652: How Building the Right Team Helps Drive Success (and a Better Bottom Line) w/ David Fetterolf

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

In this episode we talk to David Fetterolf, President of Stratus Video.

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/davidfetterolf/

Are you struggling to come up with original content weekend and week out? Start a podcast, interview your ideal clients, let them talk about what they care about most, and never run out of content ideas again. Learn more at sweet fish Mediacom. You're listening to the B tob growth show, a podcast dedicated to help you betb executives achieve explosive growth. Whether you're looking for techniques and strategies or tools and resources, you've come to the right place. I'm James Carberry and I'm Jonathan Green. Let's get into the show. Welcome back to the BOB growth show. Today we are joined by David FEDERALF. David is the president of stratus video. David, welcome to the show. Thanks for us. I'm glad a bigger. It's a pleasure to have you on the show. Today we're going to be talking about how building a good team helps drive success. I think that this is going to be a topic on...

...which a lot of our listeners are going to be able to derive a lot of value. But before we get into today's topic, David, maybe you can tell us a little about stratus video and what you and your team are up to these days. Yeah, absolutely so. Stratus video is a company that was standed about five and a half six years ago and we provide video remote interpreting to hospitals and health systems around the country. For what that means is that if you come into a hospital and you do not speak English, you really can't talk to the doctor and sort of the old fashioned method of communicating with physicians was over the phone, where the physician would pick up a headset and the patient would pick up edge set and you get an interpreter on the line and that was low, inexpensive way to communicate and you could get interpreters quickly. And the other way was to have an interpreter in person, standing next to the position and the patient. That's the best communication session you can have, but it's tough to get interpreters and that's expensive. So we...

...came out with a video solution that works on ipads that, with a touch of the button, we can bring up the live certified healthcare interpreter on the ipad looking at the patient, communicating with both the patient and the doctor over video. So it's almost as good as an in person session, but at sort of the speed of answer and the cost structure of over the phone. So that's what we do, that's what we made our name. We've had, you know, explosive growth over the last five years. Then on the ink five hundred for five years in a row now, and the prospects are looking really good for the next couple of years as well. That's fantastic. Well, and it's and it's got to feel I mean it's got to feel great at the end of the day, also doing what you're doing, I mean facilitating and enhancing a healthcare experience. I mean that's a that's what a fantastic field to be contributing to. Yeah, now, absolutely, I'd say...

...that that is. You know, one of the best things about this company is that we literally are helping people every single day, communicate with providers, in some cases saving lives, helping to deliver babies, helping in very stressful situations and and it's really rewarding for myself and it's very rewarding for every single employee at the company and it really is one of the things that makes stratus a very special place to work. That's fantastic and obviously you've been met with a lot of success, been met with a lot of growth. That's one of the reasons we're so lucky to have you on the show today, because you have, over the last five years, seeing that growth, and so we wanted to tap into your wisdom, wanted to tap in your expertise and we wanted to talk about again today how building a good team really helps drive success. So, David, you had mentioned before we started recording that there's a certain philosophy that they teach in business school. What are your thoughts on that? Yeah, you know, it's it's fun. I went to business school many, many years ago, but in back then, you know,...

...they would teach that, hey, listen, the most important constituent is is are the shareholders, and you know you've got to create value for those shareholders and you do that by paying attention to your clients right and then finally by by, you know, through your employees. And you know, I would say that that is not the way to run a business. Focusing on share older's first, client second and employees third, and I would argue that it is exactly the opposite of that, that if you really focus on your employees and your team first and foremost and make sure that they have the tools and the support the infrastructure and the autonomy to run, then that's the most important thing, and focus on them first. Then the clients will be happy and you'll have good client experiences and then finally, the shareholder value will be created...

...because of those first two things, folks, on employees first, client second, and then the third would be shareholder value is created. So I think it's the opposite of what I was taught in business and I think they still teach it to some regards that way. Yeah, well, and it's, you know, it makes a lot of sense when you explain the progression, you know, the way that it's sort of flows through from the employees to the clients, there by the end result being the shareholders are happy. So it does make a lot of sense. Let's David's let's kind of start, then, at the beginning. One of the things you had, you had mentioned before we started boarding was number one, you want to hire the best. But kind of what does that look like? What's that process? But, you know, is a long process, you know, and you need to use multiple different resources, including, you know, your contacts and in the industry, and I mean each of the managers that are doing the hiring, using all of their contacts, using social media and using, you know,...

...referrals from from employees that other people you know. So that's the first step, is just getting building the pipeline so you're getting good applicants coming in. And then it's very important to ever rigorous interview process and to make sure that you're doing everything you can to get the best people. So not not making decisions quickly because you need to fill a spot, but really taking taking your time to make sure you're getting the best person for that particular position. And Lots of times, you know, in my opinion, obviously you want to hire people with experience in that position, but also, you know, you sort of, in my opinion, you want to have the best athletes. You want to have somebody you know, maybe they don't have the best experience but you think they've got the best personality for that particular position and you can train them on on the content. You know that it's key that you really spend the time in the recruiting process bringing in the, you know, the best people you possibly can bring in. Yeah, and one of the...

