Episode 732: 3 Questions to Create the Perfect Mission Statement

mission statement Sep 13, 2023

 So often practices over-complicate the creation of their mission statement. Tiff and Dana are here to walk listeners through how to simplify the process and keep it personal. It starts by answering three questions:

  1. What is your ‘why’ in dentistry?

  2. What makes you stand out?

  3. How will you serve your community?

Tiff and Dana touch on how to make these questions easy to answer, and when to include your team’s perspective for feedback.

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0:00:05.8 Kiera Dent: Hey everyone, welcome to the Dental A Team podcast. I'm your host, Kiera Dent, and I have this crazy idea that maybe I could combine a doctor and a team member's perspective, because let's face it, dentistry can be a challenging profession with those two perspectives. I've been a dental assistant, treatment coordinator, scheduler, filler, office manager, regional manager, practice owner, and I have a team of traveling consultants, where we have traveled to over 165 different offices coaching teams. Yep, we don't just understand you, we are you. Our mission is to positively impact the world of dental, and I believe that this podcast is the greatest way I can help elevate teams, grow VIP experiences, reduce stress, and create A teams. Welcome to the Dental A Team podcast.


0:00:51.0 KD: Hello Dental A Team listeners. This is Kiera. And you guys, I'm so excited for Consultant Takeover. Guys, that was me attempting to sing into this microphone for you and I hope you loved it. Today, Consultant Takeover, grab your pens, grab your notebooks, bringing in the heat today. And as always, thanks for listening, and I'll catch you next time on the Dental A Team podcast.

0:01:10.6 Tiff: Dana, I've got you on this operations manual kick, and we just got done recording a podcast about organizational charts or we call it accountability chart. She's here to stay, she's there to play. So I thought it would be fun to just keep rolling on that, right? And if you guys didn't hear the organizational chart one yet, you don't have an org chart, you don't know what that is, go listen to the other one, you guys, once you're done here because it's fantastic, and Dana gave some awesome tips and tricks on creating an org chart.

0:01:39.2 Tiff: Today, I thought, well, we've got the baseline for our practice people, the positions and the people. Now, what are we doing? So Dana, you built these out all the time because you're doing a operations manual course with our clients and then with some clients who are just here for operations manual. And I thought, I haven't myself built one of these out in a while and I wanted to pick your brain 'cause a lot of people really struggle with their mission or vision statements. So I wanted to really pick your brain on some easy tools that our listeners can use to build out that mission statement. I think we kind of make it too hard sometimes. We over-complicate it. We think it has to be something crazy cool. But what is your suggestion? How do we start?

0:02:26.2 Dana: Yeah. I think the first thing I have people look at is Why. Why dentistry? Why are you serving your community? Why are you there day in and day out serving patients and providing dentistry? And so I think figuring that out is first and foremost. And I think it truly is what should drive your mission statement, drive your practice, drive your team. So I think knowing that is just the foundation and the start for that mission statement. And then beyond your Why, what makes you stand out? If I were a patient or someone in your community, why should I come to you? And look at it in, is it technology? Is it your team? Is it your philosophy? Is it services that you provide? What is it about your office that stands out and then how do you want to serve? What will you do? What are the actions or the ways that you're going to serve your community with those things?

0:03:24.3 Dana: And then I love that you pointed it out, "Keep it simple." Okay? A mission statement really should be one to three lines, three sentences tops that gets those pieces across. So I think, keep it simple. We also wanna be utilizing it, right? So as simple as it is, we want team members to know it. We wanna be able to use it in daily dentistry. So I think just remembering keep it simple, and those are usually my three big pinning tips.

0:03:54.8 Tiff: Awesome. So when you ask your doctors, 'cause I know you build this out with a lot of your practices too, not just with the ops manual course but a lot of your practices are. So when you ask your doctors what is their Why, or your teams what is their Why, how do you walk them through figuring that out? 'Cause I know a lot of times... I know I asked a doctor once. I was in practice in-person training a team, and I asked an associate dentist and I said, "Why are you here? Why did you choose dentistry?" And he said, "Well, it's because I came from a family of doctors. They wanted me to be a neurologist, and I felt like that was too hard so I went to dental school." And I said, "Okay. Got it." [laughter] So then I was like, I feel like I just hit a wall. So how do you get past those "Duh" moments? Yes, that's very clear and that's okay, but why are you here? How do you get people to get over that and kind of see the bigger vision there?

0:04:50.7 Dana: Yeah. And I think it just reframe the question. 'Cause maybe, yes, that's originally why you started dentistry, but what do you feel being a dentist does for your community? What do you feel like you have achieved personally or who you are that somebody would step foot into your office and you would create for them? So I think reframing the question because maybe it was that I was just expected to be a doctor. Okay. But now you are a dentist and you get to serve a community. So what value do you feel like you bring as an individual to that community?

