Cliff's Notes

The Business of Dentistry

Who’s On First? I Don’t Know, Third Base!


Cliff’s Notes for October 4, 2015

Cliff Marsh, Henry Schein ……Cell: 201-321-7494……Fax: 201-262-2210


The reason we do what we do, is so that we can to do what we want to do, when we want to do it!

It’s a tongue twister, but working as a team and making informed decisions, will get us there.


Who’s On First? I Don’t Know. Third Base!

Growing up in the burbs of northern New Jersey I embraced the talent of a local boy from Paterson, Lou Costello. On days that I stayed home sick, I would watch the old black & white reruns of the Abbott & Costello Show. Bud Abbott and Lou Costello were vaudeville comedians that graduated to the big screen in the mid 1940’s. One of their most famous stage routines was “Who’s on First”. If you haven’t seen it, I suggest you search it on YouTube.

The skit focused on confusion. Although you will get a big laugh, think about the real world effect of the message. Bud & Lou didn’t intend to make any business related points, it was all about the comedy, but as funny as it is we can still learn something. Do you know what your team does?

A large number of my client base is guilty of not understanding what their team members do. They don’t understand the challenges they have during the normal day. Most dental practice owners never did a receptionist job. They never acted as an insurance coordinator. That doesn’t mean they don’t know what needs to be done, it is just that they don’t understand what it takes to get it done on a day by day basis.

Did you ever sit down with your team and ask them what would make their job easier? Or, do you tell them what you want done? Maybe its time to stop teaching and start listening. All of my clients know I am a big fan of the Disney style of management. In Disney’s eyes, leadership is the key to an organizations success, and that is leadership at all levels. The magic of leadership is to get people to do what they don’t want to do and enjoy doing it. Walt Disney once said “you can build the most beautiful place in the world, but without the people (your team) on-board, it will never work”.

When looking at the landscape of my client base, the most successful practices have very attractive employee compensation plans. Think back to one of my past rants when I stated that you don’t have any employee expenses, you have investments. Invest in your team and you will attract talent. If you want people to help you make money, you have to let them make money. There are many types of com-pensation packages that work off production but remember, pay peanuts get monkeys.

As far as listening at your team meetings instead of talking, try it. Ask your team what one thing in the office would they change to make their job easier and help them be more efficient and productive, then sit back and listen (take notes). You will be amazed at how fast the team pulls together and any confusion in communication starts to evaporate. Leadership is a powerful tool, use it carefully and every action has an equal or opposite reaction. Please contact me with any questions or concerns.

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October 4, 2015 - Posted by | Uncategorized

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