What do NASCAR and Dentistry have in common? Nothing you say? You’d be wrong. Winning NASCAR drivers such as Kyle Busch, Richard Petty & Jeff Gordon will all tell you they are only as successful as their pit crews. These championship drivers have spent a great deal of time in the winner’s circle proudly displaying grand trophies. But they recognize wins will not occur without a pit crew that executes their job with precision and expertise, so they can expeditiously get back on the track.
In the days and months that precede a race and during the off-season, NASCAR pit crews work together until they’ve honed their muscle memory to skillfully and seamlessly execute their specific role. Precision is at the forefront of every practice, every race, and every pit stop because every second counts. Literally. A mistake that results in the loss of seconds, can add up to an epic fail for motorsports teams.
Each person in your organization has a specific role and is a valuable resource in the success of your business. Without exception, every team member should be committed to your vision. They demonstrate their commitment by performing all their tasks to the best of their ability. Like a pit crew, they should rely confidently on each other’s competence, knowing they can perform their role impeccably, and in such a way that they need not question their assigned position. Teams win by functioning as a whole, with precision and focus, and with a common vision as their goal
Pit crew members are athletes who require agility, both mental and physical, to perform their jobs accurately. Each member must be skilled at what they do. Make sure you have the right team members positioned in the right roles.
Knowledge is Power
Each team member should be well informed of their responsibilities, leaving nothing to guesswork. Next, they should be educated on how their job fits into the overall team vision. When team members recognize where they fit in your organization, their perspective changes from one where they operate independently to realizing they have an integral part in achieving success.
Teamwork makes the dream work
It is easy to get everyone revved up at team retreats and at conferences. We can map out our quarterly and yearly goals, but the true temperature gauge on our success is the day-in, day-out execution. Don’t let the urgency of the day become a barrier to your success.
Winning is the goal of pit crews, but winning is not possible without putting in the work beforehand. Throughout the week, pit members train by watching videos of prior races. They acknowledge where improvements can be made, and physically practice until the insufficiency is a blip in their rearview mirror.
The daily huddle is your opportunity to keep your team focused on your short and long-range goals. Review yesterday’s imperfections, and work together to determine where improvements can be made. The next time you face the situation, you will navigate it successfully because you have prepared. Each race has its challenges. The best pit crews know how to pivot on the fly. Dentistry is no different.
Let’s be honest. Achieving teamwork can be difficult. It requires intentionality. Providing the right tools and regularly investing in employees can shift your team into high gear, and avoid frustrating inefficiency. No one wants to feel as though they are spinning their wheels and getting nowhere fast.
There is a big risk involved when you place your business in the hands of others, but when they become invested in your vision, and committed to its success, your team will do more than cross the finish line, they will drive to WIN!
Use the following links in your morning huddle for great visuals on the value of teamwork:
Her clinical and support team experiences are the inspiration for her writing and the motivation for coaching clients to success. She is a regular contributor to various publications within dentistry and beyond. In addition to feeding the homeless, starting a non-profit, and being involved in her church and other community organizations, she sings professionally and enjoys several creative outlets. She resides in Florida where she enjoys the company of her husband, three children, and four beautiful grandchildren.