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Heart your Smile - Dental charity
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Heart your Smile - Dental charity
I'm a member of the public

A week in the life of Kevin Rose

A dental business consultant.

Day 1:

What is the favourite part of your job?

A bright and early start to the week (actually it started on Sunday, as I drove up from Cheltenham to Ripon to meet with one of my CDT clients at his lab). This is a whole side of dentistry that I previously had no understanding of and yet by throwing some fresh light onto some longstanding business challenges, we have begun to transform this business.

The clients that I work with tend to be owner managed businesses which means that there is very little separation between "business and personal" for many of them.

What I find therefore is that by working on the business it of course has a direct effect upon the person and individuals involved. This is perhaps what I love most about what I do; reigniting the spark and passion that brings people into dentistry in the first place. And its a "win win" too because if I am doing my bit to support dental business owners to become passionate business leaders, then guess what, I get a kick out of that too. Don't you find that when you are focussed on helping somebody else, your own problems and challenges fade away?

Day 2:

Describe one of the best lessons you have ever learnt in your career / life?

A day back at my desk with time to catch up on emails and do some admin. Its funny, I used to get quite anxious if my inbox or in tray was getting fuller but nowadays, whilst I like to keep organised I have also found that sometimes trying harder produces worse results. That's probably one of the best life lessons that I have learned and its something that I am always keen to pass on. If you are "trying" to do something, it almost implies that it wont actually work out and then of course its natural to "try" a bit harder. Once you have overcome something as trivial perhaps as a traffic jam or as serious as an illness, then its probably easy to look back and notice that the whole situation became more acceptable when you accepted it for what it was and "allowed" it to happen and resolve, rather than to make it into a fight or a struggle.

Last nights journey home along the motorway was no exception to this. Stuck in a traffic jam for 20 minutes, I noticed there are three types of drivers. The first is all tense and angry, looking to see a way through the traffic by cutting in an out of lanes; the second just look to be in a trance, either on their phones or listening to music; the third are content with the situation and either laughing or smiling, accepting of what is. With all of the driving I do, thankfully nowadays, I have chosen to be in the latter category!

Day 3:

What makes the World a better place?

Another trip today, flying out of Bristol and heading to Newcastle for tomorrow with a client. A great airport and I guess how flying was in "the good old days". Before stepping onto a particularly small and fragile looking aircraft, a chance to browse the varied displays of literature in WH Smiths. I avoid the broadsheets and tabloids quite deliberately and seek some deeper meaning from the other headlines that are both comforting and shocking at the same time. Another £50 billion of paper money has been released by the Bank of England in the past week, despot dictators have been hanging on to their seats of power and all at the same time as there is an increasing recognition that globally, things have got to change. Whether that be an EU debate on the current Western capitalist model, board directors giving up their bonuses or just a bunch of "new age" thinkers chanting under a tree; I think the shift that we are beginning to see in society will find us all somewhere between these extremes.

There is a lot of talk about 2012 being a year of change. The Chinese New Year symbolises a time for collaboration and sharing and then there is some kind of myth about the end of the Mayan calendar. Either way I think we have to recognise that (and I pause as I write this for fear of sounding like an ageing hippy) ultimately we have two essential needs for a content life; to love and to be loved. Thats what its all about.

I say "love" in reference to all of its possible definitions and that includes dentistry of course. Isn’t that what the Heart Your Smile campaign is about? Its about passion and reverence for an industry that we care about and of course about doing the best that we can to support each other and care for our patients.

Day 4:

What product / service or team member could you not do without in your daily work?

Flying back from Newcastle today and I am thankful for all of the gadgetry that makes online communications so easy these days. Numerous apps on my iPhone have kept me in touch with my clients as well as the latest traffic and flight news. Will I have time to kick back and relax at the airport today? Either way I will find the time to find some stillness from everything. I have a 50 minute flight and frankly nothing better to do than close my eyes and experience a few moments of just, well "nothing". Whilst I embrace all of the gadgets that come with modern life, I think its important to switch off at least twice a day. Whether you choose to call it mediation or just sitting quietly, its a habit that I brought into my own life a few years ago and I feel that I benefit from it and certainly wouldn’t want to be without it.

Day 5:

What made you smile today?

Another desk day, some articles to write and deadlines to ignore! Well, editors always build in some stretch don’t they; isn’t it a bit like the fact your car is never actually going as fast as the speedometer says? Friday night is of course often a chance to unwind from the working week and as I write I am recalling memories of working in a corporate environment with weekly deadlines and a Friday night culture that seemed to just extend the working week even more by delivering a hangover the next morning. Things have changed for me these days. I might go for a pint and would consider that quite normal but I just don’t have the "Friday night feeling" that became so addictive.

I love what I do, and however you label it personally I no longer think of it as "work" in quite the same way. This is a great place to be and it makes me smile every day.

Day 6:

What does holistic healthcare mean to you?

Saturday morning and I am finishing off an amazing book by Bruce H Lipton PHD, The Biology of Belief. For me as a non scientific person working in a scientific area this is perhaps dodgy ground! Lipton's book establishes the link between the biochemical functioning of a cell and our thoughts. As holistic as this might be I decide for now that this is not something to start branding around dentistry!

I will keep a cautious and curious approach to this kind of research but non the less acknowledge that I do "get" the whole idea that everything is fundamentally made of energy and that beyond the smallest sub atomic particles there is "nothing". I have spent a while pondering this, it is after all fascinating thinking if nothing else. The "nothing" concept kicks in a bit closer to home as we realise that the food shelves are looking a bit sparse - its time for the weekly shop!

Day 7:

Who to you admire or look up to?

My seventh and final post for the time being and reflecting on a "week in the life of" I hope that you have found something in my articles as much as I have enjoyed sharing a few thoughts with you.I have been working in dentistry now for around three years and whilst I would certainly be a liability if I was ever "chair side" I have had to learn some of the clinical aspects of dentistry as well as knowing how to adapt my experiences and knowledge from outside of the sector. I have met some amazing people and I love the fact that there is an abundant mentality in dentistry to share ideas and learn from each other.

That said, I think the greatest lessons in business and indeed life, do not necessarily come from the most obvious places. I see this sometimes with the clients that I work with when for example, a team member knows just how to wind up the dentist and know instinctively what buttons to press to get a reaction. From the outside looking in, it can be so obvious and often then affects the mood of the practice for the rest of the day. Why this happens I have know idea but these people (and we all have to deal with them) are your greatest teachers and for that reason learn to admire them. If this sounds obtuse then hold on, because if somebody has such a direct line into your mood and behaviour then surely there is so much to learn from this. Learning how to not be affected by others requires practice; you need to learn how to do it. I have an ex wife who knows exactly how to ruin my day but you know what, I have learned to admire her for what she can teach me!

So thats a "week in the life of" and it ends a bit like it started with a train to Birmingham airport and a flight to Edinburgh for two days with my Scottish clients. Who knows what tomorrow will bring; I love this job!