Guiding Leaders

Glidewell CEO Stephenie Goddard is passionate about empowering women in dentistry to advance to new levels of leadership.

Stephenie Goddard

Stephenie Goddard noticed something was missing. As of 2019, approximately 50% of dental school graduates were women, but opportunities for them to network and grow in the industry as leaders were rare. Thus she formed Guiding Leaders – a program covering important topics, best practices, and offering a space for leaders to meet, network, and grow together.

In the following interview, Goddard discusses the upcoming year for Guiding Leaders, the commitment involved, and what participants can expect to get out of the program.

Q: What is new this year with Guiding Leaders?

Goddard: The first year was 12 months long. This year we’ve tightened it to six months. We got feedback from everybody on the first program – what worked, what didn’t, what programs rated the highest, etc. We tried to scale back and focus on the things that got the most feedback in terms of what participants needed from the program. We’re adding a lot more finance and practice management to this session, whereas last time we had a heavier amount interpersonal and leadership competence building. We’ll still have that, but we just toned it down.

Q: What is the commitment?

Goddard: Participants must commit to being in person for each session. One weekend a month, they need to be in Newport Beach, California, for class. They will need to pay for their travel and hotel stay, but we cover the cost of everything else. We want participants to really engage. I’m looking for people who are willing to commit to the bigger initiative, which is creating a larger network of women in the industry. Anybody who was in the prior year’s cohort will be a mentor to the participants this year. The goal is that people joining this year will then be a mentor to somebody in the following year to grow a mentoring, networking environment.

Q: What should a dentist expect to get out of it?

Goddard: Participants will get amazing courses by experts in their respective fields. They will get a mentor and an executive coach. Even though the program is only April through October, we will pay for that executive coach for a full year. They will also have full access to a certified financial planner for a year, whom they can utilize after the program to help increase practice revenue and profitability.

Everybody will get something slightly different, because everybody is in different stages in their life. We had one person who was just five years out of school and practicing in pediatrics, and then we had somebody else who was 35 years practicing and owned three practices, three restaurants and had grandkids. 

The prior cohort talked about the sense of community and support they received. They learned more about how to be a leader, how to define and envision what your future looks like and then how to plan to get there. 

So let’s say one of the participants wants to open up a new practice. She can sit down and put together a business plan with other participants as a sounding board. Questions they might discuss with the group include: How do you retain staff? How do you compensate staff fairly? We’ve created a group that now can share information with one another, which has proven incredibly valuable.

For more information, or to register for the upcoming program, visit: