"If your going to be a leader, the real critical thing is to lead as well as you possibly can."
Gerald Bell, PH.D
Founder and Chief Executive Officer of Bell Leadership Institute
A cornerstone of Heartland Dental is the philosophy that better leaders make better dentists. Heartland Dental has become a leader in dentistry by growing and supporting dental leaders, and this year marks a special anniversary in making that possible. Ten years ago, a partnership began between Heartland Dental and the Bell Leadership Institute.
While it has been official for a decade, the history between the two organizations goes back many years. It all started when founder, Dr. Rick Workman met Dr. Gerald Bell at an event held by Young Presidents' Organization (YPO). Dr. Bell was sharing his ideas with the group, and the concepts resonated with Dr. Workman. He attended the Achievers I seminar, receiving personality feedback from Dr. Bell himself, and brought back the information to his team. Patrick Bauer, president and chief executive officer, recalls Dr. Workman's enthusiasm, "He came in and went over what he had learned with all of us, and we were like, 'We should all do that!' So that's how it started, and we started going to classes together."
From there, it continued. Team members attended courses then returned to work and shared the principles they learned at the Leadership Institute. Through the feedback and knowledge gained, they were able to advance themselves. This process continues to this day.
Through this partnership, Bell Leadership's invaluable principles became available to Heartland Dental supported dentists and team members, offering an arsenal of powerful tools for personal and professional growth.
Director of Operations at Heartland Dental, Julie Thomas witnesses this ripple effect every day. She says one of the most rewarding aspects of her role as a Bell-certified instructor is watching people discover themselves in a life-changing way. "It helps people live better lives. It helps people at work, but I see so many more people saying that it made a difference for them at home. They're better mothers, better fathers, better spouses and better children. It's just been great to see it ripple through people's lives," she says.
The Bell Leadership Institute has been supporting leaders since 1972. More than half a million leaders in families, homes, businesses, organizations and communities have benefited from Bell Leadership principles. "Our mission is to help people develop their personal effectiveness and leadership skills to contribute to humankind," says Dr. Bell.
The foundational principles of Bell Leadership are introduced in Achievers I, where participants discover six personality patterns, types of motivation, and personality traits of leaders. Using feedback from others in their closest relationships, leaders begin to understand how they are perceived. Graduates of Achievers I can then continue to other seminars on teamwork, communication, time management and many other topics to fuel personal and professional growth.
The two companies complement each other well. "If you're going to be a leader, the real critical thing is to lead as well as you possibly can," says Dr. Bell. Thomas believes that statement aligns perfectly with priorities at Heartland Dental, saying, "We've really found a fit in cultures. It's rare to find really good people, and we've found that in Bell Leadership.”
This partnership means progress for both organizations and their teams across the country. For Heartland Dental leaders, it means discovering how to truly become all-around leaders in every facet of life. For Bell Leadership Institute, it means an opportunity to pass on their groundbreaking knowledge and watch a young company grow before their eyes. For supported dentists and team members, it means more unity, improved communication and an overall sense of effectiveness to propel them to reach their goals together.