The Cure to Being Overworked and Underpaid

One of the greatest playwright and masters of comedy in Wester literature of all time, Moliere, once said:

“Nearly all men die of their remedies, and not of their illnesses.”

This is true for us as practice owners. If we aren’t careful about prioritizing what we are doing on any given day, our “per hour“ rate drops dramatically. If you haven’t noticed already, by adding 20 more hours to your work week rarely if ever has brought in a 20% or more increase in production or collections, or boosted your bottom line by that same amount.

Most practice owners who have plateaued simply need to assemble or reassemble the right team around them. If not you may be stepping over dollars to pick up pennies. It’s less about getting more done personally and more about delegating the right things to the right people so you can do what you do best (or enjoy most), such as:

  1. Doing more comprehensive dentistry
  2. Training an associate
  3. Big picture planning in your practice
  4. Working on your marketing plan

Leadership writer and expert John Maxwell, calls this the 10-80-10 “Cherry on top” principal.

This is a fantastic and effective way of delegating things to your team. Many practice owners will simply take things that they do not want to do and think that they are properly delegating this to someone else, but there’s no outline or guidance, or worst of all of all no goal in mind.

Is this you?

If so, the good news is you have lots of untapped potential in this area!

Here’s how the 10-80-10 principle works:

The 10% of any delegated task or project you spend in painting the picture for your team member, and then they do the 80%/middle work and then you are there for the final 10% to wrap up, discuss and learn from the progress and what you accomplished collectively as a team.

When it comes to delegating, I suggest you focus on the big things and don’t worry so much about the little things. Here are four keys you should outline when delegating to a team member (or a vendor or third-party independent contractor for that matter).

  1. Big picture purpose
  2. Goal
  3. Deadline
  4. Resources needed

I think of it like if you were coaching someone to run a race. You would want to be there to cheer them on to get the race started, and then to cheer them on for the final stretch. But you can’t run the middle of the race for that person or you would take away their learning opportunity and growth.

We start and end each day in the practice with a quick meeting to summarize what we’re going to accomplish for the day and then at the end to recap today, any important key matters and then anything we need to prepare for the next day that is urgent and important. We call it having great “bookends“ to a day. It’s 10-80-10 in action. Whether me, my associate, or the supporting team, everyone knows today’s goals and expectations.

It takes practice, work and team cooperation, but by properly delegating you can get 3 to 10 times more effectively done without using more energy and producing exponentially greater results. Over the years as I have delegated more to my internal and external teams my success has gone up dramatically and I have time to focus more on the things that I love to do most.

That’s why you got into being a practice owner right? To do what you love to do!

Learn how to delegate and you’ll continue to G.R.O.W.!

Have a great weekend.

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