As humans, we can always be counted upon to make the simple hard. This is certainly the case in matters of personal and professional development, where often the most elementary character traits—integrity, honesty, fairness, persistence—are the most crucial for sustainable success.
As we are now one month into 2019, you have likely set goals for the year and are already working to achieve them. To inspire and guide you, we’ve collected these timeless, invaluable and insightful pieces of advice from past interviews with five orthopedic industry veterans, leaders with decades of proven success.
Take their words to heart as you strive to make 2019 all that you want it to be, individually and for your teams.
One question we’ve asked in various ways over the years is, what are the key attributes or actions of a successful businessperson?
Guy Bradshaw, Founder of Bradshaw Medical | Interviewed in 2011
“First and foremost, never forget where you came from. Second, surround yourself with the most talented individuals that you can find. Focus on those who possess the people skills necessary to achieve challenging goals. I have worked with several incredibly intelligent people over the years, but unless someone can effectively communicate and get the team going in the right direction, all is for naught.
“Always treat your employees in the way that you would want to be treated, and you’ll be amazed at what they can achieve with a little encouragement. (During my college days I worked second shift jobs running machines in ‘sweat shops,’ which was a real eye-opener when the opportunity presented itself to start up our own business.)
“Finally, always keep an open mind and never stop learning. There hasn’t been a situation throughout my career that someone else hasn’t already encountered. The key is to seek out these individuals and learn from their experience and wisdom.”
Mike Miller, Founder and Former CEO, Orchid Orthopedic Solutions | Interviewed in 2017
“I always answer this question like this: there is nothing more valuable or more important in making your chosen endeavor a success than ‘dogged persistence.’ There are so many naysayers in the world; all along the path to building your dream; if you have any moment of timidity, or if you quit, you will be swallowed alive by people who want to prove that you are wrong, and would enjoy being the ones to say ‘I told you so.’
“Belief and ‘dogged persistence’ have served me well in this journey. I made many mistakes along the way, but I never gave up on the core values of our company: to provide everyone associated or connected to Orchid a chance to ‘live a better life,’ from patients we will never meet, to customers who placed their faith in us, to employees who gave incredible effort, to vendors who served us (like ORTHOWORLD founders John and Shirley Engelhardt), to companies that invested and risked much on our vision, to every person who has interacted with Orchid.”
Bruce W. Stroever, former CEO of MTF Biologics | Interviewed in 2017
“I always put integrity first. If people can’t trust you, if they can’t rely on your word, then you can’t go anywhere. You have to do what you say you’re going to do, and you have to be truthful.
“Second, you have to have vision. You have to be able to see beyond tomorrow. Where are we going to be in six months, a year? Where should we be two years, five years from now?
“Third on the list is you have to have a desire to learn. And I don’t mean read books. You have to be willing to learn from your coworkers, your customers, your suppliers. Someone will teach you something every day; you just have to be willing to hear it.”
Another question we often pose is, what’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Mark Augusti, CEO of ConforMIS | Interviewed in 2014
“Many good people have given me great advice over the years, so it’s hard to pick out one thing. In general, I have learned that saying ‘yes’ is much more empowering than ‘no.’ When you can bring together great talent, the best thing you can do as a leader is to give them the resources and runway to execute on their ideas and plans. When you do that, you can achieve great things.”
Rod Mayer, President & CEO, Nextremity Solutions | Interviewed in 2015
“Over the last ten years in particular, the greatest lesson that I have learned is that you must have a clear vision, as well as a team who is passionately committed to it. This lesson is coupled with making sure that as a leader you have each team member in a position to soar with their strengths and to do more of what they do best, more profitably, every day.”