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Episode 92 – Requested Replay: From Good to Great, Part 4

“The narrative has shifted from fix my team, to help me not be a burden to my team.”
– Dr. Victoria Peterson

If you’re one of those doctors who has great ideas and wants to do 15 things at once, this might be your episode.

Have you ever thought that the problem keeping you from your goals…just might be you?

Look I get it. I am a visionary leader. I see the puzzle pieces and how they fit together. The problem is my vision is usually 5-10 years down the road. My challenge is how do I bring that vision into the present and make it happen.

Because, as you know, every good idea takes team time and resources. 

Today I’m sharing a secret that will allow you to achieve the incredible in your Investment Grade Practice without burning out…and its stewardship. So join me today to explore:

  • What stewardship really means in your business
  • What team behaviors show you about the state of your stewardship
  • The 3 aspects of stewarding your Investment Grade Practice

Want to know if you have an Investment Grade Practice? Click here to use the completely free Investment Grade Practice calculator: What’s my IgP Freedom Number?

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Victoria Peterson
Hey, leaders, have you ever noticed that you just might be the problem? Hi, I’m Victoria Peterson, your host for Investment Grade Practice. And boy is that a question I asked myself a lot. I am a visionary leader, I am the one that can see the puzzle pieces and how they come together. My thinking however, though, is usually five to 10 years into the future. My challenge is how do I bring that into the present and make it make sense. My partner, Dr. Bruce Baird is highly ADHD. He has 5000 thoughts for all of his 5000 thoughts, and so together, we could run a pretty chaotic company coming up with what ifs and down the lines and the only thing that saves us, believe it or not, is self-discipline. Now if you know myself, or you know, Bruce, that’s probably not two words that you would put together for us but it really does come down to that and we’re going to talk about that as one of your success secrets today, in building an Investment Grade Practice, I frame discipline through the lens of stewardship. For me, that’s a more palatable belief system is that I am a great steward of resources. So whenever I’m too far into the future, Bruce and I have dreamt up another crazy idea, we try now to keep that behind the curtain. We don’t publicize that to the whole world. We don’t publicize it to our whole team because it acts as a distraction. So one of the things we really focus on stewarding is the time and the resources because every great idea takes a lot of time and a lot of resources. So Theodore Roosevelt once said, “With self-discipline, most anything is possible.” So if you’re one of those high achievers want to do 15 things all at once kind of doctor, this might be your episode. In fact, just recently a couple of doctors that the narrative has shifted from fix my team to help me build systems so that I don’t become a burden for my team and help me develop the discipline to live within those systems so that I could be a more productive member and I think it follows the lines of the more discipline you become, the easier life gets. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, all the great athletes, they got there not because of their talent alone, but because they were committed as a disciple of the sport. So discipline and disciple are, come from the same root word. So can you be a disciple into your own self-respect, into your own authority? Can you be disciplined in your commitment to yourself to fulfill your dreams? Okay, I know that got a little philosophical, but let’s make it more practical. With stewardship, self-governance,discipline, what happens is your business becomes quite boring and maybe to put that in a better framework would be better business becomes predictable, predictable hiring and onboarding and HR equals less drama. Predictable diagnosis, increases predictable care. Predictable scheduling balances or energy, predictable collections gives you peace of mind and that is just golden for all business owners. But what does it take to create that predictability? And, yes, systems are great, but you will blow through every system until you mature. I’m gonna boldly say that word whether you’re 35 or 55, if you’ve not emotionally matured, if you haven’t done the inner work to cast off whatever demons you might be carrying, and I, I suspect we all carry a few from childhood, dental school, wherever it came from disciplined in our own emotions, understanding what trigger us because when we allow our emotions to rule then we lose our our emotional intelligence, right? And so emotional intelligence give us things like the ability to read the room and if you’re married, your spouse has probably said that once or twice, “Hey, read the room, you just boiled in here and we’re in a different mindset, we’re in a different conversation.”

