One of the biggest challenges we business owners face is finding the right team to support us. In order to find the best candidate, we focus on identifying their core values: What is this person really about? What traits do they use to describe themselves? However, it’s equally important that we have a clear understanding of our own core values in order to guarantee we are selecting the right person.
Whenever I lecture or consult on this topic, I always request my colleagues make a date with themselves at their favorite coffee shop. On this date, I ask them to write down adjectives they would use to describe themselves. I ask them to circle the top three and elaborate on why they chose those traits. The goal is for them to gain clarity about how they define themselves and what they might really need to seek in order to create a like-minded, synergistic team. If you understand which core values are truly important to you, it will be easy to recognize them in others.
My three core values are integrity, determination and proactivity. In my opinion, having integrity means having a firm adherence to a moral code. You will never make decisions that go against your moral values, and there is almost a sense of incorruptibility to what you stand for. Being determined means having a fixed purpose—the power and the will to persist, to resolve, and to have grit and drive. You must be determined to reach a goal and get it done—no matter what. And being proactive means that you have the ability to initiate change rather than just react to events; you’re always looking into the future so you can be prepared for anything.
When I interview candidates, regardless of their position, they must contain all three of these attributes. If they don't, it won’t work out. I value diversity in thought and life experience, but all must share these three core values at heart. If you hire people who share your values, you will understand each other better and ensure you are working toward the same mission. All successful businesses are comprised of collaborative, cohesive teams with unified visions, and this is how it starts. You can train just about anyone on the clinical side of dentistry, but you can't change who they are…nor should you want to.