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INSIGHT

Curing the common code: 4 small shifts will help you move in a positive direction

By Dale Henry  bio

OK, I’ll admit it. I am a sci-fi junkie. I love all the action and far-reaching technology of a good science fiction feature. I am a child of the ’60s and “Star Trek” was my favorite. I remember that all of the Enterprise’s doors opened automatically. (When I was growing up, that had not been invented yet.) Everyone talked on tricorders and communicated using computer tablets. (We call those flip phones and iPads now). There were 12 things in all that were used on “Star Trek” that were just sci-fi gadgets back then that are now pretty much a reality today.

How much of a stretch is it to assume that our common code – the thing that makes us do what we do – cannot be changed? Oh, that’s another one of those things that has already been done. I know what you are thinking, “Hey, wait a minute! When did that happen?” It’ll happen in about 10 minutes!

My pilot, Dave, and I were in the beautiful city of Savannah, GA, where I was going to be speaking. I always ask the bellman where the best local breakfast hangouts are located. “That would be the Cobblestone,” he replied with a smile. We walked the short two blocks from the downtown Hyatt to the Cobblestone Café.  David Jones, my road manager, pilot, sidekick, and all around good friend and I sat down in a booth, and we were welcomed by a lovely smile and a list of the daily breakfast specials. Both of us chose the French toast smothered in peaches, two eggs, and bacon special that our courteous and kind server recommended.

While we were waiting, Sally told us to please sign the journal that was lying on our table when we finished our meal. I spent the next five minutes reading comments about the restaurant and the surrounding area. Not all the comments were glowing but all of them were constructive.

When our food arrived, Dave and I dug in, and I do believe we ate every bite (I even caught David using his fingers to get the entire peach glaze from the plate. He might have even taken some of the porcelain off.)  When we finished our meal, I asked David, “What could the folks here at the Cobblestone Café have done to make your breakfast more enjoyable?”

Sitting in the afterglow of peach-covered French toast, Dave looked a little perplexed. “What do you mean?  The service was great the food was phenomenal?” I asked, “OK, so how do you think they got so proficient at what they do?” Dave said, “I suppose practice.” “Nope, they ask the customer what they like every time they come in.” “They didn’t ask us.” “Sure they did!” I said, “The journal, Dave. They asked us to write in the journal. They did not asked us what we thought, but we told them and every customer that will eat here after us what we thought about the food and what we liked and did not like.” David smiled and said, “Sure beats a comment card.”

We improve our common code by small shifts to our own excellence. The common code is controlled by us, not by others. If we are to move in a positive direction, it becomes imperative that we concentrate on positives instead of negatives.

So how can we cure our common code?

  • Write a journal:  Oh, I can hear you moaning now from three states away. But if you do not write down your successes and failures, how can you improve? You cannot fix something if you cannot identify it.
  • Be a good finder: Stop beating yourself up when you fail – after all you just found another way it can’t be done. Edison discovered many things, but he failed a lot.
  • Stretch yourself: You are never going to grow if you do not take on new responsibilities and challenges. You may not get paid for them at first, but they don’t let you in the major leagues until you play in the minors for a while.
  • Get to the yes: No is easy! It is simple to say and much easier to accomplish, but the yes means you have to do more and learn more. You have to actually try!

Well, here we are on the other side of another discovery. Changing our common code, it is as easy as, well as easy as – getting beamed up.


Dale Henry speakers to and trains America’s top Fortune 500 companies. He is a storyteller, corporate value evangelist, author of two best-selling books, and friend to all he meets.

Dale Henry is a keynote speaker at the 26th Annual PAHCOM Conference, which takes place Oct. 21-23 in Clearwater Beach, FL.


The above information is shared by a guest contributor and does not necessarily reflect the views of Medical Office Manager.

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