Voices from the Trenches

What you can learn from a small-town family physician


Dr. Christine Jones, M.D.
Community Care Clinic
Ivydale, West Virginia

Dealing with doctors and health care can intimidate anyone. A doctor’s staff acts as the front lines to your patient base and has the ability to transform the entire patient experience.

We have an environment where every member of our staff holds the same amount of passion and commitment to our practice and our patients. Everyone is expected to be engaged and interactive.

Our team works tirelessly to encourage preventative health care measures and also to help our patients take accountability for their own health. Our staff receives an abundance of training and we try to empower our patients with information and tools on a daily basis. The two combined make for an effective and thriving practice.

What could a CEO learn from this physician?

It’s important to establish a truly collaborative environment based on trust and a clear understanding of responsibilities at every level. Even though we are a small-town medical practice, we face challenges and need to learn how to address them and evolve with the needs of our patients.

What is your biggest challenge?

Motivating patients to take control of their own health and become advocates for their care is a daily challenge. So many of them have the mindset that it’s just too difficult and that anything they do is not really going to have an impact.

How would you respond to this challenge?

Watch a video response.

Link to Youtube

What you can learn from a Caterer


Katherine Hilboldt Farrell
Founder and President
Katherine’s Catering
Ann Arbor, Michigan

No matter what kind of business you run, feedback is crucial to your success. Feedback from customers, employees, and others will help to shape future decisions that impact your business.

My employees are constantly evaluated and given honest and candid feedback, but it’s a two-way street. I ask the same of them to ensure we are all on the same page.

We work in many high-pressure situations and it’s important that we work as a team. While everyone has their specific roles and responsibilities, if something goes wrong, we are all in it together.

What could a CEO learn from this caterer?

Everyone needs an ally at work. It is amazing how good and ambitious people can influence others and bring out the best in them. Give every team a great team leader and you’ll be amazed how much the leader influences the team’s productivity and satisfaction in the workplace.

What is your biggest challenge?

Negative attitudes on the part of even one person can have a debilitating effect on others. There are just some people who focus on a problem instead of focusing on the solutions to address it.

How would you respond to this challenge?

Watch a video response.

Link to Youtube

What you can learn from a soccer coach


Rob Klatte
Head Coach
Women’s Soccer Team
Purdue University

As in any business, everything Purdue’s soccer team does is based on competition. The ultimate goal for players and staff is to win and they are constantly evaluated and trained on their ability to do so.

We build personal relationships with both athletes and staff. It’s crucial for them to know they are valued and not just a cog in the machine. Having these relationships makes celebrating wins that much sweeter and eases resentment and defensiveness when we need to deliver constructive criticism.

We educate players on their roles and what each one of them means to the team as a whole. We teach them there are no guarantees – what you put in is not always going to be what you get out. But if you can go to sleep at night knowing you did your best to achieve success, then you can be proud of your performance.

What could a CEO learn from this soccer coach?

Opportunity and responsibility are really good motivators. Most people want to contribute and want to be part of something bigger. Don’t assume everyone is as invested as you are. You need to constantly cultivate personal relationships and facilitate an environment that supports risk takers and resiliency.

What is your biggest challenge?

Generationally speaking, seeing long-term development is not something our players are accustomed to. They want more immediate results. Their world is based on smart phones, tablets, and a million other forms of technology. It takes more to engage them and hold their attention. They crave to be entertained when they are learning.

How would you respond to this challenge?

Watch a video response.

Link to Youtube