Not long after I first read her short book, I met the author. The year was 1996 and I spent a weekend with her at a retreat she led. I had just begun consulting full-time with eyecare practitioners and went as a guest of a California practice.
For them, it was all about personal change. Me? I wondered if her methodology could be the catalysis for permanent and positive change in an eyecare health office.
Do you remember her story? Millions of readers marveled at Salsbury's inspiring story of miraculously seeing her dreams become reality, as told in the bestselling book Chicken Soup for the Soul. In The Art of the Fresh Start, she goes in depth, sharing with readers her life-changing, practical approach for tapping into one’s core being in order to achieve permanent, repeatable, and ongoing self-renewal.
I left excited about her approach because it can be adapted to practice management and process improvement. I also left with clarity: a clarity that has structured my business coaching and consulting services for the past twenty years.
Are you willing to make 2017 the year you go all in? Put yourself out there and begin to plan for the best place to practice eyecare in the nation?
Salisbury’s guidebook begins with what she calls a Summit Challenge. For me, this challenge was the most difficult part of her transforming process. I have found that my Type A, action personality wants to skip quiet reflection. For example, I do not keep a journal. Now, you would think that someone who has been writing professionally since she was 15 would keep a journal—go figure! This Summit Challenge also involves sharing your inner hopes and desires with a group of trusted advisors. This much transparency leaves you feeling vulnerable.
In a practice setting, this Summit translates into a leader retreat.
You and your core team are tasked with answering the following questions.
- What does the ideal practice look like?
- What is holding the practice back?
- What gives the owners feelings of peace, freedom, joy, satisfaction, and contentment?
This is when your core team steps away from the business of patient care and technology to reflect. With lots of paper and flip charts, your core team will use their collective insights to develop the practice’s mission statement and core values.