By Larry Wintersteen, BA, MA, CMT
What would happen if each drop
Of rain refused to fall,
Or every sunbeam ceased to shine
Because it was too small?
What would happen if each day
We chose to leave undone
An act of kindness just because
It was a little one?
– Esther F. Thomas
When you read the title of this article, you may think I am going to be about Accounting. No – not at all. But, it is about ACCOUNTABILITY.
As far back as I can remember, I have been taught that ACTIONS & PEOPLE ARE THE NATURAL RESOURCE TO SUCCESS! Since 1974 I have been observing that this youth-taught principle certainly has application in the Dental Team. If the team really wants to be successful, then it is the responsibility of each team member to look carefully, kindly and thoroughly at themselves. Even though there is no “I” in the word TEAM . . . the first element of team is self mastery and self accountability. You can’t be a team player if you don’t take responsibility for your own actions, attitudes and personal self. In other words, if each team player assumes self mastery, then this circle of “ONES” will inspire and motivate the productive dreams of the entire team. One life touches another and then there is a circle of union, elevation and movement.
Naturally, you must be honest and in touch with your own feelings if you are going to develop self mastery. It is important that you assess your values and motivations in life. And more importantly, you have to determine if you are a good fit and a positive person for your dental team. The team reaps added value if individuals are good to the team and for the team. The team will never grow if you are distracting and personally taking away from the growth and opportunities of the team. If your negative habits and attitudes are throwing garbage on the team, then you will contaminate the health of your team. Don’t bring garbage behavior to work. Take responsibility to recognize your garbage and toss it out immediately.
As an individual, if you can’t help the team . . . then at least don’t hurt the team!
Do you sometimes feel that you are not in close touch with your team? That’s not unusual. It happens to all of us. We are human and we have different emotions and different days. That’s ok. But what is not ok is when we choose to consciously not be a positive part of life or the team and we inflict our weaknesses on the team. Initially, when you joined the team there is a strong chance that you worked hard at being a good team player, a giver and a helper. Then, as time goes on, the relationship becomes more and more routine and comfortable Consequently, you may choose to function alone and to set aside your other team players. If this is the case, make certain that your separated individual efforts are worthy of your personal growth and the personal growth of others. Please never think so much of yourself that you take away from others. Avoid elevating yourself, avoid gossip, avoid poisoning the well and avoid dishonesty and deception.
There is nothing so priceless as friendship or being a helper for it makes even the hardest life and job bearable. In your office you can give inspiration and direction to your team players by offering a 110% in all that you do. If each individual assumed the role of going the extra mile, then there would be a surplus of help, kindness, effort and caring. It has been very wisely said that he who carries a lantern to light the pathway of his neighbor sees more clearly his own. And I think most of us know that in trying to encourage others, we gain courage, strength and appreciation for life and opportunities. None of us like the feeling of being alone or carrying a load alone. There is certainly strength in numbers . . . . but, initially there is strength in one – YOU! Promise yourself and your team that you will
- Be Kind: Nothing is so beautiful, no quality so irresistible.
- Be Loyal: Owners and Leaders need your dedication and respect.
- Be Flexible: and learn multiple aspects of your profession.
- Be Positive and Constructive: it builds character and dependability.
- Be Without Gossip: or you will primarily hurt yourself.
- Be Tolerant & Forgiving: you may learn and discover something new.
- Be a Problem Solver: it has natural rewards and personal satisfaction.
- Be Honest With Self and Others: it’s the best policy.
- Be the Best You Can Be: and make a difference.
- Be Grateful: for your talents, gifts, and opportunities.
- Be Respected: because you are worthy of it.
- Be a Good Listener: to gain understanding and insight.
- Be “One” in Strength: and add to the circle of Excellence!
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Food for Thought
My grandmother used to tell me the story of the pig and the cow. The pig was not really liked and the cow was loved by all. This puzzled the pig. “People speak warmly of your gentle nature and your big brown eyes,” the pig said to the cow. “They think you are generous because each day you give them milk and cream. But, what about me? I give them everything I have. I give them ham and bacon. I provide bristles for brushes. They even pickle my feet! Yet no one likes me. Why is that?”
Do you know what the cow answered? She said, “Perhaps it’s because I give while I’m still living”’
The Strength of One is invaluable and appreciated by all. Don’t be a team player that is undependable or needs a baby sitter. Be mature. Your team should not have to worry about you. They should be able to count on consistent performance and mature professionalism.
Remember – a Dream Team starts with YOU . . . and You are the ONE that can make a difference!
Look to yourself for improvement and Success!