Friday, December 30, 2011

A Habit for 2012 Success

I spent some time this week with a group of dental students from all over the world at the Alpha Omega International Dental Convention. We discussed the Common Denominator of Success - the things that make dentists and professionals in general successful.

Among the many factors that create the Common Denominator of Success is habit. One of those habits is setting and reaching goals. For over 20 years, I have asked 4 basic questions that are the standard for staying on track with goals. Ask yourself how closely you adhere to these 4 questions:

1. Do you have goals?

2. Are your goals written down?

3. Do you review your goals every day?

4. Do you keep them with you or have them in a place where you can see them every day?

There is some magic in being able to answer all of those questions with a “yes.”

Several years ago I was speaking at the gathering of three high schools in New Braunfels, Texas when I asked all of those 4 questions to the graduating seniors. There was only one student who was able to answer all four questions with a “yes.” Upon further inquiry, he shared that his father had taught him this goal setting system when he was in middle school. As a result, he set his sights high and was able to take state in track and get a full ride scholarship to the university of his choice. There are more stories like that than I could ever have time to write.

There is some magic in making a decision and sticking with it until it has been accomplished. The biggest step is the first step -- decide and then write it down.

Have a Happy New Year as you decide, write, review and accomplish in 2012.

Friday, December 9, 2011

Which side of the fence?

Have you ever had a moment when you were very grateful for past decisions you made because of the position it has put you in now, that you never anticipated?

I have thought many times over the last couple of years, how grateful every dentist should be that he or she chose dentistry as a profession, instead of medicine and its related cousins, for the pure fact that dentistry continues to allow you the independence and freedom to practice how you want, where you want, and charge what you want without government


This fact was brought to my attention this week as I sat with many of the top leaders of the optometry world. Optometry is stuck in the middle of the healthcare battle with private insurance on one side and government healthcare on the other. If optometry has its way, it will go the way of the rest of medicine and be part of the total healthcare equation with government involvement. Why? Because government reimbursement for eye care services is more favorable than private insurance…for now. No telling what it will be in the future. With the future so fuzzy in terms of government’s long-term involvement in healthcare, it is a tough decision to make because of all of the future unknowns.

But for dentistry, staying independent and out of the government healthcare debate is a good place to be. Stay informed. Stay vigilant. Protect the freedom of the profession.

Friday, December 2, 2011

Who is in your Kitchen Cabinet?

In 1831 President Andrew Jackson dismissed five of the eight people in his official cabinet. Many accused the president of being overly influenced by what they called the president’s “kitchen cabinet” or close friends who advised the president informally behind the scenes. Since that time, “kitchen cabinet” has been the term that describes the “real” advisors that the president relies on the most that have the most influence.

We just spent the last few days in the ToPS “kitchen” at our Annual Planning Round Table where dentists met for most of the time in groups of 8 to 10 with specific discussion topics and practice problems to solve. They each served as the other’s “kitchen cabinet.”

The ToPS Round Table meetings have become one of the most valued assets participating dentist have. A sounding board of objective peers who are willing to share their own experience, gives the participant a broader base of options to chose from as they develop their future plans. As they say, “Two heads are better than one!”

Join us for our next ToPS Round Table on June 14-16, 2012 where we will help you assemble a kitchen cabinet of your own that may be the key to your future success.

For more information on the ToPS Round Table, give the ToPS team a call at 1-877-399-8677.