20 min readThe Jameson Files 104 – Communication, Vision, and Leadership with Dr. Cappy Sinclair

Carrie Webber

Carrie Webber: [00:00:10] Thank you for joining us on the Jameson files. I’m your host Carrie Webber and I’m thrilled to once again be having a conversation with Dr. Cappy Sinclair of Virginia Beach Virginia. We’re going to talk about strategy, vision, communication skills and how Dr. Sinclair uses these tools every day to continue to grow his dental business. It’s get to sit across the table with you and pick your brain and share some stories about, you know, how you become successful in the work you’re doing in dentistry.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:00:45] My my journey of success… I still have much further to go but, you know, it’s great to be here.

Carrie Webber: [00:00:51] We’re so glad you’re here. Thanks. And, you know, so just a recap on on Dr. Sinclair you know you’ve been you’ve been practicing in Virginia you have this amazing story and a very creative story of what we know where he where you’ve come from and what led you to into dentistry. But I want to talk a little bit more about the now, where you’re going and because you and I share um, a curiosity and a love for the business side.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:01:20] Right. Dentistry is a business.

Carrie Webber: [00:01:22] Yes. And believe it or not it is a business. And when you embrace that business side and you and you want to learn and refine and grow and focus on your business not just on the dentistry and that balance. What a difference it can make. And so I want to talk a little bit about you know vision and getting clarity of vision and pursuing the pursuit of a vision and accomplishments. The steps along the way of planning toward a vision and and you know, I, what was it three years ago we. Or was it longer.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:02:02] No it was almost three years ago to the day. So we were here at the Jameson offices in Oklahoma City. And I had that my husband Jess and I who own Jameson had the opportunity to spend some time with you and your beautiful wife Lauren. The time you weren’t,.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:02:20] We were not married.

Carrie Webber: [00:02:21] You were engaged. Yes and starting to plan a life together. And so a boy a lot of lot’s happened since then. Precious little little baby boy now and. But at the time you were coming in to do specifically some vision planning and it was a really cool how that started with thinking one thing and we ended in another space. And how far you’ve come from there but that was a cool conversation around the table.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:02:50] It was really cool for me because I think it gave me perspective as to where I was going when I started my practice from scratch six years ago. I knew that I wanted to have a dental practice but I didn’t really have a vision. I knew the types of dentistry that I wanted to do but not really who I would serve. And so along the way I’ve learned a lot of things like initially I just wanted to be a great dentist that would treat great people. Yeah. That’s pretty vague. When I look at it from hindsight. But having a vision of at first opening a practice and then as we got more and more successful you realize where am I going with this. What’s the purpose where I am I doing what I’m doing. Am I doing it just for me. Am I doing it for my patients. Am I doing it for my team. Kind of where. Whereas the the meat behind everything. Yeah and so I know there’s a lot of buzz talk on like why people do things and the why is Simon Sinek talks about for the millennials like that driving purpose is really important for a lot of people to have. And for me I felt like the biggest thing was for me to see patients that were looking for comprehensive treatment instead of that help style in your marketing and a whole bunch of other things that are really helpful to help focus on. But I hadn’t had that yet until I had sat down here and so it took a lot of brainstorming. I mean this isn’t something that you can sit down in an afternoon and hash out and be like oh this is my purpose this is my vision it really took a lot of time and and it challenges you. Yeah. As a dentist and as a business owner like what what am I doing Where am I going. And originally we sat down and I think I wasn’t really too sure of the vision and it went in a different direction of having multiple locations and having a business and seeing the scalability of what we were doing. Yeah. And it took my wife or fiancee at the time a little bit by surprise. Yeah. And we went home and talked about it and was this something that I was truly passionate about. And that’s what we’ve stuck to for the last three years and yeah we acquired another practice. We’ve brought in specialists we’ve created basically an operations or systems manual that promotes growth and and it is a repeatable process. But it wasn’t built overnight and I wouldn’t have built it overnight if I didn’t have the vision of where it was going. Yeah. And so I don’t think most doctors that go to start a practice have that. Nailed down and you don’t have to have it nailed down when you’re starting. But at some point in order to give yourself self fulfillment and I mean if you’re going to spend so much time at work you might as well make it enjoyable. Yeah. So what’s going to really fill your bucket. What’s going to make you happy and give you joy when you go into work. What’s what’s going to be your vision for your practice.

