Once Upon a Time…

June 11, 2023
*This page may contain affiliate links. If you purchase from these links we may receive a commission at no extra cost to you.

Once Upon a Time…

50 years ago, within 1 month, I graduated from college and got married.  50 years of marriage has taught me much about teamwork.

Laurie and I married on June 12th, 1973.  Our relationship has been remarkably fulfilling and productive.  A wonderful family, friends and a career in practice and academia (that’s still going).  Our relationship has been, in our children’s words, “unnatural”.  At least, that’s how it appeared to them.

Why did they feel that way?

They said that the two of us have been inseparable.  From our parenting to socializing and even in business, we were always together.  They found that strange, especially when they looked at their friends’ parents’ relationships.  And the divorce rate data supports the strangeness.  The average marriage in the U.S. lasts 8 years.  We’re outliers.

And they’re right, of course.  I can count one hand the number of times we’ve been apart.  Most of those were when I went to Israel as a dental volunteer during various intifadas and wars,when she felt uncomfortable going.  She did go during one such event and in 10 days, we were in 5 bomb shelters…together. She won’t do that again!

I was sad that my children thought of our togetherness as unnatural.  For us, nothing could have been more natural.  We were, are and always will be, a team.  Isn’t that what a marriage is supposed to be?

Being single during the first 2 years of college was difficult.  It was challenging trying to juggle an academic and social life.  Plus, as the Vietnam War raged, I was also politically active.  I didn’t excel at any one thing.  I was unfocused.  When Laurie and I became “serious” things changed.  Pre-Laurie, I was getting B’s, with Laurie, all A’s.

Once married, I excelled at nearly everything.  Dental School was a breeze.  Even working evenings wasn’t a burden. Residency was fun and even being an associate was a pleasant experience.  I was doing everything for the team.

Laurie helped me build my first office, eventually becoming the office manager and was the CFO of Goldberg Inc.’s various endeavors.  Why would we not want to be together?

What I’ve learned over the course of 50 years, is that I’m betteras part of a team than I am alone.  Is that just me, or are humans programmed to work better as part of a team?

I believe that’s it’s the latter.

Research shows the value of teamwork in many settings (McDaniel, S. H., & Salas, E. (2018). The science of teamwork: Introduction to the special issue. American Psychologist, 73(4), 305–307). Laurie and I like watching the show ALONE.  It’s interesting to watch so many contestants “tap out” because of the loneliness and isolation.

How’s your teamwork?

It’s been interesting watching dentists go about obtaining dental CE.  Few courses involve the teams that will be playing the game and fewer doctors avail themselves of the opportunity when it’s presented.  It’s like sending a football quarterback to learn a new system and then relay it to the team during a game.  That’s a formula for miscommunication.

It’s the reason I formed the Liberated Practice Program.  This is a team-oriented program, where every member gets the same information and can then collaborate to provide maximum engagement and capitalization on individual strengths.

The Lord God said, It is not good for the man to be alone.”Genesis 2:18.

Who are we to argue with God?  

“None of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful.” – Mother Teresa

Laurie and I have built a special and wonderful life together because we’re more than a couple, we’re a team.  Even with our current health and aging challenges, they are easier to face being together.

Today, it’s all too easy to avoid being a part of a team.  Young people are occupied with their devices rather than with others in a meaningful way.  Perhaps some might not even know how to be a part of a team.  That’s something to look for when interviewing for new team members.

Want to know how to determine if a potential hire is a team player?

There’s a report for that.  It’s one of the many resources available as part of The Liberated Practice Program.

When evaluating team members, I recommend asking one question.  Knowing what I know now, would I hire this person? If the answer isn’t a resounding YES, there’s a problem and an opportunity to upgrade.

Every anniversary I ask myself that same question about my marriage.  Every year the YES becomes more emphatic!

L stands for 50.  L stands for love.  L also is for Liberation, the freedom of practicing the way you want to, with a team who helps you to achieve the dreams you desire.

50 years of marriage has taught me much.  Teamwork does indeed make the dream work!

To your excellent teamwork,


Practice Success Insights

Sign up to receive insights into building a successful practice via email with the free Practice Perfect Pearls Newsletter.
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.

Book a FreeStrategy Session

Latest Articles

How to Stop Cancellations... without spending more.

Learn how successful practices ensure their appointment slots are filled... and their patients keep coming back!


The Proven Way to
Reboot Your Practice...

Increase profitability, decrease stress and achieve your goals with proven ways to ensure your practice thrives


From Hello to Hugs

Get the sensational book on how to turn callers into raving fans. A guide to making MORE from LESS in your dental practice.


Join Michael LIVE for the FREE Monthly Coffee With the Coach Webinar

Invite your entire team and get expert advice from an industry expert on a new, timely topic every month that you can implement in your practice right away.