Leadership

My leadership style has always been: respect for employee colleagues, focus on the external customer, passion for exemplary service, focus on mission, community outreach, and implement your vision, then the numbers will take care of themselves.   This has worked very successfully at Northeast Delta Dental, if you track our significant growth in market share, reserves and number of people who have our dental insurance, our high retention of customers, and the very high satisfaction rates of our participating dentists with whom we have contracts.   On the latter, in a very recent survey of our participating dentists in Maine, NH and Vermont, 99.6% of dental offices rated us Excellent, Very Good or Good (the response rate to our survey was an incredible 30% btw).

The enterprise does have to craft great numbers in order to have credibility with its stakeholders and board of directors; when you craft the great numbers, this enables you to have a great impact with the community, which in turn leads to new business and helps retain existing business.  This is a beautiful cycle and a great business model, one that really works, and one that enables corporate social responsibility, but the enterprise does have to take a longer view.

Tom Raffio, President & CEO of Northeast Delta Dental

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2 Responses to Leadership

  1. Hi Tom,

    What exactly do you mean by “craft great numbers?”

    On another note, I certainly agree with the need for a longer view. IMHO, many corporate “leaders” focus on short term numbers to the detriment of any real long-term strategic planning. (After all, strategy is difficult and requires spending money up front to take care of your employees and stakeholders.)

    If the source of the problem is short-sighted leadership, how do we get out there and teach strategy and long-term thinking to the next generation of leaders? What’s our strategy for strategy?

    Kind regards,

    Rich

  2. tomraffio says:

    Hi Rich,

    Good numbers give the leader credibility, and demonstrates that you can have a long term focus, like the way an artist crafts a great piece of art (takes time; which is why I like the word craft).

    I think the current economic malaise we are in will result, ultimately, in more companies and leaders taking the long term view (as opposed to short measures to inflate profits), and I’m hoping the next generation of leaders can see this, believe it, and practice it, once they are in charge.

    Hope this helps Rich. Thanks for staying in touch.

    Tom Raffio

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