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Wanda CokerBy Wanda Coker, BHS, CRA, FAHRA

In the last month or so, many of my friends and colleagues have had family members graduate from high school or college, and even some of my colleagues have graduated with advanced degrees. Graduation is an accomplishment and a milestone event, but does not mean automatic success.

Success means a lot of things to different people. It can mean to acquire a lot of money. It can be that dream job. The truth is, success is unique to each individual. As I was looking through some graduation cards, I came across this on the front cover of one of the cards:

Success is

To believe in yourself and the best you can be,

To strive for each goal that you’ve set,

To know that you’ve tried with courage and pride

And never looked back with regret….

To live your own life in the manner you’ve chosen,

Refusing to settle for less,

To shape your own destiny, build your own world –

This is to be a success.

I cannot begin to name the number of books that have been published to help people be successful. In John Maxwell’s book, How Successful People Think, he states that he has studied successful people for forty years. He believes that the one thing that separates successful people from unsuccessful ones is how they think. He goes on to say in his book that “good thinkers, especially those who are also good leaders, understand the power of shared thinking.” They value the thoughts and ideas of others. They accomplish more with others than they could have on their own. In one of the chapters in his book, he discusses six different advantages of shared thinking:

  1. Shared thinking is faster than solo thinking. In this fast paced industry, it’s easier to learn together, and from each other, than alone. Members of the workforce are now focusing on attributes of community value rather than higher pay in their job searches.
  2. Shared thinking is more innovative than solo thinking. Innovation comes from collaboration. By combining your thoughts with others, you can come up with more ideas than you could on your own.
  3. Shared thinking brings more maturity than solo thinking. You can gain a broader sense of knowledge by asking questions and listening to the expertise of others.
  4. Shared thinking is stronger than solo thinking. Synergy is stronger together than as one. The author gives an analogy of two horses pulling a wagon, and how they can pull more together than either of them could individually.
  5. Shared thinking returns greater value than solo thinking. Compounding actions of shared thinking will produce a higher return.
  6. Shared thinking is the only way to have great thinking. Better answers and/or results can be achieved by working together. Using a quote from Ken Blanchard: “None of us is as smart as all of us.”

One person cannot be successful without the help of others. That is what is so great about AHRA. We have the help of others through the forum, Annual Meeting, Spring Conference, the Fall Virtual Conference, textbooks, vendors, and many other resources. It’s a perfect example of shared thinking. AHRA is a great resource to help us be the best that we can be, strive for our goals, and shape our destiny in the imaging profession. As we approach this year’s Annual Meeting, if you have not registered, I encourage you to do so. If you have registered, I look forward to seeing you there.  You do not want to miss it!

In addition, I wish my congratulations, best wishes and much success to all of the recent graduates. I especially want to wish my congratulations to our own AHRA president, Ernie Cerdena, who has just received his PhD and is now officially President Dr. Ernie Cerdena.


Maxwell J. How Successful People Think: Change Your Thinking, Change Your Life. New York: Center Street, 2009.

Wanda Coker, BHS, CRA, FAHRA is the radiology director at Shriners Hospital for Children in Greenville, SC. She can be reached at


  1. Great article, Wanda! I agree that the reason that the AHRA is so great is because of shared thinking. I have learned so much from wonderful AHRA members. I appreciate how open and inclusive this group is. I can’t wait to see everybody at the annual meeting! (And congratulations, President Dr. Ernie!)

  2. Thanks for sharing these thoughts Wanda! We all have the oppertunity to be that successful person and this organization surely does help us down that path!

  3. SO TRUE! Thank you for so eloquently putting success into perspective for us. Well said!

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