Building Great Teams and Obsessing Over the Customer Experience
Episode 471

Scott Becker, Founder and the Publisher at Beckers Healthcare

Building Great Teams and Obsessing Over the Customer Experience

Focusing on the core audience and the significance of having a great team

Want to start your own podcast or have someone else manage yours professionally?

Don’t let technical busy work hold you back from sharing your genius!

Learn Now

Get The Latest In Your Inbox

SUBSCRIBE

Building Great Teams and Obsessing Over the Customer Experience

Episode 471

Best Way to Contact Scott:

sbecker@beckershealthcare.com

sbecker@mcguirewoods.com

LinkedIn

Company Link:

Becker’s

Building Great Teams and Obsessing Over the Customer Experience with Scott Becker, Founder and Publisher at Becker’s Healthcare transcript powered by Sonix—the best audio to text transcription service

Building Great Teams and Obsessing Over the Customer Experience with Scott Becker, Founder and Publisher at Becker’s Healthcare was automatically transcribed by Sonix with the latest audio-to-text algorithms. This transcript may contain errors. Sonix is the best way to convert your audio to text in 2020.

Welcome to the Outcomes Rocket podcast, where we inspire collaborative thinking, improved outcomes and business success with today’s most successful and inspiring health care leaders and influencers. And now your host, Saul Marquez.

Saul Marquez:
Welcome back to the podcast, Saul Marquez here. And today, I have the privilege of hosting Scott Becker for the second time, I had him on the podcast about 3 years ago. We talk about leadership and a lot of the trends in health care. Lots has changed in the last three years, so I’m excited to have Scott back on in what’s close to 500 episode. So we’ve had many conversations. If you remember, Scott is the partner at McGuireWoods LLP and also Publisher at Becker’s Healthcare. Scott previously served on the McGuireWoods Board of Partners and served for nearly 15 years as their Chairman of the National Health Care Department. He really the firm has one of the best regarded health care practices in the world, and Scott has played a major role there. He’s also the Founder and Publisher of Becker’s Healthcare and Becker’s Hospital Review and its related events and publications. He remains the Publisher and Chief Content Officer of Becker’s Healthcare. He also produces the Becker’s C-suite Report and related media, which is all focused on business outside of health care. A graduate of Harvard Law School and also author of four books and a CPA. I don’t know how he does it all, but he does it. He’s one of the best thought leaders in health care, in my opinion, and excited to join him in a conversation once again. So take a listen to this awesome interview. You’re gonna enjoy the thoughts that that he has to share and the fun that we have during our conversation.And with that introduction, I want to give you a warm welcome, Scott. Thanks so much for joining me again.

Scott Becker:
Well, thank you so much for having me. Always a pleasure to visit with you. Thank you, sir.

Saul Marquez:
So, Scott, you’re doing a lot of really cool things. And before we get into the meat and bones of today’s interview is I do want to park at the work you’ve been doing with your podcast. Can you share a little bit more about it and why you guys started that?

Scott Becker:
It was sure. So the core that we do it because health care is two parts of it. Our digital media efforts in our big conferences and events around 3 or 4 core core sectors in health care, hospitals, health systems, health like surges are by. So to get to your question in podcast, the podcasts are sort of fascinating to me. You get on there more sort of a as you know, a magnificent way to just visit with interesting people in a format you might not otherwise get to visit with them in. And so, yes, people listen to them. But the great pleasure for me is to talk to a whole range of leaders and people in all aspects of life. I mean, yesterday at a podcast with a woman physician who is Muslim by background, speaking about being a Muslim doctor in America, two weeks ago, I spoke with Gene Woods, the CEO of Atrium Health, also the former Chair of the H.A.. And one of the great growing sources of the country. And you get a chance to visit with a magnificent group of different people. And I love the chance to visit with interesting people. I tend to enjoy people. So that’s what I love most about the podcasting. And then people listen to them. It’s more of a connectivity tool and a way to visit with people. And if people visit in the conversations anything else.

Saul Marquez:
I think it’s great.And you’re so right about that, right? I mean, the ability to connect with others that are doing great things.A while back ago, folks I had Scott on the podcast. He was at the very beginning, actually. And for those that have been listening for quite some time, you know, that Scott was one of the key people that inspired me to to do my podcast. So awesome to see him doing his his podcast now. It is a great way to visit with others. And if you haven’t listened to that first episode with Scott, it’s episode number five. If you go to outcomesrocket.health type in Scott Becker, you’ll you’ll see where we focused on being patient centric and building outstanding teams, which is something that Scott does so well. And Scott, what’s inspiring your work today?

