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February 24th, 2021

A Plan that Works (Part2) with Christine Uhen & Stacy Deemer

As a small business owner its all to common to be swallowed up in the day-to-day and lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s why we are sharing proven methods to make sure your plan is implemented. The great news is all the support you need is available around you when you know where to look! So today we dive into:

  • Leveraging your team
  • Surrounding yourself with trusted advisors
  • Building redundancy to ensure success


REGAN: Good day, Regan Robertson here co host of everyday practices. Today we dive into the second part of our interview with business strategist, Christine Uhen and success advisor Stacy Deemer. Last week, we talked about the power of harnessing a strategic business plan and how working the plan supports your effort in building a valuable business. As a small business owner, it’s all too common to be swallowed up in the day to day and lose sight of the bigger picture. That’s why today we’re sharing proven methods to make sure your plan is implemented well.

\And the great news is all the support you need is right around you when you know where to look. So let’s dig into how you can leverage your team surround yourselves with trusted advisors, and how to build redundancy in to ensure success. Let’s get started!

Wow, Stacy, listening to what Christine said brought up some interesting thought bubbles in my head. And one of them is being what I hear constantly from many small business owners as being stuck in the day to day, the topics that were just covered right here with comprehensive diagnosis and, you know, doing the SMART goals and being is that something that you would define, when you meet doctors initially? or most of them like that are most did they consider that part part of the day to day, you know, make sure to diagnose differently? Or where do they when they get to you? Where are they at?

STACY: When they get to me they’re in a chaotic mindset. So it’s really bringing clarity and deciding, okay, let them talk, let them discover, let’s ask the questions, let’s get to the symptoms, let’s get to their wise, let’s see where they want to go. And as they become more clear, and a little less chaotic, then we can start having those deeper conversations.

But oftentimes, you know, like I said, when when there’s chaos, you don’t know where to begin, because you do have all those spinning plates. And so as we start uncovering those layers, and you come become more clear, the doors to what is possible, really does open up. And that is a beautiful thing, because now we’re starting to balance what their goals are. Not only what we’re looking at their profits, but we’re looking at the people, the team that surrounds them, the patients that are coming in making sure they’re having a fantastic experience. What is their purpose? And are they in their passion. And once we put all of those things into balance, and we start talking about those goals, it really gives a different path of clarity. To know where to start.

REGAN: How do you do? How do you do it? I know I’m not supposed to ask how questions, but really, how do you get somebody to take a stop and and be calm? I know for me personally, it’s taken a lot of support. So I don’t know that in my personal career trajectory that I really planned. I don’t I don’t think that I planned to get to a point where I needed to say I needed advisors and I need support around me. I don’t know why I didn’t think that way.

I I guess I felt like I could just fly on my thermals. And I would just be fine. And I could pick up a book and do a DIY and then I realized very quickly No, you need advisors around you you absolutely This is new to you just like it is new for many small business owners. So how do you do that? How do you get them to neutralize right away? Is there a secret that you ask them Is there like a little snapping of the fingers?

STACY: There’s no real secret sauce other than listening, really taking that time out when when a doctor decides or anyone decides to take that first step enough is enough calling a timeout, so to speak. And leaning into somebody leaning into that trusted advisor. And opening up the dialogue being fully transparent. really helps uncover what’s going on under uncovers those symptoms. It’s getting into trust, just like a new patient coming in. You may not really know all that is going on until you start uncovering. You know take those x rays take the health history And start mapping out what the what the symptoms are mapped to the mouth width or the body, the holistic approach. And then it really is mapping it all together.

REGAN: I think that’s really interesting. That’s very well said, Stacy. Let’s talk results. Let’s talk results. Chad, I’m gonna put you in the hot seat, though right away. I want to share some I want to share some confidential anonymous, like Doctor stories with Christine and Stacy and they’ve come prepared, but I’m going to ask you first.

CHAD: Great.

REGAN: What have you What have you experienced so far in in your planning process with your experience? Now with evergreen planning? I mean, I know I’ve we’ve I’ve got to watch you explode from one practice to multiple practices and kind of been a fly on the wall through your ups and downs in your journey. What is it done for you so far?

