get together regularly to discuss the biggest obstacles to growth that they’re facing in real time; share stories of inspiration; share resources and celebrate what’s working in their practices. It’s a wonderful community and we want you to be a part of our movement. Click the button to register for the next one and we’ll see you there!