Five books that can help dentists succeed

Running a dental practice takes a lot of knowledge that goes beyond the clinical aspects of dentistry.

There are several books related to leadership that offer advice for business owners, but there are five specific publications that CDA Director of Practice Management Michael Perry, DDS, has identified that will help dentists succeed in their practices.

“These books aren't the be-all, end-all for guidance on how to structure your business model, but they do provide a good foundation for dentists to reference as they navigate the intricacies of being a leader in their practices,” Perry said.

Good to Great, by Jim Collins

This book discusses how a good company can become a great company and is based on a five-year research project comparing teams that made a leap to those that did not. Good to Great shows that greatness is a result of a matter of conscious choice and discipline. It also delves into concepts like Level 5 Leadership, First Who and the Flywheel. Collins began his research and teaching career on the faculty at the Stanford University Graduate School of Business, where he received the Distinguished Teaching Award in 1992. In 1995, he founded a management laboratory in Boulder, Colo., where he now conducts research and consults with executives from the corporate and social sectors.

Wooden on Leadership, by John Wooden and Steve Jamison

This book reveals how to apply John Wooden's Pyramid of Success within your own organization. It includes rarely seen excerpts from Wooden’s private notebooks on team building and competitive greatness. Wooden led UCLA to 10 national NCAA championships and was the first person to be inducted into the College Basketball Hall of Fame as both a player and coach. His life lessons and values are shared worldwide.

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, by Steven Covey

This book helps people solve personal and professional problems through key habits. A few of the habits include: taking responsibility for your life; developing an imagination, or the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes; and synergizing, or the habit of creative cooperation. The book emphasizes that such habits don’t just happen accidentally. Covey has been recognized as one of Time magazine’s 25 most influential Americans.

The Essential Drucker, by Peter Drucker

A compilation of essential materials from Peter Drucker, who was a writer, professor, management consultant and self-described “social ecologist,” who explored the way human beings organize themselves and interact much the way an ecologist would observe and analyze the biological world. The Essential Drucker discusses basic principles and concerns of management and its problems, challenges and opportunities, giving professionals the tools to perform the tasks that the economy and society of tomorrow will demand of them. Drucker’s 39 books, along with other popular articles, predicted many of the major developments of the late 20th century.

The E Myth, by Michel Gerber

The E-Myth dispels the myths surrounding starting a business and shows how commonplace assumptions can get in the way of running a business. The book discusses the steps in the life of a business from entrepreneurial infancy, through adolescent growing pains, to the mature entrepreneurial perspective. Also discussed is how to apply the lessons of franchising to any business whether or not it is a franchise, as well as the distinction between working on your business and working in your business. INC. Magazine called Gerber “the World’s #1 Small Business Guru.” He started more than 40 years ago addressing a need in the small business market: businesses owned primarily by people with technical skills but few business skills.

Perry said these books provide dentists with a great overview of running a business/practice.

“Each book addresses leadership from a different context: Seven Habits emphasizes the importance of goals and how to achieve them via effective human interactions; Good to Great teaches characteristics of strong leaders; Wooden on Leadership presents fundamentals, among many other ideas; Essential Drucker explains the difference between leadership and management; and The E Myth shows how to duplicate others’ successful strategies,” Perry said.  

To help with developing leadership in the practice and more, CDA recently launched CDA Practice Advising, an in-depth consulting service designed to help dentists practice smarter and increase their profitability. For more information, visit cda.org/advising.