This Week Health is actually a business and we recently added our ninth staff person. Today I share with you what I'm learning in the process. I think some of it will be applicable to you in your situation.
Today in health, it, I'm going to share a little bit about what I'm learning as I'm growing and maintaining this business. As you know, it's Friday and Friday is casual Friday. So I'd like to talk about topics that are a little different than hopefully you'll get some information that you can utilize in your career. My name is bill Russell. I'm a former CIO for a 16 hospital system.
And creator of this week health, a set of channels, dedicated to keeping health, it staff, current and engaged. We want to thank our show sponsors who are investing in developing the next generation of health leaders. Gordian dynamics, Quill health house site nuance, Canon medical, and current health. Check them out at this week. health.com/today.
All right. As you guys may or may not know this is actually a business. This week. Health is actually a business. The parent company is called health lyrics. I do coaching consulting and we do. This media enterprise, that immediate enterprise has way eclipse the consulting and the coaching. It takes up a majority of my time.
But as such, I am a entrepreneur, I'm an owner of a business. And at one point when you start a business, now there's a lot of different ways to start a business. You can go out and get funding and get a lot of money. In which case, all the things that I'm saying right now are irrelevant because you would do that approach would be completely different.
Some of the things will, will transfer. But for the most part, what I'm going to talk about is bootstrapping a business. So when I left being a CIO for the 16 hospital system, I, , flew round, got a bunch of information from people. Talk to a bunch of peers in my industry. About what I was planning to do. I talked about consulting. I talked about some cloud consulting that we were doing at the time, talked about coaching and whatnot. And I signed on a bunch of coaching clients. I signed on.
A handful of cloud consulting projects. And we started to do that. The podcast was started a little later after that, and it was more of a way for me to keep , in connection with, , the CIO peers that I've met over the years and to amplify the really smart thinking. That I was experiencing as I had conversations with them. And so I was sharing that with you had those conversations. Well,
Fast forward a little bit, about two years into it. , I keep getting bugged by people who want to sponsor the podcast. And the coaching is going okay. The consulting is going okay. And it's taking up a lot of my time and I thought, you know what? It might be good to get some money from sponsors so that I could hire some people to do some of the production work. And some of the other things that are going on.
And so that is when you enter a new phase of the business. And you hire people. So now. You have to put all sorts of things in place. You have to have an employee handbook, you have to have a payroll, you have to be set up in states and all that other stuff. And so now there's another function that sort of kicks in.
Which is the business operations function, AR and AP and payroll and whatnot. , and so it's really interesting and you know, early on you can't afford to hire all these things, but one of the books I've read a long time ago and I've really taken it to heart, especially if you're an entrepreneur, who's trying to grow a business.
Is the E-Myth. And in that book. One of the exercises that he has you do is you said, draw these circles up on a page for your business. And he says marketing sales, business operations. , production or delivery of your service. , technology, , you know, website, all the tech stuff that you have to do.
And oddly enough, our business has, I think we counted the other day 52 applications. And not nuts. I know a lot of them are web based applications. They're connected up. Via APIs and those kinds of things. So as you would expect, I've automated a lot of stuff. But we have that many applications in this small, , small organization. And then you have obviously HR and people development.
He says, all right, now, put a name in each one of those squares. And owner owners, another one, he goes, put a name in each one of those squares. And what happens to most entrepreneurs is they put their name, their own name in a bunch of those squares. He said, you are no longer the owner. If you put your name in those squares, you are an employee of the company.
And I realized, , way back then that I was an employee of the company. I was doing three or four of those boxes myself. But to a certain extent, that's what you do when you're first starting out and you're trying to bootstrap a business. And so recently we made a significant move last year in terms of our business strategy and our growth.
, that paid off, it could just as easily have not paid off. , but that paid off, gave us the opportunity to bring on more staff. And so I took that diagram out. With the boxes added a couple more boxes. Cause we're doing different things that we once did. And I looked at the budget, looked at the opportunity and started to fill some of those boxes out. In fact,
, starting on Monday of this week. I actually filled out the last box, which was tech, as you would imagine, being a technologist, a programmer. I started off my, my life in cybersecurity programming, so forth and so on. I'm a CTO really by trade who became a CIO. , through, , leadership development and other things, but for the most part, I'm a tech. I like, programming and that kind of stuff. Well,
This week, I actually handed that off to the, the, , the person who's going to be doing that. , Marissa just came on on Monday. And handed her all the things that I've done. And, , you know, part of me wants to talk about that. I could talk about that for the next five or six minutes. Because one of the things you have to learn as a leader,
Is how to delegate things. Empower people educate people and let them do their job. And this week I was handing off all this stuff. And you know, when you're handing things off, you get to see all the warts and the person's going, why were you doing this? Why, why are you doing that? , but let me give you a couple of things that we did that I think will be helpful.
, number one. We do onboarding for two weeks for all of our new employees, we don't really give them much work to do. We allow them to do a bunch of stuff. Like it. Fully immersed in our podcasts and in our culture and, , develop relationships with other employees and whatnot. For the first, at least week, if not two weeks. And we've been really trending towards two weeks.
And we, , we have some education materials I've recorded some videos, as you would imagine. , we have a couple of one hour videos that I did with various members of the staff so that they can understand. How we think through things and how we approach things. And one of the first things I will say is we consider our company.
