Our guest is COO Alliance Member Guy Berry, COO at Redirect Health.
The core key for the CEO and the COO to have that is the development of trust between them. Guy Berry, COO of Redirect Health, works alongside Dr. David Berg who is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board. As Director of Operations, Guy leads with strategic thinking, project management, and a focus on leadership growth. David, on the other hand, focuses on learning and taking that learning back to grow the team. Guy joins us to talk about developing trust and growing exponentially by looking at outside experts and the pitfalls you have to watch out for that would affect company culture, and more. He also shares how he got started at Redirect Health and the scope of what the organization does.
Redirect Health COO, Guy Berry
Guy Berry is the COO for Redirect Health, a Phoenix-based organization built on the foundations of exceptional customer service and revolutionizing truly affordable health care for everyone. A cowboy at heart, Guy was raised in Texas with education from Baylor and a Master’s from UNT. He journeyed through the plains to the desert while leading teams with Target and Concentra United Health. Landing at Redirect Health where Guy grew from the Director of Operations to COO and along the way, he came to the realization to choose true happiness. He is also one of the founding members of the COO Alliance. Guy’s CEO, David Berg, is a close friend of mine. I’m looking forward to this chat with you.
I’m looking forward to it. Thanks for having me.
You’re welcome. Why don’t you give us a little bit of a tour as to how you got from starting at Redirect Health and to where you are now?
The big start for me came from a conversation with David Berg. It started with who I was as a leader and what I was trying to do. He did the typical entrepreneur way and took me in and white boarded for two or three hours one afternoon. He gave me his vision of the company for the next few years or even gave me his ten-year vision and said, “Have I scared you away?” It made me more excited and I said, “No, I want to join this team. You made it even more exciting because I thought you wanted me to just join your average running a health clinic company.” Once he gave me that vision, it was truly something inspiring. I joined the team as a Director of Operations where it was more about, “This company just expanded to multiple locations. We’re needing help trying to understand how to manage those boundaries and manage overall culture between multiple locations.” From there, the company grew and I now serve as the COO. That’s been a six-year journey coming up to that aspect.
Give us a bit of scope as to the size of Redirect Health and Arrowhead Health Centers that you’ve been running and tell us a little bit about Redirect Health does.
Redirect is made up of two organizations right now. Arrowhead Health Centers and Redirect Health. Arrowhead Health Centers is your standard medical clinics with doctors and chiropractors providing treatment for family practice and pain management all throughout the Phoenix and Maricopa valley. That has four locations and within our clinic side of the business, it roughly has 120 employees. Redirect Health ventured from Arrowhead Health Centers and is more on the health plan side of the business. We are providing healthcare to individuals and families as well as through companies so that people can have easy and truly portable healthcare access in the system.
You are revolutionizing part of the healthcare space right now and David is a classic entrepreneur. How do you get on the same page or stay on the same page as he is with his vision? How do you save David or protect David from himself along the way as well? Entrepreneurs tend to have entrepreneurial seizures and they have the great idea of the week.
I would say it’s taken a couple of years to develop that relationship and part of that comes from the observation that I would have that entrepreneurs can sometimes be a little guarded of who they let fully into understanding who they are. That comes from a little bit of fear to people that once they’re in, you can see some of the stuff that goes on behind the scenes and all the other things. It takes a little time to break those walls down. One of the pieces that I think is important is trust. You’re building that trust over the years and understanding that you’re there for each other. It becomes a relationship more so than just, “I saw you between 8 to 5 Monday through Friday,” and you’re truly there for each other on anything you need. That’s where you build that trust and that relationship so that he can trust and confide something. Once you have that trust, you can bring in the idea of some of the chaos that can come in. I don’t believe it’s saving themselves from them or we’re managing those issues with them directly. It’s more about teaching everybody else around you how to interact and be prepared for the different pieces. I find that if I were to try to do anything with him, it’s going to be behind closed doors.
After a meeting, I was like, “I saw this. This is what I heard. You might want to tone it down. That maybe wasn’t the right way to go about this in the crowd of people.” When you’re talking to a group of people, you let them know. When they come to you and they say, “This is what I heard in the meeting. He said that we’ve got this new product and we’re going to launch it for two weeks. I wasn’t even aware we were doing it.” I’m going, “Let’s break it down. What’s the new product? What does he want to do? What are the actual ramifications we’re talking about here?” You get people out of their emotion. That’s what it is. People get their emotion at a high point. You’re managing that emotion down. The biggest is teaching people that he’s going to have great ideas and that’s the hard piece. You have to understand that he’s okay to have 1,000 ideas and have 999 of them fail because he’s that one that’s so good at launches. He’s okay with that. You’ve got to realize that everybody else can suffer every time there’s a failure. You have to be like, “No, I’m good for this ride.”
You started with something that was key, which was that development of trust. It’s core key for the CEO and the COO to have that huge trust between them. How have you built the trust between the two of you over the years? Are there any actions or any specific systems or things that you’ve done to build trust in the relationship between you and Dave?
Where the trust came from is more than the aspect of me being completely open with him so that he never has to feel that there’s a hidden agenda. Let’s take the normal employee and manager relationship. They’re going to go, “I’m not happy.” They go look for another job and they’re gone. For me, I’m going to sit with him and say, “I’m not happy. I’m not going to go apply for another job. I’m going to talk to you and you and I figure out if our relationship is not working out, is it best for me to go somewhere? I’d rather us agree on the next steps for me than me go figure that out myself.” When you have that conversation, he’s not worried that you’re constantly going to get somewhere else or poached or lose the game because you didn’t want to play in it. It’s about that conversation with him. That’s honestly what’s been the best on our relationship.
I’ve seen it so many times over the years where the CEO is always worried that their second-in-command is going to quit. The second-in-command is always worried the CEO is going to fire them. They both get on the same page, they’d realize they’re there forever. It’s a huge desire to make all of the hard work pay off and neither one of them wants to lose hope, but they don’t know how to express that and get vulnerable with each other and open up with that. We were talking about some of the growth that you’ve had as the second-in-command and working with David. What were some of those insights you had that have helped you in the relationship with the CEO?
I’ll start with the insight of realizing all of what that entrepreneur or somebody can bring to the company and into your relationships. They typically have a network of people that they have built over the years, whether it’s through an entrepreneurial organization, whether it’s through YPO or some other private organization or even their friends in the community. Having access to that network is key but also never be afraid to let them access that network. If they say, “I want to bring in this person who’s going to advise us on operations.” I can’t go, “That offended me. Are you saying that operations aren’t working well? Why are you bringing this person?” Instead I go, “That’s awesome. Let’s get another point of view here because another point of view can only make us better.”
I’m only as good as so much so I have no reason to be upset to bring in other people. Knowing that that network is there and accessing as a huge piece that I’m going to have to change even in my own mindset. There would be times that you bring in an expert, your first reaction is, “I’ve now offended him. I must not be doing a good job.” I start to worry like, “Am I going to get fired?” Versus, “No, he just found another person,” and thought, “Why wouldn’t I bring this person in to help us? Any other person that can help us get our mission one step forward. It’s a good thing. Why should we ever be worried about that?”
Are you building that mindset throughout the leadership team at Redirect Health?
That’s one thing that’s grown over the last couple of months is looking at outside experts is another opportunity to influence us on the path forward. One of the things that you say is that the leader can only go so far and survive so many doubles and that’s where I go. “What other tools or access can we bring in so that we can help these leaders handle growth and handle other things?” For our team, that’s the biggest eye-opening piece is as we grow, we’re going to need help. Let’s seek it out and never try to shut our doors to it. It’s a learning and growing opportunity versus just trying to spin your wheels.
You had to go through something that not a lot of companies have to go through. Years ago, as a company, you decided to start the Redirect Health brands and that was second to the Arrowhead Health. Arrowhead had been running for several years. What was it like in starting off a second brand and the second company? What level of confusion and frustration did that throw into the company and how did you solve that or get through that? I’ve always said that a person can only sit on one toilet at a time. When you try to sit on more than one toilet, it gets messy. How did you get around that strategy or that problem?
At first, it was as if sitting on two toilets. It was a little messy but part of it is the culture. One of the key things that we saw was we started Redirect Health. Arrowhead Health Centers had self-funded and was managing its own healthcare on its own. Ownership of our company, Dr. Berg and other people were just saying, “We’re going to own our own healthcare and manage our people’s healthcare better than an insurance company could.” When we did it, we saved money every year. Every year we were saving money on healthcare. What happened is other people said, “Can you help me?” Redirect was born from that. We’re like, “Let’s go help some other companies.”
We can’t be the only people leveraging healthcare to not only save money but then improve the recruiting, improve the retention and other aspects of the business. When Redirect started, it was like, “This is a good idea. Let’s start it. This is something to jump on.” In the beginning, the struggle was we were using Arrowhead resources to launch Redirect. Then what happens is you start pulling some of your resources and the Arrowhead starts to take a little hit because it’s going, “All these people, your accounting, your marketing and your sales are being pulled in this other direction.” You start to have people working and using two different hats. Eventually, we came to the conclusion that we have to separate them. We can’t just have them blended between the two.
When we separated them, we had our actual team that was the Redirect team, our actual team that’s the Arrowhead team. The pitfall that you have to watch for is we started having little things that would affect their culture. One being, Human Resources would say, “I’m firing this person from Arrowhead Health Centers to hire them over here at Redirect Health.” We’re going, “No, we’re all one company.” I know it’s two different companies but when you use terms like, “I’m firing or turning them over here so that I can hire them over here.” People look at them as two separate entities and now I’m creating two separate cultures. We had to look for those little aspects where people started going, “Why would I even work for this other company?” It’s not another company. Then it became, “I’ll give my two-week notice at Redirect because I’m going to go work over at Arrowhead.” It’s like, “That’s not how it works.”
What happened is you got too distinct with the companies and now you have people viewing them separately. We almost have two companies but then one brand. That’s what unifies it all. We said, “The brand is Redirect Health. We have our Redirect Health plan side of the business and we have our Redirect Clinic side of the business that’s going to continue to operate as Arrowhead Health Centers but our brand is Redirect Health.” Once we pick one brand, it got rid of the two separate company and then brought us unified. That started the wheels in motion of everything else that’s happened over the last few years.
When I was first chatting with David, my suggestion was to completely split them and run them as two separate companies and then put teams in place for each. What was it that you decide to do differently and start to merge them together?
The biggest struggle was if you have two separate teams, you’re going to get two separate cultures, you’re going to get two separate other things and you start to get a little nervous of that aspect. When we brought them together, all we centralized was the main centralized leadership. Your strategy, your vision, some marketing, some accounting, your finance and those key aspects can blend into the culture. You still have a leadership team who’s responsible for this business, the Redirect Health plan side. You have a leadership team that’s responsible for Arrowhead. They are in an essence their own companies and the other leadership team is more of the advisory board, even though we’re the executive team that’s helping those two entities. When you look at it in that aspect, now we are providing vision strategy and influencing those companies, but letting them operate on their own. That’s when you can leverage it in a different aspect. That’s the unique aspect of it. It’s about one brand but it’s not as if we’re one company.
How did you grow through this transition? Over the last few years, you’ve grown a ton as a leader. What areas have you focused yourself on growing? What areas do you look back and go, “I grew?” Were there any areas that you specifically tried to get better in? Were there any areas that on hindsight you saw yourself get better by osmosis?
When I started as the Director of Operations, I had so many views of what leadership is and the majority of those are gone out the window over the last few years. Where it started was I joined the COO Alliance with you and started learning from other COOs. You don’t get a perspective of what other second-in-commands are dealing with. You think you’re on an island. You think, “Nobody else can see what’s happening behind the scenes as I can. Nobody is dealing with what I’m dealing with. Nobody is going home at night with all the pressure of a company on their shoulders.” You start talking to all these other people and you’re like, “We were all in the same boat.” That started me thinking differently. From there, the biggest game-changers for me is focusing on that unique ability. One of the things you talk about is getting stuff off your plate that maybe you’re not motivated to do or this brings no real value to what it is so you can offload it.
