Dentists: Call Judy Kay today at
(612) 701-4922 for your
Complimentary Coaching Conversation!

October 2, 2017

Happy Days Part 2!

Happy Days! Part 2

In Happy Days Part I we talked about how we are the sum total of our own thoughts. The level of happiness we feel on a daily basis is a direct result of the thoughts we think! We addressed S.P.F. (Super Positive Focus) Power and Mindful Talk Power methods to feel happier on a daily basis. Here are the two additional methods to help you have happy days!


Act “As If”

We get happier when we feel more confident. You may have heard the saying, “Act as if.” It is a common catchphrase that means to imitate confidence so that as the confidence produces success, and it will generate real confidence. The purpose is to avoid getting stuck in a self-fulfilling prophecy related to one’s fear of not being confident. Walk, talk and carry yourself exactly as you would if you were completely confident in a particular situation. The same works for happiness. It is the Law of Reversibility in action.


The Law of Reversibility states, “If you feel a certain way, you will act in a manner consistent with that feeling. Likewise, if you act in a manner consistent with that feeling, even if you don’t feel it, you will create a feeling that is consistent with your actions.” In other words, how we act is how we begin to feel. The brain executes the same neural pathways in the same way, whether you’re viewing real life situations or imagining them. The mind cannot tell the difference between the real world and an imaginary world. This is one of the greatest breakthroughs in gaining confidence.


Acting “as if” empowers us to do the things that will make us happier and more successful. There is never a better time than the current moment to go after what you want in life. So what do you want to do different with the rest of your life? What will make you happier? I often hear, “I am too old to change or to start over now”. Really? Regardless of how little time it may seem you have left, it is the rest of your life. Is there really ever a time when it is too late to be happy for the rest of your life?


Action steps – Act “As If”

  • In every stage, take time to evaluate your life.
  • What brings you joy and happiness?
  • What would you like to see different?
  • Identify limiting beliefs that hold you back.
  • Live your dream in any capacity you can.
  • Act “as if” and take the first step.
  • Don’t give up the first time something doesn’t work.



Choice Power

We get happier when we choose to be happier. Have you ever thought, “I was in great mood until “___________” happened”? When we allow “___________” (whatever the blank is at the moment) to affect how we feel, we are in essence relinquishing our power and allowing circumstances to control our emotions. If we allow our circumstances to control our emotions, we become a victim of our circumstances.

The truth is that circumstances don’t dictate how we feel – we do! It is always our choice! It is a choice we get to make when we wake up every day! It’s a choice to be happy and positive regardless of what may come our way. We can choose to smile and impact others in a positive manner regardless of their behavior. Even when we believe they don’t deserve it. We have the choice and the power to treat others based on our highest-self core values instead of their actions. This will empower us to be in control of our actions versus relinquish our power to circumstances or other people. When we treat others in a positive manner we feel more positive.


Action Steps – Choice Power

  • Choose your response instead of letting your emotions rule your response
  • Always consider how your highest-self would want to respond
  • Put the filters back on – consider how your words will impact the other person
  • T.H.I.N.K. before you speak
    • T is it True
    • H is it Helpful
    • I is it Inspiring
    • N is it Necessary
    • K is it Kind

Happy days are the results of our thoughts each day! The thoughts we think…become the stories we tell ourselves…become the life we live. We feel how we feel because of what we think. Our doubts, fears and worries can rob us of our happiness. What we choose to think about today, tomorrow, next month, next year will determine our daily level of happiness. Happiness is always our choice!

August 30, 2017

Happy Days Part 1!

Happy Days! Part 1

What do you think about on a day-to-day basis? We are the sum total of our own thoughts. The level of happiness we feel on a daily basis is a direct result of the thoughts we think! When we think happy thoughts we feel happier. Here are the first two of four methods to help you have happy days!


S.P.F. Power (Super Positive Focus)

We can get happier when we change our focus to positive. You can be happy even when life seems difficult. Here is the big secret about staying happy and positive on a daily basis. It does not take any super powers. It is simply a clear understanding of the power of focus.

If you focus on the positive, you will have a positive attitude. If you focus on the negative, you will have a negative attitude. When you hear people say they are in a bad mood, it is because they choose to linger in the negative emotions. The physical part of any emotion only lasts thirty seconds or less. Any emotion after thirty seconds comes from hanging on to the emotion.

