There’s a reason great companies achieve greatness. There’s a reason that own one or not, few would argue that Mercedes Benz is one of the greatest automobile makers of all time. So what is it about them? What makes Mercedes stand apart? Is it their style? Their engines? Safety?
Or is there something else? Is there an underlying current of who Mercedes is? One of my favorite quotes is by Maya Angelou.
“People don’t care how much you know, until they know how much you care“.
Chew on that quote for a minute. Digest it. Profound wisdom and words my team and I live by everyday in my practice and everyday at igniteDDS. On the flipside, most dentists spend the better part of their day trying to educate their patients, trying in effect to relay how much we know, as opposed to how much we care.
It doesn’t make us bad or wrong. In fact, why we do it is for all the right reasons. At heart, most of us are teachers. And we’re doing our best to educate. But what if Maya Angelou is right?
If people don’t care until they know how much we care, are we missing it? I’d argue that we are. So I’d like to share one of the most incredible and selfless stories I’ve ever heard. At the end of it, I’d like for you to ask yourself one question: Would you do the same? If the answer is yes, I bet you’re crushing it in dental school and in life already! If the answer’s no, maybe after you read this, you’ll get to yes.
In the late 1960’s, the average driver didn’t wear a seatbelt, and creating laws like we have today, well, ask your parents. It was the ’60s. While industry leaders that drivers were wearing seatbelts, Mercedes did what they’d always done – they innovated. Long story short, they developed and patented the airbag. Now, I know what you’re thinking. That ‘s a heck of a story about a great company being great because they innovate. There is truth in that.
However, the story behind the story is this: hold the patents or not, what Mercedes did next is what defined them then and what defines them now They gave the patents away! Imagine that for a second that you held the key to every car company in the world putting airbags in their cars. Imagine that they held the key to everything regarding safety in the automobile industry. What was that worth? Why did they do it?
Simple. To save lives. Mercedes chose the greater good over the fatter wallet. They chose the safety of all, over protecting their own interests. They chose to do the big thing over showing big profits. Now imagine Mercedes was a dental practice. Imagine it was your dental practice. Imagine how your patients would respond. How your team would respond. How your community would respond.
So I’ll ask you one last time and challenge you in your future, your friends, your family… Would you do the same?
Dr. David Rice graduated cum laude in 1994 from The State University of New York at Buffalo’s School of Dental Medicine. In 1995, he completed his general practice residency from the Allegheny General Hospital in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania. With a strong belief in continuing education and mentorship, Dr. Rice went on to complete continuums at the Pankey Institute, The Dawson Center and The Spear Center all while building the Restorative Practice of his dreams and maintaining an associate clinical professorship at the SUNYab School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Rice combined his passions for teaching, mentoring and making a difference and igniteDDS was born. Today he continues to maintain his private practice and travels the country inspiring dentistry’s future to live their dream, have great success and to make that same difference that has brought him so much joy.