EP60: Become A CEO Mastermind with Dr. Ed Hood

In this episode, Dr. Ed Hood dives into the secrets of becoming a CEO mastermind. He’s discussing his best management practices from culture to mindset to community outreach.

He’s also sharing the story of his practice and how the strategies he used to bounce back from catastrophic difficulty.

This is a must-listen episode for practice owners who are striving to be better leaders in their practices.

Listen below:

Hey everybody. This is Dr. John Meis from The Team Training Institute, and welcome to this edition of the Double Your Dental Production podcast. I'm so excited to be here with one of my good friends, dr Ed Hood. How are you doing, Dr. Hood?

I'm doing great, dr John. Thank you.

You're sure. Welcome. So, Dr. Hood,  may sound a little hoarse today.   He is located down in Louisiana, and LSU won the national championship last night, so he was doing a lot of hooping and hollering, so we'll have to, we'll have to excuse his going to get a little bit of a gravelly voice.

Yeah. We're all trying to imitate the coach. man. He is a character, isn't he? He is a character. So Dr. Hood is one of the members of our CEO mastermind group that 's  group focus is going from practitioner and practice owner to enterprise owner, and how do we go from one practice two to three and how do we go from being from the majority of our income or all our income coming as a producer to being the owner of an enterprise.

So that's what the CEO mastermind is all about. And dr. Hood, would you mind just kind of given us a little bit about your, your dental practice history.

I'd be glad to.  I've got out of school on 85 so I've been practicing 34 years. Was an associate for five years, went out on my own, was kinda dying on the vine, so to speak. And essentially in 1990 open my first little three op practice, , which, I didn't use, but two of the ops actually rented one of the ops two and another dentist who needed a place to go. And got a consultant, early on some coaching there to get some systems in place and that sort of thing.

And  Did some slow turtle, like growing,   over those years.  2002  I've, I went from that three art practice, which that year, Oh, 2002, we did $1 million, a little over a million at three art practice, which was kind of crazy because we, whether it would know my patients, put them back in the waiting room and, and no more up.

Another one, put them out there and just take the other one back. It was just fruit basket turnover all day long. But we built my dream office, I thought at the time eight ops. Started that in 2002, and  pretty steady growth. Got my first associate 2000 in seven.  . Okay. Did hygiene diamonds with Wendy?

Probably in 2006. Had them come in. I had my hygienist on commission, so things were growing. My hygiene department was growing. And we were able to do some, some pretty good numbers, I thought at the time.  . My associate came in and we both were basically lost. We never had an associate. Didn't I understand anything about being a mentor or anything like that?

And so we just kind of tried to figure it out as we go, as we go. She's been extremely patient with me. Dr Moore's been willing for, well, almost 13 years now.  And so that's been a really a blessing. Cause I know a lot of those don't work, but I've had, now there's six of us, six doctors,   , and so we'd gone through that a few times, but she hung in there with me and you know, we were able to do some things together.

My son went into dentistry.  2012. Yeah, I'm out of school. And so in 2012, we added onto that eight art practice and, and made it 13 ops. I had to buy the lot next to it and right. I blame him all the time. It cost me a million dollars million. Dr Maurer, we're doing just fine too,

But we increase the 13 ops and we were clicking along pretty good even with that. He started, basically, I still remember him asking me one time, said, what are we going to do with Dr. Moore? And I was like, what do you mean? He's goes, well, you know, basically like he thought this was something that just him, he and I could do.

And I was like, nah, I think you're probably figuring out this is a three doc practice at least. And so when he had to start checking hygiene and stuff, when I wasn't there and it was just the two of them, he figured it out that it would take more dentist to be here. So,  we went from a three doc. practice there to, we started with theme training with you guys and probably 2013 into that year, 2014 and at the time we were doing a little over 3 million. And, I had some really good growth,  with y'alls coaching, with the hygiene, things that a lot of which we had lost from the hygiene.

Diamonds don't through two or three different hygienists at the time. And so,  increased really pretty good till 2016 we had a little bump in the road when we had a flood and literally lost everything and this office and miles said, start over. but we did. That started in. 2017 with a whole new practice.