Scott Becker:
I would say really two things inspire what I see. One is with all the talk about health care, which you are seeing, is tremendous advances in some care for certain diseases. So oncology is sort of almost didn’t make that much progress for a long time and certain kinds of oncology and now is making crazy progress. So that inspires me. Just watching those things inspires me. I don’t have anything to do with it, but they inspire me. And then the other thing that inspires me is just, you know, working with magnificent people and visiting with the innocent people and hearing their stories and seeing what you’re doing it. So those are the two things that sort of excite me, the great advances in health care.Now, seeing all the negative talk to just talking to great people.

Saul Marquez:
Scott, in I’ve been to to your meetings and there are a lot of, I always connect with so many great people, to your point. You know, the speakers and the keynotes are always super entertaining. What would you say makes what Becker’s offers different than what’s out there?

Scott Becker:
You know, we’re trying to speak clear, concise, fast moving and try and be very clear about our goal to teach people and entertain. And the core of what we do is building everything we do around the core audience, the core participants in the sector. So if you’re looking at our hospital meetings, it’s really built around the agendas, built around 300 great hospital leaders. It’s not built around us. It’s built around the core audience, the core leadership. And we’re in 4 different areas, health, I.T., hospitals, also some surgeons, spine, but a similar recipe and everything we’ve really built around the audience, not around us. And we try and teach, entertain in clear, concise, simple content. And we’ve got a great team that implements it. We’ve got a great editorial team, a great gender team, great leadership and business team, which can’t do anything without those. So it’s a whole mix of things that we try and do to make it work well. And it’s a constantly changing environment, but we’ve got a great team and we try and stay very close to the audience that really counts. That really is the driver behind everything we do.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Serving your audience is super important and it’s hard to do and easy to be distracted. Can you share what you do to stay hyper focused on your audience?

Scott Becker:
Well, it is it is a great question. We have very, very clear goals and directives on how we try and build everything that we do and how it’s built to be audience centric versus vendor centric. And they’re two very different things. And we focus first on making sure our team and our audience is well taken care of. And if we do those things, then things seemed to work out well. And it’s just a constant clarity of focus on what really counts. And we’ve got you know, we’ve a few concessions we have to take care of. We have to take our audience first and foremost. And we’re doing share a commercial interest. It makes sense for them and obviously our speakers and our team. The other parts of that sort of stool.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. How about on the lost side of things? You’re still a practicing partner at at McGuireWoods. Anything that you want to share to the listeners? You know that that I’m thinking about their their legal affairs and the things that they do there. Any certain things that you want to share?

Scott Becker:
Yeah. No, it’s it’s a great question. So I’ve straddled two things for ever. And one of them really grew out of the other. All my work has been in health care for 30 years now. It’s started as a law career and then built this media business almost by accident, but grew into a serious company due to great leadership of our team. There are editorial team. Our agenda are our business team. Jessica Cole and everybody else on the law side. The biggest accomplishment I’ve had is pretty similar built in its practice. But to do that and build a practice and health care and then insurgents’ ourselves as private equity, I was able to early on start to build great teams and everything that one does in life today. It requires great teams. So the thing I’m most sort of proud of and most excited about at the law firm is a team I built in the number of people there that have become partner in the firm that were under my mentorship, a whole cadre of people that really were part of my team originally. And now I’ve grown to be leaders in the firm, partners in the firm. And one of which is now the chair of our national health care practice. But just a great group of people from you know, I give it to all the people like Melissa, Holly Bark, Hallen, Gretchen, Amber and more and more Anna and others that really came up on there and with me and Jeff Coccaro built this magnificent practice that came along with me. And now I’ve largely built greater practices than me. But it was just a magnificent experience.

Saul Marquez:
That’s great. Yeah, you know. You’re such a great leader, Scott. And I feel like great leaders have always had great examples to learn from. Is there anybody that you feel has been a great mentor to you?

Scott Becker:
Well, there’s there’s been different people. There’s things in the law practice. There was a senior partner of mine who had built in there to practice. And we’re able to take a similar example and then institutionalize a much greater level. And then, of course, there’s people now that were originally mentors to me that was the same thing on steroids. So there was a senior partner that I sort of mimicked my plastic bags after. And then in the media world and in sort of in life, there were a couple people that were just great examples. I mean, Jessica, my partner in the media business and I looked at various different media businesses when we served, got serious about building Becker’s health care beyond sort of a cottage thing and a niche industry. It’s a real business. And we’ve looked at different examples. But along the way we had great tutelage from somebody who has now passed away, Chuck Lour, who was originally the publisher of modern Healthcare and the chief there for a long time. It was just an unusually supportive and really good person who sort of a mentor or not just in how to build a publishing business. And he was helpful there and connectivity there, but more so in how to live a life. And Chuck was a magnificent mentor to us.

