Artwork for podcast The Best Practices Show
Leadership is Lonely with Dr. Barrett Straub
Episode 33924th September 2021 • The Best Practices Show • ACT Dental
00:00:00 00:31:10

Share Episode


Leadership is Lonely

Episode # 339 with Dr. Barrett Straub

Something that no one warns you about is the fact that leadership—and dentistry as a whole—can be lonely. A leader has a great deal of responsibility, and if not properly managed, you can find yourself burnt out. Today, Dr. Barrett Straub joins Kirk Behrendt to discuss their experiences with leadership in the dental field. To learn how you can overcome the loneliness and become a better leader, listen to Episode 339 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

Look to your mentors and peers for advice on how to grow as a leader.

The people you surround yourself with have a large impact on who you are.

Keep an eye on what you consume—too much negativity will adversely affect you.

Other dentists undergo the same challenges as you—you are not alone.

Not only will ACT Dental University provide you with knowledge from the top minds in the dental field, but it will also make you a part of a community and support group that wants to help you live a better life.


“It’s unique and unlike any other business leader in the world in that, as a dentist, you are not only the CEO, but you’re the manufacturing line.”  (01:30-01:40)

“It is lonely when you are responsible for running the business, responsible for thinking smart, thinking strategically, and responsible for producing the revenue.” (01:45-01:55)

“In a normal business you can sit down with your leadership team and strategically think through some solutions and implement change—it’s hard for a dentist because we don’t have the time or luxury necessarily to sit down and figure stuff out, because we’re doing dentistry all day.” (03:38-03:52)

“One of the things that slows you down is when you wake up and you’re not living your core values.” (04:54-04:59)

“One of the most important things that you have to do is you have to experience yourself the way your value system is telling you to go in dentistry, and that’s when you wake up.” (05:22-05:31)

“If you’re listening and you’re like ‘I care about my team, I’m a life-long learner, but it’s just not getting better…’ you have to make it better. You have to, or else what you start to do is you start to give up, you start to lose that energy, and we don’t want that to happen.” (06:26-06:42)

“I came out of dental school thinking ‘I’m gonna be a great leader, I’m just born for this—I’m gonna kill it.’ And what I found out really quickly was I wasn’t a great leader, and it’s really, really hard. And holding leadership positions is way different than being a leader in a dental practice or a small business because now you’re dealing with real people and real emotions, and real-life challenges that affect your day-to-day operations of your business.” (07:27-07:57)

“You don’t need to bring in a partner to have community.” (11:07-11:12)

“I think it’s really important as dentists you have a safe place to go where you can be vulnerable.” (12:16-12:23)

“Yes, leadership is a risk, and it is lonely, and it is hard. And it’s totally worth it. To be a leader and be able to bring people up and improve their lives and help them do things they never thought they’d be able to do before—there’s no greater rush in life than to do that.” (13:22-13:42)

“Your problems are how you think about the problems—everything you have is a thinking problem.” (15:45-15:51)

“The only thing that separates you from them is how you think.” (16:24-16:28)

“I always love a hug from a great client, but what’s more fun was watching clients hug other clients, saying, ‘We gotta stay connected.’” (20:37-20:45)

“I think the thing that’s cool about our company is we’re big on core values, so we end up attracting the people that care about the same types of things.” (23:49-23:57)

“Surround yourself with people with same core values, similar core purpose, with the same level of humility, ability to be vulnerable, and all with the added goal of ‘Hey, we just want to be our best and let’s do it together and help one another get there.’” (25:14-25:28)

“There’s a million different ways to do dentistry; you gotta find the right way for you.” (27:01-27:06)

“Do you care about your team? If the answer is ‘yes,’ then join us.” (27:26-27:31)

“You have one opportunity to live a life and create a better practice and a better life for not only you but your team and your family, and I’m just gonna encourage you to do it.” (28:44-28:55)


Who is Dr. Barrett Straub? (00:34-00:56)

Why is dentistry so lonely? (01:19-04:15)

Making changes and fixing problems. (04:16-08:39)

Look to the people around you. (08:40-13:02)

Leadership is a worthwhile risk. (13:03-15:31)

Thinking about your problems. (15:32-18:01)

Surrounding yourself with the right people. (18:02-22:00)

The community of ACT-U. (22:01-27:11) 

Final thoughts. (27:12-29:27)

ACT Dental:

Check out ACT Dental: 

Register for ACT-U: 

Reach out to Kirk and Dr. Straub:

Kirk’s email: 

Dr. Straub’s email: 

Dr. Straub’s Bio:

Dr. Straub practices general and sedation dentistry in Port Washington, WI.  He has worked hard to develop his practice into a top performing fee for service practice that focuses on improving the lives of patients through dentistry. A graduate of Marquette Dental School, his advanced training and CE includes work at the Spear Institute, LVI, DOCS, and as a member of the Milwaukee Study Club. He is a past member of the Wisconsin Dental Association Board of Trustees and was awarded the Marquette Dental School 2017 Young Alumnus of the Year. As a former ACT coaching client that experienced first-hand the transformation that coaching can provide, he is passionate about helping other dentists create the practice they’ve always wanted. Dr. Straub loves to hunt, golf, and spends winter on the ice curling. He is married to Katie with two daughters, Abby, and Elizabeth.