Essentially a third of my staff quit. I had to start over. and everybody in town had flooded. So pretty much we're in the same boat, but from 2017 yeah, we were, because of our association with you guys, I had kind of had the vision of, of adding a second practice. We had really gotten my practice to where I thought it was pretty much at capacity.

It was running really good. We were on pace to do 5 million that year, in these 13 ops. And, the flood kicked us back, but really, 2017 we actually got back up to the number that we were,  , before in 2000 and and 15. And so we just had a little, a little b p in the road there. Yeah. So just so everybody listening understands this, this was not the, what were, the Creek comes up and, and you get a little bit of water in your building.

This was the whole town flooded. Everything flooded. Everybody was flooded. So not only did you have a hardship that you had to recover from, all of your patients had hardships that they were recovering from as well. It was an incredible amount of damage. Yeah, we had 30 inches of water in the office here, and then I had five and a half feet in my house, so it was, it was, a struggle.

But, you know, we were able to get through and had a lot of people help.  , and it's, you realize how I'll need a community. The dental community is in situations like that because we've had a lot of people that reached out and helped us. I hardly knew.  , and so that was really pretty special. But you know, we got back on our feet and,  , we had, because of our association with you guys, we had intended on opening a second location.

We'd already bought equipment to do that. We had plans drawn, and so we decided after the flood, we were going to do it anyway. And so in 2017, along with putting this practice back together, we opened a second location, but six miles off the road, in Watson. And we opened that in started in August of 2017.

And so, like I said, that year we actually got back to where we were in 2015. Between those two offices. And then 2018, I had a Oh, unfortunately incident. I had a classmate of mine that passed away and, and, we wound up buying his practice. I had gotten, another doctor started with us in 2017 - was our fourth doctor.

I'm counting myself and my son and Dr. Moore. And,  so he had been there with me not quite a year, when we bought this practice, but by the time we got everything worked out, and we're able to acquire that practice, it had been, he had been in the practice just a little over a year, and I was able to.

Work there some, but put him in in that location. And we, we took over that practice. We added on two operatories. It was a four hour practice, and to add onto the building to do that. So this wasn't a small project. It wasn't like you converted something into ops. This was, and I don't own the building, so we, you know, even in the, lease agreement, we had the language in there and then it would allow me to add on a, have a right of first refusal and, and at some point in time, if I'm able to buy the building in the future from a Dr. Owens widow, then we will, I will, I won't have to buy that part again. So there was some language in there that would allow me to do that.

It increased the value of the building, but I won't have to pay for that part the second time. So anyway, that it was a practice that was a bread and butter dentistry practice, just like the ones we have and another town,   , North of Baton Rouge. And it was just one of those that kind of skyrocketed.

We literally tripled the practice in three months. And so,  2018 was, you know, a phenomenal year for us.  , we did a little over six that year and thought, man, what's, how could it be much better? And, and, and then this year we've just grown those two practices. So the initial startup.  Did about 1.7 this year.

And the  acquisition went from doing around 600 is what they were doing. And we did 1.7 in the first full year wow. At the practice. And so I attributed to having really good systems, those that we've implemented being a part of team training and  . You know, getting our culture to a certain point. And, you know, we were, we weren't.

Fortunate enough to be able to keep all the employees there. We tried to keep them all, but,  you know, there they weren't a cultural fit for us and, and they didn't really want to work that hard. And so,  , all of those eventually left.  and so there's no one there now that was with that office originally.

But it's been, you know, that's been one of those, this is kind of manna from heaven kind of things. It just,   , you know, it was. Terrible tragic situation for them, but for us to be able to buy the practice and, and give some relief in that regard, in that way.  , because it was, it was on the market for a little while and was decrease in value all the time.

No, you were, you were a blessing to that, to the, the widow and yeah.  , you know,  you really,  h, did a tremendous job helping her, and now you've made her building more valuable. And I mean, there's a, you've, you've, you've done wonderfully for her and, the family of your classmates. So, you mentioned culture, and have I been in your practices?

And, I could say that you have a very distinct culture. And so I wonder if you could talk a little bit about what you as CEO, that's one of your jobs. You're the keeper of the culture. And I wonder if you just talk a little bit about some of the things that you do to have defined a culture and what you do to keep that culture.

