Business Bankruptcies just hit their highest rate of default since 2009.
Competition is getting sharper. Corporate practices and DSOs are getting bigger and smarter.
Patients are getting more informed (or misinformed) by online research and leaving more negative online reviews.
Inflation just keeps rising! While insurance keeps paying less.
And you are trying to run a profitable practice amongst all of this turmoil.
But I have news, you don’t have to participate in all of this DRAMA!
Remember, the most successful practice owners aren’t complaining about the news and the economy. Most of all, they aren’t fining excuses, they are finding new ways to succeed!
The are silently succeeding, using consistent yet often unconventional strategies and tactics to win the battle, over and over again.
For example, Will Guidara was just twenty-six when he took the steering wheel of Eleven Madison Park. This sinking two-star restaurant had never quite lived up to its majestic name. Yet just eleven years later, EMP was named the best restaurant in the world.
I’d like to share one simple idea and 11 related strategies tied to the incredible concept of “Unreasonable Hospitality,” inspired by a book that offers valuable advice to practice and business owners on how to train their teams and succeed profitably.
I’ll share some insight from the book and from my own practice to help spread proven strategies that can help create a successful and welcoming environment for your team and patients.
Here are 11 Key takeaways from the book Unreasonable Hospitality, and how you can apply them to your practice:
1. Intention Matters: Every Little Decision Counts!
In the book, “Unreasonable Hospitality,” we learn that intention is like a secret superpower. It means making decisions thoughtfully, with a clear purpose in mind. Whether it’s a significant choice or a seemingly small one, it all matters! So encourage your team to think strategically about their actions and how they contribute to the bigger picture of your vision. Customer service is expected by patients (maybe a 3 star average rating?), but being intentional creates a unique 5 star rated practice.
Intention means every decision, from the most obviously significant to the seemingly mundane, matters. To do something with intentionality means to do it thoughtfully, with clear purpose and an eye laser focused on the desired outcome.
2. The Magic of Consistency in Leadership
Being a leader means being consistent. It’s like following a recipe; if you change the ingredients every time you cook, you won’t get the same outcome. Consistency and delegation are two of the most important and underrated aspects of being a leader.
Consistency helps build trust and confidence among your team members. So lead with a firm and understanding, but steady hand, and be the example of excellence for everyone around you…Especially in times of uncertainty.
3. Hospitality and Excellence Can Be Challenging Partners
Hospitality and excellence don’t always seem to get along. Sometimes, we focus so much on being perfect that we forget to be warm and welcoming to our patients and team. I know I’ve personally stumbled over this my share of times. In pursuit of excellence don’t forget about your people. Don’t get stuck in “analysis paralysis.” Encourage your teams to exemplify hospitality and always strive for excellence, so without expecting perfection, and you’ll create a powerful experience for everyone involved.
4. Embrace Growth: Give Responsibility Before They’re “Ready”
Surprise! Sometimes, the perfect moment to give someone more responsibility is before they feel “ready.” By doing this, you help others grow and challenge themselves. This is what a leader does and one of the big ways you can make an impact in your community. Have the courage and let go of the micromanaging to give your team members opportunities to shine, even if they might feel nervous or daily forward at first! Have the courage to let go of those who won’t grasp on to your purpose and vision.
5. The Power of Contributions: Everyone Has Something to Offer
Imagine being welcomed into a new team on your first day, and they say, “We hired you for a reason. We know you have something to contribute.” Wouldn’t that make you feel fantastic? Encourage your teams to appreciate each other’s skills and unique qualities. Let them know they are valued and important members of the team.
At Pinecrest Dental, we have a Team Credo which is our guiding light on who and how we hire and train:
At PInecrest Dental, we are looking for great Team Members who demonstrate with purpose, a growth mentality, give service from the heart, and convey a smiling spirit.
We hire for can do attitudes, train for skills, and look for leadership potentials in team members. We quickly eliminate patients and team members with bad attitudes, which would metastasize and destroy the team and practice.
