I heard Pam Peterson, our lead ToPS Practice Advisor, quote the first dentist she ever worked for years ago, Dr. Nate Hudgins: “A dentist who has him or herself as a dentist has a fool for a dentist.” Just like a brain surgeon would never perform surgery on himself, it does not make sense to think that you could do a quality job on yourself either, even if it is not brain surgery.
But let’s take that thought a step further, “A dentist who is his or her own advisor/coach, has a fool for an advisor.” Let’s face it, you can’t be objective about your own work, practice, or life for that matter. You are too close to it. You can’t see what others might see objectively.
Case in point, a little while ago, we spent a few days out of town, behind closed doors at the hands of a strategic planner who helped us look at our own business with a new set of eyes. Granted, I was familiar with the process he used and I knew exactly where he was going. But there was something different about having someone else guide the process than my guiding the process. I was in a different frame of mind. The biggest benefit was the things that we would tend to skim over and take for granted. We were invited to drill down, analyze and think from a different perspective. In many cases, it was work that I would not have taken the time to do unless someone objective had been at my side holding my feet to the fire, asking all of the difficult questions, waiting for me to answer, and not being satisfied until the answer was complete and comprehensive.
So, who is your advisor or coach? Or are you trying to do it yourself? I am always amazed at the results that come back from ToPS practices where a ToPS Practice Advisor is involved, guiding the process, asking the difficult questions, and challenging the entire team to new levels of success. Often times, we will allow someone else like a ToPS Practice Advisor to do things that we would not have the courage to do ourselves. We all need a push, a challenge, encouragement, and a new perspective. The right advisor can provide a HUGE return by guiding the process that will help us get further, faster than we would ever get on our own.
Don’t be your own dentist, and don’t be your own advisor. The person who has him or herself as his only advisor, has a fool for an advisor!