CHAD: I feel like our team has more harmony. Because I have clarity, harmony, I think those would be the two key words to it, that when I made a spreadsheet, and said, here’s our goals, here’s who’s in charge of it, here’s when I want it done by and you know, and then I would move the the task from red to yellow to green on whether it was you know, subjectively, like have we completed it and when I had it, tasks to be completed. And then as I was going through the goals, I felt like as I was assigning a lot of people, you know, certain tasks and delegating and stuff like that. All of a sudden, about two weeks into our three week, two weeks into our three month plan. We were almost done. And, and I was like, wait a second shoot, you know, so like, I was like, that’s the cool thing. Now we can coast maybe for the next month or two almost done.

REGAN: With what with hitting goals?

CHAD: Yeah, with our three month goals in two weeks. Yeah.

REGAN: : I mean, that’s like you created more time.

CHAD: Yeah, I bet I bet within two weeks I was done with I bet I was done with 75% of my goals. And just so people know, like, on my last three month goals, I had about 36 actionable items to get done. And so we got done with that, within a couple weeks, 75% of it. And so like the last, let’s just say like the last eight or 10 of them, I took the next month to take care of and then I, you know, follow like circle back.

And I thought to myself, Okay, are we actually done with that? And have we completed that to full satisfaction. And so some of them, you know, I write an email to an associate candidate. And then I followed up with them, you know, like, Hey, how are you feeling about this or that and, you know, to hear back from them, because I had checked off that I had emailed, you know, this associate candidate about a position. And then I thought, well, you know, I suppose I could circle back and just, you know, follow up with them. So I would go back into this. And then some of them, I thought, you know what, I actually purposely want to table that for a little while, because I don’t think it’s really important right now to be it’s almost, and one reason why I was talking with a buddy.

And I thought there’s no use of me completing that goal, where I’d have legal fees associated with it, I need to talk with him first, to figure out Should we go in together on that. So it’s almost a waste of money for me to complete that task just yet. But that was what was going on. In my head. I just felt like my team. Like, as soon as I started hammering this out, I invited them into the Google spreadsheet that we had for it. And then I would assign the tasks and whatnot. And then they could also see which KPIs were the most important for each office to be taken care of.

Everyone kind of knew their role, and it broke it down into more specific, doable things. So that’s the that’s the smart part about it was that as we were making it more specific, and measurable, and achievable and relevant and timely, and there’s different, you know, smart words or whatever, but really, whatever you want to use for those, I would ask myself is this it? Well, for example, we started with one of my goals, that I would have the PDA systems in place. Now that’s not a SMART goal. And if people if the listeners.

CHRISTINE: My mind just blew I’m like that. That was one goal.

CHAD: Yes. So in other words, whole PDA way, right? Yes. So I know so what’s funny is I was just I mean, that’s a goal.

CHRISTINE: It’s a great goal, but is it is it a SMART goal, like is it measurable? Is it is it broken down? into achievable tasks.

CHAD: And so when I looked at that I was like, But see, I wouldn’t have come up with that. Without spelling out the dumb way, you know, like, like my first way of just saying, well, it is a goal. So I’m going to put it on paper. Now it becomes, well, I can I can work against it, or for it, or whatever, you know, like, I can think about it. And I can figure out okay, what what am I trying to say there? If I have my team looking at this and going PDA systems in place? Well, yeah, we’ve got those in places like, No, you don’t even know. Like, we have five of them in place, but we don’t have 15 of them in place, or whatever, you know.

CHRISTINE: And again, question of done.

CHAD: Yeah, done done, man. And so basically, that started the evolution of saying, what systems and who’s in charge of that system? And how often should we evaluate that system. And boy, if that doesn’t take me the next five or 10 years, I don’t know if that’ll be a two year plan to get done with but but having put it down, I think everyone then was more clear on No, I’m, I’m marking this down, as opposed to just saying, Hey, we should work on that. And then a year later, saying, I thought we were gonna work on that.

CHRISTINE: We didn’t say we were gonna well, and I think and again, just to add to what you were saying, I want to recognize a very strong leadership principle that you mentioned, we, my team, we, my team, we, they, you aren’t doing this alone.


