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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 After reviewing my video, they rescinded the contract because they believed I could not hold the audience’s attention.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!


December 1, 2016

O.R.A.N.G.E. Power!

The color Orange has great power! We get happier when are surrounded with the color orange. My husband Steve, teases me about living in an orange bubble of happiness and positive energy. Those of you who know me know that the color orange plays a big part in my life and my business brand.  So what is O.R.A.N.G.E. power?

Different colors generate different energy and emotions. The color orange creates feelings of happiness and positive energy! I surround myself with orange to inspire happiness and positive energy within. It also inspires happiness and positive energy in others. I travel almost weekly flying to coaching and speaking venues and spend a lot of time in airports. Whenever I wear an orange scarf or for that matter anything orange people seem to smile at me more often and even go out of their way to compliment on the color Orange. Recently when I was standing in line waiting to board, five different people walking by stopped and walked over to me in line to comment on my orange scarf. The man standing behind me asked if people always went out of their way to compliment me. I told him it only happens when I wear the color orange. A car service driver last week commented within the first couple minutes of our drive how happy he was to have an upbeat person in his car. I had not said a word other than hello but I was wearing an orange scarf. The color orange just makes people feel happier and more positive,


November 1, 2016

Cultivating Accountability in Others!

Let’s face it cultivating accountability in others can seem like a daunting task. Just hearing the word accountability can give the majority of us an ugh feeling.  What usually pops into mind are the words babysitter or micro-manager from past failed attempts at trying to get others to be accountable.

Cultivating accountability in others is worth the effort! – Individual, team and practice performance all dwindle when there is a lack of accountability.  Without accountability, execution suffers.  Our performance deteriorates when we don’t hold ourselves accountable to getting work done well and on time. The more we let things slip the more acceptable it becomes to let them slip again.  A day becomes a week, a week a month and finally not at all.

For example exercising.  We start out committed and then make an excuse that we are to tired, to busy or to something to fit it in that day.  It becomes easier and easier to make excuses until finally we no longer need excuses we just stop exercising.


October 3, 2016

Constructive Conversation

The words Constructive Criticism always make me cringe. There just doesn’t seem to be anything constructive about criticism. The dictionary defines criticism as the act of passing judgment as to the merits of qualities, values and abilities. I have yet to see where judging someone has helped to promote their further development and advancement or improve outcome. Instead, criticism comes across as judging, condemning or blaming and has negative effects such as employee shut down, lack of confidence and decline in performance. Yet employers and managers continue to utilize constructive criticism to promote employee growth and change. They continue to do so because of misconceptions about effectiveness and not out of maliciousness.

It’s time to transform the criticism part into a constructive conversation. A constructive conversation includes the following fundamentals and has two role players. The two role players are the Approacher and Approachee. The Approacher is the person conveying and enquiring and the Approachee is the person receiving and responding.


September 3, 2016

The Impact of Employee Turnover!

The Impact of Employee Turnover!

September 2016

The impact of employee turnover is more than just money. Employee turnover takes a huge toll on the patients, practice and the team by negatively impacting patient experience, practice culture, team performance and the bottom line.

The definition of employee turnover in HR terms – employee turnover is a measurement of how long your employees stay with your company and how often you have to replace them. Any time an employee leaves your practice, for any reason, they are called a turnover. You can calculate your annual employee turnover % by dividing the annual employee turnover number by total number of team members.

So what is the impact of employee turnover? Let’s start with the bottom line.

Losing only one mid-level employee that is paid $30 per hour and works 32 hours per week (annual salary of $49,920) can cost your practice anywhere from $24,960 to $99,840 in recruiting and training expenses. This dollar range represents a 6 to 24 months’ salary range of the mid-level employee. You won’t see it as a separate line item on the P & L. However, trust me it is there…hidden in reduced production and collection numbers.

I ask you to think about the last person you hired on your team. How long did it take to you to hire?   Where you successful on the first hire or did you need to rehire? How long did it take to train your new team member to a level of proficiency where they understood office protocols and could perform all aspects of their job? Six months in most cases is not a realistic expectation. The more detailed the position the longer it takes the more it impacts the bottom line. When I worked as a practice administrator at a periodontal practice we found that the average training time to be proficient was two years. Even very highly skilled and trained team members where not capable of just stepping in at the same level of performance. They still required a minimum of 6 months training to learn our office systems, protocols and culture.

Employee turnover affects patient experience. Your patients come to your dental office expecting to see the same faces. When there is constant turnover it creates feelings of doubt and discomfort. Patients are reassured when the person they expect to greet them is there to greet them by name and a warm hello as they walk through the door. Patients often build stronger relationships with the team than they do the doctor because they spend more time getting to know them. Patients often look to team members to reinforce the necessity of treatment. If you question this statement ask your clinical and non-clinical team if they have ever been asked by a patient; do I really need this treatment or would you do this treatment? High turnover results in declining trust and case acceptance.

Employee turnover affects team morale and performance. Most dental practices don’t have spare team members just waiting to pick up the slack. Which means that an existing team member has to spend a large portion of their time training the new team member. In most cases the team member was already working at capacity yet is expected to fit in the training and still perform at the same level. Very few practices adjust their scheduling to accommodate the training process. The added pressure spawns a culture of high stress, low morale and less than performance. In practices where there is consistent turnover there is very little desire to train the new team member. The mindset I often encounter is; why bother…after all they will just be leaving soon anyway. Even a high-performing culture is at the mercy of turmoil from turnover.

Employee turnover affects practice culture. Dentistry is a very small world and people talk. High turnover practices very quickly get a bad reputation in the dental community. The quality of team members they are able to attract and retain is limited. After a while they attract only those employees who can’t find a job anywhere else. OR they end up offering excessive wages to attract applicants and are still not able to retain them; resulting more turmoil and turnover.

Here are some ways to lower turnover in your workplace:

– Interview and vet applicants for character traits, attitude and skill sets as well as fit with the practice culture, managers and co-workers.

– Set comparable compensation and benefit packages with industry standard. Review compensation and benefits packages at least annually.

– Show respect and recognition to employees. Awards, recognition and praise might just be the single most cost-effective way to maintain a happy, healthy and high-performing practice culture.

– Create a positive practice culture with room to learn and grow.

– Keep employees in the loop and informed about future growth and how they can get there. Annual reviews or midyear check-ins are important; also encourage workers to come to you with career questions and goals throughout the year.

I also invite you to read August and September’s blog to learn even more about how you can transform a high turnover practice culture with high stressed under-performers into a low turnover practice culture with engaged high-performers!

Contact Judy Kay at today if you want to learn how she can help you build a cohesive team that support each other and the practice, become better leaders, and deliver service with more focus and passion!

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Judy Kay Mausolf
Practice Solutions
18051 Jay Court
Lakeville, MN 55044