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a blog by Chris Barrow

On saboteurs (again)

Warning - controversial opinion about to be expressed......reader discretion suggested.

Why is it that, when a dentist buys an existing practice, the first two years are often made miserable and stressful by inherited team members who seek to sabotage any and all progress?

Whispers in the staff room.

"I'm not paid to do that"

"If she thinks I'm going to do that...."

"That'll never work."

"We never used to do it that way."

"Our patients won't like this."

"It was better/easier in the good old days with old Dr. Smith"

(p.s. God help you if old Dr. Smith is still around, agreeing with every complaint from patients and team about the "new way of doing things")

"This wouldn't be happening if I were still in charge."

And so it goes on.

I've had clients in tears of frustration that their hard earned and saved (or borrowed) cash is invested in the business but that the old guard want to obstruct, delay, disagree and infect the younger team members with their negativity virus.

It's so regular and so bad, that I often wonder whether it wouldn't be better to open a squat and choose your own people - every time.

Also, my incredulity that the saboteurs ever think that they are going to win?

As far as I am concerned, all of the phrases I've illustrated above, and any other BMW comments (bitching, moaning and whining) are nothing more than commercial suicide notes.

When I hear about the saboteurs I simply imagine them wearing an archery target pinned to their chest.

My advice to clients?

The sooner you fire the arrow, the better.

(The exception, of course, proves the rule - if you are an "inherited" team member who IS on the bus - my apologies.)

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1 Comment

Couldn't agree more Chris. A lot of it is down to the attitude of the outgoing owner....too many do not prep their team for what is going to happen or are resentful about having to sell their baby. At the same time there needs to be a meeting of minds of the incoming owner and the existing have to sell your dream/vision to the team, get them to see what's in it for them, some joint decision making as to how you are going to achieve the goal that will make things better for everyone and secure the future of the business. IMO the biggest mistake is not communicating your vision to this team. Sometimes the best way i…

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