Saul Marquez:
What a great call out to Chuck and and to Jessica and the work that you guys have done there. You’re influencing a lot of people. You’re providing timely information. I love getting my my Becker’s updates, breaking news and health care. It always kind of triggers. Oh, my gosh. I didn’t know that. Let me let me dig deeper. So kudos to you for for keeping it relevant. Well, what would you say is one of the biggest setbacks you’ve had Scott And what did you learn from it?

Scott Becker:
Sure. So I’ve had several, of course, like most of us had early on in high school, we were in a situation where my my father worked for a large company. That company went bankrupt. And so the grace I learned from my father and mother, under-pressure in sort of a difficult situation for us and the family was just fascinating. I mean, they did everything we could of been telling me. You can go to one school, Scott, for undergraduate, which is the state school. Other than that, sort of like being my only option for undergraduate, which was a magnificent option. They just handled the whole thing with tremendous grace under pressure. So that was a learning thing, did everything I could to protect us from that. And it was a very scary situation with my parents later on in my career had multiple different setbacks.I mean, many with a goal right from college to law school and on don’t.And then a shout out to my parents as well for helping me with law school. I got into Harvard Law School. I was offered a scholarship, full scholarships, you know, escargot, another magnificent law school. My parents were not wealthy. People were like, no, we’ll help you go to Harvard. And it’ll be a great experience. You don’t have to pay for it versus going someplace for free. So they were magnificent. Other setbacks we had were, you know, somewhere into my legal career built this great practice, one of the best practice that our predecessor firm. And it was a fascinating things. I had grown to have this great practices in law firms have been great practices. A big deal in the firm recruited these other people, these other lawyers from another firm that were tall, sort of good-Looking patrician people. And it was sort of like it was fascinating me, because even though I built this great practice and done the things you had to do to be successful in a large law firm, they sort of looked at these people and said, these are the future leaders of the firm just because they sort of looked the part for having built anywhere near the practice that me and my colleagues that built, you know, sort of a fascinating life experience of like, wow. And, you know, it’s obviously just a very small window into how many other people see perceptions and stereotypes and how versus advantage.And obviously, I’ve done fine and great and fortunate. But it’s a fascinating life lesson that you learned sort of you had to plug along and figured out regardless. We’ve had a number of those types of experiences in life and in some ways those experiences. My father losing his job and ended with grace provided me tremendous motivation in life and a lot of levels and watching the situation at the firm. This was a practices firm saying these are the future leaders of the firm, that we’re just sort of better looking, taller, more handsome, more everything. And I was like, that’s ridiculous. That was just a fantastic perspective for me. And it’s a small of the perspective that many people of different ethnic groups and racial groups, everything else, feel every day. It is a fascinating window into that world. It was just shocking to me. One of my mentors said to me, look, these are the future of the firm. Was like, are you kidding me? You know, I’ve been busting my butt and make it go. And these leaders, the firm we’ve built, nothing like the practice we had built is a passing setback. But then again, those things are motivating.

Saul Marquez:
Yeah. You took it and you turned it into motivation fuel.

Scott Becker:
Yes. There’s a great comment that when we first got serious about publishing. There’s a great compass concept in life that you don’t know you’re making progress to somebody punches you in the nose. And early on when when just when I started to build the posing firm at some point one of our competitors just to start taking shots at us. And we used to think like, oh, my god, that’s horrible. And then we realized the fact they’re doing shots at us and shots at me personally and shots at our team and shots, everything like that was really a statement that, oh, my God, we’ve kind of started to make progress the tip bar that we rank enough to take shots at us, like I went to Nurse Illinois. We always thought of University of Michigan as one of rivals, but University Michigan thought themselves so much above us to not bother taking shots at us. You follow me? Here, when we built the media company certain spot competitors started to talk negatively about us and attack us. And I sort of viewed that sort of as very motivating and very interesting. And at first it was negative. Then it was like, oh my god, we count enough that somebody’s taking shots at us. And that was kind of a fast thing. Growth and change in perspective.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. That’s fantastic, Scott. And it’s that feeling, right? At first you’re like, what in the world is going on? But then you realize, wow, you know, we’re we’re actually making a splash here.