Nearly all intended behavior, including attitude, is learned and so depends on the cognitive part of our brain. Our prefrontal cortex allows us to access and implement what we need to produce any attitude or behavior we choose. We can choose not to be negative, angry, hurt, stressed, frustrated, grumpy or whatever. It is always our choice. Instead, focus on finding a reason to be happy and feel good by looking for the upside in every situation.


Action Steps – S.P.F. Power:

  • Whenever you feel stressed and in the fight or flight zone, breathe deeply and count to ten, slowly for thirty seconds.
  • Feel and observe the physical reaction and then let it go.
  • Identify three positives in the situation. Even in the most horrific circumstances there are positives.



Mindful Talk Power

Words and thoughts have their own energy, including self-talk. We get happier when we are mindful of our self-talk. The majority of self-talk takes place so quickly and automatically that we don’t even notice we are doing it. Even if you don’t really listen to your chatter, your subconscious mind is listening. The subconscious mind just accepts everything you tell it, and responds accordingly. The average person has 60,000 thoughts per day with 95% of those thoughts being redundant. The bad part is that 80% of those redundant thoughts are negative.

Some examples of negative self-talk are:

  • Worry – Fear of “what if”
  • Perfectionism – Not good enough or should haves
  • Self-Criticism – Comparing yourself to others, with you being the loser
  • Self-Doubt – Lack of confidence that you can do or achieve your dreams
  • Wallower – You see yourself as a victim of your circumstances and have no control over them,   life happens to you, and you have bad luck.

Action Steps – Positive Mindful Talk

  • Focus on being a creator of your world
  • Avoid comparison distractions
  • Identify and do more of what makes you feel happy
  • Change what doesn’t make you feel happy


Tune in to Happy Days Part 2 to learn about the power of our choices and actions! Practice S.P.F. and Mindful Talk Power and start raising the level of your happiness today!

August 1, 2017

Non-Morning People!

Attention all non-morning people and those who have the pleasure of working with non-morning people! This message is for you!

The minute we step across our office door threshold we are part of creating the culture. What we bring to work affects the happiness and success of the entire team. It is important to be mindful of our attitude, communication and behaviors that we bring into our culture.   That includes even you non-morning people!

Many non-morning team members believe that because they are non-morning person others should just understand their mood.   They believe it is acceptable to turn it off for each other. After all we wouldn’t want to be fake would we? We frequently even turn it off for the people we love the most like our family. Think about this morning’s routine. How did you treat your family? What would you have done differently if they were your patients? I find it thought-provoking that we put filters of kindness and respect on for strangers and acquaintances and don’t for the people we care about and love the most. Something seems a little backward with this behavior. I was curious to uncover the mindset behind a non-morning person’s behavior. Here are few consistent responses I receive when I asked non-morning team members how they treat their coworkers when they first arrive at work.

  • I don’t talk to anyone until I have my coffee
  • I don’t make eye contact or smile at anyone
  • I sometimes give coworkers a stern look and may even grunt at them
  • I just ignore them by walking away
  • I am usually good by 10am. They know I’m not a morning person so if I don’t talk to them or seem a little grumpy they understand.

I have asked non-morning team members if they treat their patients differently in the morning than how they treat their coworkers. The unanimous response I receive is; “Yes of course I do.” The point I make is; this tells me that you can turn it on for your patients even if you are a non-morning person. So if you can turn it on for your patients who may be strangers or are only acquaintances; why wouldn’t you respect your coworkers enough to turn it on for them? After all they are the people you work with day in and day out who have your back.

Did you notice that every response started with I. They were focused on how they feel versus how they made others feel. In most cases the team member had never equated their behavior to a lack of respect towards the other person.

Non-morning people have labeled themselves as non-morning and therefore have deemed their behaviors acceptable or appropriate for a non-morning person. Coworkers, doctors and managers often don’t address the poor behavior instead they excuse and accept it. I regularly hear the excuse they aren’t a morning person so we don’t take it personal. Even when the negative behavior makes them feel uncomfortable. We get what we accept. The bottom line is whether we are morning person or not it is always our choice how we will treat others. We have the ability to think and filter our reaction instead of just reacting on our emotions. Filtering is not fake behavior it is respectful behavior. Time to put back on the respect filter! Light-bulbs go off and mindsets are changed when we shine the light on the respect aspect.

