The Unlimited Power of Purpose

So what is this thing called “purpose”? It is often referred to in business, but it is rarely clearly understood. Actually, if there is only one concept that I would want you as my client to take from my practice management training to truly apply and embody on a day-to-day basis, it would be this axiom of purpose. Nothing could have a greater impact on your personal and professional life than having and living through your basic purpose. I have had practices double and likewise have had doctors turn their entire lives around simply by having them discover and then live their primary goal and aim each day.

Purpose is a quality of being. It is the reason you are who you are. It is an intangible inner force that dictates why it is you do what you do. The greater the intensity and strength of your purpose, the more unstoppable you become when faced with the many obstacles and barriers you encounter as a dentist every day be it as a leader, owner, manager, executive, or clinician in your dental practice. Purpose is really the necessary prerequisite to all action – it comes prior to the doing or the successful execution of any plan to the attainment of your goals whatever they may be. It is the aura of intention that radiates from you as a person which both your patients and your team can sense which motivates them to align themselves with you in the fulfillment of what you aspire to achieve and that you want to make happen. Purpose is what separates people who are winning in life from those who are not. This fact is the primary reason that most dentists with whom I meet (and who also happen to be your competitors) are struggling in these challenging economic times to prosper in practice to the levels that they should be.

On the other side of things, staff who dislike their jobs, dislike them primarily because they cannot see their purpose and how they are contributing anything important to the work that they are doing. They are “doing their jobs.” That is to say, they show up, go through a routine, and get paid. But they are never really a part of the greater whole. This is a critical reason why it is so important to invest in your good people to train and develop them while giving them the skills and resources that they need to win for you while playing the game for you in practice every day. It’s tough out there on the “front lines”. They need your constructive and positive support and guidance, and to be heard by you and included and treated like the junior entrepreneurs that they are in your practice vision and game plan in order for them to help develop and take ownership of it. This is how you will get a more motivated, engaged, and vested team that cares not only about you and your patients, but your bottom line as well.

But perhaps the biggest downfall of not having a purpose is that without one, your practice will have upset and disharmony from within. It will shrink and grow weak from external opposition. It will lack direction, focus, and impetus and will eventually fail. A practice, like an individual, needs a purpose to have control and direction over its life. Your business is a created thing, and it is created by purpose. If it is not constantly being created or recreated, it goes out of existence…maybe not all at once, but definitely on a slow often insidious decline over a longer period of time which far too often is the norm today.

So if these pitfalls aren’t enough to inspire you to get a purpose for yourself and your practice, I will simply add to the list the best definition of success that I have ever found in any dictionary, and that is “to attain one’s purpose”. Make 2015 the year you get on purpose to have it be the best year ever in practice for your and your team.