Carrie Webber: [00:05:51] You know it seemed like it almost surprised you to when you kind of had some lightbulbs go off but it was more I think sometimes do you feel this is the case. And I think this isn’t in any kind of business. When you when you go into business as an owner and thank you from our perspective sometimes you you get really caught up in the what you what should be you know that didn’t bother me I’m a I’m a dinosaur I own this business I should I should do it this way because that’s what most people do. Yeah and that’s kind of the the point of. But eventually I like what you said of term in terms of you may not have that clarity from day one but somewhere down the line as as a clinician as a business owner you wake up one day and you think is is it it. Is this it. Is this what I want. And I have a lot of conversations with doctors that are that you know reach out and eventually we find that this conversation like I don’t even really know if I ask what’s your vision and they sometimes don’t even know and I don’t even know and I don’t even know how to retire. Yes. I want more time. They all they have a lot of goals of what they want but to really think through not only you know how where do I want to go with this and then talk about how I’m going to get there. Yeah.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:07:10] And that’s where I think the real power is is not only do I know what my vision is but my team knows what my vision. Yes. So and my team that I had at the time three years ago is not the same team that I have known. So the people that weren’t or didn’t share that vision. SELF ELIMINATED. So yeah I’m they’ve actually left the practice and we’ve gained team members that do support that vision. Yeah. And a lot of the things I’m one person so I can’t create initiatives for all of these things that are going to help us grow into a multi location practice. So having the support of other individuals that again many are are mightier than the one individual. So they’re able to move along these initiatives much faster and it gives them great just satisfaction coming to work and knowing that they’re bigger are part of something that’s bigger than themselves. Yeah. Whether that’s treating more patients whether that’s seeing the before and afters where that’s getting someone over their dental anxiety all of those are just the key takeaways which I really hope all of our team members.

Carrie Webber: [00:08:20] Yeah. Because you know in Dentist and in the dental profession the dentists not isn’t the only one that starts to suffer from burnout. I know. And you know when you can create a space that not only is helping you accomplish that. The creativity or the vision of what you want as the as the practitioner as the owner as the leader. But you’re making space for other people on your team that line up with that that believe in that and to give them a chance to do more than clocking in and clocking out and being this like disengaged cog in the wheel.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:08:55] Right. Because a lot of them probably have visions for themselves too. They don’t want to just be in clinical they may want to get into speaking and consulting they don’t want to get into the more business side or management side of dentistry and providing paths and showing your team that like I will support you. You just have to share with me what your vision is too. Yeah. And I think that open line of communication with your team is really important.

Carrie Webber: [00:09:18] And I love that you once you kind of once you got it clear for yourself that you shared that with your team. How did that go. Was that was that uncomfortable for you or how did they respond.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:09:29] Was it this oh the cool thing about it for me it wasn’t uncomfortable because it was something that I believed in. Yeah I think when you’re delivering that to your team then they see that you believe in something and it’s something you can stand behind then you’re not going to be as anxious about sharing that you know that you probably will get some backlash from certain individuals so prepare yourself for that yeah portion of it. And again maybe everyone that’s there with you currently might not be there with you in three years or five years or seven years. Yeah or or Tuesday the next day or at 2 o’clock. Yeah. So but I think coming up with the vision is is hard. That’s that’s where again you can’t just write down a sentence and be like this is my vision it’s something that’s has some structure around it and then it’s refined over time. But we’ve changed our vision very slightly in terms of how we’re going to grow or it’s more like a systems based. Yeah but the vision of still being kind of a multi location practice that’s still at the core beliefs.