0:05:23.8 Tiff: I love it. I love it. I've been reading this book, and I spoke with one of my favorite clients this morning about it, because he's actually working on... One of our think tanks recently was about this stuff. So he was there and he was listening in and he's working really hard now on getting the team invested and involved in their mission, vision, and core values. But it's like their mission, vision and core values, so something they've been struggling with is really getting the team on board with their ideas. Because we come, we create it, and then we're like, "Okay, guys. This is why I'm a dentist. Now, live and breathe this." Which is really hard sometimes for teams because that's not their thing. So I was talking to him this morning, I've been reading this book, and it really started talking heavily... It's a leadership book. And it starts talking heavily about purpose and about having... What is the purpose? And it talks about, you can go to any corporate building and ask people and they're just clocking in, clocking out, and they're doing what they need to do to make the money they need to make to have the life.

0:06:23.9 Tiff: And it started that way and then the life got bigger and bigger. And while they make more money over time, but they're stuck in this job where they feel no purpose. And so it made me really think about the stuff my client's working on with his team on about the mission and vision being their purpose, but then what's everyone's purpose? So getting the team on board with that, I thought, what if we stop making it hard in thinking like "My mission and my vision, and I'm trying to think so far forward," but really just boil it down to the word "purpose," what is your purpose-driven reason for what you're doing right now? Why are you coming to work? And then building that statement off of that, and like you said, the one to three sentences, I think becomes really easy.

0:07:12.1 Tiff: Like, my purpose, the reason I was put on Earth is to change lives. And I get to do that through the modality of being a dental consultant with the Dental A Team, which is really cool. But my purpose, my life's purpose is to positively impact and change lives. So what is... I think that's the piece that gets lost and confused in the Why. Like, "Why am I here? I don't think I'm here because I want Brody to have an awesome life, right? But my purpose behind that is really that I'm here to change lives. So I love that you ask those questions 'cause that made me think of that purpose. What are you creating? What are you doing for your community? Literally, why were you put in this space? And I think it just makes it so much easier.

0:07:58.0 Dana: Yeah. Yeah. I love that you said that 'cause I think just reframing it into how are you going to use being a dentist and use your practice to serve your community?

0:08:07.7 Tiff: Yeah. I love that. I love that. Okay. So when do you feel like they should introduce it to their team? How do you think that team piece really works? Especially I think a lot of doctors are coming straight out of school and they're getting new into ownership, and they're like, "I have to have this thing." And then they come in really excited and they're like, "You guys, this is what we're doing." And the team's like, "Cool." So how do you integrate that with the team? What do you suggest that doctors do once they create this easy mission statement?

0:08:37.7 Dana: Yeah. I think using it from the very beginning, using it in your hiring process, using it in your onboarding... I love dentists who make a video of their mission and they really tell the story behind it, so that when team members come on to the team, they're automatically bought into that mission. And then I think, two, letting team members know what this mission creates for them. Right? Because if the practice isn't there, serving this mission and honoring this purpose, team members don't get to be there either. And I think getting team members bought in by simply saying like, "Hey, this is also what this mission does for you: For your growth, for you as an individual, for you personally," and I think that that's the easiest way, is to utilize it from the very beginning and then to let team members see how they can best serve it and how it serves them too.

0:09:25.2 Tiff: I love that. I love that. So it's basically allowing them to see their purpose and their growth trajectory within your own mission. I love that. That was really beautiful. Okay, guys. So we knew we wanted to keep this one simple because I want you to see how simple the mission statement can be. You guys, we over-complicate it like mad and it really doesn't have to be that hard. And guess what? It's also not set in stone for life. So you may come up with something today and two weeks from now, you're like, "Actually, that isn't my true authentic self. That's not me speaking those words. That was what I thought I was supposed to say. This is actually what I feel."

0:10:05.3 Tiff: You're gonna get there, but you're gonna go through some renditions, and that's okay. And if in a year, you and your team decide, "You know what? That's who we were last year. This year we're even bigger and better and we're gonna do more," change your statement. It's okay. You can update your website. I promise you, it's okay. And if you printed them, you can print new ones. I have so many practices that have them on their walls and they're beautiful and they're printed and they're like, "We're never changing them because now they're on the wall." No, no. They're not carved in stone. So just know you're gonna change them and that's okay too.

0:10:36.2 Tiff: So Dana, I think action items, I loved your Why. Why did you become a dentist? Why are you here? What are you doing to serve your community? You said, what are you creating? I really loved that. What are you creating within your dental practice? Keep it simple. And Dana suggests one to three sentences tops. Don't make it hard. Don't make it hard for you. I have so many doctors that have no idea what their mission statement is because it's too difficult to remember. So keep it simple, like Dana said, and then use it. I love that Dana. Use it. In your hiring, your onboarding, your team meetings, make sure everybody's living and breathing this. Anything else you can think of, our action items, Dana, that you feel like are like, "You've gotta do this to get this sucker done?"

0:11:19.1 Dana: Nah, I think that's good.

0:11:19.9 Tiff: Easy-peasy. I love it. Okay, guys. Go do the things that are not hard. Go start journaling it out, figuring out what your Why is. Let us know what you come up with, or if you have a rockstar mission statement but you're like, "No, this actually inspires me to be at work every single day," we wanna hear about it. Send it in. You can put it in a review below. Five stars, we love seeing them. We love hearing from you. And you can email us at [email protected]. I swear to you, we're on the other side and we can't wait to hear from you.


0:11:51.4 KD: And that wraps it up for another episode of The Dental A Team podcast. Thank you so much for listening and we'll talk to you next time.




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