Here is a very simple morning routine that can help you raise the level of positive energy in your morning work routine.

Establish the following morning work routine!

Smile, make eye contact and greet each other with a good morning in the morning. That includes even you doctors and non-morning people who believe you need your coffee first before you become human.

Leave your C.R.A.P. (acronym for criticism, rudeness, assumptions and problems) at the door. Many of the teams I have had the pleasure of working with have created an actual C.R.A.P. container. The science behind it is if we attach something physical to a thought the emotion will seem real. As you walk across the threshold lift your hand and physically drop your C.R.A.P. in the container! Ahhh now don’t you feel a whole lot better? Feel free to pick it up on your way out…or you can just leave it in the container. I am sure your family would be much happier if you didn’t bring it home. Which leads me to another thought.

Time to chase squirrels for a moment. This will make your home life much happier as well. Why spend your evening with your loved ones complaining about how rotten your day was today.   Share three positives about your day with your family instead of highlighting the negatives. Address negative concerns in a solution mode (creator) not a complaint mode (victim). Solution mode empowers you to be a creator whereas complaint mode causes you to be a victim your circumstances.

Never forget that what we bring to work affects the happiness and success of the entire team. It is important to be mindful and respect how we make others feel!

“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.” ~ Maya Angelou

Everyone will feel happier resulting in a win for the patients, the practice and the team!

June 30, 2017

Positive Delegation – Positive Results!

Positive Delegation – Positive Results!

We want what we want! Yet we often don’t ask for what we want and get upset when we don’t get it. Instead we stew over it until we reach a level of frustration where we eventually blow up. We can stop this cycle of frustration by asking for what we want. However, asking does not mean just blurting out a demand. Positive delegation is much more effective in getting positive results.

Delegation takes place daily in our office. Synonyms for delegate are: assign, entrust and transfer. Which is not usually what I see happen when I am observing team members delegating to one another. Instead, I often see a lot of telling, ordering and just plain barking commands. The end results are neither positive nor effective. I teach the following positive delegation process.

Positive Delegation Process:

  • Start out clarifying what you would like to be done. Take the time to explain clearly by defining who, what, when, where, why, and how. We get so busy and in a hurry…we want to dump the information and run. It’s what I call a flyby. Avoid flybys! If you don’t have time to delegate clearly wait until you do.
  • Ask the receiver of the task what they already have on their plate. It may be necessary to re-prioritize the task list if timing is an issue.
  • Ask the receiver of the task if they have any questions about how to complete the task. Answer any questions they may have.
  • If it is more than one step the person delegating is to write it down in bullet point objectives.
  • If it is a longer project schedule check in times (no this does not mean you do not trust them…it allows you to assist with feedback if necessary).
  • Discuss and agree on a realistic time or date to complete the task. Setting a date and time clarifies performance expectations. Without a date it is not a goal only a dream.
  • Once the task is complete the receiver of the task is to confirm with the person delegating that the task has been completed with details



Detailed job descriptions are important as they create clarity in training and performance expectations. Have you ever asked someone for help only to hear, “it’s not my job”? That is a huge pet peeve of mine. You can avoid the phrase, “it’s not my job”, by adding the following statement to all job descriptions. Your job from the moment you clock in to the moment you clock out is whatever is Legal, Ethical & within your Licensure to help the practice thrive! I suggest reviewing the phrase whenever you are hiring someone new, performing a performance review, or whenever behavior or attitude deems it necessary.

Creating a priority hierarchy also clarifies delegation of performance expectations on when to do what. I utilize the rocks, pebbles and sand analogy. A rock is anything that is important and urgent (needs to be done that day) or there will be negative consequences for the practice. The biggest rock is always the patient right in front of us. Everyone helps everyone with their rocks (as long as it is legal, ethical and within their licensure) before going on to their own pebbles and sand. Once all rocks are completed the team member may move on to their pebbles.