Fresh and keep it relevant. Well, just as a a point of emphasis, I didn't even know what culture was and still until we did a vision day with you and so. Through our association with team training and me and the CEO mastermind.  , I've really been in a lot of reading. I've really come to understand how important that is,   , how distinct it is in different officers.

And so, you know, our initial foray into that was with you and we, we basically came up with our core values, those things that we wanted to adhere to, the things that we kind of want it to be.  to our patients. And we've used those core values to  hire and fire staff. We've used the core values to do personal development interviews to, to help try to train.

And so when, when they just become some guard rails that you, that you have that allow you to, when somebody kind of off track,   , to be able to sit down and say, okay, I know we kind of agreed on, on this being, you know, part of our. Culture. And so what can I do to help you?  , you know, try to get back on, on track with that.

And so it really is a, made those coaching points, I think, a lot easier for my leadership.  . It gives them clarity on, you know, exactly what do we want our culture to look like. And so,  , that was something that was very unique to me, you know, as dentists were. Clinician minded it's all about what can I learn?

What new techniques can I learn? What new procedures can I learn? But the business part of it and how to,  , not just grow the business, but to have a business that thrives, that patients, the patient experience is key. And you know, that that's one of the preeminent things that you work on. All of those things have to do with  with our culture.

So some of the things that we've done. I mean, we have a bonus structures in place that helped make things fun for the patients. We do some  outside events. we had a Christmas parade. We had a big Christmas party this year.  , those things were too close together too, by the way. I need to try to spread that, spread that out.

That was, that was a pretty tough weekend. But. We had a good participation with those things in it. There, the parades, a community event, and you know, everybody that participated in that and had, had fun throwing good throws and, and   , really see in the community how to good weather and huge turnout.

We're doing dentistry from the heart again this year. We haven't done it really since before the flood haven't been able to. And so I'm excited about doing that and actually doing it now. And two of the three locations are the Zachary, all of a sudden haven't enough parking really to do that. And so we're going to do it in the Watson location that has 10 ops and, and our denim location, which has 13.

So I'm, I'm excited about being able to give back to the community in a, and actually,  . You know, get back on track. We've done that about eight times in the past. And so it's a, it's a really neat day for the. Staff to be able to donate their services and actually be doing dentistry just because they're trying to help people.

And not really, cause that's my job.   and so it's really neat to see them kind of flourish in that, in that,   , just a change in mindset really for the day.  So,  we have our planning meeting every year,   , which is, you know, we did an October.  , which is kind of laying the groundwork for the next year.

It's our leadership group, but also anybody that we're kind of targeting to become a potential leader, office manager, team leader as such.  , we have those events and then I, every year I do a, in fact, it's coming up in a couple of weeks. I'll do a, I call it the state of the hood. It's kind of where we've been.

I kind of do - last year I even changed it to, you know, kind of, this is who I am. This is where I came from. This is where I grew up these are, you know, why I have the values that I have now and basically so that the team will kind of, I want them to feel,  . Proud of being an employee here and I want them to be proud of hood, dental care and the brand that we've built in the community in the area.

We're trying to get more swag gear and stuff for them to have to, you know, to be able to wear out and in the community. And,  but the, the state of the hood is really kind of, you know, these are the goals we set last year. You know, this is what we wound up doing these, this is my vision for next year.

These are the things that are coming up.  . I bought a, another piece of property in a small town just East of here, and we actually haven't planned, they're pretty much completed for a fourth location. It's will be another start up.   that we're excited about. And,  interviewed, two new doctors. And so we're trying to hire a couple of new kids at a school that will be getting out in may.

And,  so there's a lot of, a lot of moving pieces, a lot of moving parts. And so,   , through the, Hmm. And one of the things that this has allowed me to do is a realize to some degree. How much of a, a dentist's aye. Aye. Aye. Was in the past and, and how little of a boss I was, I guess in the past, in the past, don't really know the staff that well.

There's so many of them now. But you know, one of the things I want to be able to do is as I transitioned from doing less chairside and more CEO type things, is to, is working on the culture and, but part of that is.  to know who your staff are, and, and to know, you know, they all have struggles every day.

