It was a team meeting to discuss our core values that really helped define my practice vision and develop our corporate culture. My young team and I spent a day free from the distractions of a ringing telephone and patient care to openly discuss what it was that “got us out of bed each morning.” Chuck Blakeman, author of the best-selling book, “Making Money is Killing Your Business,” calls it “finding your big why.”
Comments that were expressed that day included themes common to many health-care providers, such as serving our fellow man with compassion and empathy, educating patients on the benefits of preventive care, and empowering those we served to enjoy a lifetime of oral wellness.
We spoke of treating our patients and each other with dignity, respect, and professionalism, and made a commitment to life-long learning to enhance our skills and ability to care for others. Interestingly, we also embraced the concept that our practice would become an economic partner with our community, to help build a better place in which to live and raise our families.
Before the day ended, we also committed to a series of statements we simply referred to as “non-negotiables.” They included the following:
- Our future is created by our actions today.
- Our choices are value-driven and can limit or empower us.
- Commit to, and focus on, caring for one patient at a time.
- We cannot achieve perfection, but we’ll strive for excellence in all we do.
- Life is a journey… Find joy every day!
As I reflect on this day’s events, some thirty-seven years ago, it’s clear that it was the game-changer that truly differentiated my practice from the competition, and put us on the road to success. If you and your teammates don’t have a clear vision for your practice, or have never discussed your “big why,” close the office and have a conversation. It could change how and why you do what you do and add happiness and satisfaction to your personal and professional life.
“Build for your team a feeling of oneness, of dependence
on one another and of strength to be derived by unity.”