...things that I found, I found most interesting, was you had said once you've obviously gone through this process and you've attempted to hire the best and you've been very methodical and delivered about it. You also want to give your people ownership. They get that right. Yeah, absolutely, I mean to grow a big company and a fast moving company. You absolutely. I mean number one, the most important thing in the company is the people on the team, that that's everything, the culture, the team work and the people that are part of, you know, the company. That's your most important asset, that you know. Those are the people that figure out the products and develop the products and put the marketing plans together and sell the products. So focusing on the team and the people is is number number one in my book. And then pushing responsibility down and letting letting the different teams and the different...

...people in the company makes decisions without checking with their blocks, who have to check with their boss, and and giving them their commy and the responsibility to make mistakes, frankly, you know, because not every decision is going to be right and you've got to make sure that everybody's running hard and fast and making the best decisions possible and if the mistakes made, you know, just go back and change and keep moving. So basically, pushing the responsibility down is critical and trusting your team to, you know, perform is just as critical. That's part of pushing responsibility down. Yeah, giving them ownership and and letting your I mean it sounds like obviously part of that is letting your employees take risks. There's there's also got to be a balance, though, right. I mean, how do you handle when mistakes are made and prevent the same mistakes from being made? Yeah, what is kind of what's your process for, you know, the most effective way to empower your employees,...

...allowing them to take risks, but also learning from those risks and and continuing to move forward? Yeah, no, absolutely. I mean, if any big mistake is made, you know we do reviews on those to figure out what we learned from, you know, whatever went wrought, and then we make the adjustments. And the key is just continually learning how to do things better. And the market is changing as well. So sometimes you made a decision that that really you fought was really the right decision, but the market changed right or something else happened, and the key is really just learning and then adjusting and quickly making making the changes within the organization to keep moving you know, if you're running a company that's growing, you know, five percent a year. You know, I think it's still important to, you know, push the responsibility down and give people, you know, the authority to make decisions. But you know, when you're growing slower, it does have as much of impact if you're not making decisions quickly, you know, and...

...and and moving and moving on to the next topic or next item on your task question. And David, I want to ask you know it. Do you have a process in place? You have, you have a philosophy on you know, you've tried to hire the best, you've tried to give the someone ownership, you've tried to empower them to take risks. But you get to a point where you just decide this is maybe, for whatever reason, it's not even that they're that they're a bad employee, might just be a bad fit, where you kind of a place where this is this is not working out. Yeah, now, absolutely. I mean, no matter what you do in the hiring process, you never hire, you know, correctly. You know probably you've an eighty percent of the time. You know. So you're always, you know, bringing people on that are not a good fit for whatever reason. And you know, depending on the position you know, in some positions it's a little easier to recognize that maybe that persons are not not a good fit than in other positions. But, you know, in order to keep the company growing and moving in a positive direction, you...

...know, if you're realize you made a mistake, it's best to move on and replace that person as quickly as possible and it's better for that person to go get into a company where they do have a good fit and it's definitely better for the company you're running to to, you know, make the tough decision and move on as quickly as possible when you do make that mistake. And then those mistakes you know you're always going to make. There's no way to prevent it. Yeah, well, and especially for a company like stratus, with that sort of astronomical growth over the last five years, I mean there's going to be inevitably some growing pains, I'm sure. Yeah, absolutely so, you know, and speaking of Stratus, dated one of the things that we've we've really been enjoying asking our guests on the show is, you know, at the end of the day, what would you like your legacy to be? I mean, whether that is with stratus, whether that is professionally across the board, whether that's personally or a combination of those. Will...

...just get that to be at the end of the day. You know, I think you know, my legacy at stratus will be, you know, the fact that we've created, you know, just a great company where the great team and it's a unique company, and that we truly are helping, you know, thousands and millions of patients communicate with providers and and every single day, and so it's just a tremendous men of satisfaction that because of this unique technology that we brought to the market, we're able to help people and together with myself and the entire team at Stratus, we've, you know, we really have created an amazing company and the affecting millions of lives are an the United States and I think that that is the legacy and it's very, very rewarding for everybody on the stratus team. Well, I mean, it sounds like a fantastic legacy. So, David, thank you again so much for joining us today, for sharing your story and and sharing your wisdom with...

...our eyes as a pleasure having on the show. Thanks so much, appreciate it. There are lots of ways to build a community and we've chosen to build the bed growth community through this podcast. But because of the way podcasts work, it's really hard to engage with our listeners, and without engagement it's tough to build a great community. So here's what we've decided to do. We're organizing small dinners across the country with our listeners and guests. No sales pitches, no agenda, just great conversations with likeminded people. Will Talk Business, we'll talk family, will talk goals and dreams, will build friendships. So if you'd like to be a part of a BB growth dinner in a sitting near you, go to be to be growth dinnerscom. That's be to be growth dinnerscom. Thank you so much for listening. Until next time.

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