If you think about a golfer, they’re going to practice chipping. They’re going to practice driving, but the big key there is practice. They practice a lot. If you plan on just being a leader and you try to do it and be a blanketed good leader, you’re going to fail because you don’t know where to focus. For the last couple of years, what I focused on is I seem to have a unique ability in being very observant. If I walk in a room or I’m in a meeting, I can observe who maybe isn’t happy or who is not enjoying this meeting. I’m observing like, “This employee doesn’t look happy.” Maybe it’s a sentence that I see on our company Slack that somebody posts and I’m like, “That seems off.” All of those little key moments I’ve always had in my head, but then I never took action on them. When I focus on it, I’m going to take action. If I see somebody upset, I go grab them and go, “It didn’t seem like you’re too happy. Let’s talk.” He’s like, “No, I’m fine.” I go, “No, you’re not fine. Something is going on. Let’s go talk.” It’s letting that feeling and making sure to go after it.
Then I leverage it on how I can help other people. If I’m in a meeting or if I hear something and see something, I can go pull that person aside and go, “You might have offended this person. You might want to follow back up with him.” They go, “Do you think I did?” I go, “It’s just an observation of what I saw on their facial reaction and the way you talked. Maybe you might want to circle back with them.” I find out later like, “Thanks for letting me know that. They were offended in that meeting. I appreciate that.” That unique ability is something I focused on more over the years. That has been my focus and going, “I’m going to practice that every day.” It’s a constant practice and realizing that I’ve got to get there. That’s the piece that I know that with leadership, you have to understand that it is about practicing and surely changing your mindset on a lot of things because that is the only way to get better over the years.
Your attitude towards leadership and towards your role seems to be a lot of that is related to people and related to communication. It’s related to the soft skills of leadership that you seem to be strong at versus a lot of people sit down and focus on the systems or processes. Is that accurate?
That’s accurate. I can go whiteboard a process and sit with people and we can figure it out. In fact, I’ve got the day scheduled to work through some process and we can identify it. Even in that same unique ability, I’m going to notice little things where I go, “Maybe this is off or maybe we can do this a little bit better.” I’m always going to try to say, “I know that I’m not good at developing a process from ground zero.” My passion is not going to be my success, but if you bring me 80% of it, I can try to leverage the things that maybe you’re not thinking about or looking at in the right way. Maybe I see something different than you and I’ll help get through that. I believe that. With operations and culture, soft skills are a little bit more important than those aspects than some of the hard skills. That’s why I focused on those in the last years. I’ve got an entrepreneur in David that he created so many processes to the detail. He doesn’t need somebody to come in and create more processes. He needs somebody who’s watching them and saying who are the right people to carry out those processes.
David is an anomaly in the entrepreneurial world. He’s a physician. He’s a doctor and an entrepreneur. He is very process-minded. Even his Kolbe profile. His first two numbers were high. He’s 7845 or 42 or something. He’s a fairly low quick start. Most entrepreneurs are high quick starts. David does develop a lot of the systems and SOPs. The last thing that the company needs is another person to be doing that. It’s interesting that you have found that nice balance. David also spends a lot of time and money on his own personal development. He’s a member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization. He’s a member of Strategic Coach and he’s also in the highest level of strategic coach. He’s also in the 100K group from the Genius Network. He is spending $160,000 on his own personal development and networks and spending $20,000 plus on you to be in the COO Alliance. What is it about the outside learning that David believes in? Is there anything specific that you’ve pulled out of the COO Alliance that you think has helped you with your growth or will help you over the next year?
