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Doctor, the Problem is You!

Doctor, the Problem is You!

You probably know that I am a voracious reader and I especially enjoy reading business-related books. Recently I read the new book by Dave Ramsey titled, EntreLeadership. This book is flat out the very best book on leadership that I have ever read, and I’ve read many books on this topic! Dave’s no-nonsense approach is beyond refreshing and the book is filled with powerful wisdom.

I’ve been reading a lot lately. Reading is my preferred airplane activity and I have been lecturing quite a bit this fall and consequently spending considerable time on airplanes. Just yesterday I finished the Steve Jobs biography written by Walter Isaacson. This is also a great book. One of the quotes from the book is very appropriate for this blog post. When asked why he could be a very difficult person to work with, Steve said, “My job is to say something sucks rather than sugarcoat it.” Personally I think we could use a little more brutal honesty, so I am not going to sugarcoat anything in this blog post. Develop some thick skin.

Back to Dave Ramsey’s book. Let me provide an example of the powerful wisdom in this book. This passage was selected from Chapter 1; “The problem with your company is not the economy, it is not the lack of opportunity, it is not your team. The problem is you. That is the bad news. The good news is, if you’re the problem, you’re also the solution. You’re the one person you can change the easiest. You can decide to grow. Grow your abilities, your character, your education, and your capacity. You can decide who you want to be and get about the business of becoming that person.” All I can say about that passage is WOW!! Dave is right on! It is as if he wrote that passage for the Dental Profession.

If your practice is not performing up to its potential, then I’d encourage you to read the passage above. Then read it again! It may seem like harsh medicine, but Dave is right. Your practice is a direct reflection of you.  Modeling is a very effective form of leadership. Model the behaviors that you want your team members and patients to embrace. To make this blog post more actionable here are five ways that you can model the behaviors that will help your practice excel.

  • Have a Great Smile Yourself!    
    If you are promoting excellent oral health and a beautiful smile, then you too should have perfect oral health and a gorgeous smile. If this applies to you, find a colleague you believe in and get your mouth restored. My dentist, Dr. Paul Nielson is amazing ( Come visit us in Scottsdale and he will take awesome care of you. We’ll even provide you a Professional Courtesy! He doesn’t work weekends, but might make an exception for you.
  • Show Up on Time           
    You should be the first one at your office every morning, fully prepared and ready for a great day!
  • Be Optimistic              
    Don’t just be optimistic, but become an unrelenting source of positive energy. Smile, be happy and radiate positive energy! It beats the alternative.
  • Be Encouraging             
    Notice your team members doing good things and compliment them. Often!
  • Check Your Troubles at the Door
    When life throws you challenges, as it often does, check your troubles at the door. Be happy. Fake it, if you must! Part of being a Professional is performing under pressure.

Watch what happens when you follow the five points above and start modeling the behaviors you want from your team and patients. Read Dave Ramsey’s book for more incredible leadership guidelines. Here’s to making 2012 your best year yet! Keep Smiling!