Carrie Webber: [00:10:42] And you’re planning all revolves around the little steps along the way that help helps keep you moving in that direction.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:10:48] Yes. So budgetary things we’re looking at are we going to spend marketing on this. That doesn’t help our mission or our vision. They’re trying to buy this piece of technology or equipment that supports multi location purposes. And are we. How. What’s the training process for this. So you look at things with a little bit different perspective rather than like the shoot by the hip dentist of like hey let’s go to the sea. Course this sounds like fun. Things are really structured so we know what courses we’re gonna be going to what our expectations are of the information we’re pulling out of it how that’s going to implement the rest of the practice or how we will implement that into the practice. Yeah.

Carrie Webber: [00:11:27] You know I remember when when Jess and I were setting kind of the initial vision for what where we wanted to go with our business and everything you know it feels you feel like oh good job. I have words and I’m here and I have some strategy that I’m and some goals set and things and. But you don’t realize it until quite a bit further down the road do you realize when you’re making some really difficult decisions that while they may be hard they’re not as difficult as they would have been if I didn’t know that the answer to those questions if if we hire this person if we invest in this if we go to this place if we do this thing does it ultimately help us you know in our pursuit of our purpose for this company and our vision of where we’re wanting to go. And if the answer is no then it becomes very apparent. Well this is the this is the thing we need to this is the elephant in the room that we needed to deal with and the more that you get clear on that that kind of thing the the easier even the hard stuff becomes because that decision making piece when you don’t have anything to bounce that off of. That’s why people,.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:12:36] Your in purgatory. Yes sure. You don’t know why you’re making decisions or what you’re trying to accomplish.

Carrie Webber: [00:12:40] Yeah. And a lot of times you you talk to people and if you talk about you Do you have a hard decision that you know you need to make. What about anything in your business more than likely something’s coming to mind. But if you don’t have anything that you’re bouncing that off of to help you make that decision in the healthiest way possible for you and for and for the business then you do you find yourself like paralyzed. Yep. And you don’t make any decision which is sometimes worse.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:13:08] Yeah I would say the most common experience for us that we have to utilize that is with team members. So we have some really great team members but in in certain situations they weren’t in the right position. So we had to evaluate some of our assistance in certain cases and be like hey like you’re really good at your personal action like would you ever be interested in doing some business team and you’re shuffling people around finding better fits. But knowing that some of the individuals weren’t the best fit for where they were located and didn’t support our vision. We could make those decisions rather than waiting until like well I hope they leave soon or some some point we’re going to have to let her go. So in postponing the inevitable instead of being more proactive yeah just the way a lot of us hope our patients are more proactive. Yes. Doing dentistry and looking for things you’re you’re again you’re trying to stay ahead of the game and then waiting for the accidents to occur.

Carrie Webber: [00:14:11] Well and you kind of leading into this with the patients don’t you feel like when you’re really more in alignment with what you want to be doing what you wanna be accomplishing and and that purposeful and wide. Why am I doing this don’t you feel like that impacts who’s coming to your practice just naturally because when you’re engaged and and lined up with the right vision for you that you’re passionate about and then you had the right team in the right place doing the right things believing in that as well then that’s going to attract patients that believe in that kind of care that want that kind of relationship and a had experience immediately.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:14:47] Yeah. Again kind of when you when can answer the phone like are you doing things differently than other practices might be or are they having a different experience.

Carrie Webber: [00:14:55] Do you get that do you have patients that make comments about that or are all locked in as a new patient saying I know that you this is important to you and that’s important I mean do you have any patients that do that.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:15:06] Well one of the like a really thing for a lot of doctors to do that I’ve done since day one that I’ve helped I think differentiate ourselves. I call all of our new patients the night before. Yeah just say hey this is Dr. Sinclair Mrs. Jones. I’m pumped to meet you. And I understand that you shared with Lindsay that you want to have a straighter smile. And can you tell me a little bit more about that if you have some time if not we’ll get into some discussions tomorrow. Yeah. And just taking 30 seconds of your day in a society where people have condition themselves knowing that doctors times are valuable. Yeah. And that I will get a limited time frame I mean with my primary care physician I’m lucky if I get three minutes. Right. Like huh. Yep yep yep. Check check check check. All right. Next. So taking taking that extra time I mean from a business perspective it’s I think we have a 5 percent new patient no show rate which is awesome. But then you’re setting the expectations up front before they’ve entered the office that you’re different.

