The Monday Morning Quote #64

As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.

~John Fitzgerald Kennedy

The Weekend Read – The Starbucks Experience

51P2oJuJdUL._SL125_(This review first went out in More Profit in Less Time in October 2007.)

….I took myself off to the closest bookshop to Rees Acres, that being ‘Waterstones’ in Literature Festival, Cheltenham, bought the book and settled down in the coffee shop within the bookshop. Now this coffee shop is a branch of Costa Coffee (owned by Whitbread plc) and I was able to contrast my experience with the aims contained within the book. Nicky served me my large Latte after a nameless one had taken my order and my money whilst studiously avoiding eye contact.

As Nicky held my cup in her left hand, she went through a routine with her right hand. First she wiped her nose with the back of the hand, then ran the hand across the coffee ground container; that done she straightened her glasses and adjusted her hair before returning to the machinery and turning the tap off, mixing my drink and handing it to me. This all done with neither eye contact, obviously it’s company policy, nor any more acknowledgement of my existence than to tell me that what she was plonking in front of me was “Large Latte”.

My response of “Thanks very much Nicky” seemed to be such a shock that I felt I had somehow slapped her. Still no eye contact though, the training has obviously worked. I sat myself at an empty table and tried to ignore the crying babies and the moaning of the Daily Mail wives. However I was marginally distracted by the pigeons pecking around my feet. Presumably the birdlife is permitted or even encouraged, the crumbs on the floor can’t have all accumulated there in just one morning, in order that the non-smoking customers inside the shop can experience something of the al-fresco atmosphere that the smokers enjoy.

To the book, I haven’t finished it yet but do thoroughly recommend it. The highlights of the first few pages should be enough to persuade you.

From ‘The Green Apron Book’ which tells some of the core “ways of being” that you need in order to be successful at Starbucks:

  • Be welcoming
  • Be genuine
  • Be knowledgeable
  • Be considerate

The Starbucks Experience can be found on two very distinct levels inside the company:

  1. In it’s unique corporate culture. Leaders within the business create a unique culture for employees in which empowerment, entrepreneurship, quality and service define the values of the firm.
  2. In its passing down of these values to its partners. The partners, in turn, help create a unique and personal experience for customers. Understanding these principles and getting to know how Starbucks leadership and partners (the term that Starbucks uses for all its employees) have grown the company offers a powerful blueprint for transforming your ordinary into your extraordinary.

(and yes I do know that John Lewis, another firm that I personally hold in high regard, ‘employees’ are partners too).

The book is split into five main chapters, which identify 5 key business principles that drive the phenomenal success of the company.

  1. Make it your own.
  2. Everything matters.
  3. Surprise and delight.
  4. Embrace resistance.
  5. Leave your mark.

This is a slim volume that I have put down with regret, will finish within the day and will read again immediately. (I did and have re-read it a couple of times since then). I suggest that you do the same.

Available from Amazon here.

The Foundations For Great Achievement – Philip Humbert

From the consistently excellent Philip Humbert who’s weekly newsletter is a constant inspiration. If there is only one newsletter you receive make sure that it’s Philip’s, subscribe at

The Foundations For Great Achievement

I’ve been studying human achievement for almost 50 years (professionally for over 30 years), and the longer I do this work, the more I see that the “recipe” for achievement is simpler and in many ways, much easier than most people believe. In fact, Socrates described the basics almost 3000 years ago with the simple phrase, “Know thyself.”

I’ve been thinking a lot about ways to create a workshop around this simple recipe, and I want to share some preliminary observations with you.

First:  Know your strengths

High achievement comes from knowing what you do well, what you love and where your passion lies. Mid-level performance comes from people who can “get by” or are doing something “acceptable” but they are not using their talents to the maximum. When human beings do something they love and have some talent for, they are unstoppable!

Think about a teenager learning to drive, play sports or music, or asking someone special for a first date. Or how about your own determination to be a great parent, good lover or successful investor. When we are doing something that “makes sense,” something that draws and excites us, we find ways to get good at it. “First, know yourself” and always go with your strengths, passions and talents!

Second:  Know your weaknesses

We all have blind spots and weaknesses. We have things we don’t enjoy, or don’t want to do, and yet too often we create lives or careers that require us to do precisely that! How dumb is that?

If you don’t like detail work, hire a bookkeeper! If you are shy or introverted, don’t go into sales or politics! If you’re a natural born entrepreneur, I wouldn’t recommend a career in the military. Like, duh!

Unfortunately, most of the time our weaknesses are not so dramatic and we find ways to hide or work around them. Then we end up in situations where we can get along, but we “forget” to do the accounting or calculate the budget. We get “bored” with meetings or annoyed with “those dreamers” in the R&D department. It’s important to know what you’re good at, but it’s absolutely vital to know what does not suit you. Acknowledge your weaknesses! Don’t spend your life “trying” to do things that don’t fit! Life’s too short for that! Build on your strengths rather than compensating for your weaknesses.

Third:  Know what you want

We all have dreams and desires. We know what brings us joy, what excites us, what fires us up. Sometimes, we get confused or lose track of our dreams, but they are still “in there.” The trick is to identify and express them!