6. Pay Attention to Details: Small Things Matter
The way you do one thing is telling of the way you do everything. Paying attention to small details can lead to perfection in bigger tasks. So, practice owners, encourage your teams to focus on precision in every little thing they do. It will make a big difference!
Performance coach Greg Harden says to “give 100 percent, 100 percent of the time.” He shared this advice with a young athlete at Michigan named Tom Brady who says Harden “pushed me to wake up and grow up.“ This means you should give everything you do 100%, even with things you hate to do.
This is not easy. I don’t believe you should spend to much time focusing on the things you hate to do, but over time you can delegate these things, and when you have to step in, give it an attitude of excellence and then the things you love to do will really stand out!
7. Honesty is the Best Policy
Have you ever corrected a team member or a patient just because you didn’t want them to think you made a mistake? Well, in reality, that’s a more significant mistake! Being honest and admitting when we’re wrong is essential. It helps build trust and respect among team members and patients alike. The world where trust is harder than ever to gain, people appreciate the transparency in their relationships with you and your team.
8. Caring for One Another: A Team That Sticks Together
Sometimes, when we’re so passionate about a mission, we might forget to care for each other. But remember, a team that cares about one another is a powerful force! As an owner or leader, you can foster a culture of care and support within your team. It’ll make everyone happier and more productive. When people are happy it leads to a higher level of engagement and studies demonstrate as much as a 20% increase in productivity. How’s that for a free way of saving on your payroll taxes and expenses? Not to mention the boost in morale and collections!
9. The “Why” Behind the “What”
Have you ever wondered why something has to be done a certain way? The “why” along with the “what” can inspire your team to bring their best ideas to life! So let your team in on the reasons behind your purpose and decisions and watch the magic happen! We call this the Pinecrest Purpose and it is a story I retell whenever I can. What’s your story? When was the last time you shared it with your team and patients?
10. Hospitality is a Dialogue
The famous quote, “Hospitality is a dialogue, not a monologue,” by Danny Meyer, shows us that true hospitality is about listening and understanding. Meyer is a successful entrepreneur and owner of high-end restaurants and the blossoming chain Shake Shack. Encourage open communication and create an environment where everyone’s voice is heard. Set up trainings with your team where people work together on projects and have the opportunity to collaborate and provide input. we call this “96% teamwork, which is derived from the 80% rule. When I play to using my strength to accomplish 80% of the goal, and I pair up with someone else with different strengths to cover 80% of the remaining 20 that was not in my wheelhouse, we arrive at 96%. How can you utilize this principal in your practice?
11. Follow the “rule of 95/5”
Guidara spent a good chunk of his early career learning to meticulously work a restaurant’s books—which gave him the knowledge and confidence to come up with a rule that could seem foolhardy to some.
“Manage 95 percent of your business down to the penny; spend the last 5 percent ‘foolishly.’ It sounds irresponsible; in fact, it’s anything but. Because that last 5 percent has an outsize impact on the guest experience, it’s some of the smartest money you’ll ever spend,” Guidara writes. as Dentist and practice owners it’s easy to get hung up on shiny objects and distractions from the goal hand. You can utilize this concept by solid management and then almost feeling like you were overspending on your best patients to enhance their experience. I’ve seen the results of this firsthand and have made it part of our 7R Relationship Action Plan that we intentionally calendar in each year.
“Unreasonable Hospitality” is filled with valuable advice for practice owners on training their teams. It teaches us the power of intention, consistency, embracing growth, and the importance of contributions. It reminds us that hospitality and excellence can coexist, and that caring for one another is crucial.
Remember these valuable lessons and apply them to your everyday business practice and life. Whether you’re part of a Clinical team, management, or volunteering in your community, being intentional, caring, and consistent as a leader will help you shine and create impactful experiences for everyone around you and send your practice to unforeseen new heights.
Have a great week!