CHRISTINE: And you are recognizing what to delegate who to delegate to, when to check in with them, the detail you put into that spreadsheet is beyond impressive. But the conceptually, this is don’t break your arm patting yourself on the back are so funny. But conceptually, you know, that is a really strong message that this is, and I think that’s important for dentists to think about too, as Stacy has, has said, you know, they wear so many hats, you know, and they are so many things, their CEO, cmo, CFO, CEO, dentist, therapist, and on the side, I might be a husband, Dad, you know, son, uncle, all that stuff.

So female side to that too. But the just the whole, the understanding that they don’t have to do it alone. So from a leadership perspective, recognizing the value of your team, empowering your team, giving them the details, and then the tools and support to get there, which accomplishes the whole offices goal. So that’s I just wanted to recognize that that’s something too I think many dentists just feel very alone. Yeah. And, but your description of how you shared your vision, shared your goals, asked for help helps them get there. I think it’s a great model.

CHAD: Right. And, and, and what’s cool is I made a few subsequent charts. And then I would say, Maddie, you’re in charge of this chart. Dr. Emily, I want you to fill out once a week, you know, to put in the the weekly stats for this chart on how the doctors were doing on case acceptance. And then she would write back and say, which kind of case acceptance, I’d be like, good question, you get what I’m saying. So as we’re thinking out.

And so it like when I thought I was I was clear. Come to find out I’m not. And you know, so just bouncing it back and forth. In other words, we don’t have to be the dictator that does everything. And if you are, you’re, you’re struggling a lot more than you need to be. So I was just kind of curious, Stacy, you had a doctor that went through a lot of development of his leadership skills over the last year. Can you kind of tell me about him? I mean, we’re, we’re gonna leave it at a at him anonymous.

REGAN: But you know, I think you you know who we’re talking about from, from us just chatting before recording early. So imagine you as a new young business owner, purchasing a practice that came with a team that came with patience, pre COVID. And knowing the direction you’re going to that was this doctor. And where do you begin? And then fast forward a little bit COVID hits offices shut down. You’re a new business owner. You have a new team, and you have patients, where do we begin?

That is a lot of pressure for a doctor to to take on the weight on his world, you know, young doctor, two kids, young family, and a lot of spinning plates. So really watching him developing his leadership skills, developing his vision, developing, where he wants to go, leading with the end in mind, and then leaning in for support. How do you get there really started, he really started developing clarity. And I keep sensing and I keep hearing that word come up. As we’re talking today.

Chad, you mentioned it several times is, you know, once you hit this goal, will I hit this goal within seven weeks? And I’ve got x amount of weeks left? I feel like am I done? Or do I get more clear, like Christine said, when is done. And that’s exactly how this doctor started performing as as he starting his developing his leadership skills, he became more clear, and with clarity became he became more confident. And as you become confident as a leader, you’re able to put that out into your team, and your team senses that you’re you’re feeling the joy of being an owner. And the team feels that so they know where you’re going. And you’re putting that the steps along the way, it’s a lot easier for a team to know where they’re going than always being on their heels reacting to what you want to happen.

They can be that one step ahead. I’m sure Chad, you have that that wonderful assistant who’s already got the room setup, or as you’re sitting there, she’s already handing you that instrument where you’re not even asking, that’s always getting that team involved by getting them one step ahead. And it really shifts the mindset of the entire team bringing more joy and purpose into what they’re providing to get to those goals as a team. Well, we haven’t really see this person really ugly.

CHAD: No, I was just gonna say we’re even talking about parenting with another couple last night. And it’s just like, you know, you can do it the hard way, and take 30 minutes to do you know, the chore of cleaning the room, you know, or, you know, could really take two minutes, if you just did it, if you just owned it, you know, you could get and sometimes I just realized that when we’re clicking when everything’s firing the way that it should, you know, pistons are going to move a lot better when they’re working in harmony.

But if they’re working against themselves, if if they could say Ouch, and that hurts, you know, they’d be screaming all the time. You know, like, Oh, this hurts. It’s like, yeah, you guys aren’t even firing together, all you’re doing is firing, but that doesn’t work together. And then as soon as you do fire together, it’s like it actually is easy, like machines are, are meant to work well. And when they do work, well, all of a sudden, it’s just like, well, this is like the day actually went easy.

