Endo Mastery




The pursuit of happiness is a classic Catch-22 dilemma because often we must focus on the very things that are holding us back. Almost always, the limits we have in our life and practice can only be addressed by leaning into them rather than shying away from them. As a result, we can sometimes feel our roadblocks even more amplified — seemingly dragging our energy down when we need it the most.


The most successful people have a mindset that begins with a personal pledge to be happy in the moment — whether doing something you love or working on the biggest problem you are facing. Finding joy and satisfaction in the engagement process is an essential component to growth, so that problems are seen as opportunities, and limits are seen as doorways to new possibilities within your reach.


Happiness is also essential to developing a culture of focus, growth and success in our teams. Team members who are unhappy are going to devote energy to dealing with their unhappiness. There is also the potential that, through gossip or drama, they will spread their unhappiness to other team members … creating an overall practice environment that is distracted at best and toxic at its worst.


If the source of a team member’s unhappiness is a legitimate practice concern, then it’s our responsibility as leaders to resolve the issue quickly and fairly. However, we can’t be responsible if team members are unhappy because they have unrealistic or misguided expectations. Similarly, if the source is outside the practice (a personal issue, for example), then you might have to compassionately ask the team member to check their issues at the door. If they can’t do that, then maybe they need to move on.


We need happy teams because the only way to grow is to get better at things you aren’t good at yet, and to be willing to try things you’ve never done before while you are learning. Growth requires curiosity, creativity, optimism, and perseverance. An unhappy team simply does not have the emotional bandwidth to fully engage in growth while maintaining an environment of superlative patient care and enjoyable teamwork.

As your team’s leader, you set the tone in your office every day. When you walk in smiling, practice happiness as a daily goal, and celebrate the process of striving to improve, then you empower your team. They will embrace the same values and make the effort to be the best they can be. Your goals will become their goals, and that’s the kind of happy engaged team that drives your success.



Someone has a bad day and makes a big mistake. Growth in the practice is overwhelming systems. A new team member doesn’t fully execute their role and duties to practice standards. Changes have unintended consequences. Personalities sometimes clash. A patient or referrer has a bad experience and complains.


When things go wrong, our tendency is to place blame on something or someone. But for leaders, that is often the least productive solution. Blaming something (inanimate or external) means we give up our power to that thing. Blaming someone means we make them “part of the problem” rather than the solution. Blame turns into shame and they can become reluctant to problem-solve and take initiative for fear of being further judged.


As the practice leader, you have ultimate authority for what occurs under your roof. Everything has either been decided in the past by you, or you have allowed it to occur without intervention or direction (which is often a big source of issues). When something goes wrong, you need to take the blame in the right way and accept your personal responsibility to prevent future occurrences.


That’s doesn’t mean you announce to the team “It’s my fault!” for anything. But it does mean that your response to these situations should not be anger, deflection or disinterest. Leadership is first owning the vision, and then everything under that umbrella focused on achieving it, improving, streamlining, growing and navigating the roadblocks as they occur.


When a crisis or problem occurs, great leaders rally the team to engage in finding the right solution. After all, preventing future problems is much more important than a painful blame-assigning autopsy on what just happened. Sometimes that solution involves the entire team, and sometimes it is just one team member.


Either way, it is better to go into the discussion with the heartfelt belief that disturbances are inevitable and when something happens it is an opportunity to learn and grow. That creates a positive foundation based on possibilities to improve rather than a defensive one based on emotional reactions.


However, “taking the blame” also does not mean removing accountability for team performance, accepting poor teamwork, living with interpersonal disharmony, or allowing failure in job duties and standards from a team member.


Sometimes a team member needs more training, or you have to refine systems and job roles to be clear about future expectations. Sometimes a kind but firm conversation is needed about attitudes, mindsets and effort. And yes, sometimes you must calmly face the reality that a certain team member is not the right fit for the practice going forward.


As leaders, we want to create an open, growth-focused culture where team members can learn, improve and become more empowered to contribute to our vision. Every time something undesirable occurs, your best strategy is to approach it as a teachable moment for your own leadership. That’s how you improve, actually, as a leader. No one else is going to create leadership accountability for you, other than your own personal commitment to your vision.