A team of executive coaches putting their thumbs up together.By René Schubert

2020 has been a year to remember… A global pandemic created some interesting challenges for dental practices, to say the least.  We are thrilled that many practices we work with reached their goals and some had record months and a record year!  Whatever your experience of the last year, here are some thoughts on looking at the next 12 months. 
Now with 2021 upon us, we can look forward to our practice goals - production goals, new patient goals, leadership goals and personal goals.
Most businesses set goals being reasonable.  I’ve heard, “If we increase by 5 or 10%, that’ll be a good year.” While there’s nothing wrong with being reasonable, it only requires a little more from the team.  I believe that most of us as leaders want to bring out the potential of each team member.  In coaching dental teams for over 30 years, I know how quickly they go back to “business as usual”.  That’s the norm of any business.  With reasonable goals, we aren’t required to think much differently.  We aren’t required to move toward our potential, to be our best.  When I see teams set unreasonable goals, I see passion for what they do rekindled.  I see them get excited about the possibility of attaining their goals.  I see them start to think differently!  I see them come up with new ideas to attain their goals. 
I would like to be able to say that all of this will last throughout the year.  Gravity is constant and the team will most likely move back into “business as usual” thinking.  It’s our job as leaders to reconnect them to why we created unreasonable goals in the first place and what that means to them individually, for the the practice, and for the patients!  Every time I ask teams what would show up if they were their best self every day, they respond something like, “My life would be extraordinary!”  As a leader, we are helping them see the possibility of who they can be.  It’s also our job to constantly reconnect them the vision and why we do what we do!
What could happen if you were unreasonable?  What would you ask yourself about how to achieve your goal if you weren’t being reasonable?  What new ideas would you come up with if you weren’t being reasonable? 
Think of all the things you had to do differently in 2020: the way you looked at situations, learning new ways of patient care, learning new ways of bringing your team together, new mindsets to adopt…  That was being unreasonable.  Again, many of our practices had record months and a record year...That is unreasonable!
If team members say, “If we set the goal too high, we’ll feel deflated and defeated.”  I call that playing the “good, bad, right, wrong” game.  Most of us grew up with that.  If we attain our goals, we’re good.  If we don’t, we’re bad.  I have seen where that mindset has people stay average or live in mediocrity.  The questions we could ask ourselves when we play the unreasonable game are, “What have we learned?  What could we do differently?  How would we have to think differently to attain the goal?  Who would we have to be to attain the goal?  What’s a match for our vision?”  Who it calls us to be is definitely outside our comfort zones and at the same time, we get energized and feel alive! 
I challenge you to be unreasonable!  What you can accomplish is so much more than you can ever imagine!  What a wonderful way to spend the rest of this year!
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