They all, no, life is hard, and they all have issues.  and so it's, it's. Kind of having a better understanding of where they come from to be a better mentor to them, to be a better role model to them.  And, you know, you get to the point where you kind of become that daddy figure instead of the, instead of a peer almost.

And it's, it's a little odd. It makes you feel old sometimes, but it's, it's, it's really pretty rewarding too, and so there's a lot more of that.  now, so right now I'm kind of in that, in, in that, probably a little more stressful part where I'm kind of doing both. but I'm, I'm in the process.

And I love doing dentistry, so I don't really want to cut out chairside, but at some point in time, I may have to, to do the things that I need to do. No, as far as the CEO part. You know, even right before I came in here, I will helping dr camp to try to find a,  , you know, immediate lingual canal on a, on a lower second molar.

She's having trouble filing. So there's a lot of those things that go on every day. And so I enjoy it. That part of it, I didn't. Didn't know that I would, and then, Oh, really? That's not something that, you know, you're kind of responsible for how did you can do dentistry and, and working on your own skillset.

But it's really been pretty neat to try to,   help elevate their skillset and help them,  as a mentor to, so, you know, access. The right continuing ed stuff that they need to do and add things to their tool belt. So that's been a really pretty, pretty cool. So to me, all of that's kind of part of the culture because it's, it's really that mindset that even then, even the chairside assistant, I want them to be the best that they could be.

I want them to create value for themselves. And we talk about them creating value for themselves, and the fact that why would someone want to, when I've had people leave and they go to another, sometimes they may move out of town, but even if they were somewhere here, it's like they have skills because of the technology and stuff that we have peer that they've learned that creates value for them for them.

And so, you know, kind of. Kind of putting that in there court and knowing that they're the ones that are responsible for, for the training and anything they don't know. They need to find somebody that can help teach them those things. That's all stuff goes. I felt like we had to do all the training before, and that's one of the things I've learned through you guys is that, you know, they're, they really are responsible for.

Their own growth.  you're here to help. I'm willing to do whatever I can to him to help them, but it's not really my responsibility to oversee and make sure that they're doing every little thing. The growth wise and even the leaders, it's not their responsibility. Is that, so, you know, we've learned a lot about.

Leadership.   , I've learned a lot about leadership in the last three or four years,   , that I didn't know. And, and mostly  we just repeat a lot of the things that we hear from, from you guys. Well, you know, the principle that you're talking about is one of our principles on. On team development is that they're responsible for their own, right.

From the very day they're hired,   , we create a roadmap for them and we create the support for them, but it's not our job for it to make sure they're hired. It's their job to go through the steps that we've outlined for them. And if they don't do it well, they're not going to be with us very long. If they do it well, they've got a bright future.

And so that's a. A really good principal and you guys have applied it extremely well. The you know, one of the things that you've done is really let go. I would say, you know, at one point when you were coming, you just had one office and you're, you're coming out of a, you know, getting a little bit bigger.

But you were really. You were really in charge of, of kind of everything. Right. And so I, I've just, you know, kind of wondering how you did that. It's, it's one of the hardest things for dentists to do is, is to let go, let their team begin to run things, have more and more responsibility tell me how that went for you.

Yeah, it's, it is hard to let go. And, and I'm, I don't consider myself a micromanager.  you know, you still look at the results.  you're pretty hard on wanting the results to be a certain, a certain way. But. Certainly for me, it's that the leadership that I developed here made that transition a lot easier.

Because if you feel like you have some staff, a core group that is just as passionate about hood dental care as you are, he wants to see the company succeed, wants to see it expand. then you feel a lot better about it. Really turning loose of a lot of those day to day operation  things and allow me to focus more on getting doctors, training doctors you know, kind of dreaming about what we could be and where the next opportunity might be.

And so it's, I don't know what the secret is to me. And all the practices I've been to, and I've been to some, some big practices. I wouldn't spend a day with a M Oh, in Tyler, Texas. I went with Roy Smith. And we went to the,  the Tobler is in Utah, and we, you know, we've been to some big.

