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Share your vision to inspire your dental team

Good morning, Colin here. I wanted to talk a little bit this morning about goal setting, something I had a thought of over the weekend. So many dentist I talk to, when I talk to them I say, “Where do you want to be in 6 months? Where do you want to be in 12 months? Where do you want to be in 24 months? Where do you want to be in 5 years?” I bet 60% of them say, “I don’t know, wherever. I want to grow. I want to raise awareness. I want to do this. I want to help more people get access to dental care. I want to do these somewhat intangible things.”

Other dentists, probably 30% of them I talk to, they actually have a goal. They say, “Listen, in 12 months, I want to double. In 24 months, I want to triple. In 5 years, I want to have 3 practices. In 5 years, I want to transition out. In 5 years, I want to bring in an associate.” Whatever your goal may be, probably only 30% of the dentists I talk to actually have a real tangible goal. The other 10%, the final 10% are the ones that are really the inspiring ones. They’re really the dental CEOs I call them. They’re the go-getters. They’re the guys that go out and absolutely crush it.

I want to tell a little story that relates to that 10% of dentists out there that inspire their team and lead their team to where they want to go. In 1961 there was a guy by the name of John F. Kennedy. In 1961, John F. Kennedy said, “We’re going to put a man on the moon by the end of this decade.” Now he didn’t say he was going to inspire his team. He didn’t say he was going to raise awareness about the moon. He didn’t say he was going to advance the space program. He said he was going to put a frigging man on the moon by the end of the decade. What did he do?

In 1969, Armstrong and crew set foot on the moon. He did it.

If you want to lead, if you want to inspire people, you’ve got to give them a vision that they can buy into. If you want your team to get behind you with your goals, you have to set the vision. Your team is not going to set your vision for you, you have to set the vision. You have to create the environment, the culture that allows you to be successful, that enables you to be successful, that fosters the kind of culture and efficiencies that will make you successful. When you do that you’ll lead your team, you’ll inspire them and they’ll follow you to your goal. There’s another guy, I like these 2 examples because they’re 2 very stark examples.

Another guy by the name of Martin Luther King Jr., he had a famous speech. He said, “I have a dream that one day my children will play alongside, blacks and whites,” so on and so forth, we’ve all heard the recorded speech a thousand times. He didn’t just say, “One day we’re going to get together and we’re going to raise awareness for cultural diversity and for discrimination and for all these things. He set a black and white vision. He set a goal, and he achieved his goal, or worked towards it at least. He set the vision that every time there’s any kind of issue of diversity or discrimination in our country, that is the vision, that speech, those words resonate in our minds because they were so powerful. He set the vision, others have followed him.

If you want your practice to get to where you want it to go, you have to set the vision. When you set that vision, make it crystal clear, make it abundantly clear, so that everybody in your practice knows what their role in getting to that goal is. When they get there, what’s in it for everybody? Why do they want to work towards this goal? If you incentivize them and set the culture, you’ll get there. It’s my 2 cents for today. Keep moving forward.

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