Create Your Game Plan
Coach Lou Holtz knows a little something about succeeding. With over 40 years of experience in coaching football, he is the only college coach to lead six different schools to bowl games and he is the only college coach to lead four different schools to the final top 20 rankings. Now retired from coaching, Coach Holtz continues to encourage others as a motivational speaker. He speaks to companies and student athletes across the country, spreading his philosophy on success. In December 2013, Coach Holtz attended Heartland Dental’s Excellence in Leadership event to address many of the company’s affiliated dentists.
In his presentation, he discussed three rules we can follow each day to further our leadership, communication and overall happiness; a game plan to live the life we want to lead. These rules encompass ideas including becoming a leader from the bottom, growing rather than maintaining, being a participant not a spectator and failing forward. So what are these rules and how can you implement them in your dental office?
- Make the right choices: Sounds simple enough, right? As obvious as this point sounds, its importance cannot be overstated. As the leader of your office, each day you have the ability to positively affect the health of others and set a positive example for team members that look up to you. By making the best choices in carrying out your daily tasks, you can accomplish great things. Choose to be a strong leader. Set specific goals for yourself and instill these goals within your team. Choose to communicate effectively with both patients and your team. Remember, it’s not only about what you say, but how you say it. Speak with energy, compassion and positivity.
- Do everything to the best of your ability with the time you have: As Coach Holtz said, "Not everyone can be an All-American or first team, but everyone can be the best they are capable of being." Take the necessary steps to achieve your potential, but don't become content. If you walk into your office one day and say, "I am fully satisfied with my current knowledge and skills," you are taking the wrong approach. Potential is limitless. There is always knowledge to gain that will help you progress both personally and professionally.
- Don’t complicate things: As dentists, it’s our main priority to satisfy patients, simple as that. In doing so, there are certainly many tasks and responsibilities to manage. Don’t let everyday problems complicate your game plan. Remember why you and your team are there: your patients. Focus this overall goal and carry it out as efficiently and simplistically as possible. Problems will always be there waiting for you each day, you can’t avoid this. But you can handle them correctly. Embrace them as challenges, face them head on and learn from them. Don’t let your problems weigh you down. Stick to your game plan.
Coach Holtz took the Notre Dame Fighting Irish to nine consecutive bowl games as their head coach. He had a game plan: he motivated his players, remained positive, made good decisions and still lives every day to the best of his ability. With a similar game plan, you can lead your team to great things as well.
Samson Liu, DDS, MAGD, Vice President of Clinical Affairs at Heartland Dental and full-time practicing dentist at mywildwooddentist.com in Wildwood, Missouri.
Since graduating dental school and the start of his career at Heartland Dental, Dr. Liu's practice has grown to a 12-chair office.