I love visiting ortho practices. Not as a consultant and not as a clinician, but as a visitor. I just love watching how a team comes together and feel the energy of their practice. I mostly act as a “fly on the wall” and try to soak up the vibe of the place and learn new tricks to make my practice more effective and help myself become a better leader.
The one thing I’ve seen as a common thread between the highest achieving practices is a positive energy. People seem to run to their next task and everyone seems excited to do their job. Sure, some practices have better systems than others, but positive energy counts for a lot in the long term success of an office.
If you’re a younger clinician and ask me which is more important: Positive energy or great systems? I’d take the upbeat, positive, can-do spirit everytime. But what gets us there?
I just finished a great book, The Energy Bus, by Jon Gordon. It’s a slightly silly, short and easy to read book about how positive energy can help you change your life. It talks about the steps towards living the life and having the job of your dreams, and as you guessed, positive energy is the key.
Rule number 6 clearly reads:”No energy vampires allowed on the bus”. You know who I’m talking about. The funsuckers. The “Debbie downers”. The people who come to work in a dour mood, hoping that their schadenfreude rubs off on everyone. They whine and complain about their weekends, and tell everyone what a tough day they’re having, etc, etc, etc. But they’re good at their job and we don’t want to get rid of them. Well, the truth is that they’re dragging you down. You may have talked to them about their attitude and nothing changed. It’s time to throw them off the energy bus. I know you hope they’ll change, but a wise consultant once taught me that “underachievers tease us with their potential”. AMEN!
But Glenn, I don’t have any of the energy vampires on my team and I still don’t feel the positive vibe in the office. What’s up with that? Well, sometimes we need a good long look in the mirror, because maybe it’s us who are dragging the team down.
Yeah, I get it. Your daughter is sick, the school called, again. Money is tight. That assistant called in because of a family emergency. The phone at the office isn’t ringing with as many new patients as you’d like. The weather is grey. We have tons of reasons to be down. But suck it up and get over it and as the saying goes, “fake it till you make it” because a negative attitude is definitely not going to get you there. YOU are the leader of the team and YOU have the power and energy to turn it around. And, best of all, YOU have the ability to put a smile on your face, look at your team and say “Let’s go make a difference today. A difference for our patients, a difference for our practice and a difference for each other’s lives”. You’ll be amazed at how much power a positive leader has on the team.
I remember watching a keynote address from a pilot who survived an amazing commercial plane crash. He and his crew saved many more lives than were lost that day. He mentioned that in a cockpit, the way a crew reacts to an emergency will affect how it turns out. The term “attitude affects altitude” has stayed with me since that day.
Live your life with integrity, help other around you and have a positive, “can-do” spirit and you’ll be amazed at what happens around you. Cheer up, get your game face on and keep your team flying. Great things will happen.
Wishing you an amazing day,
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