Joe Blaes, DDS,
The founder of a highly successful company was asked what it took to succeed. "The same thing it took to get started," he replied, "a sense of urgency about getting things done." The people who make things move in this world share that same sense of urgency.
No matter how intelligent or capable you may be, if you don`t have this sense of urgency, now is the time to start developing it. The world is full of very competent people who honestly intend to do things tomorrow, but never really get around to it. Their accomplishments, however, seldom match those of the less talented who are blessed with a sense of the importance of getting started now.
I frequently am asked how I do all that I do. I am blessed with a very understanding and supportive wife. I am blessed with good health and lots of energy. I am blessed by a great team of highly skilled people in Tulsa who work behind the scenes to make me look great every month. I am not blessed with patience and often lose my cool when faced with missed deadlines and mistakes.
I am blessed with that sense of urgency that keeps me looking for the next thing to make the magazine better and to help make your practice of dentistry better.
One of the fine arts of management is the ability to communicate this sense of urgency to the people who work for you without lecturing and without being unpleasant (losing my cool) about it. Show your appreciation when they make good on their promised performance.
Many of us like to stand on the sidelines and take shots at the leaders who are out there doing things. It is fashionable these days to bash the American Dental Association.
I came across a great quote from President Theodore Roosevelt that says it all: "It is not the critic who counts, not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doers of deeds could have done them better.
"The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasm, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and whom at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."
I know a man whose dental career epitomizes this quotation. His name is Dr. Chris Mangos and he is my friend. Chris was in the class ahead of me in dental school and was one of those people who would take the time to help with a problem. That same helping attitude prompted him to serve dentistry over the years on a local, state, and national level.
Chris has not always been on the ADA side of the issues. He tends to question why. I like that. Chris practices in a rural area 30 miles from St. Louis where he grew up. You can talk to Chris and he listens. I like that.
Dentistry needs an individual with whom we can communicate, one who can unify our profession, one who wants our image to improve, and one who wants to protect the doctor-patient relationship.
I think that Chris is the person who can do all of this. He is running for president-elect of the ADA. Please tell your delegates to the ADA House that Dr. Chris Mangos is the person the ADA needs right now to lead us into this new millennium.