July 31, 2023
How To Overcome Founder’s Syndrome at Your Dental Practice
Whether you’ve been operating your dental practice for a few years or multiple decades, it can feel natural to keep holding onto the management responsibilities of owning a business. But at some point, that will keep your practice from unlocking its true growth potential. Recently, Professional Transition Strategies Founder and President Kyle Francis wrote an article for Inc.com discussing how to overcome what is commonly known as “founder’s syndrome.” Here are the key takeaways.
Make logical decisions, not emotional ones
“Because they put their heart and soul into their business, emotions can cloud their judgment,” Francis wrote. “Founders can develop rhythms and routines, along with interpersonal relationships with colleagues, clients, vendors and customers. And those can be incredibly challenging to change and even step away from.” Francis likens a dental practice to another family member after putting your heart and soul into it. It can become particularly challenging when it comes time to transition ownership. “Whether you’re looking to step aside or relinquish key responsibilities so your company can scale, the first step in avoiding founder’s syndrome is to recognize that it’s real,” Francis continued. “Working through those emotions in a positive way can help you make the best business decisions.”
Build a capable and supportive team
Francis acknowledge his case of founder’s syndrome when it came to his own business. From that, he learned to think about what was most important for his business, including delegating responsibilities rather than creating a bottleneck in his pipeline. Francis shared his suggestions for effectively delegating business responsibilities:
- Put the right people in place: Hire for culture first. Obviously, aptitude and acumen are important, but it’s also imperative that team members buy into the mission. Find folks who are committed to the culture and willing to learn as they grow in their careers. This creates an environment in which it’s easier to delegate responsibilities because they’re people you trust.
- Communicate your vision effectively: Clearly outlining the company goals helps everyone get aligned. When the company expectations are well known, you’ll be less inclined to second guess your decision to onboard more folks and offload certain responsibilities.
- Be patient with your team and yourself: You’re not going to be able to wake up one morning and hand off all your extra responsibilities to your new team members. You’ll experience many growing pains as you push yourself outside of your comfort zone. While it can be incredibly challenging in the short term, the long-term benefits let you focus on your business’s strategic growth while others tackle the day-to-day operations.