Saturday, December 29, 2007

Welcome Home!

As you look forward to the New Year, here’s a thought-provoking question:  Do you live to work or do you work to live?  How’s your balance in life?  I was reminded of that in a big way this week as we welcomed yet another little girl into our family.  Avery Elizabeth arrived early on December 26th to be the 6th girl in the Anderson Sorority House!  We’ve never figured out how to do the boy thing in our family, but we do have the girl thing down! 

So from our family to yours, Happy New Year!

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Farewell to a Mentor

We bid farewell this week to Dr. Ron Wickum who has been a great mentor and example to me over the last dozen plus years.  Ron's contagious smile and enthusiasm always made you feel better when you were around him.  
I will always remember Ron as a friend to everyone.  As a dentist, I think patients went to see him as much for the "feel good" as the "look good"!  He always made you feel like a better person for having come in contact with him.

I'll miss Ron, but I will always be inspired by his great example of Love of Life, People, and Profession.

Thanks Ron for making our lives better.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

A Little Lagniappe!

One of the rights of passage if you live in Texas is having a truck.  After nearly 18 years in Texas I broke down a bought a truck last year.  Now I feel like a real Texan!

Just last week I had the truck in the shop for some routine work.  When I returned to pick it up, I was surprised to see the decorative metal hitch cover on the back of the truck wrapped in Styrofoam and plastic.   A few months earlier, someone had slightly rear-ended my truck at a traffic signal and bent the hitch cover.  It was nothing major, but was one of those things that bothered me every time I looked at it.

When I inquired about the specially wrapped hitch cover, Paul, my mechanic, ceremoniously unwrapped it to reveal a hitch cover that looked like new.  Paul had taken it upon himself to repair it at no charge as a nice added bonus.  I left the garage with a smile on my face.  I was satisfied about the work I had asked him to do, but I was ecstatic about the small added bonus I had not asked for!  Now where do you think I will go next time my truck needs work?

In French Louisiana they have a word for what Paul did.  The word is “Lagniappe” – something given as an extra gift or bonus.  It is not expected, but creates just that much more loyalty. 

So what is your lagniappe?  It may not be something you do for every patient every time, but when the situation is right and the opportunity arises, a little lagniappe can carry your patient all the way home with an even bigger, brighter smile on his or her face.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Happy Holidays?

December is upon us and “The Holidays” are here. I love this time of the year. But beware these “Holiday Hang ups” that can creep into the team mentality:
  • “Everyone’s too busy during the holidays to keep their dental appointment.”
  • “They can’t afford dental work right now with all the shopping they have to do.”
  • “Their insurance benefits are probably maxed out for the year.”
  • December is a short production month because of the holidays. We’ll never reach our goal.”
  • “We can’t find any patients to fill in these available appointments. It’s the holidays!” (Don’t you know.”)

If you are looking for an excuse this holiday season for poor practice performance, the “reasons” are easy to find. But consider for a moment the “reasons” why December should be the best practice month of the year:
  • “People are in a buying mood.”
  • “People are more happy and cheerful this time of year.”
  • “And so people are more willing to cooperate.”
  • “Many still have benefits remaining for the year.”
  • “Those who have flex spending and medical savings accounts sill have money for the year.”
  • “The more people have to do, the more they tend to get done.”

So check your attitude this holiday season. Do you have the attitude of a ToP performer or the mentality of excuse maker. The attitude you choose may very well determine how merry your holiday season will be – inside and outside of the practice.

Happy Holidays!