Practices, and it seems like every one of those has.  what for you was Heather? For me it's hope,  for dr  was Denise,  you know, I can name that person and those practices and it's, you have to have somebody that is a skilled communicator, maybe some somewhat driven.  That's not just about, you know, necessarily what's in it for me, but it looks at  the bigger picture.

And can, you know, Gainesville gets a lot of satisfaction out of seeing other people grow and develop also.  , it seems like that those. Practices that you have to have  initially you need one of them, but before long, you need a mulch [00:25:00] of them. And it's whether it's team leaders are, it's that person that somebody that's in a leadership role has to look up to.

And. Try to aspire to be like to some degree, but you know that they have your back, they have your best interest at heart and there they know your heart well enough to make it and decisions for you on a day to day basis. And sure, it's a little, it was scary to start with, but it's not very long before you, when they make good decisions, and you realize how much that takes off your plate.

Allows you to have time to do other things. but that's for me, it's that it's that core group of, of leaders that come alongside and that you've pick some, don't work out over time. But really as a whole, they come together and. They're the ones that implement. So I've had people ask us when we go to the team training stuff, we used to come back with a page and a half, two pages of, you know, even our 90 day sprint, the things that we were going to try to do.

And, and we're very organized. But, I'm not the person that's the implementer. It's, it's, it's those guys that have that list and, you know, they basically assign every task and, and time dated. And you know, who's gonna do it by when, who's doing what by when.  and so those are things that we've done every time.

And, and they have owned that  they're the ones that have implemented so. I'll get to cast a vision. I get to be the person that says, this is what I want to try to do this year. what do you guys think? And it's,  you know, it's, once you lay out that groundwork, it's those people that are the ones that actually make it happen.

I've seen so many doctors that feel like they have to be that person who does two drives everything in their office. And that is their enterprise is their practices get bigger and bigger, and certainly before they were enterprise level, when they get bigger and bigger, it, it, it wears them out. It just exhausted.

So they have all the pressure and stress of being the clinician, and they have all the pressure and stress of being the business owner and they don't understand this. That doesn't have to be that way that load can be shared by, by others. Yeah. Even even dr John , just the, the meetings that you have and the, you know, all.

For me to not really have to be involved in, in the manufacturer of all of those. And the, and the preparation for all is huge. Cause it's like you're saying, once you get bigger, you have to, everybody has to know what's going on and there has to be planning time and it has to be training times and there has to be, you know, times where you can grow.

And. Yeah. All of that is your responsibility. That's, that's a lot to put on your plate. It is. It's it. It's a heavy load and it, and it, the nice thing is that's unnecessary. And as your enterprise gets bigger, you may be feeling a little stress right now. That might be because you're practicing a little too much.

Yeah. You know, and I know, I know what it's like when you really enjoy practicing, cause I always did as well. But there, you know. You don't, you can keep your toe in it, but you don't have to be right now. You don't have to be driving in your organization. You don't have to drive any production at all.

Right? The production is going to happen whether you do it or not. Right. And the income's going to be there. Whether you do it or not. Might be a little different if another dentist does it, but nonetheless, it's still adding to your income. That's a nice place to be. It is. And you know, one of the things you realize it too, there's the most of the, the people that you put in charge of those things are white way better attitude.

You anyway, you know, because you've done this and because you've provided careers for people,  I know that you're kind of considered your, your practices are considered.  really the place to work and you're in your area. And I know that because, one of your  competitors in Baton Rouge was at our annual summit a few years ago and he was, he was really excited to see all his former team members who are all now working for you.

So you become an employee magnet and all these things that you're talking about are part of how you did that. We had dinner a few weeks ago to get together with a group and he was very, he was, I mean, I'm not the one, I'm not, I'm certainly not recruiting. That's another thing that's really great to give up is the hiring and firing.

And, when I quit having to do that and allow the leadership to do that, not only is it, they're way better at it, it sure takes a huge strain off of you. Yeah, that's for sure. So our a annual summit that I just mentioned is coming up. It's going to be May 1st and second in Dallas, Texas. So we're going to have a really good time.

