Simple Business Lessons from a Surgeon
Published: June 17, 2011
My guest blogger for this week is Steve Terp, Tribridge’s Chief Sales Officer.
It is funny how we learn lessons in our personal lives that we can apply to business. Over the past few months, my wife and I have been helping our 15-year-old work through a shoulder injury that has temporarily suspended his dream of playing college baseball. While not a life-threatening situation by any stretch of the imagination, it is tough to watch an excited teenager go through forced downtime and sit on the sideline.
This lesson has actually come from working with the oft-maligned medical profession. We felt fortunate to get in to see one of the top recognized orthopedic sports specialists in the U.S. – a doctor who, through an elite education and mentorship by world renowned doctors, has earned the right to treat some of the top pro athletes in the area.
The downside of working with this doctor for us was an extra 45 minute drive through heavy traffic for appointments, MRI appointments equally as inconvenient, always waiting at least an hour past the appointment time to be seen, and a not always responsive staff when it came to setting appointments. Time and time again we asked ourselves if it was worth all of the inconvenience to drive past the major university medical resources just down the street to see this doctor. Well, we told ourselves – he is supposed to be the best.
The lesson came on the day of surgery. We showed up on time, jokingly expecting to have to spend 3 days at the surgery center based on our experiences in the office. And while it did take a while to get checked into surgery, we soon learned why we had gone to all the trouble. We talked to no less than 5 different employees involved in the procedure. What was the common theme? Most had worked for the doctor for years. Many had followed him from past jobs where they worked for him. All said there is no one better to work for and were clearly dedicated to him and their patients. And the part about always running late? It’s because he spends too much time with each patient creating havoc with the schedule every day.
The happy ending is the surgeon sat down with us post-surgery and answered a million questions and showed us pictures of all that was done. It was as if we were the only people there all day and it was very comforting. The surgery was successful and our son hopes to be back on the diamond soon.
The lesson learned is simple:
- Always hire the experts, even if it is more costly or inconvenient.
- A great way to learn about someone is by speaking to those closest to them.
- Spend your time and money on people and organizations that truly care.