Pebbles are also very important but not urgent. Pebbles are never delegated because they can be done another day without affecting the practice negatively. Everyone is responsible for their own pebbles. A pebble can eventually become a rock if left undone based on change in urgency. For example ordering supplies might become a rock if you must order that day or you will run out of necessary supplies before they arrive. Even washing uniforms may become a rock if there are none available for the next day and it is close to closing.

Sand is the filler to fill in open time with cleaning and organizing. Sand is also never delegated. Everyone is responsible for their own. This helps to prevent delegating the things that are less desirable.

Cross training raises the level of delegation of performance expectations by enabling team members to know how to support each other better. I have found having clinical and non-clinical team members observe each other goes a long way in raising job awareness.

Everyone will feel more empowered to support their co-workers resulting in a win for the patients, the practice and the team!

June 1, 2017

Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 3

Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 3

June 2017

In Wake Up and Be Awesome Part 1 we talked about how a Perceptive Focus can help us to wake up and be awesome! It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what specific actions and attitudes are necessary to help us achieve awesomeness. The more specific we are, the more precise the focus and the better the results.

Part 2 focused on Optimistic Conviction in order to continually strive to be our best in the face of adversity. Throughout our journey, we will encounter dissuasion from naysayers and discouragement from failures. It is the firm belief that we can succeed that will allow us to become all we are capable of being!

Wake Up and Be Awesome Part 3 will focus on the strength of Passionate Perseverance to keep on keeping on striving to be awesome.

I thank my mom, Ione Miller, every day for imparting her strength of passionate perseverance on me. One of her favorite sayings was, “Come hIn the very early stages of my speaking career, I lost a speaking opportunity with a larger organization. After reviewing my video, they rescinded the contract because they believed I could not hold the audience’s attention. They were accurate with their assessment at the time. I was devastated. As hard as it was to hear, it became clear that I needed coaching and a lot of practice if I wanted to be awesome at speaking. So I worked with speaking coaching and then practiced, practiced and practiced even more. My practice audience was an audience of two. Gus, an orange Persian cat and Zoe an energetic seven pound Yorkie. I videotaped each practice presentation in order to critique myself, as I couldn’t count on more than an occasional meow or bark from Gus and Zoe. The next big meeting I was hired to present at was IACA in San Francisco, in the spring of 2009. I think I practiced that speech over 200 times. I was going to make sure I rocked it! Fast forward to 2017, I now have the privilege and honor of being invited to speak and coach nationally and internationally on a regular basis! No, it’s not easy showing up being who we want to be every day…but it is so worth it!

Passionate Perseverance – The dictionary defines Passion as enthusiasm and desire and Perseverance as steady persistence in a course of action, a purpose in spite of difficulties, obstacles, or discouragement. It is passion that enables us to inspire others to believe in us enough to help us to achieve our dreams. Perseverance is the determination, grit and endurance we need to keep on striving, even when we are weary from battling the noise to settle for normal.



So, I am going to challenge you to identify and change the limiting beliefs and stories that are stopping you from going after what you want in life, and being who you want to be. The truth is none of us are who we were. We are not even the same person we were yesterday, because we are the accumulation of all our life experiences and they continue to shape, change and help us grow with every breath we take. It’s up to each one of us to decide how we will respond to the events that happen in life.

How exciting that every day – EVERY day, we have the power and the opportunity to wake up and be awesome!


May 1, 2017

Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 2

Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 2

May 2017

In Wake Up and Be Awesome Part 1 we talked about how a Perceptive Focus can help us to wake up and be awesome! It is crucial to have a clear understanding of what specific actions and attitudes are necessary to help us achieve awesomeness. The more specific we are, the more precise the focus and the better the results.

Wake Up and Be Awesome Part 2 will focus on the strengths of optimistic conviction to become all we are capable of being. We will need optimistic conviction to overcome the naysayers in our world.

Unfortunately, many of us have had the experience of being in the presence of a naysayer. Sometimes the naysayer may even be a close friend or family member. Think of the last time you were excited to challenge yourself to raise the bar. You decided to share the news with someone you trusted only to have your spirits dampened by their discouraging words.