When somebody hears, “David is part of Strategic Coach or part of any of these of pieces.” It’s easy for somebody to go, “That’s nice that he can go pay to keep developing himself.” That’s great that he gets to do that. I had a talk with him. We were sitting there talking about Strategic Coach and he goes, “I’ve learned so much in the last fifteen years being a part of the Strategic Coach that I want to give everything I’m learning and teach people so they can have access to all this knowledge that I’ve had.” You realize, “He’s doing all this because the more he does this, the more he can help grow and develop the other leaders around him.” He truly uses it. I have a scorecard right here by me and our scorecard is a tool from the Strategic Coach that we use. We have all kinds of things that he has influenced this company through all those pieces. That’s not an investment on himself. He is spending that money on an investment in the leadership for this organization.
It’s been huge that he is taking the time to do that. That’s what helps all of us on the leadership team to take our level another step up. As long as he’s helping keep raising the ceiling, he’s helping raise us another notch. With the COO Alliance, the biggest piece that I’ve had that came from that which was interesting is I hadn’t had a work event where you step out of the office for a long time. I’ve had a few over the years but nothing like this to where I stepped out. You take a couple of days to reflect. You’re there and you’re learning some things. What I realized was I’m just going to work myself to death. I’m going to plug away and grow and then look back at my life and be like, “That was great. I’m so glad I plugged away all those years of my life.” I realized that you have to focus on what you are doing to truly be happy.
You’ve been talking about choosing to be happy. It’s choosing to say like, “What am I doing now? I’m not going to let negativity bring me down because I don’t have time for it.” I want to enjoy life. The biggest takeaway I’ve had from the COO Alliance is that everybody feels that way. Everybody doesn’t want it to be plugging away in these fast-paced entrepreneurial organizations to come home with a frown on their face and have to be with their family. They want to be happy and enjoy what they’re doing. Most of us were inspired by the entrepreneur at some point and got slammed in the mess of what a growing entrepreneurial company is. We might forget that little inspiration and we might forget something. Take the time to go, “I’m just happy to be a part of this ride. It’s going to have ups and downs like any rollercoaster, but I have a C on it.” I’ve had the biggest takeaway from the COO Alliance.
You mentioned that David is focused on all of the learning that he gets in these different groups that he’s a member of and how he takes that learning back to grow his team. How are you focused on growing your direct reports? I’ve always believed that a leader’s job is to grow people. What are you doing to grow your team?
The biggest piece that I tried to leverage when I’m growing my team is about the conversations I have with them. It’s that aspect of choosing the appropriate words and making sure that you understand the ramifications of the incorrect word. One of the things that I noticed is your team will come to you when they have a problem. Right away, they’ve already got the solution. Right away, they’ve got the next five steps. It’s teaching them to take a breath and go, “Let’s look at the problem. Is that truly the problem before we even get to the solutions and the next steps?” Many times I see the team goes, “So and so told me this is an issue.” You haven’t had direct knowledge that that was truly an issue. We’re going to go spend four hours creating a solution on something we haven’t even gotten direct knowledge of, yet, when you came to me, you said this is a problem. The words I heard is, “You’ve already done the research, you figured it out, it’s a problem and we’re going to do it.” You’ve got hearsay that this is a problem and we need to go back. If you come to me and you say, “So and so told me this is a problem.” Now, we can look at it from that view.
I want people to be important with their words because it’s so easy to have somebody come to you and say, “We have such an issue with customer complaints at this location.” I’m like, “Why?” It’s like, “We’ve had three complaints in the last week.” I’m like, “How many positive comments have we had?” They’re like, “We’ve got 100.” I’m like, “We’ve had 100 positive compliments and we’ve got three negative ones. You told me we have a huge problem. Let’s talk about how big of a problem that is.” I get it. We want to attack those three and let’s make sure we have solutions. That’s the emotion of the day-to-day work. You just get bogged down and all of a sudden, something gets told that there’s a problem like, “No, it’s a big issue.” Then you find out it’s happened three times in the last three months. It’s like, “Is that big of an issue?” That’s the biggest thing I tried to instill with our leadership team.
What’s your Kolbe profile?
I don’t remember. You’ll have to look it up.
My gut is that your first number is quite high like a seven or an eight.
Yeah, my first number is high. I remember that.
