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Episode #456: Why Last Week Was a Great Week, with Dr. Barrett Straub

the best practices show podcast Aug 08, 2022

Every week can be a great week. You just have to have good systems and be around the right people. And to help you make that process easier, Kirk Behrendt brings back ACT’s CEO, Dr. Barrett Straub, to share some tried-and-true tools that will help your practice. Being a business owner and running a team doesn't have to be difficult! Find out about ACT’s To The Top study club, what they can offer, and why you should join. For a path to a better practice and better life, listen to Episode 456 of The Best Practices Show!

Main Takeaways:

  • Surround yourself with the best people.
  • Find the best mentors to learn from.
  • Support your team members.
  • Accept your weaknesses.
  • Be a lifelong learner.


  • “We say it all the time, leadership is lonely. It’s lonely at the top. And not necessarily a bad thing, but our thinking can get a little skewed when we’re working in our practices all day.” (5:11—5:22)
  • “That's one of those stories that we can tell ourselves when we’re stuck in the insurance PPO game, that, ‘There's no way out. I have to do it this way. I couldn't possibly do it the way he or she does.’ And those are stories that are all false. And sometimes, when you get in the room and you learn from people that are just like you, all of a sudden, that story changes a little bit.” (7:36—7:55)
  • “If you're talking to yourself, that's dangerous. Because 80% of your self-talk is going to be negative.” (9:32—9:36)
  • “In dentistry, the better your business is, the less your worries are. Your life is best when your business worries are at their least.” (11:50—12:00)
  • “When things are predictable, life gets a lot better.” (12:01—12:03)
  • “Dr. Pete Dawson was an incredible mentor of mine . . . He said, ‘Making money in dentistry is actually pretty easy, Kirk. It’s the byproduct.’” (13:17—13:26)
  • “You're not really a great leader until you create other great leaders that create other great leaders.” (14:13—14:18)
  • “If you study the best leaders, they all never stop learning.” (17:14—17:17)
  • “I said, ‘Dr. Dawson, what piece of advice would you give me in this career of dentistry?’ And he said, ‘Great question. I would say this: don't ever tell yourself you have it all figured out.’ And I said, ‘Really?’ He said, ‘Yes. Kirk, I don't have it all figured out.’ I was 24, he was 64.’ And he said, ‘I'm learning from my students all the time. The other thing you'll understand is, the people that have it all figured out, they're not that much fun.’ So, become a lifelong learner.” (18:18—18:44)
  • “It’s better to get two things done really well than try to chase 92.” (21:11—21:15)
  • “We walk our talk in [ACT’s] Team Week. And so, our coaching philosophy, our coaching program, really came about from a few years of working through what does work and what doesn't work. And we tried it before we ever coached on it, and we found what works. And we’ve basically taken our operating system that we use every day — and we believe in it because we, firsthand, have seen it work — and now, we coach on it. And so, it’s our way to walk our own talk, and it definitely works.” (23:11—23:41)
  • “Our attention gets diluted after 13 weeks. We start to move off of our core focus. We start to look for bright, shiny objects. And every 13 weeks we need a chance, dentists and ACT Dental, to stop, time out, get out of the business, get out of the practice, and work on the practice because usually, we’re working in the practice or working in the business. So, that time is really, really important.” (23:42—24:09)
  • “A lot of us listening would go, ‘Yeah, I totally believe in my team!’ But it’s the Rachel Wall question. I'll give her full credit for this. You ask any dentist like, ‘What do you believe?’ ‘Yeah, my team comes first. My team comes first.’ And then, she asks the ultimate question, ‘What do you do that supports what you just said?’ When you stop and land the airplane and tell your team, ‘We’re going to work on this together,’ you're making a physical, emotional, time statement. You're saying, ‘You guys do come first.’” (24:52—25:20)
  • “Entrepreneurs think we have to be everything to all people. We have to be the greatest leader ever. We have to have all the answers. We have to be perfect in every category. And the older you get, the further on in years you get, you realize it’s impossible. And the more you try to be perfect in all areas, the more fake you come across, and the more weaknesses are exposed. So, the smarter thing to do is just accept your weaknesses, find people that can fill in those blind spots. And that's one of the main keys to a well-performing team.” (26:39—27:09)
  • “There are some key processes, some internal operational processes, that if every dentist did these, they'd be way better off. And we’re going to share those. So, we want to create a pathway that a dentist who is in private practice and wants to get better, or someone that's an associate and maybe wants to buy their own practice but is telling themselves that story that, ‘It’s too hard,’ or, ‘I can't afford it,’ or, ‘I can't do it because I don't know how,’ we are going to give the tools to be able to do it.” (32:27—32:59)
  • “I wrote the definition of entrepreneur on the back: to operate a business, taking on a greater than normal level of risk. So, an entrepreneur has a greater level of risk and also reaps a greater proportion of the benefits, by nature. However, when the risks are seen as too high, it’s hard for a dentist to take that jump. And so, what our training in this curriculum is going to do is lower that risk, because we’re going to help you develop your roadmap and see that there is a way to get there step by step.” (35:52—36:26)
  • “If more people in our country read [Think Again by Adam Grant], we’d have a better country. And it’s basically, don't believe what you think. So, what we think, and Adam Grant makes this case, comes from our upbringing, our environment, our parents, the city we are born in. Our environment helps form our thinking. And our thinking, once it’s in our brain, we think it’s fact. And I'm the same. And therefore, we live our life searching for confirmation bias. If we’re conservative, we watch Fox News. If we’re liberal, we watch CNN, because we want to surround ourselves with people that think the way we do and preach the way we like to think. And that's all fine and good — except that the best leaders, the best performers, we consciously try to make sure our thinking is correct.” (52:08—53:01)
  • “Adam Grant says if you define yourself based on what you think, it’s really hard to change your mind because now you're saying, ‘I was a fraud.’ But if you identify and define yourselves based on what you value, then changing your thoughts is easy because it doesn't change who you are. ‘This is who I am. These are my core values.’ My thinking can change as often as it needs to, but my values never change. I love the idea.” (55:01—55:30)


