David Letterman is known for many things, his sense of humour, his talk show and his Top Ten Lists. The lists made everyone laugh yet they also make you think about some of the more uncomfortable scenarios in our lives. 

Many people are happy to share what they see are the “Secrets” of their success and business owners can pick up some nuggets of wisdom although it is needing to have the whole package to achieve success. 

Here is a combination of a top ten list and secrets to success aptly named, The Top Ten of the “Whole Package of Successful Tips for Leading your Practice.” 

These tips apply to every single team member, including the owner: 

10. Don’t expect others to do something you wouldn’t do yourself.

This point applies to every team member in your office. This means everyone knowing and always doing what is best for the office including jumping in to help if needed.

9. Treat people right and most people will treat you right too.

Every office is hopefully made up of many different personality types, very often from many different cultures. The one unifying factor is that everyone wants respect and to be treated with dignity by their team members. 

The word most is italicized because everyone has experienced a team member who hasn’t been respectful. Try to learn from these experiences and even when disrespect happens reciprocate by treating this person with respect and dignity whether you feel they deserve it or not. By taking the high road you are showing your moral ground.

8. Take ownership of your mistakes.

Everybody makes a mistake at some point at work. Blaming others or hiding mistakes causes stress and creates situations that are harder to get past. When we honestly admit our errors, it will strengthen the relationship within our team by building trust.

7. Allow others the freedom to fail.

Everybody wants their team to succeed but if we don’t allow our team to try new ideas without fear of reprisal then you will be squelching out-of-the-box ideas for practice improvements. Allowing your team to come up with solutions will encourage more responsibility for the office outcome and will help build character and loyalty.

6. Always offer a solution when presenting a problem.

It is always easy for team members to see what is wrong in the office. When teams identify a problem, they should always have a solution whether they feel it is viable or not. The suggestion should be a conversation starter to the eventual solution.

5. Surround yourself with people who have complimentary skills.

Most people like others who have the same personalities as themselves because it is easiest to connect and communicate with people similar to yourself. Having an office filled with clones though gives your office a lack of diversity of skills and experiences. Develop a plan of what traits are missing in your office to ensure that your team and your patients are benefitting from a full spectrum of personalities. (For example, An introvert patient would be overwhelmed to attend an office full of extrovert team members and vice versa)

4. Develop an office culture of gratitude.

In the past, this statement would have been seen as “woo-woo” in business cultures. Business studies for the last five or more years have shown that creating a culture of gratitude will improve efficiency, productivity, improve culture and be supportive of a positive work environment.

3. Never stop learning, growing and developing.

This applies to clinical, administrative systems and your organizational behaviour. Staying in a static state for any period of time is too long. Give your team opportunities to grow and the office will reap the benefits.

2. Covid has taught us all to be flexible team members.

Don’t lose this as we ease into our new world


Always set clearly defined goals for your team and keep them changing through time. Goals help maintain motivation, measure success, provide accountability and prevent procrastination. Everybody craves direction and goals provide the direction.

Celebrate the small wins with your team as well as the big wins. Each and every day look for the positive and live your life within this TOP TEN and you will have the practice of your dreams.

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