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The Master Key to Success

April 19, 2012

I opened the curtains to let the sun in, hoping the tropical storm had passed.  It was still very early but I could get a sense of how the day would unfold.  At 7 A.M. the sky was steel gray and the the tide was high enough to reach the edge of the condo at our St. Maarten timeshare.  Looking down the beach I saw one solitary figure running along the water’s edge, skidding through the surf on his brand new boogie board.

“Josh, is that you?”

He just looked up and kept on going like the Energizer bunny.  Few people showed up on the beach that day, but we couldn’t get my son Josh off the beach till dinner time.  He spent hour upon hour practicing on that board.  He fell off and was swallowed up by the tide more than most people could bear.  Every time he fell, he just laughed and got back on…over and over and over again.  Some would call it crazy, but really I thought it was special.

Years later I would never forget that day. (more…)

What Would L.D. Pankey Do?

October 16, 2011

Filed under: What Would LD Do Now? — Tags: , , — Barry @ 10:21 PM

Just to set the record straight, the title of this post may just be a rhetorical question.  I really couldn’t tell you what L.D.Pankey would do if he were alive today, but asking the question might open up some meaningful thoughts on how to live and practice in these difficult times.

History has no shortage of people who have left behind their philosophies on how to live.  Humanity’s very best ideas have been passed down from Aristotle’s Nichomachean Ethics, and Montaigne’s Essays to Aldous Huxley’s Perrennial Philosophy.  These people have given us the tools to help us create happiness and success through core principles that work in any period.

I am often asked the question, you see above, from younger dentists trying to apply Dr. Pankey’s philosophy.  What separated L.D. from the multitude of educators was that he blended this perrennial philosophy with the dental science of his era.  The question, I believe, these students are asking is, “how can we use old wisdom with new science and technology?”

And that is a fair question.

You see what Steve Jobs was to computer science, Thomas Edison was to invention and Peter Drucker was to business management…L.D. Pankey was to dentistry.  Their legacy went way beyond their fields…they gave us more than information and knowledge…they gave us wisdom.

Think about Job’s commencement speech to the graduating class at Stanford.  He didn’t speak about iPods or iPhones…he spoke about life, just as L.D. Pankey spoke to dentists in 1948 at the Florida Academy of Dentistry, in his famous speech, You Are the Future of Dentistry.

That is why Pankey added the arm of “Apply Your Knowledge” to his Cross of Dentistry.  Application…action is not easy…for that we must turn to the perrennialists.  I am sure that is why Pankey himself turned to Aristotle for guidance.  He faced the same problems then as we do today.

The same but different.  Sure he didn’t deal with insurance, advertising or the Internet, but he had his own issues.

I was watching a football show last Sunday.  ESPN’s Chris Berman, Tom Jackson and Bill Parcells were discussing the future of quarterback Tim Tebow with the Denver Broncos.  Berman and Jackson argued that Tebow would do well because of his background.  He had all the tools to make him a winner…all of the character traits.  Parcells wasn’t convinced.  He said the quarterback still needed to throw an accurate pass.  When I heard that I thought of L.D. Pankey.

He knew that the philosophy included more than character.  It included the technical skills as well.  Pankey blended both into his philosophy and that is why, although times have changed…it still works.

Dentists have told me that they are thinking about leaving dentistry, selling their practices and just doing something else.  That would be a shame because there are ways to make things work even in tough times.

I will be using this blog to post specific questions about “What Would L.D. Do Now?”  Please help me by sending questions in… preferably in the comments section so readers can chime in.  I invite everyone to put their two cents in…because together we can can figure it out…because we just can’t ask him.

Television Mimics Life

September 18, 2011

Filed under: Marketing,What Would LD Do Now? — Tags: , — Barry @ 6:48 PM

When the King of Queens was popular on television I never watched it.  These days I watch it everyday on reruns.  I love Doug and Cari…and I guess their popularity can be explained by their universal truths.

The other night I watched an episode that portrayed Doug having a difficult time with the challenging problem of selecting a birthday gift for Cari.  This is a quandary I find myself in at least once each year.

Doug was overjoyed when he found the “perfect gift.”  Cari complained about how badly she looked in glasses, so Doug bought her Lasik surgery.  Pure win-win.

Until, (more…)