The winners in life know what they want and they find healthy, productive ways to go after it. They ask, they poke and prod until they “find a way.” Recently, a client expressed amazement that since he identified a particular skill he wants to develop, suddenly he sees people doing it all the time! We’ve all had that experience. My comment was that “when you know what you want, you’re much more likely to get it.”

Fourth:  Know how to express yourself

The final piece is “finding your voice,” your unique way to let the world know you exist. Some do this naturally and become entertainers, politicians or whatever. Others struggle to express themselves, but winners eventually find a way. They speak up. They reach out. They “go for it” and “make waves.” They voice their suggestions, work for their causes, and make a difference in the world.

High achievement starts by knowing who you are, what you want, and going after it. That’s not always easy or simple, but winners keep trying “until” they find a way. “Know thyself and to thine own self be true.” There is no stopping a human being who knows who they are, what they want, and is determined to get it.

Copyright (c) 2009, all rights reserved. U.S. Library of Congress ISSN: 1529-059X
You may copy, forward or distribute TIP’s if this copyright notice and full information for contacting Dr Philip E. Humbert are included. Contact him at: or email to

The Monday Morning Quote #63

“Do the right thing.  It will gratify some people and astonish the rest.”

Mark Twain200px-Mark_Twain,_Brady-Handy_photo_portrait,_Feb_7,_1871,_cropped

Academia v Business

Found this on some analogies with dentistry I think.


The Weekend Read – Mastering The Business Of Practice by Marc Cooper

I first read this book just over 12 months ago and became an instant fan of Marc’s. Dr Cooper has been coaching dentists and their teams for 25 years and understands the Business of Dental Practice from top to bottom. As a qualified dentist and one time practicing periodontist his comprehension of the “sharp end” or “coal face” is absolute.

This book is not a text book nor a “how to do it”; it is written in the form of a questions and answers in a format I recognise from dealing with emails from my own clients.

Divided into sections Ownership, Leadership, Management & Marketing, it deals with everyday problems in an easily read format. I particularly appreciated the fact that the vast majority of case studies transfer to Dentistry on this side of the Atlantic which is rare in US based coaches and consultants.

This is the first of the five books written by Marc Cooper who is the President of The Mastery Company and is a great introduction to his work.

Available from Amazon in the UKAmazon in the US for more information on all of Marc’s books go to The Mastery Company.

Top 10 Things Your Hygienist Thinks You Should Know

From RDH Volume 29 Issue 11 – November 2009

An American journal but relevant here.

This survey was constructed in a two-phase approach. First, I asked the readers in September to email me “things” they thought their doctor/employer should know. The second phase was the compilation of these suggestions into a list of 25 items and then asking the readers to pick their top 10. This was a popularity contest, sort to speak. We did not ask the readers to rank their top ten, only to choose 10 out of the list of 25 “things your doctor should know.”

The results reflect the percentage of hygienists who chose these particular statements. Overall, 1,451 participated in the survey. Thank you! On average, the respondents chose 9.5 answers, so it worked out to very close to what was requested.

Before I get to the answers, I first want to mention that I think there is a lot of information in these 11 statements, and a lot that you, as hygienists/employees can do, no matter what your position is within your practice. You are a team member, people interact with you, count on you, rely on you, and so your contribution makes a difference. And by contribution, I mean, not the work you produce, but also the support, encouragement, loyalty, creativity, and overall value you bring to the table.

You may not be in a formal leadership role, but you can still be a positive emotional leader (the colleague, for example, people go to when they need an injection of positive spirit), a team builder (someone, for example, who makes sure everyone gets heard), and/or an energy creator (someone who sees when a peer needs support and offers it freely).

So as you read the following results, please remember that real change, behavioral change, takes time and may require your own self-reflection and accountability for your actions and to offer others encouragement, give gratitude, and even laugh.

Lastly, I believe it’s everyone’s responsibility to make your work environment more positive, so please remember to read “Survey results: Now what?” for additional tips on the next steps to your positive transformational communication.

Survey Reveals …

Top 10 Things Your Doctor Should Know

1. Compensate me well for my efforts. I help build your practice. 68% selected this answer

2. Say “thank you” when team members work hard, maybe even give them a reward. 65% selected this answer

3. A doctor should back up the hygienist in discussing periodontal recommendations and perio findings with patients. 61% selected this answer

4. (tie) Dental personnel need to be shown they are appreciated! 50% selected this answer

4. (tie) Not all hygienists are created the same. 50% selected this answer

6. A dental hygienist is part of the team. 48% selected this answer

7. (tie) Talk to your team to see where there might be problems. 47% selected this answer

7. (tie) A dentist should treat the staff with respect; many dental hygienists feel that their employers treat them like “they are just making you money” or are “production girls.” 47% selected this answer

9. The dental hygienist should play a key role in identifying and diagnosing periodontal disease. If the dental hygienist isn’t current on this information, spend some money on CE courses as these will be worth it for the office. 44% selected this answer

10. (tie) Reward us just like you want to be rewarded … that’s all we ask. 42% selected this answer

10. (tie) A dentist should not humiliate employees in front of patients. 42% selected this answer

Kristine A. Hodsdon RDH, BS
Director RDH eVillage

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