Yes, Virginia, There Is a Santa Claus

“Yes, Virginia, there is a Santa Claus. He exists as certainly as love and generosity and devotion exist, and you know that they abound and give to your life its highest beauty and joy. The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see. Alas! how dreary would be the world if there were no Santa Claus. It would be as dreary as if there were no VIRGINIAS. Only faith, fancy, poetry, love, romance can push aside that curtain and view and picture the supernal beauty and glory beyond. Is it all real? Ah, Virginia, in all this world there is nothing else real and abiding.

No Santa Claus! Thank God he lives and he lives forever. A thousand years from now, Virginia, nay 10 times 10 thousand years from now, he will continue to make glad the heart of childhood.” -Excerpt from The New York Sun editorial writer, Francis Pharcellus Church’s letter published September 21, 1897 

As a young child named Virginia, this was my favorite Christmas story! This beautiful letter from the editor of the New York Sun written to 8-year old Virginia O’Hanlon may now be 115 years old, but it has certainly stood the test of time. Editorial writer Francis Church’s prediction that Santa Claus lives and will live forever is repeatedly proven in the selfless, beautiful actions of our friends and colleagues in dentistry.

We are so blessed by our wonderful dental friends!  A couple of recent examples: At this year’s Academy of Dental Management Consultants’ meeting, we learned of fellow member Charlotte Chartier’s organization Allana Smiles founded to alert dentists to the unique dental needs of cancer patients before, during, and after chemotherapy. Today, I read a post on my Facebook about Dr. Ben Burris and his Pro Ortho For Kids initiative. Many of you may know Dr. Burris as the founder of the first chapter of Smile for a Lifetime back in 2008. Who do you know doing great work to benefit our children and our world? How can we contribute and spread the word?

At this very special time of year… and especially this year, in light of recent events, let’s celebrate all the good work being done to love and care for our children in our own communities and around the world. “The most real things in the world are those that neither children nor men can see” …but we can certainly shine the spotlight on these organizations of love and on these folks on who inspire us to contribute and pay it forward. Please share the modern-day Santa Claus in your life.

Rewrite the Rules

It’s easy to tap into your inner child during the holiday season.  Once the visions of sugarplums have finished their dance, bring that ‘3-year old you’ into your business and let that child loose to ask “why?, why?, why? as 3-year olds do.

Pepper yourself and your team with questions about why you do things the way you do them. Step back, take a minute, think it through…

  • is there a better way?
  • a smarter way?
  • an easier way?
  • a less expensive way?
  • Is this guideline helping us or holding us back?
  • Is the reason for this policy even valid anymore?
  • Does this guideline fall short given all the new technology in place?
  • Does this policy apply with this new team we have?
  • Are we stuck in the past and missing opportunities?
  • Is our communication clear enough that our expectations will be met?
  • Does my team know what I need from them?
  • Does my team know how to evaluate their effectiveness?
  • Does my team have the resources, training and support they need and deserve?
  • Am I aware of all of the new federal and state guidelines that I must be following?

The quality of your answers will be a direct result of the quality of your questions. Shake things up and start 2013 off with a brand new energy! Challenge your team to come up with great questions and plan a brainstorming party. Yes, your strategic planning meeting should feel like a party as you create an energy that  excites and inspires you to build a blueprint for success in the New Year.

Objectivity can be elusive… Want help? … that’s what we do. Click here for information on our team workshops and consulting services:

“Rewrite the Rules – Don’t Just Create More Exceptions To Them” – Jeffrey Hollender  Cofounder, Seventh Generation


Plan to Work Less in 2013

“If you’re going to work hard, you might as well be working hard at working less. The real measure of success is how free you are—financially, mentally, emotionally, and spiritually—to live life the way you want to live it.”            -Great advice from T. Harv Eker

Did you know that studies show that 70% of the time businesses that struggle to meet their goals do so because they have a poor plan? Only 4% of the time does poor business performance correlate with economic conditions.

It’s a great time of year for a refresh, a new beginning. Make plans to begin your new year with a clear plan, a strategic plan in    10 Simple Steps: Here is a link to our strategic planning guide that will support you to bring your team onboard, engaged and inspired to make 2013 an outstanding year:  (

Stepping Outside of the Box

In today’s competitive business climate, it makes great sense to step outside of the small sandbox that is your dental world and learn how to lead your team in Stepping Outside of the Box with inspiration from Corporate America.

Great idea from the Westin

I love businesses that think outside the box to engage clients and exceed expectations.  The good news is that it’s really not that hard to set yourself apart. Take a look at the photo with this blog post from the Westin hotel. How great would it be to have workout shoes and clothes waiting for you at your hotel when you travel? No more squeezing your Nikes into your suitcase or worse, not being able to keep up with your exercise goals because you just can’t fit those Nikes into your carry on luggage.

If you like this idea, you’ll love my “Stepping Outside the Box” presentation on innovative ideas from Corporate America that can set your practice apart. Learn more at


Feedback Changes Everything

Doesn’t it feel great when you’re talking with someone and you can see them nod along with you.  You can tell you’re connecting. Nodding is feedback and it’s a clear signal to engage more.

At the heart of it, this is exactly what a performance appraisal should be… a conversation about personal and professional growth, challenge and the support that a team member may need to take their performance to the next level.

In the 24/7 news cycle we live in, we get instantaneous feedback in most every aspect of our lives. Twitter, Facebook, texting, mobile phone all create immediate connection and provide real-time feedback.

Think about it… what would it take for you to follow this lead and have your performance appraisals become real-time conversations that take place throughout the year?