I remember confiding in a close friend when I had decided to write my first book. She informed me that I was not capable of writing a book because my writing skills weren’t good enough. After all, who was I to assume that I could attempt such a feat? She was highly educated, (more highly than I was), and even she wouldn’t consider such a feat. She remarked that even if I did happen to write something how would I possibly edit, publish and print? I am happy to say I did not heed her words. I have written two books since that conversation, Rise & Shine! and TA-DAH! which are going on 2nd and 3rd printings. I am currently pondering topics for a third book. I have a goal of writing at least five books in my lifetime.

We can’t let the naysayers in the world stop us from striving for excellence. Just imagine if we did how different our world would be today. For example, Walt Disney was called a dreamer and was told he couldn’t and shouldn’t attempt his dreams. Disney Land has been thriving since July of 1955, Disney World since October 1971 and between the two, now have over 90,000 visitors per day. Thomas Edison made 1,000 unsuccessful attempts at inventing the light bulb. When a reporter asked, “How did it feel to fail 1,000 times?” Edison replied, “I didn’t fail 1,000 times. The light bulb was an invention with 1,000 steps.” Henry Ford went bankrupt twice before he achieved success on his third attempt. Amelia Earhart became the first woman to fly across the Atlantic Ocean in June of 1928. I presume she received a great deal of negative push back on her journey. Imagine how many awesome achievements would have not been accomplished if the strivers of the world allowed discouraging words and fear of failing to stop them.



Optimistic Conviction – The dictionary defines Optimistic as expecting a favorable view of events or conditions and outcome and Conviction as a fixed or firm belief. We will need an optimistic conviction in order to continually strive to be our best in the face of adversity. Throughout our journey, we will encounter dissuasion from naysayers and discouragement from failures. It is the firm belief that we can succeed that will allow us to become all we are capable of being!

I have had failures in my life. What’s ironic is those failures have often turned out to open new doors and set me up for even greater successes. At the very least, I have grown as a result of those failures. Think about experiences you have had in your past that you labeled as bad, negative or even failures. Did any of those experiences open a new door for you? Maybe you had a difficult move or change in job or even a divorce that was scary and difficult at the time. However, in the end, it allowed you to be free to strive for much more. We really won’t know whether something was a positive or negative in our life until we are ready to take our last breath.

Tune in next month for Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 3

March 30, 2017

Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 1

Wake Up and Be Awesome!  Part 1

April 2017

I have the privilege of coaching dental teams nationwide. A recent conversation with a leadership team about their progress since our Culture Camp prompted me to write this article. During our conversation, the doctor made the statement; “It’s not easy showing up being who you want to be every day!” Such a profound and true statement!

Showing up being the person we desire to be isn’t easy! It requires a daily quest to wake up and be awesome! It means not just responding or reacting to circumstances or people based on how we feel in the moment. Instead, it necessitates making mindful choices that support our end goal of becoming the person we strive to be.

It never ceases to amaze me how many people willingly settle for average or status quo in their personal and their professional lives, yet are quick to judge others for wanting to strive for awesomeness. They consider themselves “rational realists”. I refer to them as the naysayers of the world. The word “can’t” is the foundation of their outlook and vocabulary. They often look down their noses with disdain and think of strivers as dreamers who are impractical and unrealistic.

I feel sad for the naysayers of the world. Their negativity is often fueled by a lack of belief in themselves. That negativity stops them from going after what they want in life and from being the most awesome they can be. Therefore, if they can’t or won’t be awesome, someone else shouldn’t or couldn’t possibly be.



Choosing to continue to strive – to wake up and be awesome every day, takes specific character strengths: The strengths of perceptive focus, optimistic conviction and passionate perseverance to become all we are capable of being. This month we will address Perceptive Focus!

Perceptive Focus – The dictionary defines Perceptive as having or showing keenness of insight, understanding, or intuition, and Focus as a central point, as of attraction, attention, or activity. When striving to wake up and be awesome, it is crucial to have a clear understanding of what specific actions and attitudes are necessary to help us achieve awesomeness. The more specific we are, the more precise the focus and the better the results. Once we have defined those qualities, it is imperative to give them our full attention daily.

Let’s say your goal is to be a more positive person. It is too general and vague to just declare that you want to be a more positive person. It is important to define specific actions and attitudes a positive person would exemplify.

