The Impression Dental Managing Director Interview
Steve Charnley and Steve Walsh became the joint Managing Directors of Impression Dental Laboratory Limited in 2000 although their partnership initially began on August 13th 1990. They both came from a dental lab background working from the grass roots upwards where by they learned their trade and career as young boys straight out of school. They soon gained promotion to departmental managers and then became inspired to run their own dental lab together and have never looked back. More recently in 2008, they purchased The Old Police Station in Hindley, Wigan, a character Victorian building that dates back to 1847. After an extensive period of major renovation they moved Impression Dental into the attractive purpose built laboratory. It is well worth making a visit to see the modern facilities that include a specialised training room. In 2018 Steve Charnley become the Soul Director at Impression Dental Laboratory. Steve answered some of our questions.
When did you first become a boss and how did it feel?
Steve Charnley: I Become a boss in August 1990. It Felt amazing and liberated to be able to haver control over my own destiny. I had the confidence to succeed without any doubts. And it was so much better than having the previous frustrations with the obvious deficiencies that were happening right in front of my eyes. I knew that I have massive potential to improve and offer a superior service within the Dental industry and I wanted to grasp the opportunity.
What have you learnt about leadership and how has your style evolved?
Steve Charnley : I have learnt a great deal and in different ways. My style has developed and I lead by example and I know I have to be an empathic listener by seeking to understand before being understood in order to get the best out of our staff.
Have you been inspired by anyone person or theory?
Steve Charnley: Listening to Steven Covey and reading his book ‘The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People’ started me on the journey to implement a change in my leadership style.
What’s the worst part of leading – and the best?
Steve Charnley: I have noticed that there have been occasions when friendship with staff can get in the way because I may have allowed that situation to affect business relationships and fudge decisions. When that happens you end up being let down from people you expect more from. The best part is when I get inspired when I see staff using their own initiative to progress the business for our dental clients. And we receive great dentist and patient testimonials for a job well done.
What do you look for when hiring staff?
Steve Charnley: That they have passion, a willingness to learn and a drive to succeed by really making a difference to the lives of our dental patients. We need to know what motivates them to do a good job at work. If we can probe with questions to connect with their motivation, then we will find a way to tap into this motivation and get them inspired to perform.
Are there natural leaders in business or do they have to be trained/qualified?
Steve Charnley: A combination of both really. You see I genuinely believe I’m a good motivator of people… and yet I still need to be open to new leadership coaching techniques that focus me on building long-term relationships with our clients through mutual trust, value and ongoing support that always delivers what is right for dental surgeries to achieve their goals. Leadership is about people and their success stories.
What are your views on business leadership for the future?
Steve Charnley: I really do want to lead excellence throughout every aspect of the business and each stage of our dental client’s casework. By continually inspiring passion in our team this will make a difference in patient’s lives so that every smile does matter. And we will know when this has been achieved because we will get even more referrals and delighted patients. I’m passionate about exceptional service and continue to strive to see how we can improve on this.