REGAN: What’s driven with a purpose? Yeah, not just energy for energy sake, but it has a focus and an intent that goes with that.

So when you were talking Stacy with this, this guy about, you know, setting up his his plans and stuff like that? What were what were some of the things that that he ran across as far as problems? Or did he? I mean, did he run across problems in in, in enacting his plan?

STACY: Oh Yeah. Um, like anything, there’s always obstacles attend to getting in the way, and knowing how to go around them, get through them or get support up and over them is was key. Do I get rid of my team? Do I get a new team? Those are questions that constantly came up? Are they trainable? Or is it me? So there were a lot of those questions that that kept coming up. And again, it’s like, if I react here and get a new paint new, a new team, what’s what’s if I act here and get a new team, what’s the reaction on the other side, it may put your your existing patients into a lack of trust, because those patients know that team. So it’s really being clear on knowing what actually is going to happen from the reaction that you want to have happen. But knowing you’re leaning into the trusted advisor, like I said, those obstacles do come up and it says questions of, of what to do next, how do I optimize my team?

Did you have to ask him to get more smart on his SMART goals? I mean, like, in a nice way, like, okay, so you want I just what I’m wondering is, is that kind of universal? Or is it just me that?

STACY: Yeah, it is really getting clear. It is it is what are the goals? What is the Why? What is the purpose? Who do you want to be the authority in in your practice? As I’m what’s your vision? Yeah, and aligning your team. And it kind of shakes itself out along the way. But as you become clear, you get that confidence to lead the team. Who wouldn’t want to follow somebody who knows where they want to go?

REGAN: Right.

CHRISTINE: Well, if I can add to that, Stacy, I think you do such a good job when we’re, you know, we’re so we’re so we’re here to help and you you, you’re introduced to a new doctor and you you show that We care, you know, the relationship that you build, you know, is just incredible. And that and what they share about their why, and knowing what their Why is. And from the coaching and consulting and strategy standpoint, this is how the team then helps the Dodger handle those obstacles. Right?

If we revisit that way we revisit the impact that they want to have, and how, as you say, their steps in their their actions, their intent is what drives their why’s and the impact that their actions have is where it can cause and trigger those reactions. So when we keep the doctor refocused on their wise, when they do have questions or challenges, or does this help you get where you want to go? That’s the question to get them re How does this How does this contribute to your why your purpose, your goal, and that’s also how they lead their team, that to get them behind that why and if the team’s not in alignment with them. That’s where the training opportunity is.

That’s what the doctors can learn to bring their teams into alignment with where they want to go. And it becomes very clear when team is or isn’t in alignment. And it’s it’s it’s an easy obstacle to overcome, if they want to be in alignment. And if they don’t, it’s an easier way to say I think you can find somewhere else to be happy. Right? So doctors, yeah, doctors leadership skills often are simple. It’s not simple. It’s simple, but not easy to get the team in alignment. So that measurement of alignment with the team. And that is where, you know, the coaching support is there, the trusted advisor position of helping them understand how to get their team to move with them if they want to.

CHAD: You know, I’d like to point out to that, I think, as a doctor owner, I’ve fallen in and out of harmony with teams by I think that I’ll stop and refocus and say, Okay, I’m not communicating well, with my team, I’m going to be more intentional about communicating with my team, here I go. And then I finally get them to communicate and I’m communicating meaning that you know, they’re listening, I’m speaking, they’re speaking back and I’m listening, I’m you know, that we’ve got this full communication going both ways. Now we’re in harmony together.

It’s like, Alright, you know, there’s joy going on. And then I’m like, Alright, we’re in harmony, let’s work. And then we work and work and work and plug and chug, and plug and chug, and, you know, it’s like driving a car, you know, like, a super long distance. And all of a sudden that some fan belt breaks. It’s like, Wait a second, it’s not supposed to break. We already fixed the car. But it’s, it’s the done principle, you know, like, where it’s like it, we took it to a mechanic and we got fixed. And we’re done. So now we should be able to work forever. You know, like, just hardcore, let’s work. And then all of a sudden someone’s like, but I just don’t feel like you’re appreciating me. It’s like, no, I appreciated you, like five years ago when I hired you.

