Articles

Perspective.

Perspective.

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the birth of Ted Williams, one of the greatest hitters to ever play professional baseball. PBS and Major League Baseball recently aired a special documentary about Williams and his last four plate appearances at Fenway Park. For the last six decades, every single frame of film documenting Williams and his last at bat ever, where he hit his final of 521 home... »

The Way Forward.

The Way Forward.

On a recent monthly coaching call, an exceptionally bright client and successful orthodontist in California asked me what are the key characteristics of my top students. It’s a smart question. One I imagine Munger or Buffett might ask of a leader in any worthwhile organization. At the top of my list, resting on four or five other characteristics, was the fact that the most successful members of Bu... »

Adapt.

Adapt.

Quincy Jones has been nominated for more Grammy Awards than any other person and has won a total of twenty-seven times in ten different fields. From Children’s to Pop, Rap, Jazz, R&B, and more. He has worked with Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Duke Ellington, Ray Charles, Miles Davis and the list goes on. He produced the best-selling album of all time: Michael Jackson’s Thriller. Q, as ... »

Fox vs. Rabbit.

Fox vs. Rabbit.

John Gribbin illustrates a point in one of his books that should smack readers into attention, like a 2×4 to the forehead: “A rabbit who runs away from a fox is not competing with the fox, in evolutionary terms. It is competing with the other rabbits. The ones who run fastest and zigzag most unpredictably, will survive and breed; the ones who don’t will get eaten. The fox, of course, is in co... »

Productivity Gains.

Productivity Gains.

Paul Krugman is a Nobel Prize-winning economist. I don’t agree with everything he says, but he hit the nail on the head when he said, “Productivity isn’t everything, but in the long run it’s almost everything.” U.S. productivity gains over the last decade are 50% lower than they were, on average, from World War II until 2006. Economists and government leaders are worr... »

End the Search Quickly.

End the Search Quickly.

In training over 1,500 orthodontists and their treatment coordinators how to ethically help more new patients say “yes” to treatment, I’ve discovered several sacred-cow biases or status-quo biases that need to be killed. At the top of the list, is the excuse, “I have to go talk to mom or dad.” When consumers tell you they have to “talk to their spouse before making a decision,” they are really say... »

Something for Nothing.

Something for Nothing.

I’ll let you in on two little secrets that have forever shaped my life. They were taught to me by my parents, which were taught to them by their parents. I’ve been teaching them to my kids ever since they were old enough to listen and pay attention: You are of no good to yourself, let alone to anyone else, if you are not prosperous. You are prosperous to the degree you are experiencing peace, heal... »

How to Test Your Assumptions

How to Test Your Assumptions

Jon Fjeld is the executive director of the Center for Entrepreneurship and Innovation at Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business. He’s a professor of strategy and philosophy and used to work at Align Technology, where he helped the company prevent some serious cash burn in the 1990s. His latest article in the MIT Sloan Management Review looks at the best ways to test your assumptions. He kicks ... »

Shorten the Curve.

Shorten the Curve.

Amazon will add 120,000 new seasonal employees this year, up 20%. (Source: Wall Street Journal) What could be more impressive than Amazon’s seasonal growth data? Consider this: Amazon has reduced the on-boarding time for new warehouse employees from 6 weeks to 2 days. Automation has been implemented in every nook and cranny of their business. Something we started back in 2009 with InfusionSoft. It... »

Tireless.

Tireless.

I don’t watch much television unless I have a specific objective in mind, like reviewing the two-part biography on Walt Disney produced and aired by PBS last year or the production and writing lessons demonstrated by really good scriptwriters. One such show is House of Cards, produced by Beau Willimon, a tireless playwright. In a recent interview with The Wall Street Journal, Willimon admitted to ... »

Break a Little Glass.

Break a Little Glass.

Kevin Kelly, the co-founder of Wired Magazine, gave one of the best definitions of the word progress that I’ve ever heard. In an interview, he said, “Ever since the Enlightenment and the invention of science, we’ve managed to create a tiny bit more than we’ve destroyed each year.” He went on to explain that the problems of today were caused by yesterday’s technological successes. It doesn’t take a... »

Stop Becoming. Start Being.

Stop Becoming. Start Being.

Edward Kramer tells the story of three brick layers building a wall on a warm summer day. A stranger passes by for a moment to watch. He asks the first brick layer, “What are you doing?” Without looking up, the man replies, “I’m laying brick.” The stranger continued walking by the wall and stopped at the second brick layer. He asked, “What are you doing?” The second man slapped on some mortar and ... »

You Set the Expectations

You Set the Expectations

Ask Paul Abbot, the Executive Vice President of Commercial Payments at American Express what he thinks separates AmEx from the competition and he will give you three simple differentiators: trust, service and relationships. In an interview with CEO magazine, he said, “Service is very much the heart and soul of the company… Our customers expect exceptional service every day because that is the stan... »

Knowing Your Own Brand of Crazy

Knowing Your Own Brand of Crazy

A quick, fun read by Bryant McBride in Worth magazine recently reminded me of the story of so many of my top clients… and my own story. In 1982, after being notified by their landlord that their rent would go up from $2,000 per month to $10,000 per month in less than 60 days, Tim and Dagny DuVal scrambled to find new space in a city that didn’t have a whole lot of what they wanted. In a bad part o... »

