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7.4.08 Issue #330 Forward This Newsletter To A Colleague

Dr. Nancy Haller
Dentist Coach
McKenzie Management
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For a Roaring Practice, Get Some Tiger in Your Tank

An avid golfer and a San Diego resident, I was fortunate to attend the U.S. Open at Torrey Pines a couple of weeks ago. If you were there too, or if you viewed the telecast (even non-golfers tuned in!), you saw an amazing feat.

That Tiger Woods took home his 3rd U.S. Open trophy, won his 14th Major and 65th PGA Tour victory is indeed impressive. But true awe came two days later when we learned the extent of his injuries. He triumphed with a torn anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee and a double stress fracture in his left tibia! What he accomplished was small in comparison to what he overcame!

You may not be a golfer but you can learn a lot from this icon about putting some roar in your practice, especially in these turbulent economic times. Just like elite athletes, the ability to stay the course, especially in the face of obstacles, is what makes leaders great. Perseverance is the ultimate "stick-to-it-iveness" that breeds success.

What’s interesting is that we are all born with incredible perseverance. You would never have learned to walk if you didn’t get up and try it again, and again, and again. As children the only failure we knew was when we stopped trying.

Unfortunately, as humans age, we tend to give up too soon. Perhaps it is because we fear rejection or take it personally when someone discourages us. Maybe you were taught that it was wrong to take a stand, especially in the face of resistance. Perseverance and failure cannot coexist. Failure happens when you quit.

For example, the dental world is full of those who "tried" to get a practice going. After meeting with difficulty or rejections, they quit. They accepted failure and faded back into the crowd, never to be heard from again. The worst part is not that they quit their practice, but that they quit themselves.

Why should succeeding at a leadership be any easier than learning to ski or to playing the piano? We are likely to stumble at first. It's part of the learning process. Ultimately, people who persevere through the stumbling process learn enough to become successful. It's staying with it that separates the successful from the "wannabes." Remember the words of Vince Lombardi: "We never lost a game; we just ran out of time."

What’s your perseverance score? How are you currently equipped to persevere in pursuit of your dreams?

Answer the following questions on a scale of 1–10, 1 being “not at all" and 10 being perfect:

  1. Self-confidence and self-image: Do you believe in yourself?
  2. Independence in thought and action: Can you go against the crowd when you know they are wrong?
  3. Clarity of purpose and intensity of passion: Do you really know what you want? How hot is your fire?
  4. Integrity: Do your actions match your beliefs?
  5. Honest with yourself: Are you willing to address shortcomings?
  6. Ability to focus: Do you finish projects you start?
  7. Resilience: Do you bounce back quickly from disappointments?
  8. Adaptability to change in circumstances: How well do you adjust to surprises?
  9. Health: Do you have good stamina? A high energy level?
  10. The supportiveness of your family, and of your social and career environment: Do the people around you support you in your efforts to reach your goals?

Add up your scores. If you fall below 55, focus on your strengths first—the things you are doing well. Then, look at areas for development (the lowest scores).

If you fall between 56 and 69, you’re honest and that’s a good start. Now get started! What will you do to bring up your lowest category?

Did you fall between 70 and 84? If so, you’re in good shape. Identify where you can do a bit of “fine-tuning” and take your perseverance to the next level.

If you score between 85 and 94, congratulations! You are doing things right. Just don’t get complacent.

If you are between 95 and 100… well, keep up the great work! Your perseverance is at a Tiger level.

And in the words of Tiger Woods, “It’s about dealing with it and getting up there and giving your best, and seeing what happens. And there’s never any excuse. You just go play.”

If you want to break out of a slump and sharpen your game, contact Dr. Haller at She’ll help you to build confidence and develop your leadership performance.

Interested in having Dr. Haller speak to your dental society or study club? Click here.

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