You’re a high fact finder. It means that you tend to ask a lot of questions before you start things, which is a massive skill that you’re leveraging right now. Before you take an idea and run with it or a problem and try to solve it, you ask a number of questions to truly understand it. It’s also helping your team to truly understand the issue. As you pointed out like, “We have a big problem with customer service.” Until all of a sudden you realize, “No, we don’t have a problem at all. We’re crushing it with 100 positive comments and three negatives. Maybe we can just get that work.” You have done something on an employee handbook. What is that tool and how did you develop it? How do you use it?
We have the storybook. The storybook is capturing your core values, your mission, your purpose and then it takes it another step. There are books out there, there are other tools that people use where they capture their core values or their purpose in some type of way. We took that and then took it a step further, which speaks to David’s mindset of taking that process and clearly defining it. It takes us into the customer journey. The customer is going to have a touchpoint with every single employee through the organization starting with marketing, who’s going to market in sales and who gets to the customer to the people who talked to them on the phones. It’s the people they interact with every day in clinics and the providers to check out to your billing team, to your accounting team and to everybody else. Every single one of those touch points, we created a page in our book for that touch point and said, “What are the three to five things that influenced the customer in a positive way?”
It’s not a, “How to do your job?” You have those types of training material. This isn’t going to say, “If I do these three to five things, I will have a positive impact on the customer.” Everything is written in that aspect of putting the customer first. As you go through and you journey through the book, you can realize, “Each one of these people, if they do these things, the customer is going to leave with an amazing story.” You teach everybody to read the page before your page and the page after it because that handoff is extremely important. If the person comes to me at checkout and they say, “I have another question. On the medical assistant page before checkout, it says to make sure the patient doesn’t have any more questions.” If they come to check out and ask for more questions, we didn’t do that. We didn’t do that piece before they got the checkout. Even knowing the other steps, you can raise your hand and go, “By the way, we missed this on this part of the customer journey.” That storybook just captures all of that customer journey, our vision and our values in a nice easy tool that every single person can have access to.
Walk me through the different meeting rhythms that you’re using right now inside your company. I was there running my strategic planning and meeting from one of your spaces. You ran a daily huddle while I was there. What are some of the other meeting rhythms that you do? Walk us through the daily huddle that you do too.
We’re doing the quarterly offsite leadership team and executive leadership team breaking away planning strategic, how our quarter is going annual meetings. Those pieces are happening offsite. We’re utilizing the AZ Growth Advisors who are Gazelles and is part of Verne Harnish’s Scaling Up piece. We’re using that for our quarterly piece. The next is going to be our weekly meetings. On the weekly meetings, we’re using the Level 10 Meeting from EOS Traction. We’re going to use the Level 10 Meeting where we’re going to go over some weekly KPIs and good news. We’re also going to go over any customer and employee headlines and then dive into the issues and identify and solve those issues on a weekly basis.
We’re going to have the daily huddle, which we leverage from talking with you. What was interesting is when we started the daily huddle, we started specifically because people didn’t feel that our culture was strong. They didn’t feel there was great communication. When we originally started it, we as leaders felt that there are so many good things happening in the organization yet, the employees aren’t feeling it or seeing it. With that daily touch point, we’re able to highlight all these awesome things that are going by looking at some quick KPIs that are happening every day, but also bringing up high fives where people boost each other up every day and say, “Thank you.” That has just been the biggest culture shift for us.
I like that you are pulling different systems from different groups. You’ve mentioned that you’re pulling the Level 10 Meeting from Traction. You’re pulling the quarterly planning meetings from Gazelles. You’re pulling the daily huddle from my work and what I wrote in the book, Meetings Suck. I love that you’re pulling systems and iterating and making them your own as well because there’s not going to be one program or one system that works for every company. You’ve just got to take pieces and iterate to make them work. Have you had any pushbacks from any of your employees on the daily huddle and how did you get past that if you did?