We've got some amazing speakers, a lot of great. Dental information, a lot of great leadership information. we're going to spend a little time with a former Dallas Cowboys. Great Emmett Smith love Emmett. if you want more information on that, you can go to champions of dentistry.com and there'll be all the information on there.

And last thing, dr. Hood, you have created a really nice opportunity for your associate dentist and.  I wonder if you would just talk a little bit about, about how you do that because you've, you've created a great opportunity. Your employee retention is, is really super, and I'm just, just a few words on, on what, what's your magic mix there?

Well, to me, the secret is you've gotta be willing to give up stuff. And it's, you know, my, my goal for my associates are to be like me. I want them to be.  you want them to replicate the way you treat patients. You want them to replicate the way you would treatment plan though the, the, you want them to be better than you as far as how they do dentistry and, and how, what their clinical skill set is.

And it's when, when you see that it's really, it's, it's pretty impressive to see. Andrew is, my son is taking that. And he knows, I don't know where he finds the time to read all the things in implants and he's doing ortho and, and he's just really very passionate about dentistry. And so that's very contagious to me.

And so the opportunity for me here is, you know, I want them to be able to do. Full mouth cases. Do cosmetic cases do learn how to do implants, learn how to do ortho if that's what they want to do.  It's not really, my goal was not to get an associate, just to try to do the things I didn't want to do.

And so that's  part of it.  h, being able to feed them. enough patients and, and be a mentor, be available to go through a scan with them to sit and work through x-rays and talk about treatment plan and how I would communicate it to the patient before they ever go into to see a new patient. the opportunities that, I was able to give them this past year when y'all did the case acceptance workshop and, and, to send them to that course and to see that the.

Elevation, in their case, average averaging, and what it was the seven months before they went and what it was the five months after. And in fact, I did every doctor, even the ones that didn't go, cause I, I felt like it needed to [00:33:00] be a, a complete kind of study to really see what the change was. And the ones that went,   , even though Andrew did that presentation when we got back.

Yeah. It's been really amazing to see.  And I actually,  did a little deal for them  and actually told them how much more money was in their pocket because of it, just because they got better at communicating with patients. Patients. You know, it's a win for them because they got better treatment.  they, we found a way to be able to, get the work done.

And, you know, it's, they're not as stressed. I don't feel like every time they go into a patient, it's a do or die situation. And so,   , it's really been, that's been the, the resources that we've been able to give. The associates, whether it's technology, whether it's continued ed, whether it's a day to day mentoring, looking through cases, but also the ability to have an opportunity to be able to buy into the enterprise.

Those were things that, that I think, And, and even the, the guys that I talk to out of school,  and ladies that I talked to out of school from this upcoming class, part of it is not, can I be a part owner or. What's my opportunity now? What? What? What am I going to be able to produce on a day to day basis?

What are you going to help me to be able to do.  . And because that's a huge part of the opportunity is, is what you're going to bring home every day.  but beyond that, it's for longevity and for you know, once your skill set is built in, I'm giving them money every year, to take CE,  that it's going to help benefit them, but to be able to buy into the enterprise.

It's something that anybody would, would want. I wish I had that opportunity when I was out of school, and I think it's a, you know, you can encapsulate it in that phrase right there. Give people what you wish you had when you were at that point in your career. And you've really, you've really done that and that's why you have such great loyalty.

And. Since rapidly developing doctors. It's, it's pretty fun to watch. Why was the apparently in the slow learner class? Because Andrew and dr free, even this, this I asked, you know, he'd been in the first year that he was here. He did things on a monthly basis that took me 20 years to do. Yeah. And so, you know, when you look at that as a time value of money and where they are in their career now, and what.

a bigger future that gives for them. It's really exciting. Yeah, that really is exciting. Well, Dr. Hood, I want to thank you for being on the podcast today. You did a great job. You have a great organization, and it's a really a pleasure to work with you. And,  I understand you're also going to be a, a panelist at the summit, so I'm excited to hear that and hear what you have to say.

We'll pick, we'll pick some harder questions for you.

Alright, very good. Well, thanks for listening everybody. We'll see you on the next episode of the w dental w dinner production podcast. Goodbye all. Thanks. After John.

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