On Tuesday, February 7, the student-run Private Practice Elective hosted Dan Rootenberg, President and CEO of SPEAR Physical Therapy, and three of his clinic directors: Joe Costello, Amir Rand, and Jimmy Olayos. Dan presented his “10 keys to Leadership” and how those keys are not just essential business skills, but essential life skills. 2nd-year DPT student, Tony Pletcher, stated, “[Dan Rootenberg] offered good insight into why leadership skills are important and how they improve not only the leader but everyone they work with as well. They are skills that I think extend beyond the limits of private practice, and honestly beyond the field of PT as they help shape you for all types of interactions.”

Sample pearls Dan emphasized: (1) the concept of “grit” and how to persevere after receiving “no” for an answer; (2) the equation for achievement: talent x effort = skill and skill x effort = achievement – an equation where effort appears twice as the major factor influencing achievement; and (3) the powerful concept of reducing conflict by “leaning in”. Dan acknowledged how uncomfortable it is to confront problems, but by confronting those problems we feel much better afterward and simultaneously improve relationships. Clinic directors Joe, Amir, and Jimmy were instrumental in providing important examples of how this strategy works in the clinic.

As Students we are so grateful to Dan Rootenberg and SPEAR Physical Therapy. It is truly inspiring when such accomplished professionals are so willing to give back and help mentor the next generation.

The evening ended with an opportunity for students to network with Dan, Joe, Amir, and Jimmy, which may lead to some exciting collaboration in the future that involves a mentor type experience to show students a different perspective on working in a physical therapy office.

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