Anybody who’s going to launch a daily huddle, the first thing you hear is, “We’re too busy during the day to do this. We don’t have time to go take out five minutes to do a daily huddle.” What they’re saying is, “I don’t understand the purpose or vision or why this is important.” If you truly outline that, we said, “Let’s do it. Everybody is going to be in it.” We muscled our way through it more so than we needed to. We made every huddle just so much fun and exciting that people wanted to be there. That’s how we got them initially excited about it. The better piece would have been like, “Don’t you want to take five minutes to give somebody a high five and a huddle and tell them, ‘Great job?’” There is some vision that we could have done better in the beginning. Once we got rolling and people saw the impact, more people wanted to be a part of it. We didn’t want to have a culture like, “You will be at the huddle or you are a bad person.” We wanted it to be about like, “You should want to be at the huddle because it’s a part of who we are.”
A lot of our new hires love it because they’re in the huddle and they’re seeing it. We introduce them in the huddle like, “Here are the new people. Welcome them and say, “High five,” and all these things.” They’re like, “This is awesome. I want to be a part of this every day.” It’s the people who’ve been working for your company for six years that have never been in a huddle. They’re a little harder because they’re going, “I haven’t seen the impact. I haven’t seen the positivity of it.” Those are the harder people to get by in but we got it over time. It took months and then everybody has got by. The last piece that we’re just working on is utilizing. If you’re in a meeting or if you have something going on, you utilize that as a time to show people how great our culture is. Pause a meeting, “I’ve got huddle right now. Let’s go out and let’s see it.” You can even recognize the people who were in your meeting with you. If they’re outside vendors, “These are the people who are meeting with us.” Everyone goes, “That’s awesome. High five to them.” It creates this culture to them where they’re going, “This person paused our meeting to go have that huddle.” That’s the next big step for us. That’s a hard piece where people right now will have a meeting and they haven’t stepped out for the huddle.
I love that when you have interviews happening. The interview stops and everybody goes to the huddle. If you’ve got some business meeting happening, even with outside customers or suppliers that are in your office, that meeting stops and everybody goes to the huddle. I love that pull everyone together for it. How many employees do you have at your head office right now?
The head office, which is the Redirect side of the business is at 80. We’ve got 120 in the clinics so it’s about 200 total between the two companies.
All 80 people came to huddle virtually. There was almost nobody sitting on their phone or their desk. They all just showed up and participated. How long do you run that?
We try to do it in seven minutes. In the beginning, we timed it and we had a timer. I’d say we stayed pretty good on it and then we got lazy and stopped using the timer. Our meetings start to get ten to eleven minutes and sometimes fifteen until the employee started complaining that we were having too long huddles. We’re going to get back to using the timer to make sure to cut us off so we don’t get too long-winded.
You were struggling in your role as COO. You were going through a transition period in your role. Part of it might have also been personal. Your wife had just had a baby. You were in that sleepless phase of adulthood. What was going on for you back then? How did you transition because you’ve come full circle? I heard some rave reviews from David Berg about you as well. What happened in the last year?
The mind shift changed and in an organization and even in life, you’re going to have all types of obstacles. I’ve had some heavy obstacles in my life. My only brother took his life when I was fifteen and he had battled osteogenesis imperfecta for years until he died. Later in life, I had my father passed away. I went through a divorce. At that point in my life, I had started working with Arrowhead. I had gone through a divorce. I lost my father. I had a lot of stuff going on. I almost reinvented myself of who I wanted to be. That aspect was just plug my nose to the grind and work as hard as I could. That’s what I did, I worked as hard as I could. I know David appreciated that I was working as hard as I could. Now, I’m remarried. I’ve got a baby. I can’t keep putting my nose to the grind and work in everything I got and then try to go home and have a smile on my face. I realized to keep doing this, I’m going to burn out and I had burnt out. It was past that point. Now, that I’ve burnt out, I either go find another way or another avenue. The talk was like, “What do I do?” Through talking with David, a lot of what I needed was reassurance from him that he thought I was doing a good job.
