CEO Diaries: Behind the Scenes with the Man Ushering in a New Era of Healthcare – Jonathan Baktari

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08/28/2023

Show Notes:

The healthcare industry tends to be much slower at adopting new technologies. But that’s gradually changing thanks to entrepreneurs whose businesses are embracing innovation to change how we experience medical care. Our guest today is a perfect example!

Meet Jonathan Baktari. Jonathan is the CEO of eNational Testing, e7 Health, & US Drug Test Centers, which are all innovative companies that are revolutionizing healthcare. He’s also the host of the podcast Baktari MD and the creator of the best-selling course called High Converting Call Class. Jonathan has over 20 years of clinical, administrative, and entrepreneurial experience, and he has been a triple board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, pulmonary, and critical care medicine. He was also formerly the Medical Director of several national health insurance companies, Hospitals, and Clinical Faculty in 3 medical schools.

Jonathan is currently most committed to growing his groundbreaking technology companies as well as helping others by making integrative preventative medicine available to everyone.

In this episode of the Think Business with Tyler podcast, we talk about the importance of removing friction from the customer journey, what it takes to be a great CEO, the power of the ownership mentality, and key negotiation tactics.

If you want to learn more, tune into this episode to hear what Jonathan has to say.

Guest-At-A-Glance

💡 Name: Jonathan Baktari

💡 What he does: He’s a Healthcare CEO, Preventative Medicine Expert, and Host of the Baktari MD Podcast.

💡 Noteworthy: Jonathan has 20 years of clinical, administrative, and entrepreneurial experience. He has been a triple board-certified physician specializing in internal medicine, pulmonary, and critical care medicine.

💡 Key Quote: “The differentiator in our organization where we call people owners or renters, right? So, either you’re acting like you own the place, or you’re acting like you’re renting the place.”

💡 Where to find Jonathan: LinkedIn

Key Insights

Reduce friction for your customers. People crave smooth and easy customer experience. That’s why it’s important to reduce friction from your customer journey as much as possible. When you reduce friction and innovate, people will want to buy from you and even make repeated purchases. Jonathan says, “If you innovate and reduce friction and improve quality, people notice it. So it’s pretty cool. It only motivates us to invest more in technology and systems to improve the lives and reduce friction. Why is booking an appointment such a laborious process? Why do you have to show up at a doctor’s clinic, and they give you a clipboard? What’s that clipboard all about? I mean, that’s like dinosaur stuff, and why do you have to call your doctor to get your medical records?”

Good CEOs are not born, they’re made. Being a good CEO is not something you’re born with. It’s not a soft skill or a natural trait. It’s something you learn and practice over time. According to Jonathan, being a nice guy doesn’t mean you’re a good CEO. He explains, “The number one for me is I think people think being a CEO is a soft skill, especially if they’re the founder of the company and it was their idea. But I think people make the mistake of confabulating being a nice guy, ‘People like me, I get along with people’ to being a good CEO. The analogy I like to give is if I put you in the cockpit of a 747 at 30,000 feet all alone, you’re not going to land the plane because people like you and you’re a good guy, and people want to work with you. You’re still going to need technical skills to land the plane.”

Are you a renter or an owner? Having an ownership mindset in business makes all the difference. As Jonathan nicely puts it, you’re either a renter or an owner. He explains, “The differentiator in our organization where we call people owners or renters, right? So, either you’re acting like you own the place, or you’re acting like you’re renting the place. […] It’s instinctual, even if you babysit other people’s kids, you’re going to do a great job, but you’re taking care of your own kids. It’s a different feel, right? And it doesn’t mean when you’re renting, you do bad. So the question really is to really build culture, especially in your senior leadership, is you have to get that ownership mentality.”

A successful negotiation is a win-win situation. When both parties are happy, that’s how you know you’ve had a successful negotiation. It should be a win-win for both sides. Jonathan says, “In terms of negotiating, you have to assess prior to any meeting or endeavor who has the leverage and to what degree there are situations where it’s equal. But for the most part, often, one person has a little more leverage than the other person. So, if you have all the leverage, that obviously is going to make things a lot easier, or if you have most of it. If they have most of it, then you’re going to have to figure out a way to create your own leverage. […] Also, do not make them feel like you’re there just to take something from them, that they’re not prey, that you actually want to do a win-win.”

Top Quotes

“When you try to do a healthcare transaction, it’s not patient to doctor necessarily. It’s patient to doctor, to insurance company, to the hospital, to other players that have to have a say in it or want to have a say in it or have a stake in it. So, complicated transactions that involve multiple people, by definition, have a certain amount of inertia. […] I think that’s probably held up some of the progress, both in technology and just in innovative ways of doing things.”

“I was teaching, doing practice, my clinical practice, as well as doing the administrative stuff, and that actually gave me a very unique perspective on the business side of everything because I could see, well, this is how the hospitals think this is how the insurance companies think, this is what medical education is like, and then this is what clinical practice is like. So, the question was, given that background, was there something I could do to make an impact or change on a bigger level, as opposed to just seeing one patient at a time?”

“We write our own technology. We rarely use third-party software. Out of necessity, we figured out early on that there was nothing off the rack that we could just take off. There’s no tailored suit that we could just take and put on and fit perfectly for what we need to do because nobody else was doing what we were doing with preventative medicine, adult vaccinations, and employee health, student health. I think we created the category because there were people doing what we were doing, but they were all doing it as sort of side things, and we made it our main thing. So, we had to get our own technology, so I often joke we’re a technology company masquerading as a healthcare company.”

“One of the most interesting moats, people cannot help themselves when they do what we do, they also want to do primary care and they want to do urgent care. And it’s very difficult to do what we do and not get tempted. If a patient comes in with a sore throat and, well, I’ve got the clinic set up, I’ve got a clinician, why not see them? And we have not done that. We’ve stayed away from doing primary care, urgent care.”

“You might be able to fool people some of the time for a little bit, but long term, you have to be in it to improve the lives of everyone in your organization. If you want to get that extra juice, that extra sauce, it’s got to be genuine.”

“Your job is to make their lives professionally better, financially better, sometimes personally better, depending on the situation. And you have to look out for them. You have to mentor them, and you have to invest time and energy.”

[41:04] “If the majority of the people in an organization are owners and you hire a renter, there is immense pressure on that new person to figure it out because the culture is you have basically owners. The flip side is if you take over an organization or however you got there, you have an organization where the majority of people are renting, and then you put an owner in there, there’s going to be a tremendous amount of pressure for that owner to back off because of the culture.”

[50:56] “I think a lot of business owners see, they hire someone, they answer the phone, and they’re like, wow, they’re selling. No, they’re not. They’re selling to the people who would buy no matter what, what we have found with full training can be as high as 80%. It is so much money being left on the table and no sales technique, no high pressure, no overcoming objections, just understanding the neural linguistics of taking a phone call and how to deal with it.”

Links

Baktari MD Podcast

Baktari MD Website

 

 

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