Introducing the Firstline Challenge - Firstline
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Introducing the Firstline Challenge
Here's information about how to improve yourself and your team—and even win an iPod Touch.


Kerry Hillard Johnson
A few unmet big-picture goals nag my professional conscience. These to-dos keep getting pushed down the priority list by the daily grind. I imagine many of you face the same situation. Who has time to forge stronger co-worker relationships, for example, when you're constantly answering phones or cleaning up after pets? But it's time to bring these lofty ambitions down to Earth and to the forefront.

Enter the Firstline Challenge, a program we designed to make simple work out of complicated stuff. We're launching the challenge this month by tackling team building, the first of four topics. (We'll roll out more—patient care, professional growth, and client relations—in the next three issues.)

In this month's cover article, "How to Work With Your Rivals", you'll see an article that offers tactics for eliminating those "us vs. them" feelings that crop up in the workplace. The advice provides a solid first step toward creating a team that truly works together. If you're like me, you'll read the article, be inspired, then promptly get distracted by the person standing in front of you. There go the good intentions.

The Firstline Challenge will help you refocus and follow through on the best-laid plans. Here's how it works:
  • Visit
  • Click on the topic of the month
  • Check out the list of activities we suggest to help you break down your goals into achievable components
  • And, if you'd like, discuss your challenges and successes with team members completing the same processes.

Did I mention doing all this comes with a reward? Of course, you'll enjoy the major satisfaction of growing professionally. But if you blog on about how you improved in any of the four challenge areas, you could win* a new iPod Touch.

Why wait until January to start on those New Year's-type resolutions? Let's get busy now. (I can't wait to silence that nag.) It's going to take some effort—otherwise it wouldn't be called a challenge—but going through the paces will benefit you and your practice. And when 2010 rolls around, you'll be able to sit back and enjoy the goals you've already accomplished.

Kerry Hillard Johnson, Editor

*No Purchase Necessary. Open to legal residents of the 50 US & DC, 21+, who are credentialed technicians, practice managers, receptionists and assistants working in veterinary practices in the U.S. Void where prohibited. Contest ends Feb 15, 2010. For full rules see



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