For example, you might say that being a more positive person would mean that you:

  • smile at others
  • focus on what you can do rather than what you can’t
  • speak positively of others
  • show appreciation with a genuine compliment
  • practice gratitude by saying thank you more often

I would choose at least three and no more than five actions to practice daily. Now you have a tangible daily action plan you can focus your attention on to help you become a more positive person. You can measure how you did by reviewing your day. Did you smile at everyone you encountered today? Did you focus on what you can do versus what you can’t? Did you speak positively of others? Did you genuinely compliment others? Did you say thank you? Practice your actions daily until they become en-grained into a habit (which takes approximately 66 days). Once an action becomes a habit, add a new action step to your daily routine to continue to raise the bar.


Tune in next month for Wake Up and Be Awesome! Part 2

March 1, 2017

C.L.E.A.R. Leadership! (Part 2)

C.L.E.A.R. Leadership! (Part 2)

There are 5 leadership fundamentals that help to clarify leadership. The acronym C.L.E.A.R. exemplifies these 5 fundamentals. This month we will cover the final two C.L.E.A.R. Leadership fundamentals. Please refer to February’s message to review the first three fundamentals.

C – Core Standards

L – Live by Example

E – Empowerment

A – Accountability

R – Results


Accountability –   C.L.E.A.R. Leadership is dependent on leaders being responsible and accountable! It means consistently doing what they said, when they said, and how they said they would do it. It means holding everyone equally accountable. No exclusions no exceptions or you divide the team and lose trust. Also no deviations for team members regardless of longevity.  Accountability does not mean telling someone something once. It means delegating clear expectations and following up as needed until completion is confirmed. Accountability means never leaving anything up to assumptions. When we commit to something we hold ourselves accountable to delivering what we promised.

Here is how we often lose trust with accountability. Someone asks us to do a task for them. We take it on and promise to complete by a certain date and time. Usually we think of what is the fastest could we get it done (if everything went perfect) and we commit to that time frame. Walla…life gets in the way and we don’t get it done on time. When we don’t do what we said we would do when we said we would do it we instantly lose trust. I don’t know about you but very seldom does everything go perfect in my life.

I have found it works best to think of what would be the worst case scenario for timing. For example I am often asked to write articles for different Dental Publications. If I know I can have it done in a week if everything goes smooth I will ask if I can have two weeks. In most cases it doesn’t matter to the publisher. I finish and submit my article in 10 days and I look like a super star! The key is to under promise and over deliver. The problem is our society has become just the opposite…over promising and under delivering. Just think about the solicitation and advertising you hear.   How often do you hear ridiculous claims? Do you instantly trust…or have you gotten jaded by so many negative past experiences?

Life happens and sometimes even with our best efforts we can’t fulfill our promises. In order not to damage trust keep people in the loop by communicating in a timely manner what you can do.



Results – It is important to have an end goal in mind in order to get results. Otherwise, if you don’t know what you want to achieve how do you know when you’ve arrived? It’s very difficult to lead others when they are unsure of the results you desire. Clearly define the results you want to achieve. The more focused the result the clearer the strategy becomes to achieve success. What will make the biggest impact in achieving your desired results?

Establish the why behind the results desired. What are the benefits if the results are achieved and the consequences if they are not? Identifying the why is what gives us the purpose and the perseverance to keep going even when we hit obstacles and meet resistance. It is important for the why to be a value of eight or above on a scale of one to ten. Otherwise, you increase the risk of losing motivation and not succeeding.

Set trackable benchmarks that are challenging and yet achievable. Monitor your progress daily, weekly, monthly etc. depending on the benchmark. When you aren’t achieving a benchmark take time to uncover the specific area(s) of concern. Where do you need to focus more time and energy? What can you start doing or what can you stop doing to make the biggest impact? What specific action steps do you need to take to get the results you desire?

Practice C.L.E.A.R. Leadership and lead in life!

February 1, 2017

C.L.E.A.R. Leadership! (Part 1)

C.L.E.A.R. Leadership! (Part 1)

Leadership can be confusing and frustrating. It’s why many people shy away from leadership roles. However, regardless of our position in life, whether we want to or not, we all lead in life. The problem for many of us is we don’t really think that we have what it takes to be a great leader or even a good one for that matter. We often mystify leadership by associating it with legendary people. We start to believe leadership is insurmountable and something only the famous or really brave people can do.