When the company doesn’t do well, he wasn’t looking at me going, “Guy, you’re doing a bad job.” He goes, “What are we as leaders or I as the owner doing? Can we get that fixed?” Every day that I went home going, “This happened. This employee was upset over this or all these things.” I was carrying so much weight that I didn’t need to carry. That took a load off my shoulders right there. From that aspect, I went to waking up every day and choosing, “Just be happy.” Understand that you can get the same amount of work done with a different type of attitude. I can plug away all day and get this done and be like, “I got this project done.” I can sing a song and listen to some music and enjoy what I’m doing so that at the end of the day, when I finished that project, I’m like, “This has been a great day. I’m going to go home.” That’s been a mind shift change, so enjoy what you do. If you’re not enjoying what you’re doing, might as well get out of it. I enjoyed what I was doing. I was working myself to the bone in the wrong ways.
It was refocusing my mind to other ways of how to do the job so that I’m not plugging away all the time. Grow the team around you. Grow the culture around you. Make small little influences where you can, but focus on whatever your unique ability is and use that to help the organization. Know what’s the purpose? What are you getting up for every day? I get up and come to this job because we are truly trying to do something remarkable with healthcare. That’s exciting for me. If I truly believe in that, then I can be happy with anything I do. David could go ask me, “Will you just go clean the bathroom?” I’m like, “Let’s go clean the bathroom.” I don’t care because I’m happy. I’m enjoying what I’m doing.
I love what you say that you can just choose to sing another song. I’ve always said that we’re going to ride a roller coaster and our options are either the hold and scream terror or to ride the same up and down roller coaster and wave our arms in the air and have a good time. Either way, we’ve got to ride the roller coaster. You’ve found a way to go into work and enjoy it and stay focused, but not take on the weight of the entire company which is huge. You may have answered my final question, which is what’s a word of advice that you would give all of our emerging leaders or any current leaders? What word of advice would you give them that you wish you’d known when you were a lot younger starting out in your career?
I’ve made a lot of bumps and mistakes over the years. Over those years, anytime I made a mistake or anytime I wasn’t happy at work, I always had about a million excuses or reasons why it was other people’s faults. I never tried to look at what I could do differently. Taking in the aspect of truly not taking anything personally, within the company, within the way people talk to you. The big thing is, words are words. They can’t hurt you. Words only hurt you if you let them hurt you. When you’re in a company and you’re going to have employees who say you are a terrible leader, you’re going to have employees who say that you’re a bad person. No matter how much you care about those employees and no matter how much you care about how they’re doing in their lives, they’re still going to be people who say stuff. If you let those words hurt you and break you down mentally as a leader, you’re just not going to be able to last. It’s going to tear you apart. The bigger the company, the more naysayers there are going to be within an organization.
Something that I plugged away with is to try to make 200 employees happy. That’s a hard struggle. Just realizing, “As you grow and as you have that, go with the aspect of, ‘Am I doing what I believe in? Am I doing something that makes me happy?’ Knowing that those two things are good, I believe in it and it makes me happy, then great. I’m going to keep focusing and I can’t take offense to things that are said to me, words that are used on me and be happy.” With that mindset, I would have been so much happier over the last ten years of my career versus there were so many years that I was like, “Why am I in leadership? This is terrible.” It would have been a total ride if I’d had that open mindset for sure.
Guy Berry, the COO for Redirect Health. Thanks very much for sharing with us. I appreciate it.
- Redirect Health
- Concentra United Health
- COO Alliance
- David Berg
- Arrowhead Health Centers
- Entrepreneurs’ Organization
- Strategic Coach
- AZ Growth Advisors
- Scaling Up
- Level 10 Meeting
- Meetings Suck
About Guy Berry
Guy Berry is the COO of Redirect Health and he is our guest today.
Guy Berry is an executive with 10 years of experience in leadership, motivation, coaching, and developing culture to provide excellent customer service. In 2007, Guy moved to Arizona to work in retail and healthcare before starting with Redirect Health. Now as their Director of Operations, Guy leads with strategic thinking, project management, and a focus on leadership growth.
Redirect Health offers easy and affordable healthcare options for individuals and businesses. Removing unnecessary administration and streamlining care has allowed them to help more people grow exponentially, and now offer their services in all 50 states.