A True Story of Inspiration and Leadership

Imagine yourself as a young, woman dentist purchasing your first dental practice, ready to set the world on fire. Your patients love you. Your location on the tenth floor of a well- known downtown building suits you. The daily comings and goings of the Washington State Ferry system keep you entertained, as well as the hustle and bustle of the city below. The commute to work is easy, and the art of dentistry excites you.

Suddenly – overnight it seems – you begin to feel frightened, frustrated and plagued by a feeling of unworthiness. The situation seems hopeless. You have the wrong team members. You don’t know how to be a boss and you are afraid to ask for what you want from your staff. Dentistry is no longer fun.

family.jpg Let me introduce you to Dr. Nicole Leiker. Similar to many of you, she has been through a difficult period in her career, only to ultimately discover that dentistry is really about vision, passion and clear leadership. With help and coaching for her and her team, Nicole regained her passion for dentistry. In doing so, she was able to clearly define her vision and see her practice in a new light. In Nicole’s case, what she ‘saw’ was that her facility did not reflect her deep commitment to, and high regard for, her patients.

after.jpg And so she began the process of change necessary to make her vision come true. While pregnant with her first child, she took on the monumental task of creating her dream office four blocks from her original location. Working with Janice Thayer, of Signature Environment Designs, and Pathways Coaching, Nicole realized her vision and moved into her new space during her three-month maternity leave. She is now enjoying a 36% increase in income, and has a team and facility that truly reflects who she is – a gifted, caring dentist.

“What I have learned with Shari’s coaching is that dentistry is really about the whole, not a snapshot in time. I enjoy coming to work now. My clinical skills continue to improve and I speak with conviction when I recommend treatment. One of the best shifts I made was to a desires-based prospective. I have made huge progress toward releasing ownership of people’s dental health, while taking more ownership of my responsibility to fulfill their health goals. I have learned how to lead and have a team that truly believes in me.”

Nicole lives by the thoughts of Anais Nin –“Life expands and contracts in proportion to one’s courage.” Nicole is a woman of courage. Congratulations, Nicole!

Shari Tastad RDH, BS owns Pathways coaching and can be reached at 509-750-6603 or at shari@pathwayscoaching.net. Her delight is in assisting dentists, team members and individuals in maximizing their potential through building effective communication skills, enhancing patient relationships and fundamental business planning.