What Can We Learn From Tom Brady?

By Roger P. Levin, DDS

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Hearing the name Tom Brady creates different emotions in different people even if they don’t care about football. Some people (especially New Englanders and now, Tampa Bay residents) get all pumped up. Others, whose teams have suffered defeat against him, may roll their eyes. But nearly everyone knows he is a quarterback who has won seven Super Bowls, which arguably makes him the greatest quarterback, football player, and maybe even athlete of all time. This will be debated by experts, but whether you like Tom Brady or not isn’t the point of this blog. The point is what you can learn from Tom Brady.

Tom Brady is a great quarterback, but don’t have any illusion that he won all those Super Bowls on his own. There are ten other players on the field with him when he is on offense. The ratio of one quarterback to ten other players sounds a bit like many orthodontic practices. When they are on the field it’s not the coaches, fans, planning sessions, or strategy sessions that create the win. It’s being on the field, in the moment, and performing at a certain level.

As a player, Brady’s greatest attribute isn’t his throwing arm or ability to scramble out of the pocket. It’s his positive attitude and ability to motivate others. Remember, the quarterback is the only player who touches the ball on every play, always guiding ten other players on offense. If you consider Brady’s career you’ll see that he has an innate ability to be positive, instill confidence, and help other people reach their potential. He has won Super Bowls with great receivers and he is won Super Bowls with moderate receivers. He is won Super Bowls where certain receivers caught most of the balls and others where he had many receivers catching his passes. This is not about football it is about leadership.

In interviews and within his own book, Brady talks about the importance of a positive attitude. These days telling people that they should have a positive attitude may be considered an overused sentiment that people tune out, but it doesn’t mean it’s not the secret of success for Brady and many other great leaders. He doesn’t threaten players and he rarely criticizes them, but he does challenge them and works really hard himself. This demonstrates that he is as committed as he asks others to be, and he brings a positive attitude every single day.

Positive attitudes are infectious and every orthodontist reading this blog should wake up tomorrow morning with one firm commitment: that you will arrive at the office tomorrow and every day from now on with a positive attitude. You might think of this as a motivational blog or some silly new thing to do. I don’t. Having observed many of the most successful orthodontists worldwide I’ve seen that they all tend to be very positive people who instill confidence in others, challenge others to be their best, and act as an excellent example.

Remember, as your team’s “quarterback” (practice leader) you don’t get Super Bowls (practice success) by yourself. A good chunk of time you’re not even on the field (with patients) and rely on the defense (dental team). Can a quarterback from the offense instill confidence and a winning attitude in the defense? By all accounts Tom Brady does that as well. He brings an attitude and confidence to a team that they can win and will win. Just ask Tampa Bay fans who saw Brady win Super Bowl after Super Bowl in New England only to turn and around and help their team win won the very next year after he left the Patriots!

In orthodontics winning is about having a great day, providing excellent orthodontic care, delivering world-class customer service, and going home satisfied and pleased. This can only happen if the orthodontist has a positive attitude, instills confidence, challenges others to be their best and sets a great example.

Roger P. Levin, DDS is the CEO and Founder of Levin Group, a leading practice management consulting firm that has worked with over 30,000 practices to increase production. A recognized expert on dental practice management and marketing, he has written 67 books and over 4,000 articles and regularly presents seminars in the U.S. and around the world. To contact Dr. Levin or to join the 40,000 dental professionals who receive his Practice Production Tip of the Day, visit www.levingroup.com or email rlevin@levingroup.com.

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