Today I’m going to share with you some insight on a topic you probably hate…


If you’re like most business owners, the idea of it makes you want to curl up in a ball and hide. Confrontation is the reason most people sweep things under the rug, kick them down the road, or avoid them altogether. However, just like gum disease or a root canal infection, you know very well that simply pushing it off or pretending like it’s not there never ends in a better outcome. In fact it usually results in a much worse outcome.

Just like the old saying goes, “you can run but you can’t hide.“ Eventually these things catch up to us. Whether it’s staff issues, bills and payroll, staying up a new techniques, hiring, recare, lab work, marketing, your practice vision and growth strategy, or just battling it out in the day today exercises of practice management, while also being the owner and operator of your business can be tough. But it doesn’t have to be.

I’ve learned to address an issue, I need to head it up TODAY, not tomorrow, not in 2 weeks, not on a future day (which really means never). But TODAY!

To paraphrase one of my favorite inspirational authors, John Maxwell:

In order to tackle a problem, you have to be close enough to tackle it.

This is very crucial to managing a great business. You need to manage and monitor by the numbers, not by fear and emotion. Faith and facts should be the two governing principles of your practice growth strategy. And to grow, you need to grow profitably and with margin to help you plan and predict the future as well as today’s production and patient retention plan plan for your practice.

Winston Churchill wisely stated that “most men stumble over the truth and then go about their way as if nothing happened.”

What a waste! If you aren’t learning from your mistakes, you aren’t learning at all!

Here are three goals you should have as a leader and as the practice owner.

  1. Take Care of Your Team Members.
  2. Take Care of Your Patients.
  3. Be an Honorable Member of Your Community.

Here are two things you should do, build as part of your culture, and encourage you that your team members do every single day.

  1. Never do anything illegal or unethical. “Think like a patient” is our core value we base on this principle.
  2. Use your best judgment to take care of internal and external customers – which include your patients, team members, and vendors.

When a problem arises, you should confront it and take care of it right away. For extended knowledge on this topic I suggest you read The One Minute Manager by Ken Blanchard. It will simplify the way you discipline (not punish…never punish) your team members.

When someone is not performing well on a basketball team, what happens next? That’s right – the coach puts them on the bench. You should do the same with your team members who are not performing well. It is their privilege to earn that spot back in the starting five, not a right.

Nothing should be taken for granted by you or your team members. However it is your responsibility as a practice owner to be a great leader, steward, and provide the tools necessary to help your team grow and thrive. But do not do the work for them, and only hire A players or people who you believe you can help develop into A players – who most importantly have the right attitude.

When something happens that does now meet your standard of care, your core values, or match your proven systems – in your personal life or in your practice do something now. Confront the issue(s), address it and if your team members can’t handle constructive criticism, then they aren’t the right fit for the job.

If you can’t handle it you aren’t either.

This may sound very harsh but this is what’s needed in today’s intense and competitive environment for you to have a growing practice that not only brings results to your patients and goals, but is fun and a great environment for your team members, patients, and vendors alike to thrive and develop.

Have a great week and please share your thoughts, challenges and successes by commenting below!

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