, university. And it's an, a university for entrepreneurs. It's a university for health. It it's a university for building out. , this business and understanding this business. I want everyone who's in this business to understand what I understand about growing this type of business so that they can utilize their skills and add to it. But the first thing I would say is more than ever in my career, I realized that every organization needs to be in a teaching and learning.
, facility. So you need to figure out how to package up the things you need people to know, and , be able to transfer that knowledge from one generation to the next. And when I say generation, that's probably overstating it from one set of employees to the next cause I don't imagine that the nine people we have on staff right now will still be the same nine people a year from now.
I hope so. I hope we're doing all the right things. We're paying them well. We're giving them the best opportunity to we're creating the culture. We're educating them. We're making them more valuable. Every day that they're here. So just something to consider. So as I'm handing this off, I am reminded of how hard it is not to be a micromanager.
But I received some coaching earlier this year and the, , the person was talking to me about, , my lifestyle and, and how much time I'm spending on the business and all the things that I'm doing. And I said, you know, I just, I can't seem to pull myself out of it. And he asked me a series of questions.
And it was interesting. This is a person who's also an entrepreneur. And they successfully have sold their business and they're now. , semi retired. And , we were just playing golf, just a friend. And he asked me what your questions. And one of the things he said to me is he said, bill, it sounds like you still need to make a majority of the decisions for your company.
And one of the things he asked me to do. And I invite this kind of feedback by the way. And if you're a leader, I would invite, you know, the people that you respect, the people who have gone before you and done some of the things that you're doing and have done. To provide you this kind of feedback. And one of the things he said for me to do is
Catch yourself, making the decision. And ask the other person to make the decision. Ask the other person, what they would do in that situation. He goes, that's the teaching moment. And the more you allow them to make that decision, the more you will realize, and they will start making the right decisions and they will start moving it forward. And even if they make a mediocre decision,
They will learn from that. And, but he said, the more decisions you make, the more they're going to rely on you, they are going to keep coming to you and saying, Hey, what do you think we should do on this marketing thing? What do you think we should do on the social media thing? What do you think we should do for the next guest?
And I found he is so right over the last couple of weeks. , because this was pretty recent over the last couple of weeks. , my team has been coming to me and I realized they have lists. It's like, what should we do here? What should we do here? What should we do here? And I've turned the tables on him. I said, well, you think we should do, what do you think we should do? And what I'm finding is about 85% of their decisions are spot on.
I don't really need to add anything to it. , about 10% of the other decisions, they just need a little more input from me. Some things I may know that they don't know some things on strategy where we're going and whatnot, that I just need to educate them on. And if they have that before that meeting, they probably would have made the right decision.
So that would mean 95% of the time they were making the right decision. The 5% of the time, they're not making the right decision. Very few of them are going to tank the company. , they're, they're just stuff that's going to maybe. Take us off direction, or maybe it's not on brand or, you know, maybe it will increase the complexity of the overall system. And when you, as you would imagine, when you're a nine person company, we are very focused on simplify,
, we are, we're looking at automation, we're looking at, , the streamlining as much as we can possibly streamline. So, , that's the second thing. And actually I had a mentor way back when I was, , in charge of a group of engineers in a market. It's the first leadership job that I got and he said, Hey bill, one last piece of advice before he moves on, he was leaving.
And he said, , He goes, you know, you got this job because you're the best engineer amongst that group of 25 engineers that we have in the branch. And he goes, that's why you're now in charge of this group. He goes, my strong advice to you is put away your bag. Don't go on another call. And I sorta looked at it. I'm like, you know,
But I'm the best. I know how to fix a lot of things and sometimes they're going to get in trouble. And , he, , taught me a long time ago that if I kept going on calls that that's all I would ever be is a. A good technician. And I needed to develop a new set of skills around leadership and empowering people and training people and developing people.
And he was right now. I forget that from time to time, I need to be reminded and I learned those things. As we move forward. , so anyway, I thought I would share some of the things I'm learning. Some of the things I'm doing. I think the key takeaway for, for you and your organization with your staff is make your organization a training organization, constantly training, constantly updating people. It doesn't have to be you always doing the training. In fact, it would be better if it wasn't always you doing the training.
Utilize your vendors, utilize your partners, utilize your own staff. Sometimes they know things in more detail than you do, and they can educate the rest of the team. , utilize on online stuff, utilize our podcast for having say, that's why we do it. We do it to help you. , educate your team, but be intentional, build out the mechanism to train your team. I think is one of the things I would take away. And then the second is.
Let your team make decisions, , train them to make decisions, empower them, to make decisions and let them surprise you with what they do. With that autonomy. All right. That's all for today. If you know someone that might benefit from our channel, please forward them a note. They can subscribe on our website this week, health.com or wherever you listen to podcasts, apple, Google, overcast, Spotify, Stitcher, you get the picture. We are everywhere. And you know, I'd be remiss if I didn't end this by saying thank you.
, we made some risks in the business, but it is really the community. That listens to the podcast, the community that has come around. , all the things that we were doing it this week, health that has made that successful. So we are extremely thankful and your contribution. , helps me to, have fun with this group of nine people, as we try to give back to the industry.
All right. So, , where do I stop? Oh, we want to thank our channel sponsors who are investing in our mission to develop the next generation of health leaders, Gordian dynamics, Quill health tau site nuance, Canon medical. And 📍 current health, check them out at this week. health.com/today. Thanks for listening. That's all for now.