Play to win-as a team


Be a team player.

I was sick yesterday; the kind of knock-you-out sick that meant there was no way I was coming into the office. That's bad news two days before deadline. Luckily, I work with two wonderful people who kept churning out pages even while I was laid up on the couch. It feels good to know our Firstline team is just that, a team. All this got me thinking about what it really means to be a team player.

Kerry Hillard Johnson

In late March and early April, I can't consider team without going straight to college basketball. I'll be rooting for Kansas tonight. My fellow Jayhawks will probably shun me for saying so, but I'm just pleased KU made it this far. The boys in blue have really come together since the season started.

Don't follow basketball? Then let's talk about your practice team. Some days you're at the top of your game. The receptionist handles check in with ease, the technician or assistant reinforces the right recommendations, and the manager keeps everyone in sync.

Then there are days when things don't click. Maybe you can't seem to get your point across or you're just not jibing with a certain co-worker. These days are to be expected. We can't always be 100 percent.

Hoops fan or not, there's no denying that basketball and work are similar. Miss a shot, another player rebounds. Botch a client conversation, a co-worker steps in and says the right thing. If that's not the norm in your practice, huddle up and see if you can reignite the "all for one" attitude. You might not win the championship or attract the most new clients, but there's satisfaction in trying.

Case in point: Firstline was one of three finalists for best article in the Jesse H. Neal Awards, the Pulitzers of business-to-business journalism. Even though our July 2008 story "Bond Clients for Life" didn't win in the end, our staff did. We learned we're on the right track. We're going to stick together and keep working toward excellence.

And that's my wish for you: A team that, even in the face of setback, remembers that each of you is striving for two common goals—healthy pets and a successful practice. We'll try to help, so be sure to tell us what we can do.

Kerry Hillard Johnson, Editor

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