The skill every leader should have, per dental exec

Traci Portnoff, DMD, owner and chief clinician at Cornerstone Dental Care in Westborough, Mass., recently reflected on what skill every leader should have and more.

In addition to her role at Cornerstone, Dr. Portnoff is the director of continuing education at Select Dental Management. She is also the chair of the standing committee for women's leadership in dentistry for the Massachusetts Dental Society, and program co-chair for the Yankee Dental Congress.

Dr. Portnoff connected with Becker's via email earlier in May.

Editor's note: Responses have been edited lightly for length and clarity.

Question: What's one thing you do every day that puts a smile on your face?

Dr. Traci Portnoff: Before I walk into work each day, I listen to fun music in my car. Music can usually always turn my day around. Of course, it helps if I can dance to it, too.

Q: What is one accomplishment you feel most proud of?

TP: Before having children, I might have answered having won the third-grade spelling bee. But more recently, I can tell you with 100 percent certainty that I feel most proud knowing my kids have grown into good people. Watching them interact with and care for those around them makes me beam with pride.

Q: What are some traits that make up a strong team?

TP: A strong team first and foremost trusts each other. The team members are aligned and inspired by a common mission. They are also diverse, bringing different skills and experiences together. They communicate well and learn from each other.

Q: What's the most valuable skill every leader should have?

TP: The most valuable skill a leader has is the ability to inspire people. I am inspired by leaders who allow themselves to be authentic and vulnerable and that allow for two-way communication. The ability to accept feedback is just as important as delivering effective feedback.

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