Enable, Empower, Who cares: Just get the Job Done!

by Dr. Ron Arndt

Early on in my practice, I found myself being the first one into the office and the last one out. All the employees were waving goodbye to go home and I was “stuck” in my office for a couple more hours – dealing with piles of charts to review, return calls to make, prescriptions to call in, unmounted casts sitting on my desk…it felt never-ending.

First thing in the morning, they’d line up asking me to “fix” this and that. I was going nuts. I felt like I was on a gerbil wheel. Near exhaustion, I realized that I was ENABLING my team members to be DEPENDENT on me and I was not encouraging them to do things for themselves or to think on their own.
dental team accountability

  • They didn’t have to be accountable for their actions.
  • They didn’t have to take initiative.
  • They didn’t have to think on their own.
  • They didn’t have to worry about being wrong or taking risks.
  • Hell, they just asked me what to do and I told them!
  • BIG mistake!

To resolve this situation, I learned I needed to EMPOWER them


I had to learn to invite and train them to take the lead on decisions that directly impacted them, to assume responsibility to share suggestions and ideas about their work and how we can distribute the load. I needed to give them permission to think, behave, take action, to control their work and environment, and to do it autonomously. They needed to think on their own and not come to me for every “nit-picky” thing.

It took a lot of time and training…for me as well as them. However, when I made this commitment, my life changed. I delegated everything I could, explained expectations better with measurables, got home to my family for dinner, our practice grew, and the doctor was a much happier camper!

What can you empower, or train your dental team to do today? Please share your successes with me here, or on facebook.

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