Scott Becker:
Exactly.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. And so today Scott, what are you most excited about?

Scott Becker:
You know, it’s a whole mix of things. It’s a great question. I mean, I’m I’m thrilled at how well our teams have grown. We, Jessica and I, work a lot and how do we continue to grow leadership. What we do keep totally connected and keep very strong with Decker’s Healthcare and keep it moving in the right direction. We’ve got magnificent teams that really push a lot of that forward. We’ve got some new growth initiatives we’re excited about, personally, one kid in college and one movement towards college and just thrilled to see zero growth and development as people, both children watching them is magnificent to me to see their growth in development. And you then further just continuing to sort of connect with people and and figure out additional growth lanes in life.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, Scott. You are probably one of the best connectors I know. If you could have lunch with anybody, who would it be?

Scott Becker:
You know, it’s so funny, solid, you ask that question. So I thought about that a lot. We have a tradition in our family that every Sunday night we have dinner with our family. And I think that, like, you know, I’ve had the fortune of meeting lots of interesting people at every station in life. I had a chance yesterday to talk this woman or minority just built this great foundation. Minority speak up. She’s a woman as a high school sophomore. And that was a pleasure and a chance two weeks ago to interview Nikki Haley in front of a thousand people. And that was a pleasure. We had the same chance to do that with different athletes, different politicians, whether Republican or Democrat. All terrific. The thing that I enjoy most is we have dinner every Sunday with our family. It is literally the cornerstone of the week for us. And so there’s no one I want to meet other continue to do that. That’s sort of my favorite part of week.

Saul Marquez:
Man, That is so awesome. And a shout out the Becker family. Dad loves you guys and I think it’s what a beautiful response to that. Scott, what would you say your number one health habit is?

Scott Becker:
So I. So there’s two good health habits and there’s lots of bad ones. The two good ones are I reduced a few years ago my sugar intake tremendously and seemed to help my appetite and keep me in better shape and a little bit healthy over the last seven years. And I’ve been. That was great. It, too, is we’ve always been, you know, someone who does some kind of exercise God movement every single day. I mean, almost every single day, something. It’s those are two good health. It’s the bad health habits are like to have a drink in the evening when we go out, probably eat out too much, which is not great for my eating habits and stuff like that. So it’s a constant battle to eat it. And as you get older, the effort you have to put in to stay relatively healthy and to stay in the game of business, the game of life, is you’ll see this out another 15 years, but it becomes harder harder the work you have to put in to stay healthy. The two good things I do is I cut the sugar down tremendously. And I love sugar and I love candy and stuff like that. And I cut down the. And I do make sure I move every day.

Saul Marquez:
Love it. Love it. And when you do your movement, you go into the gym or are you doing other things like walking around the block or?

Scott Becker:
It’s a mix of things during the winter, during a summer play, it’s on a tennis or in the winter, a kind of platform tennis, battle tennis. What have you. I grew up playing rocket sports and playing tennis in high school and whatever. And and, you know, like I’m fine, good enough but play a ton of that. And then I do a ton of whether it’s yoga or going to fitness classes or other types of things. There’s there’s a class up here, we go to the slowest guy on the treadmill. It’s so freaking embarrassing, but it is what it is. We go to Class Gault’s read 4:15 and it’s 4:50 minute segments and I generally stay for about 45 minutes of it. And my friends tease me endlessly about how slow I go and how I always leave early.But it works for me. I do. 30, 45 minutes. You know, all the time and love it.

Saul Marquez:
But you show up and that’s all matter.

Scott Becker:
That’s at least some movement. And I feel mentally and physically a ton better and I’m a ton easier to live with if I’ve done something.

Saul Marquez:
Love it Scott. What would you say is the best advice you’ve ever received?

