In late February, my colleague, Diwakar Sinha, and I were able to escape the blustery weather of the east coast and enjoyed a few days in beautiful Scottsdale, AZ at the Dental Entrepreneur Organization’s (“DEO”) exclusive Executive Edge Workshop.
The event was targeted to emerging group practice owners who are on the cusp of making their first C-level (CEO, CFO, COO, etc.) hire.
Here are a few gems from an extraordinary two days…
Hiring your first “Chief Something Officer” is both exciting and stressful as it means your business has grown to the point where you need to start building out a professional management team. It also means you are embarking on a hire like no other you’ve ever made. This is likely the first time you have ever hired an executive level business professional. Clinicians and office staff have been easy for you up to this point because you speak the same language, which makes for clear communication. You also know how to train and evaluate them because you typically all share the same background and experiences.
Executives, on the other hand, are a new challenge. You don’t have the same level of confidence that you can diagnose their fit in the business and project their impact financially, operationally or culturally. It’s also more difficult to judge their effectiveness.
The goal of this event was to give the founder/owner Dentist the confidence to embark on this new type of hire.
Cameron Herold (former COO of 1-800-GOT-JUNK) headlined the Executive Edge event. During his tenure at 1-800-GOT-JUNK, Cameron orchestrated growth from $2M in revenue to over $106M and 3,100 employees in just six years. Since leaving the company, Cameron has traveled the world speaking, networking and writing. He is the author of “Double Double” and a few other business best sellers.
I came in with high expectations for Cameron as he has been referred to by the publisher of Forbes Magazine as “the best speaker he has ever heard.” Pretty high praise. Cameron did not disappoint. He was engaging from the first minute of the workshop and left the attendees full of ideas that could be immediately applied to their businesses.
During this two-day event he covered an array of topics:
- Best hiring practices
- Clever employee retention strategies
- The best KPI’s to track
- How to define your vision
- And even some well-placed music suggestions (check out the “Searching for Sugar Man” soundtrack).
The takeaways from an event like this were likely different for each attendee, as the workshop was filled with small group breakouts, networking and energetic discussions. The DEO does a tremendous job of getting their members to engage in substantive discussions all throughout their events. If you’d like to learn more about their Mastermind sessions, please contact Darin Acopan.
As for TUSK, our key takeaways are as follows:
- Culture starts with vision alignment (Per Cameron Herold). Define your vision in detail and learn how to communicate it to your key stakeholders as well as any potential new hires. If you haven’t defined your vision, your goals will not be clear, and it becomes very difficult to execute effective strategy at any level.
- Only work with the A-Team. Take an honest assessment of your company and identify who is invested in your culture/vision and who is not. Also look at their productivity in the company and assess how valuable they are to the company. After you take an honest assessment of your team, don’t be afraid to eliminate the team members who are not aligned with your culture and who are not productive. According to Cameron Herold, the cost of keeping the wrong employee is close to 15x their annual salary.
- Put yourself in a position to feel uncomfortable and look for ways to learn and grow as an entrepreneur. Be an active member of two or more mastermind groups where you can learn and network from some of the best entrepreneurial minds around the world.
As you embark on building your executive level management team, make sure you keep these things in mind. Continue to learn and engage with professionals who have been down this road before – even if they aren’t in our industry.
A special thank you to Dr. Marc Cooper,Jacob Puhl, Darin Acopan and the rest of the DEO teamfor inviting TUSK to take part in the workshop. This is one of the most dynamic groups of business minds in our industry and we are fortunate to call so many of them friends. Click here to learn more about their 2018 Future of Dentistry Summit taking place in Phoenix, AZ on June 7-9. And here's a link for discounted registration, if you'd like to experience the buzz for yourself! You can enter the code "TUSK" (without parentheses) to get $100 off, too.
If you want to talk more about defining your vision for the future or how it impacts your business plan and growth projections, feel free to contact me at karnold@TUSK-Parnters.com.
TUSK provides industry-leading resources for Group Dental Practices and DSOs. We help our clients START, GROW and SELL their DSO or Group Dental Practice. For more details, download our Overview of Services or visit our website HERE.
TUSK will be a featured presenter at the 1-800 DENTIST DSO Leadership Summit in Los Angeles, CA on March 16th where we will share “Bank Debt & Growth Strategy: the Numbers You Must Know to Grow.” We hope to see you there as well!
And to find us anywhere else on the roam, please refer to our calendar of events HERE.