How to Help Your Team Achieve More than They Think They Can


Minda Zetlin, Inc. Magazine Online

Reviewed by Michael Vacon, PT

Author Minda Zetlin interviews Dan Schoenbaum, chief executive officer of the software company Redbooth, about his tips and techniques for getting his team to achieve more. Not only is Dan Schoenbaum the CEO of Redbooth, but he is also a former sniper in the Israeli paratrooper force. He relates how the intense training he had when he joined the military has helped him develop some techniques with his team. In his first day in the military, he learned that the culmination would be an 80-mile march with a 50-pound pack on his back. He shares how no one thought it would be possible at first, but after a gradual buildup of intense training it ended up being very attainable.

Overall, he has four simple tips or principles he uses with his employees. Although simple concepts, these can be very helpful in our industry—or any industry for that matter. If you own a private practice, you realize the importance of having to build an efficient team; one that knows how to pull together, multitask, meet sudden deadlines, and still provide a superior product. Here is how Dan Schoenbaum helps his people go beyond their limits:

1. Break it down into manageable steps. He summarizes that having the long vision of your plan is good for your employees, but many people need things broken down into smaller, more digestible steps to keep them from getting overwhelmed. In some cases, you may not know how to break things into smaller steps, but if you share a grand vision with your team, they might actually help come up with smaller, attainable steps to help you get there. He believes that his job is sometimes to be the rudder. While his team is working on the smaller tasks, he is making sure they are staying on the overall course he has set.

Screen Shot 2015-03-18 at 3.51.05 PM

2. Rally the troops. Achieving goals, especially grand ones, can be a daunting task. We would like to believe that all our employees are endlessly motivated to succeed at any cost, but the truth is people can lose focus on the big picture when they are “in the weeds.” Schoenbaum relates a situation in which his group was constantly losing contracts to a competitor and how he pulled everyone together for a motivational meeting to get all the departments working together to overcome the competing company. Having a sense of comradery can be vital in situations like this; rather than feeling like you are letting others down, you now realize that you have a supportive team around you.

3. Use rewards—the right way. Schoenbaum is not a big believer in “pay-for-play” where you incentivize a team by offering financial rewards for achieving a goal. He believes that people should be paid appropriately for doing their jobs without constantly dangling the potential of extra money for motivation. He does believe in offering rewards that bring a team together to accomplish a goal. He relates a scenario in which a development team was tasked to come in ahead of deadlines for a project and he offered them a huge party for the whole company if they succeeded. They met the deadline, had the party, and it really showed the team the power of collective effort.

4. Clearly define roles and responsibilities. Schoenbaum believes that not micromanaging a team is important; however, being specific about who owns what responsibility and when specific deadlines or checkpoints are, is vital for success. Overall, he believes that teams are not good at setting goals, roles, and responsibilities; however, a team that has this established from the start has a much better chance of excellent execution. He believes it is the leader’s role to “map out the goals and responsibilities…and then get out of the way.”

Overall, I liked the simplicity of his leadership plan. We all have teams of different sizes, but following these basic principles can help us lead our team to greatness. I know they hit home with me and gave me some great ideas for leading my team into the challenges that certainly face us ahead. 

The article can be found at:

Innovation through Collaboration


Mastermind or peer advisory groups bring like-minded noncompetitive businesses together to leverage their collective minds.

By Mike Horsfield, PT, OCS, MBA

Most great world and business leaders have a trusted group of advisors that they count on when making important decisions. King Arthur, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, Benjamin Franklin, and Andrew Carnegie all believed that collaborating with their peers was instrumental in their success. The concept of bringing minds together to create a powerful force was formalized in the early 1900s by Napoleon Hill in his two books The Law of Success and later expanded in his bestselling classic Think and Grow Rich.

The Mastermind principle is the coordination of knowledge and effort of two or more people who work toward a definite purpose, in the spirit of harmony. It is a unique concept that leverages the collective power of the group, creating a Third Mind. —Napoleon Hill

The Best You Can Be

Dear Editor:

I am writing to comment on the article titled “The Best You Can Be,” which appeared in the January 2015 edition of Impact.

The article is written by a Private Practice Section (PPS) board director and highlights his experience in receiving physical therapy treatment for a herniated disc. I have to say, I cannot recall a single article evoking so many different emotions in me.

The first question that came to mind is whether there is any consideration for evidence-based practice? First, the author states they had a “herniated disc” in the lower back. Now I do not know if they had any imaging studies, but given the diagnosis I assume so. If that is the case, why not self-refer to physical therapy first? Assuming imaging was done, it did nothing more than increase the cost for his episode of care as there is in fact evidence showing limited benefit in performing imaging studies routinely; unless of course there are severe, progressing neurologic deficits that were not mentioned. My other thoughts about evidence-based practice relate to the comments the author made that he went daily, each session lasted at a minimum of two hours and the longest three hours, and that he “walked, stretched, suffered, strengthened, trained, laughed, was poked, pushed, and manipulated (physically, mentally, and emotionally), heated, iced, lasered, and stimmed.” Wow, what happened to the kitchen sink, did they just forget to throw it in the mix? Where is the evidence to support all this time and stuff the author had done to him? I am glad he got better, but how long did it take? What really helped him and where is the evidence?

Before, During, and After


How to re-engineer the patient experience in your practice.

By Nitin Chhoda, PT, DPT

“It is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive, but those who can best manage change.” —Charles Darwin

Small changes to your patient experience, as opposed to sweeping, groundbreaking transformations can yield a significant benefit for your practice over time. In fact, the right patient experience begins even before the patient has stepped into your practice, and it continues well beyond discharge. The entire patient experience consists of three main components: before, during, and after (BDA). Collectively, these are the components that form the patient BDA continuum.

The “before” patient experience consists of the patient experience before they set foot in your practice for the first time. It includes the initial inquiry phone call, the scheduling process, the eligibility or insurance benefits verification process, the potential waiting room experience, the patient intake experience, call center phone conversations, and any experience the patient has before they see the clinician for the first time.

A Tribute to Steven M. Levine PT, DPT, MSHA, FAPTA

By Terry C. Brown, PT, DPT

On March 3, 2015 the physical therapy profession lost a dear friend and colleague Steven M. Levine. It is difficult to express the magnitude of what has been taken in this tragic accident. Those of you who knew Steve understand the gifts that he brought to our profession. He was a true visionary that had the clarity to see this profession for what it could be, never satisfied with where we were. In response to his vision he was tireless, demanding, and relentless in pushing us out of the comfort zone, driving us to make practice better. Steve spent 18 years in private practice in Maryland, understood what it takes to run a business, and spent the rest of his career looking for ways to improve the process. He was always willing to take the time to mentor, educate, and share with anyone who asked. He had a gift for making the complicated regulatory jargon understandable and relating it to your practice situation. We as a section and as a profession were so blessed to have had this generous man as a colleague.

Copyright © 2018, Private Practice Section of the American Physical Therapy Association. All Rights Reserved.