Why I’d never make it as a vicar (and neither should you).

It’s not uncommon for me to listen to owners complain about the motivation levels of their managers and clinical team.

It’s not uncommon for me to listen to managers and clinicians complain about the motivation levels of the owner.


What’s the difference?

The owners tell me that there are certain managers or clinicians who just seem to turn up every day, move at one speed, never go beyond the obvious, rarely invest in training (or invest in training and then do nothing with it), do exactly what it says on the packet – and then amble to the door at closing time.

The managers or clinicians tell me that the owner hasn’t invested in the practice for years, is reluctant to take on new ideas (or a coach), is making a good living but doesn’t see the competition (they believe that their patients are loyal to the death).

Both times they ask me if I can help to fix the situation.

The answer is almost always “NO”.

A sage once said:

you cannot motivate people, you can only create environments in which people become self-motivated

I’ve seen the truth of this many times over the years.

Way back when, the late Stephen Covey suggested “if you have a problem with your team, the problem is you”. He might also have continued that if you have a problem with your boss, the problem is you – you are still there!

Think about all of those “self-help” books  – the clue is in the title of the genre.

Carrots and sticks don’t work.

Bonuses and commissions are obsolete (and divisive anyway) unless they form 100% of remuneration.

Permanent inspiration comes from the inside, not from a self-proclaimed guru who whips an audience into a frenzy of worship (whilst claiming not to be a guru).

The guru stuff is just crystal meth for people with low self-esteem, who seem to be regarded as lawful prey for the business or lifestyle evangelist.

If you don’t know what to do with you life, neither do I.

When you do know what to do with your life – hire a coach to help you get there with fewer cuts and bruises – I said FEWER.

As far as the people about whom you want to complain – save me the story, my advice will be the same – get away from them.

p.s. I admire vicars


Published by

Chris Barrow

Chris Barrow has been active as a consultant, trainer and coach to the UK dental profession for over 20 years. As a writer, his blog enjoys a strong following and he is a regular contributor to the dental press. Naturally direct, assertive and determined, he has the ability to reach conclusions quickly, as well as the sharp reflexes and lightness of touch to innovate, change tack and push boundaries. In 2014 he appeared as a “castaway” in the first season of the popular reality TV show “The Island with Bear Grylls”. His main professional focus is as Coach Barrow, providing coaching and mentorship to independent dentistry.