I have the privilege and honor of coaching and speaking nationally and internationally. What I have found is when I ask my audience to share who is or was a great leader in their life and why they are quick to respond. This exercise really helps to demystify leadership fundamentals. There are 5 clear leadership fundamentals that consistently show up. The acronym C.L.E.A.R. exemplifies the 5 fundamentals.

C – Core Standards

L – Live by Example

E – Empowerment

A – Accountability

R – Results

This month’s message will focus the first 3 of the 5 fundamentals.

Core Standards – C.L.E.A.R. Leadership starts with clear core standards. It’s very difficult to get others to follow our lead if we don’t even know who we are and what we stand for.   What 4 words in order of priority describe your core values? Would other people be able to recognize those values in you?

For example, my 4 core words in order of priority are: Lifter, Authentic, Happy, and Committed. If you don’t know what yours are stop reading and take some time to reflect. They are important to know because they will help guide us in our decision making. Defining and living by our core values will help us avoid the distractions of the daily mundane and other people’s shoulds. They will also help us have a strategy for who we want to show up as every day. Core values become our blue print on how to live. Every action or attitude is to be examined before proceeding. Does this action or attitude support my core values?   Which takes us to the second fundamental.


Live by Example – C.L.E.A.R. Leadership transpires when we live by example. In other words model the waddle you want to see! Only set standards that you are willing to support in attitude and actions. If you aren’t willing to support the standards others will follow your lead of not supporting as well.   Living by example is the strongest of all leadership fundamentals. It is what builds trust and inspires others to follow us into uncertain even dangerous situations.

For example firemen going into a burning building or soldiers into battle. If team members trust their leader(s) they will be more willing to step into the unpredictable and unknown and be open to change. Living by example takes willpower and a commitment to live each day aligned with our core standards even when we don’t feel like it. The more we live our life aligned with our core standards the more ingrained they become.

Knowing my number one core standard is to be a lifter has consistently helped me to respond based on who I want to be as a person instead of how I am feeling at the moment. The first question I asked myself in the heat of the moment is how would a lifter respond? This simple question has saved me many times from responding with anger or frustration.


Empowerment – C.L.E.A.R. Leadership involves empowering others to succeed. We empower others by being a lifter and lifting them up to shine! Lifters focus on helping others succeed. Not a one of us has gotten where we are today on our own. We have all received help from someone who inspired, encouraged, taught us, open doors and supported us. It is because of that mentor-ship that we are where we are today.

Lifters help their people to feel hope and learn skill sets that will help them be happier more successful. A lifter shares what they appreciate about the other person. They build up instead of tear down by focusing on the other person’s strengths. They have positive conversations with a minimum of a three to one ratio. Three positives for every one growth opportunity. Research shows that exceptional relationships have a five to one ratio. You may be thinking; what if I can’t find 5 positives. Every person has a least 5 strengths you can highlight! We discover strengths when we shift our focus from weaknesses to strengths. How ironic that our strengths are just taken for granted and minimized whereas our weaknesses are highlighted.

I like you take a moment and think about who lifted you up in life. Who was there for you to help you when you had fallen? Who open doors when they were all closed sometimes even locked? Who believed in you enough to help you believe you could take the first step in reaching your dreams?

Empowerment can change the world!

Tune in next month to read Part 2 of C.L.E.A.R. Leadership!

January 1, 2017

4 Steps to Help You Rise to Success in 2017!

It’s that time of year again where many of us our making New Year’s resolutions! Do you remember what you said you were going to do last year?   Were you successful at accomplishing what you set out to do? Or like many did you give up after the first few weeks or month?

I have the awesome privilege of helping dental teams nationwide cultivate a happier, healthier and higher performing culture. I utilize the R.I.S.E. Process (a 4 step process) to help them not only create but also sustain their improved culture results. I have found the same process works awesome for achieving individual goals as well!


Older Posts »
speaking consulting network icon national speakers association icon academy of dental management consultants icon

Call Judy Kay at (612)701-4922

judy kays book newsletter signup View Archives
facebook icon twitter icon linkedin icon skype icon youtube icon
Judy Kay Mausolf
Practice Solutions
18051 Jay Court
Lakeville, MN 55044