Your single most important competitive advantage is your core values. Your core values are even more important than your vision. They guide the behaviors of everything that happens at your practice.
Consider the circle of people you surround yourself with, both personally and professionally. Your favorite people care about the same things that you care about. Your least favorite people don’t care about the same things that you care about. It all comes back to core values.
You’re probably thinking, “Of course my practice has core values. We’ve even discussed them as a team.” That’s a great start, but ask yourself the following questions:
- Are your core values written for the team to see?
- Are your core values a living part of your practice?
- Do you reinforce your core values every single day as you work?
- Do you use your core values to evaluate your behavior and your strategy?
When the answer is a clear “yes,” you will attract the right type of team members. When you have the right people, they will attract the right patients. Patients will see that something special is happening at your practice. Having the right team will immediately change your practice and your life.
Creating your core values
Designing your core values takes time, but it’s worth it. To create core values for your practice, follow these steps:
- Set time aside to create a list of your favorite behaviors from your favorite colleagues.
- Next, create a list of your least favorite behaviors you saw from colleagues.
- Let your core values bake. Allow them to sit for about a year to make sure they’re actually valid.
- Pick out your favorite behavior and give them phrases to create a core value.
Your job is to decide which values guide the behavior that make your heart sing.
There are people who fix teeth and people who change lives. Both call themselves dentists. The key difference lies in core values.