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Friday, April 27, 2012

Keeping the Horizon in Sight



By: Debra Quarles
Salt Dental Consultant
Part 2 of 2



The vision should be one that all team members agree to. The easiest way for that to happen is for you all to work together to create it. Write down all the great ideas everyone has for the future. Compose a story that utilizes each idea. When writing a vision statement use descriptive details, and use all of your senses. What do you see, feel, hear, and smell when you visualize the practice of your future? How is the office positioned in the market place? What tools and equipment does it contain? What educational opportunities are you preparing for? What does your team accomplish daily, weekly and monthly? Have each member review the story and underline anything that they personally can not agree to for any reason. Rewrite the vision and then get a verbal commitment from your team to pursue it. If team members are not interested in heading the direction you want to travel – it may be time to find other team members.

This step is about direction – not motion. But once you’ve verbally committed, (why verbally? Because people generally keep the commitments they make verbally) the next step must be about focus.

Are the things you are doing today taking you closer to your vision? If your vision is to have a practice of people who love and appreciate you, are you asking today all such patients currently in your practice to refer you their friends and family? If your vision is to create a practice where patients are accountable for their appointments – what are you doing to establish that accountability today? If you want to be known for something, what are you doing to create that recognition? While the vision is about direction – start taking the necessary steps now to implement it. Remind yourself and your team frequently to take a breath, refocus and review what they’ve accomplished each morning, each afternoon and each day that is moving them toward the vision. Your actions today are what will enable you to realize your vision.


Your brain when you start writing down your vision may tell you this is silly, you can’t have that. You will fail. Our brain wants us to minimize stress, avoid pain and pressure, and consequently resist change. Play safe so we don’t have to worry about failure.
Do not listen to that part of your brain. It was designed to protect you from lions and tigers and bears, oh my, but now it may prevent you from enjoying the idea of accomplishing impossibilities.

Think about all the impossibilities: Man will never fly. Man will never go to the moon. There is a need for no more than 5 computers in the world. No one will buy a computer for their desk. Who would want to carry a phone with them all day? Who would pay for overnight delivery of a package? These were all ideas that were thought to be impossible.
Impossible is not a fact or truth. It really is only an opinion.

What are the impossibilities that you see for your practice? How far is your horizon? Five years? Ten years. Twenty or 100?

One team I work with as a coach developed their ten year vision, but the team members were so excited about the vision that they asked their doctor if they could change it to a five year vision. How’s that for team commitment?

Remember, like the pilot flying the helicopter, always keep the horizon in sight.

If you would like more information, please contact us at info.saltdpm.com

This article was originally published by Tri-County Dental Society Bulletin

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