Returning to Your Roots

Returning to Your Roots

Recently, McDonald’s announced it is switching to fresh beef after nearly 40 years of using frozen meat for their hamburgers. (Source: New York Times) The company will start with the quarter pounder, then gradually shift the entire burger menu to fresh, never-frozen beef, as they refocus on “returning to their roots” as a burger joint. Several failed attempts to introduce healthier items like smoo... »

The Latest Couponing Device: Your Car

The Latest Couponing Device: Your Car

According to Kate Kaye’s recent article in Advertising Age, the next frontier in advertising coupons is coming to a car near you. Kaye shares details on the collaboration between General Motors, their OnStar equipped vehicles and Koupon Media. “The relationship reflects what’s becoming an everyday reality for consumers: more ads in connected things, including their vehicles. Koupon helps GM ... »

Traditional TV’s Surprising Staying Power

Traditional TV’s Surprising Staying Power

A special report in The Economist examines the extremely slow changes in television viewing habits and why, as I’ve been teaching for years, it takes media decades to really change. On-line marketers have predicted the death of direct mail, email, cold-calling, radio, television and everything else that was supposed to be completed replaced by the web. Yet, here we are with television approaching ... »

The Necessity of Self-Help Lit

The Necessity of Self-Help Lit

Joseph Davis takes a unique stand against the contempt dished out by his fellow journalists and intellectuals towards self-help books and journals. Granted, there are a lot of self-help books that are peddled by “snakeoil salesmen,” as some of Davis’ colleagues demonstrate. Yet, there is a deeper lesson to be learned by the long-standing use and wide range of books and articles that have our atten... »

Mobile Advertising Trends

Mobile Advertising Trends

According to ComScore Mobile Metrix, the average 18-24 year old spends 93.5 hours per month using smartphone apps. That’s 28 forty-hour work weeks per year. Time spent on desktop and traditional media is holding steady or going down while time on mobile continues to increase. By 2018, AdAge predicts the share of internet advertising going to mobile platforms will be 53%. As of 2016, mobile represe... »

Relativism vs. Reality

Relativism vs. Reality

As The New Criterion turns 35 years old this year, editor Roger Kimball is exploring the topic of conservatism and populism. I’ve often been warned not to mix religion or politics into my coaching and consulting and I’ve equally-as-often reminded those critics that I do this for my cleft palate foundation, as a charity and as part of my mission to pay it forward and help other doctors in their pra... »

Tech Slowdown Threatens the American Dream

Tech Slowdown Threatens the American Dream

Ask anyone today about technology and you’re likely to hear about the amazing transformations happening across the board.  Silicon Valley has exponentially grown the number of tech startups and has created millions of jobs.  Here’s the only problem: today’s apps and tech startups like Nest and Alphabet’s other Google projects can’t hold a candle to the benefit indoor ... »

There’s Gold in the Old

There’s Gold in the Old

Here’s a shocker: network television continues to cling to programming that works. We’re basically seeing the faithful formulas that worked decades ago continue to succeed today. Even the popular series, Empire, is only a slight twist on the traditional soap opera format. An article in the Atlantic by David Sims reviews the trend in more detail, but below I’ve summarized the most important p... »

Make Better, Faster Decisions

Make Better, Faster Decisions

When a new client comes to me for help growing the practice, there is often confusion and frustration at the overwhelming inability to get things done. “Where do I start,” and, “How will I find the time to get everything implemented,” are the most popular questions for doctors staring at the work required to double, triple or even quadruple their annual revenue and net income. In a recent article ... »

Why More and More Companies Are Ditching Performance Ratings

Why More and More Companies Are Ditching Performance Ratings

Every year in the United States, we waste 2 million hours on performance reviews. Business and research leaders are encouraging companies to ditch the traditional performance review. In this interesting article from the Harvard Business Review, David Rock and Beth Jones explain how companies can still maintain a pay for performance culture without clinging to “forced ranking” or rating... »

What Does the Future of Digital Health Look Like?

What Does the Future of Digital Health Look Like?

Although we’re a long way off from printing complex organs via bioengineering, digital health promises to change the way patients interact with doctors, giving them more control and providing researchers and healthcare leaders greater ability to identify broad trends.  Andrew Ward provides an interesting look at the future of digital health with several trends that you should pay attention t... »

Pew Research Report on Dental Sealant Programs

Pew Research Report on Dental Sealant Programs

The Pew Charitable Trusts are often quoted and mentioned in my newsletters as sources of excellent survey data and reports on topics of interest. Recently, Pew published a report on the state of dental sealants throughout the U.S. Many states are pushing in-school programs with dental sealants placed by hygienists.  With as many variations on the programs as there are states, Pew’s in-depth ... »

Multitasking and Employee Happiness

Multitasking and Employee Happiness

– DUSTIN BURLESON, DDS In this month’s Harvard Buiness Review, Jordan Etkin and Cassie Mogilner take a look at one of my favorite pet peeves, multitasking. Years ago, when I was involved in the hiring process and actually read resumes, (we have a much more sophisticated system for seeking out great talent now) nearly every applicant listed the word “multitasking” as a job strength. If you’ve hung ... »

Culture and Your People

Culture and Your People

Container Store CEO Kip Tindell was one of the Inc. 5000 Awards Gala keynote speakers this year with a powerful message for business owners both large and small.  Conscious capitalism, as he calls it, is building a business where everyone around you thrives.  Employees, customers, vendors, share holders and the community.  It’s possible and Tindell is proving the point.  With 3 year growth o... »