by Joe Blaes
I am writing this column in early July as the weather begins to heat up in St. Louis and the humidity gets so high that a walk around the block leaves you hot and sweaty.
Summer is a great time in St. Louis, and the baseball Cardinals are doing great! At this point, they have the most wins in the majors. Pretty good for a team that all the experts thought would be mediocre this year. Three pitchers that had been written off combined to win 23 games as of this writing. I hope they are able to sustain this play for the second half of the season. I would love to see Tony LaRussa manage in the World Series.
Over the last couple of years, I finally have begun to plan vacations with family and friends. I have found that I need time away from the daily deadlines of the magazine and the practice. It is really great to get away and turn the cell phone off and read for my own pleasure, rather than always reading articles and dental books.
Vacations are a great times to be retrospective. Were you able to achieve all you had hoped to in the past few months? What could you have done differently to change some of the outcomes? Have you set your short-term goals for the next few months? This is a perfect time to do it! Maybe you can get away for a long weekend this fall and let your mind run free.
I don't know why it is, but I get some of my best ideas on airplanes — especially if I am on a flight of over two hours. I always get off the plane with six or eight pages of notes of things to do, people to call, plans to make, and some short-term goals. I guess I am lucky that I fly so much! I have noticed lately that the customer service on the airlines is beginning to improve. Someone must have figured out that the travelers would be much easier to get along with if airline people were just more friendly.
Do you have some time to do some reading? Here are some books from my summer reading list that I found to be very helpful in my dental practice.
I highly recommend Good to Great by Jim Collins. When you finish that, read Built to Last, also by Jim Collins. In terms of marketing my practice, I liked Selling the Invisible by Harry Beckwith and The 22 Immutable Laws of Marketing (Violate Them at Your Own Risk) by Al Ries and Jack Trout. Be sure you are doing the right things in customer service. Go beyond the "wow experience!"
Read What Clients Love (A Field Guide to Growing Your Business) by Harry Beckwith. Finally, get some insights into how others lead their teams to get the best results by reading Leadership by Rudolph W. Giuliani.
All this reading should get you to the end of the year, loaded with fantastic ideas for 2005. It's never to late — or too early — to plan!Joe Blaes, DDS, Editor — email: [email protected]
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