Dr David Pearce and Doug Thorpe

From Dentistry to Leadership: A Journey of Continuous Learning and Growth

Hello everyone, I’m your host, Doug Thorpe, and I’m excited to share with you an insightful conversation I had with Dr. David Pearce on my podcast, “Leadership Powered by Common Sense”. Dr. Pearce, a successful dentist turned coach, shared his journey of lifelong learning and how it led him to explore other aspects of his career.

The Journey Begins: A Dentist’s Path to Success

Dr. Pearce’s journey began with a passion for dentistry and a belief that mastering his clinical abilities would lead to success. However, he soon discovered that success in dentistry was not solely based on clinical skills. It was also about getting patients to say yes to treatments, an aspect he intriguingly refers to as sales.

This realization sparked his interest in the non-clinical business side of dentistry. He learned from accomplished dentists who were ahead of him on their journey, gaining insights into team engagement, leadership, and increasing sales.

The Power of Mastermind Groups and Coaching

About a decade ago, Dr. Pearce joined a mastermind group of dentists looking to improve their business skills. He found that he had valuable insights to offer, which led him to consider coaching other dentists. His desire to help others achieve greater success and, in turn, help their patients, led him to transition from clinical dentistry to coaching.

We discussed the challenges of running a dental practice and the importance of developing strong business skills. We highlighted the difference between dentistry and other industries, such as the restaurant business, where mediocrity is not an option. Dentists need to become exceptional to succeed.

Leadership: The Key to Success in Dentistry

Our conversation then shifted to the importance of leadership in dentistry. We discussed our experiences in a mastermind group, where we focused on improving our leadership skills. We agreed that while operational and logistical aspects of the business are relatively easy to handle, leadership is the most challenging and crucial aspect.

We also touched on the topic of growth and discrimination in dentistry. We discussed a young dentist who wanted to make changes in his practice but blamed his partner for not agreeing. We pointed out that the real issue lies within himself and his fear of change.

The Challenges and Rewards of Leadership

Dr. Pearce discussed the different levels of leadership and the challenges that come with each. He emphasized the importance of not dumping decisions on others and encouraged continuous improvement. I agreed and added that a business can only grow as big as its leader allows it to.

We also discussed the potential transfer of wealth in the business world, particularly in the dental industry, where corporations are buying up private practices. However, Dr. Pearce also mentioned the opportunity for specialized dental practices to thrive, especially with the increasing demand from the aging baby boomer population.

From Success to Significance: The Power of Coaching and Mentorship

I shared the story of an orthodontist friend who sold his successful practice and transitioned into coaching aspiring orthodontists. This friend, similar to Dr. Pearce, became a lifelong learner and obtained certification as a coach. He now helps up-and-coming orthodontists build their practices and focuses on leadership, business development, and organizational growth.

Dr. Pearce shared his own journey and how he always wanted to be a better version of himself. He didn’t have a mentor or coach throughout his career, but he realized the importance of personal growth and development. He wanted to create a culture in his office where everyone could become better versions of themselves.

The Future of Dentistry: Transitions and Succession Planning

We discussed a company that helps businesses in the trades industry, such as plumbers, electricians, and HVAC professionals, with transitions and succession planning. This company goes beyond the typical role of a business broker by offering a training and coaching program to the acquiring entrepreneurs.

Dr. Pearce’s company, Ultimate Success in Dentistry, offers these services to businesses in the dental industry. He will also be publishing a book next month, which will provide further insights into his expertise.


Our conversation with Dr. David Pearce was a testament to the power of continuous learning and growth. His journey from a successful dentist to a coach and mentor is an inspiration to all professionals, not just those in the dental industry.

Remember, success is not just about mastering your craft, but also about developing strong business and leadership skills. And as Dr. Pearce’s journey shows, it’s never too late to learn, grow, and help others along the way.

Guest Bio:

As a practicing dentist, Dr. David Pearce focused his clinical career on full mouth reconstruction, providing the surgical and restorative procedures with IV sedation prn. His comprehensive diagnostic and treatment approach created many life-changing results for his patients. During the last 8 years of his practice, annual revenue was over $2.2 million, even with giving his entire team 12-14 weeks off.

The culture at his practice promoted lifelong learning in every role. He led a team of five, with many of his team members staying with him for 14+ years.


Websites:  UltimateSuccess.Dentist


LinkedIn: https//www.LinkedIn/in/david-r-pearce-dds

Facebook: https//www.Facebook.com/UltimateSuccessDentist

YouTube:  https//www.YouTube.com/@UltimateSuccessInDentistry

Doug Thorpe Social Media:

Small business owners will hit an invisible wall that can stall the growth of the company. The key reason there is a wall is that owners need to shift from manager to leader. The question is, how to do that?

Doug Thorpe. Doug is a coach for CEOs and Senior Leadership Teams with 30 years of leadership experience. He is the president & CEO of Doug Thorpe Group. Doug is also a podcast host.

He helps owners understand the ways they need to reshape their thinking and attitude to make a successful break through the wall.

Learn how to move from Founder to CEO.

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