Dr Paul Averley
Dr Paul Averley is managing partner at dentistry company, Queensway Dental. He talks to BQ about his career so far, how he likes to unwind, and his advice for the next generation of business leaders.
What is it the company does?
For 25 years, Queensway Dental has provided general and specialist dental care in an environment which is both professional and relaxed, as well as being understanding. We pride ourselves on the skill mix of our team which allows us to deliver dentistry, supported by evidence, science and innovation.
Describe your role in no more than 100 words
My role as managing partner means working alongside my partner colleagues to set the strategic direction of the business and empowering the management team to deliver this direction. I provide clinical leadership through education and training, continuing to make improvements to the patient experience and ensuring that we meet the requirements of our governing bodies. All whilst delivering world-class dentistry in a safe, modern environment.
My typical week involves five days working in-surgery both in the Billingham and Jesmond clinics, predominantly I work in complex cases such as restorative dentistry, dental implants and conscious sedation.
Give us a brief timeline of your career so far – where did you start, how did you move on?
What do you believe makes a great leader?
To be a great leader, I believe means being a good communicator, an encourager, an innovator and being able to listen, inspire and empower your team to grow and develop. Not forgetting having a vision, being ready to embrace change and also making sure that as a leader you are surrounded by people who are masters of their own areas, and better than you in those areas!
What has been your biggest challenge in your current position?
Working with providers and regulators who are slow to change and embrace the future. Ultimately this may lead to different agendas, different paths and different journeys which is a source of frustration and sadness.
As I have mild dyslexia, I find writing particularly challenging. Luckily in my profession I have a nurse team which is able to support me with note taking and letter writing! This is why I often prefer verbal communication, but this means a big challenge as I need to make sure these conversations with colleagues are actioned and followed through.
How do you alleviate the stress that comes with your job?
Walking with my dog Archie across beaches or fields; going out in a sailing boat to catch mackerel by the double dozen off the coast of Amble; a new project with my Dad (in fact anything where I get to spend time with my Dad); finishing a book; holidays based around skiing and sailing; and food – barbecuing fresh fish, harvesting potatoes from the ground, making apple juice and buying produce in a market.
When you were little, what did you want to be when you grew up?
I remember wanting to drive a milk float, fly aeroplanes or be a slalom skier.
Any pet hates in the workplace? What do you do about them?
Managing emails, I much prefer a good old-fashioned phone call or face to face conversation – especially when the person is in the same room!
Where do you see the company in five years’ time?
Continuing to grow the expertise of our multi-disciplinary team by investing in people and their skills alongside embracing new technology in the world of dentistry to support this – there are exciting times ahead.
What advice would you give to an aspiring business leader?
Don’t rush in and don’t expect things to happen overnight or by magic. Pick three things you want your business to do well in and focus on them.
What do you wish someone had told you when you started out?
Embrace change as constant. Believe in yourself and your team. Make sure you develop mentoring relationships – they’re invaluable.
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