Not being disciplined in your emotions also decreases your empathy, your ability to actively listen to others, your ability to be open to other points of view. Typically, when we’re a highly charged emotional state, we’re in our fight-or-flight or amygdala and when that happens, we lose our mental capacities. So if you study neuroscience, if you study brain psychology at all, when we’re in our executive brain, we’re in our prefrontal cortex. This is more of our sage mind. So think about all of the sensei and martial arts, you know, they’re very zen-like, that is really your executive brain and if you can make your decisions from this mental space of peace, calm and clarity, nine out of 10 of your decisions are going to be great and it all begins with getting your emotional life, your emotional house in order. Lots of resources out there from life coaching to emotional intelligence coaching, reading the book, taking the test. Shirzad, Charmaine Shirzad, who wrote the Positivity Quotient, it’s one of my favorites, and I can get you the resource on that. It helps you understand your internal self-critics, your internal self-guidelines and I know this is crazy, we’re talking about building an investment grade practice and once again, I’m talking to you the leader, how are you disciplined? How are you in stewardship to your goals? Once you have a disciplined mind, you know where you’re going, you’re making executive decisions from a sage brain not fight or flight or freeze brain, you’re not making decisions out of fear, you’re emotionally checked, then you can go in and build systems that are going to be durable, that are easy. Great, that is that. we just onboarded. I said, “What’s your philosophy care? And it was, it’s easy, be easy. When patients come in on their first visit. Don’t go in there and scale them to bloody hell and make them refuse to come back. Make things easy for the patients, make it easy for your team. That’s my fundamental for systems. It should be only as complex as needed to get the job done and not one step further. So what brings ease to your practice? Is it a laminated preflight checklist of every step of the procedure? I love that when I was an assistant, I worked for an office in Atlanta, and we every step was meticulously checklisted, so if the Ecevit was blue, we had a blue paintbrush that went with it, the pink one had a pink paintbrush. It was all there and if an assistant had to leave the room, she checked the box on where they left off in that procedure, and someone else could replace her knowing exactly where to pick up without a word. Those are easy, predictable, repeatable systems and those can be built when you’re in this mindset of stewardship. When you’re in the mindset of how do I make my handoffs as smooth as possible, and what would facilitate it? But I also want to talk to you about, I guess, stewardship of a company. Once I get out of my “How do I steward myself through this thing called life so that I attract top talent that want to be a part of the company?” How do I actually steward the company? And in that is a different mindset than entitlement. And I know I’m preaching to the choir here. I’m sure if you’re listening to this, you don’t fall in this category. But old frameworks of leadership were authoritarian, I say you do, why are you questioning me? I am, I am literally the god of this kingdom. So the authoritarian top-down, do as I say, not as I do, man is getting called into question in these days and times. It’s an entitlement piece and I’ll just share with you my experience is if you feel like your team is showing up as dramatic, whining, complaining, entitled people, look in the mirror, because it is always a reflection of the leadership and that sounds so harsh, but I don’t mean it to but it’s a tough lesson for leaders. So Victoria, how do I show up and not just be a doormat, right? I’ve got to have control, I need to yell at people to get things done and that is true. You can yell at people and things will get done.

Victoria Peterson 11:44
And when you do that, just know that you will be yelling at people for the rest of your life, because you’re crushing self-esteem, yours and theirs. You are crushing their incentive for wanting to grow and make mistakes. So in stewarding the company, here’s my three things. Number one, be thoughtful, be thoughtful and mindful, have a caring attitude, and think about stewarding the gifts and talents. So you have been blessed you get to lead amazing people and doing fantastic things. So how can you nurture and steward and bring out the best in people? How can you nurture their talents, and gifts? We talked about that in the last episode of simply asking them what resources they need. The second piece is fiduciary. So a lot of doctors don’t give themselves time in their week to even work on the administrative function. Once you get above your profitability incentive point, you know, you’re paying your bills, you’ve got a 15% EBITA, you’re moving to a 20% EBITA net profit. I think is not only a blessing and a gift, but it’s mandatory. Give yourself a Wednesday afternoon or Friday morning, it is dedicated to administrative time. As a leader, you are fiduciary to the company, for its profitability for its viability for its long-term vision. That takes time and I would encourage you stop doing that on nights and weekends. You can’t do it at nine o’clock at night on a webinar, you’ve got to bake in time, time to meet with your practice administrator, time to meet with your CPA time to meet with your business advisors time to meet with your landlord time to meet or the IRS, all of those things. So stewardship is thoughtfulness. Stewardship is fiduciary and fiduciary is accountability. So at the end of the day, you’re accountable. Every person on the team is on the team, because you invited them there and you continue to invite them to be a part of it. If there’s anyone on your team that shouldn’t be on your team, you’re accountable for that because it’s within your authority, and typically, if you’re a small business owner, your authority alone to hire and fire. So take accountability for that, and then go back through this filter of there’s no defects in people only in systems, where have we not been a good steward of this talent? Where were we not a good steward of these resources? Because typically, you can trace it back to a poor hiring decision, a poor training, or missed conversations along the way that would have corrected the behavior. So as soon as you understand that, go back and correct it. You are accountable for your assets. If you’re $200,000 in debt, you’re freaking out, you have no idea how to pay your bills, tough pill to swallow, but you got to figure out which decisions did you make along the way that got you here today and how can you without shame because every entrepreneur has been here. In fact, Donald Trump has made millions going bankrupt over the years, he wrote a whole book about using bankruptcy as a business strategy long before he became president. So wherever you are in your entrepreneurial journey with financial assets, it goes up, it goes down and you weather the storm. So being appropriately accountable for that is one of the pieces of great stewardship, you’ve signed up for the big risk, because you want the big reward. Building an Investment Grade Practice takes courage, it takes the ability to, you know, draw in a deep breath and say, this is where I’m winning, man, this is awesome. And this is where I’m a little off the mark. Because at this level of the game, it’s usually not the big things that are off, it’s the small things and as a leader and as a good steward, you start tuning into situations long before they become a problem, so that you can be proactive and being a great steward of your time, of your talent, and of your assets and your money. Thanks again for tuning in this week for this episode of Investment Grade Practices. I look forward to chatting with you again next week.

Narrator 16:17
Thank you for tuning in to this episode of Investment Grade Practices podcast. If you find value in this episode, help us spread the word by passing it along to a dental friend, subscribe and give us a Like on iTunes or Spotify. Learn more about building your Investment Grade Practice at Today

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