But it’s along those lines where like, I have to, I have to then go back and say, crud, we’ve got new people, we’ve got new problems, I need to re establish good communication and good leadership. So in other words, I fall in and out of, I think I should say, my team falls in and out of love with me.

Yeah. And it’s, it’s, it’s, it’s maybe some of their fault, but it’s for sure my fault. You know, like, I don’t care about the blame. It’s just we start the one of the ends to it is that we’re working on, you know, firing on all cylinders. So when we finally get there as the doctor owner, it’s like, Great, let’s start driving. And we’re gonna we’ve got to make up time and so we’re gonna speed up and you know, and then you start speeding up to make up time and you know, for your destination and you have to remember Wait a second, it’s not just about the destination, it’s about the you know, getting there. And yeah, the journey and the wear and tear think about that to the heights right about your high performance Formula One racecars? How often did they get checked?

CHRISTINE: Chad, are you the guy who doesn’t check his oil regularly?

CHAD: I mean, my regular old you know, six five gets its oil changed every you know, 5000 miles, but though, like clockwork, I want to say but also to those high performance vehicles. I mean, they go around the track a few times they got to get checked. They Revit such a high speed those none lug nuts I’m not even sure what they’re called, but the things need to get tightened lug nuts. stuff. doesn’t look right. I’m clearly not a mechanic. You get my point. In a high performing dental practice that just where everything comes together and is living at high speeds that needs attention.

REGAN: Let’s take that, you know, so so those racecars come in multiple times per race changing tires, how many times have you changed tires multiple times a day? Never. And you shouldn’t. I mean, you’re you’re not performing at the same level, and you’re not going the same distance. So it’s not just a quality, it’s a quantity issue. But you know, yeah, we should be if we want to be high performance, then I suppose we should have high performance maintenance for our team as well and high performance service to our team not and I’m not talking about like customer service, I’m talking about, you know, like, are we serving our team? to have them be the best that they can be for a high performance outcome?

CHRISTINE: Right? When exactly, so it’s the it’s the investment back into What’s got you Where you go? Where are you going, right, your team is a huge investment in your business, your systems are an investment in your business, your your equipment, your it all of that all of those need checking in on, right. So again, I think that’s a nice cycle back to the the 90 days and the Evergreen revenue cycle. So as we change our model, we have to make sure everything’s nice and tight and working well together, that includes your team that includes your equipment, that includes your, your messaging, your communications, your lug nuts.

CHAD: I’ll never live this down.

REGAN: I’m seeing a pattern here. I’m definitely seeing a pattern. Thank nice, full, full round circle, you brought us around. Christine, thank you for that. It sounds to me, like you know, successful business owners, successful dentists, and and as leaders as well, they have a willingness to take a second look, they have a willingness to ask why and, and not let things run on autopilot. And doing that periodically. So it’s not a one and done. And I’ve heard I, you know, I’ve heard Bruce and Victoria say often, you know, go back to basics. And write sometimes you have to go back to basics. But really, I think you have to go back to basics. Fewer times if you’re willing to maintain and keep going and we’ll have that willingness to take a second look.

CHRISTINE: And keep tightening things as you go right. It’s like the maintenance as you go and the improvements as you go and just doing things a little bit differently a little bit better is how you grow. It’s that slow and steady concept right? There is no instant fix for for losing weight and keeping it off. It is it is the good old basics of eat less or workout more, right? It’s mathematical calories in calories out. So you know that’s that’s one of those back to basics. That’s that’s a foundational piece that isn’t going to change. So yes, there is a lot of foundational information in what we do in a dental office and how we maintain that business to good foundational structure systems and checking in on that over time.

REGAN: That also reminds me as you were talking about growing, it just kind of rang a bell that if we put a seed into the ground and said I watered it and it’s like that was six months ago.

CHAD: And done!

CHRISTINE: It doesn’t count, you know, but you know, as opposed to continuing nurturing, I think that might have been the word that I was looking for with your team. Are you nurturing them along the way?

REGAN: This has been enriching. Thank you, Christine. And thank you Stacy, for joining us today for this really enlightening conversation done is not done. Let’s take a second look and and water consistently.


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