Carrie Webber: [00:16:11] Yeah. Oh wow. This is it. Oh this gonna be some I don’t even know what to expect at this. Yeah.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:16:16] And so patients will walk in and be like Oh. I’m so thrilled he called me last night. I’ve never had anyone do that before. And so they they’re already coming in like this is going to be a different experience and so as an office you’re trying to perpetuate that and of course people talk to each other and in the age of social media you get reviews and and people value reviews about your practice just as much as a personal referral. So yeah. And then the more and more people that you attract that are the same than the more more your patient population is kind of dialed into supporting your vision. Yeah. Full circle.

Carrie Webber: [00:16:51] And isn’t it interesting that you know once you got to get clear on on where you wanted to go and who and and the type of values of that team that you wanted to have around you carrying that forward with you. And then to you taking these little tweaks is a little extra amounts of time the smallest details that if you really if you had allowed yourself you go say hi to my guy the last thing I want to do is talk to three people tonight you know for who knows how long but then you start to think wow that’s really not much effort for now it’s saving me an effort on the other end. You know if they had canceled it they didn’t have that value. If you you know if there was wasn’t that that building of trust I mean there’s little tweaks that can make such a big difference because you believed in it and you know it didn’t seem like all this extra you know grudge work.It was.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:17:47] And over time we’ve we’ve gotten the cool thing about is there systems in place in our office now where I get the list of the patients the night before with their phone numbers with their their concerns and all of that shared with me and it’s comes in formats and then I’m calling those patients at a specific time every day. So things have started again. You’re trying to create a system that would help balance everything out.

Carrie Webber: [00:18:10] So so any books that you would recommend to get people on started on the right foot if they say OK OK fine I’ll work on this vision thing. Anything that you would recommend from that business perspective that has helped you.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:18:24] So there are a couple of good books that I’ve read. I think one is a great book that everyone should read if you’re interested it’s owning a business especially a dental practice is E-myth. Yeah. Because I think it’s a lot of there’s a lot of commonalities that most dentists have being a technician in owning a business. Not really understanding the concepts that are behind a business just because we were never taught that in school. So that’s a really great thing is to help identify and it breaks down kind of what you’re you’re looking at if you’re looking for a little bit more granular detail. One of the books that I really have found helpful is Traction by Gina Wickman and that book really helps break down kind of the entrepreneurial style of developing all different facets of your business. And on top of just your vision what systems are required to support it. Who are the team members that are required to support the systems. Who are your patients required to support your vision. So a lot of that kind of goes into much more detail but you’ll get great information out of e-mail. I just reread it probably about two weeks ago and I picked new information up then when I read it six years ago.

Carrie Webber: [00:19:40] So when because he we got we’ve got Traction come in to our doorstep any day now. So I’m excited to read that as well so and so you know what would be. A first step as a simple SAP or a 1 step forward to kind of if there are folks listening saying that all sounds great but I don’t even know where to start on that. Well what would be a one step that was maybe one of the first steps you took.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:20:04] I think the first step and we did this with the associate that I was that’s with her practice is really sitting down and seeing what type of dentistry do you want to be doing. In an ideal world if you could have your ideal day what would that look like. Yeah and then build backwards. What types of patients are designed to support that and take some time and be honest with yourself. You might find that the answer that you originally thought or why you built the business is different than what you internally think. So being honest with yourself and really just take the time to sit down and write down write down a couple ideas of what you have going on in your head.

[00:20:43] Yeah it’s just like how you recommend for you know ask the patients. Yeah. Sometimes it might seem like the simplest question ask it of yourself and if you never ask yourself that question you’ll be no right answer.

Carrie Webber: [00:20:56] Yeah. You never know the answer you might be surprised. So thanks Cappy for being with us today.

Dr. Cappy Sinclair: [00:21:01] Thank you. Carrie Webber: [00:21:01] So hopefully this inspires some of you to you know get clear and take that first step forward.

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