The Hardest Job
It’s often said, probably only partly in jest, that the hardest job in the country is that of manager of the national football team. The team’s success (or otherwise!) can have quite an impact on the national mood. It seems everyone has a view on tactics and team selection and what the manager should do. Naturally this indicates the passion for the game in this country, but also it shows how important leadership is. The manager makes the right decisions, the team wins, and we’re all happy.
“If only it were that simple”, smiles Lis Hughes of Frank Taylor & Associates, as she discusses leadership approaches, “but, joking apart, it absolutely goes to show how we recognise the importance of having good management. It may be a cliché to say that a successful team is greater than the sum of its parts, but it is very true. Good managers build, lead and develop good teams. It’s not easy, and huge volumes have been written on effective leadership. You can’t distil all that into a few bullet points, but nevertheless there are some key principles to which I have always tried to adhere.
First is authenticity. Your team aren’t fools; they will soon see if you are trying to put on an act. What’s more you spend a long time at work, too long to pretend to be something or somebody that you’re not. Be true to yourself, and the values and approaches that got you to your position as manager in the first place. Your team will respect you, and respond to you, all the better for it.
Secondly, never underestimate the impact the way you conduct yourself has. If you are downbeat or agitated that will soon convey itself to your team and very soon have a detrimental impact on team spirit and morale. You are in a unique position in that you can set the tone for your team in the way you approach work, its challenges and its successes. If you want your team to behave in a certain way, then the very least you can do is set the right example.
Thirdly, flexibility. In particular, to be able to switch between long and short-term goals. This means understanding the strategy and the smaller steps that help you achieve those longer-term objectives. You’ll need to be flexible in your approach to overcome challenges that will inevitably arise along the way. Management is often referred to as a journey, and this is a great analogy. If you think about a car journey, you may well begin that by setting the destination in your sat nav. It’s hardly unusual if, en route, for that sat nav to warn you of road closures or traffic jams ahead. You need to find an alternative route, and although you still have the same destination you need to be flexible and change your plans on how to get there. Business is often the same, the path you plan to take is rarely the exact one you end up taking; that requires flexibility.
That same level of adaptability is also required when it comes to managing your team, many of whom you will personally have recruited in the past. It’s crucial you understand their strengths and weaknesses, how they can best help the team and how best to motivate them. We can all probably tell a story or two of a manager we’ve had in the past who didn’t take the time to understand or get to know us, failed to motivate us and as a result didn’t get the best out of us. Don’t be that manager – it’s easily avoided if you invest in your team. Management doesn’t have a ‘one size fits all’ approach, recognise your team for what they contribute and what they bring to the table. Spend time with them and get to understand their motivations, their approaches and their aspirations.
Last but by no means least, you too must keep evolving, keep a growth mindset and keep learning. You may be new to management, or have done it for several years, but in either case the only guarantee is that there is a new challenge just around the corner. How you react to that challenge will be determined by your mindset and approach and the strength of the team with you. I always advise people to expect the unexpected. If you’re in any doubt that, cast your mind back four years and ask yourself how much discussion your workplace had about a global pandemic?!
Practice - Home Counties
Practice location: This practice which has been established over 60 years and under current ownership for 20 years. It is located in a popular home counties town with excellent road and rail access and a mix of commercial and residential properties, so the practice sees excellent footfall.
Practice type: This is a three surgery, mixed practice and is being sold to facilitate the retirement of the current owner and is being sold as leasehold with a new 12-year lease in place. There is an opportunity to extend the practice.
Practice financials: The gross fee income from management information for the past 12 months is in the region of £255,000 per annum and the NHS-GDS contract has a UDA rate in excess of £32.00 per UDA. The income is 48% NHS and 52% private and has been generated by the principal working one day a week and an associate working four days a week. The team are supported by a full-time receptionist and two part-time nurses.
Price achieved: A price of £900,000 was achieved which was in line with the asking price.
Agent's comments: This practice proved to be very popular with its great mix of private and NHS, and it currently operates in a very efficient manner and shows a very healthy reconstituted net profit. There is planning permission in place to extend, and the incoming principal can see the opportunity to develop the private element of the practice.
Number of people looking in the area: 3,121
Practice - Hampshire
Practice location: This practice is situated in a desirable and lively suburb of a large market town. Situated in a predominantly residential area it has been established for over 50 years with the current principal having ownership for over 20 years.
Practice type: This is a very well-established two-surgery, fully private practice which is being sold to allow the current principal to facilitate retirement. The practice is being sold as leasehold with a new 15-year lease in place.
Practice financials: The gross fee income from management information for the past 12 months is in the region of £220,000 per annum and 40% of the income is Denplan and the balance being fee per item. The gross has been generated by the principal working 4 day a week and an associate working 4 days a week. The team are supported by 4 part-time nurses/receptionists.
Price achieved: A price of £250,000 was achieved which was in line with the asking price.
Agent's comments: This practice proved incredibly popular; a great location combined with a great reputation in the town meant the seller had a clutch of offers to decide from. As we frequently see, the decision was based on how the outgoing principal felt the incoming principal would look after the team and the patients, and what better criteria to make a decision.
Number of people looking in the area: 1,151
Practice - Wiltshire
Practice location: This practice is located on the edge of a large city and is very well-furnished with public transport. It has been established for over 50 years and like many of our practice sales is being sold to facilitate the retirement of the principal who has only ever worked at this practice.
Practice type: This is a four surgery, fully private practice and is being sold as leasehold with a 20 year lease in place.
Practice financials: The gross fee income from management information for the past 12 months is in the region of £275,000 per annum. The income has been generated by the principal working two days a week, and three associates working a combined 11-day week. The team are supported by a full-time receptionist and three full-time nurses.
Price achieved: A price of £380,000 was achieved which was in line of the asking price.
Agent's comments: We continue to see new buyers wanting to relocate away from the hustle and bustle of city life and in this case the buyers were moving from Central London and were so excited to find a practice of their dreams in a county that they always wanted to relocate to – sometimes everything works out so well.
Number of people looking in the area: 663
Practice - South London
Practice location: This practice is ideally located within a very popular and desirable south London suburb. It has been established over 40 years and is a very well respected and supported dental practice being sold to facilitate the retirement of the existing principal.
Practice type: This is a four-surgery mixed practice being sold as leasehold with a new 20 year lease in place. The property is a previous residential terraced house and is set amongst a parade of shops with residential properties nearby.
Practice financials: The gross fee income from management information for the past 12 months is in the region of £650,000 of which 53% is generated from a NHS-GDS contract with a rate in excess of £28 per UDA and 47% of the income is generated via private dentistry. The income has been generated by the principal working three days a week, and three associates working a combined 10 days a week and two hygienists both working one day a week. The team are supported by two full-time receptionists and four part-time nurses.
Price achieved: A price of £1,950,000 was achieved which was just under the asking price.
Agent's comments: This practice sale has been interesting as the concern of the buyer moved very much to ‘will he be able to find associates who want to undertake the NHS contract?’ He is not alone in these concerns, and it is having an impact on buyers’ decision-making process. Time will tell.
Number of people looking in the area: 2,338