Scott Becker:
So I always hearken back. That’s a great question to two pieces of advice given the different parts of my early on in my career. So when I grew up and while it’s 25, 30 years ago and people used to yell at people and to get things done and this is a long time ago, a different culture, different life. And one of my partners or colleagues at the time or saw a corpus was yelling at some Associate Press going from the up or my perception issues on the L.S.. But I didn’t told me, look, when you see all of that person, you don’t just yell at that person. You skip the culture for all of us. And it was it was great advice from him. And to my credit, I was able to change on a dime and get yelling out of my vocabulary. And now when I yell for every yell is very, very and often and it might be my son when he doesn’t think crazy, even though he’s very gifted. But I hardly ever yell anymore. And I did a long time ago. And that was a great piece of advice. The other great piece of advice I got was from a lawyer named Jerry Peters, who basically said to me he had built this magnificent practice with firm Latham Watkins. Not Latham. And he had said to me, you can’t do anything serious without building great teams. So it’s not about you. It’s about building great teams. Then you could do both in the war. Ultimately, as a simple business, it’s great clients on one hand, great lawyers and great teams on the other hand. In those two pieces of advice with the two best pieces of business wise I ever got was sort of building teams and getting yelling out of your vocabulary. You are out of your business repertoire.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, Scott. Yeah. You know, and last time we were together, you definitely shared. You went deeper into that story and the yelling and the turnaround. Folks, again. Listen, if you’ve enjoyed this episode, go back and check episode number five with Scott. He shares a lot more. And it’s always great to connect with you. You know, I don’t ask about favorite books anymore, but I always love to ask you this because I’m always curious about what you’re reading. Last time you recommended. Zero to one by Peter Thiel. What book would you recommend to us today.

Scott Becker:
It’s so funny, say that. I’ve just gone through a series of my favorite mystery. You know what there is. And so they’re not just not very sophisticated choices, but there’s a child book. I just read a John Sanfur book, I just read. I keep on trying to go back to couple bios. There’s a bio, Stephen Schwarzman, who’s the founder of Blackstone. And they keep finding myself a shit hole rotating back, too. I just finished this tune to fixing books that I just love. And then then I’ve just you know, I’ve been binge watching Succession and The End of the Blinking World, a Netflix and one of the one of the Nepalese, I think and I’ve enjoyed both them tremendously. So I don’t have any good, serious, thoughtful, deep reasons for people today but I do have two things have been lost to fiction books I just read.

Saul Marquez:
I love it. So Succession and End of the Blinking World?

Scott Becker:
End of the effing world. It’s called End of the World. It’s ending it’s to a series, two seasons and it’s on Netflix and it goes through the life with these two high school kids who get off chart, but then get back on chart. And it’s fascinating and interesting and funny and everything and unusual and just fascinating to me.

Saul Marquez:
Listen, I think it’s great and doesn’t always have to be a book, right. You got to be able to unplug. And culture is beyond book. You know, it’s it’s it’s music, it’s drama. And so appreciate you you’ve given us those recommendations, Scott. Leave us with the closing thought beyond the conferences, the media put out, and your your podcast where we could all, you know, get more of what you put out there. What closing thought would you leave us with today?

Scott Becker:
Sure. So, you know, we look at really a couple different things and they’re relatively simple for every you’re doing. You have to have some sort of plan. You’ve got to stay closely engaged to whatever you do. And you can’t it’s very hard to dip in and out and be serious and be effective and and be tied with your team and everything else. And of course, I do a lot of these things not as well as I did him at one time. You have to make adjustments. You have to build teams and you have to be positive. It’s like it just goes back to this story of yelling at people in today’s world where there’s a shortage of being able to find highly talented, great people. The worst thing you could do is not build great cultures. And I view it as a real kudos to my colleague Jessica, who’s built this crazy, great culture internally at Becker’s Healthcare. And it’s really she’s been now president CEO for 15 years with me writing years. It’s an incredible job of building a great culture and achievements. alred, a focused culture, results oriented culture, but a culture. People want to work at. And it sort of. So have a plan. Build teams, stay engaged. And you got to be positive. No one wants to be around negativity.

Saul Marquez:
Love it, Scott. As always, it’s a pleasure to connect with you. We always learn from you when you jump on the podcast. And if the listeners wanted to connect with you or check out more of your stuff, what’s the best place for them to go?

Scott Becker:
It certainly probably no easier place than LinkedIn under Scott Becker, but anybody could always email me to sbecker@beckershealthcare.com or sbecker@mcguirewoodst.com or you can always text me at 3 1 2 3 9 9 0 7 7 4. Saul, it’s always a pleasure to visit with you. You’re the best. Thank you.

Saul Marquez:
A privilege to have you on, Scott.

Thanks for listening to the Outcomes Rocket podcast. Be sure to visit us on the web at www.outcomesrocket.com for the show notes, resources, inspiration and so much more.

Quickly and accurately convert audio to text with Sonix.

Sonix uses cutting-edge artificial intelligence to convert your mp3 files to text.

Thousands of researchers and podcasters use Sonix to automatically transcribe their audio files (*.mp3). Easily convert your mp3 file to text or docx to make your media content more accessible to listeners.

Sonix is the best online audio transcription software in 2020—it’s fast, easy, and affordable.

If you are looking for a great way to convert your mp3 to text, try Sonix today.