If The Shoe Fits…

November 29, 2020
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If you offered your employees $2,000 each to quit; how many would take you up on it?

Tony Hsieh, the recently retired CEO of Zappos, tragically died on November 27th from injuries sustained in a house fire.  The world lost a freethinking, maverick entrepreneur.

Perhaps the most important thing I learned from studying Tony and his company Zappos, was his philosophy on how to stimulate customer engagement and get team buy-in.

When every other customer service center used time spent with customers as a negative KPI, Tony flipped the equation around and used time spent with customers as a positive metric.  His philosophy was that, as long as he had the right people taking calls, the longer they spent with a customer, the better the relationship and the more likely a customer would buy again.

He said; “Just because you can’t measure the ROI of something doesn’t mean you shouldn’t do it. What’s the ROI of hugging your mom?

One of Tony’s ingenious hiring tactics was, once a new hire went through the 4-week customer service and training program, they were offered $2,000 to quit.  If they stayed, Tony was pretty sure they bought into the company’s core values and philosophy.  His revolutionary tactics resulted in Zappos becoming the first successful online shoe business.

An August, 2020 Forbes article listed the 5 leadership principles that Tony articulated in his book, “Delivering Happiness”.


1. Define Your Core Values
2. Train Your Leaders
3. Drive Employee Engagement
4. Focus on Wowing the Customer
5. Look for New Business Everywhere


These are the kinds of business advice that few dentists hear often enough.  Most focus on gaining clinical knowledge and sharpening their technical skills.  It’s as if taking the next course will be the answer to all their business woes.

I have found that learning from people like Tony Hsieh and looking at companies such as Zappos, Disney, the Ritz Carlton and Nordstrom were more a factor in my success than my dental knowledge and skill.  OKU might be disappointed but it’s true.

That’s why I’m building a Resource Guide.   I want to give others the benefit I had through looking outside of dentistry and bringing others’ best practices into mine.



To your excellent clarity and success,

Michael, Laurie, Merideth and the PPS Team

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Dr. Michael Goldberg is one of the leading educators on dental practice management in the United States.

Michael ran and sold a prestigious group practice in Manhattan and has been on Faculty at Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian Medical Center for 30 years including Director of the GPR program and Director of the course on Practice Management.

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