  • 0:00 Introduction.
  • 3:26 Why you should join ACT’s To The Top study club.
  • 10:03 Other tools and programs that will help your practice.
  • 18:57 What the ACT Team Week looks like.
  • 24:45 Putting your team first.
  • 25:55 Accept your weaknesses and find people who can help.
  • 27:15 Drinks of the day.
  • 28:53 The Wisconsin Dental Entrepreneur Program.
  • 38:07 ACT’s producer, Andy Konkle.
  • 40:35 Kirk and Barrett’s favorite ice cream and childhood shows.  
  • 46:23 Andy’s ice cream facts, favorite ice cream, and TV show.
  • 51:08 Don't believe what you think.  
  • 59:18 Last thoughts.

Reach Out to Dr. Straub:

Dr. Straub’s Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/barrett.d.straub

Dr. Straub’s social media: @bstraub10


ACT Dental’s To The Top study club: https://www.actdental.com/ttt

ACT Dental’s PPO Roadmap: https://form.jotform.com/221574987947173

ACT Dental’s Dental Entrepreneur Program: https://www.actdental.com/dental-entrepreneur-program?mc_cid=7862259343&mc_eid=UNIQID

Traction by Gino Wickman: https://benbellabooks.com/shop/traction/

Think Again by Adam Grant: https://adamgrant.net/book/think-again/

Brené Brown: https://brenebrown.com/

Dr. Barrett Straub Bio:

Dr. Straub practices general and sedation dentistry in Port Washington, Wisconsin. He has worked hard to develop his practice into a top-performing, fee-for-service practice that focuses on improving the lives of patients through dentistry.

A graduate of Marquette Dental School, Dr. Straub’s advanced training and CE includes work at the Spear Institute, LVI, DOCS, and as a member of the Milwaukee Study Club. He is a past member of the Wisconsin Dental Association Board of Trustees and was awarded the Marquette Dental School 2017 Young Alumnus of the Year. As a former ACT coaching client that experienced first-hand the transformation that coaching can provide, he is passionate about helping other dentists create the practice they’ve always wanted.

Dr. Straub loves to hunt, golf, and spend winter on the ice, curling. He is married to Katie, with two daughters, Abby and Elizabeth. 


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