Episode Summary

Have you ever considered how much a good night's sleep shapes your day, health, and success? Max Kerr, DDS, D-ABDSM, a dentist and sleep apnea guru, joins Mark on a journey that bridges the gap between healing and leading.

Episode Note

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Have you ever considered how much a good night's sleep shapes your day, health, and success?

Max Kerr, DDS, D-ABDSM, a dentist and sleep apnea guru, joins Mark on a journey that bridges the gap between healing and leading. We unpack the historical context and modern implications of sleep disorders while Max shares his expertise on medical oral devices. His innovative approach to patient care extends beyond the clinic, fostering educational partnerships that enhance the patient experience and the entrepreneurial healthcare landscape.

Navigating the healthcare field requires more than just medical knowledge. It demands leadership skills, operational savvy, and a culture that resonates with staff and patients. Max and Mark explore visionary leaders and integrators, detailing the impact that the right team dynamics can have on an organization's growth and the quality of care it provides. We celebrate the joys that come with the dual role of physician and business owner and share anecdotes of transformation and success through embracing systematic operational frameworks.

Drawing from our diverse experiences, we reveal the pathway to practice freedom and underscore knowledge sharing among healthcare leaders. Tune in, and let us guide you toward optimizing your health, leadership, and entrepreneurial spirit.

In this episode, you will hear:

  • Sleep’s impact on cognitive function, performance, and health, particularly for high-achievers and healthcare leaders
  • The importance of rest and recovery for maintaining high performance
  • Physiological factors contributing to sleep apnea
  • Marketing in healthcare and how it can lead to improved patient care by fostering educational partnerships and genuine relationships
  • The synergy between a passion for healing and successful business operations
  • How conveying passion can enhance workplace culture and patient satisfaction
  • Implementation of the Entrepreneurial Operating System (EOS) for improving leadership and organizational effectiveness in a dental practice
  • Clear communication and honesty in leadership
  • How to handle difficult conversations and maintain a culture aligned with core values
  • The benefits of hiring the right integrator to help balance the roles of a provider and a business leader
  • The impact of effective delegation on business growth

Resources from this episode:

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Episode Transcript

0:00:02 - Mark Henderson Leary

Welcome to Practice Freedom. What if you could hang out with owners and founders from all sorts of healthcare private practices, having rich conversations about their successes and their failures, and then take an insight or two to inspire your own growth? Each week on Practice Freedom, we take an in-depth look at how to get the most out of both the clinical side and the business side of the practice, get the most out of your people and, most of all, how to live the healthy life that you deserve. I'm Mark Henderson Leary. I'm a business coach and an entrepreneurial operating system implementer. I have a passion that everyone should feel in control of their life, and so what I do is I help you get control of your business. Part of how I do that is by letting you listen in on these conversations in order to make the biggest impact in your practice and, ultimately, live your best life. Let's get started. Welcome back practice leaders. So I think you'll enjoy this one. 

Max Kerr is a really passionate, visionary leader and so I guess, for framing context, he's a dentist by trade, runs multiple businesses, two of which we really kind of talk about sleep apnea through devices medical oral devices, not like CPAPs, it's like more an appliance kind of thing you put in your mouth. You can look at it on the website. Maybe not super relevant to the point of this interview. Also, traditional dentistry, right, so it comes from. You'll hear in our language some things that are that I think is relevant to know about those structures. But if nothing else, man, what a great example of a passionate, clear vision, visionary leader. And so, if nothing else, I mean you could probably get some tips or tricks and some ideas, some thoughts, some inspiration. But as a founding leader of your organization, this guy is really living the visionary role in partnership with the individual healer role. And we do talk about a lot of the vision. We talk about the purpose, the importance of being a great, well-run organization and how to be a great well-run healthcare organization. And near the end, we talk pretty specifically and tactically about the roles of that visionary leader, the individual healer and the integrator, which is that business operator, business administrator that helps the trains run on time, which is such the incredibly important part of the process of having the leadership to run the organization. There's lots more on the visionary, integrator and individual healer roles that I'm always coaching people to figure out which one or two you're in at any given time. 

There's more podcast episodes. Please check those out. If you can't find them, reach out to me. I'll get you plugged into the right stuff. But this is really about understanding that one role, if nothing else, because he's living it and breathing it. So I want to get out of the way. I want to let you listen to this episode. Before I do, don't forget if you're stuck, if you're envisioning this great organization, this high impact organization, and you don't know what to do, please don't stay stuck. Reach out practicefreedomcom slash schedule. We'll take a few minutes to figure out what the next or first step could look like for you. So, without further ado, max Kerr, enjoy it Good morning, Max how are you sir? 

0:03:19 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Doing well, doing well. I actually just got back from New Orleans Jazz Fest. We came in last night, so we go Thursday, friday, saturday, sunday and just came back last night and so I'm kind of getting back into the motion and kind of getting back into real life, and so today is a good day to have a podcast. I'm coming off of a high so I seriously was not. 

0:03:41 - Mark Henderson Leary

this was not intended, but I was about to ask you did you get any sleep? 

0:03:48 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I mean well, so I'm a sleep professional, so you know it's weird when you get into something and it becomes more more like important than everything else, and sometimes sleep goes that way with me. And new Orleans is not for that, you know. I mean, they go with jazz fest. What they'll do is they'll have the festival throughout the, throughout the day and then there will be like two or three night shows that night and you can actually like miss a whole evening and wake, walk out when the sun's coming up. Fortunately I don't do that anymore. I used to when I was younger but I was able to get a little bit of sleep not as much as I would like well, this, this, this podcast has three directions that we could go, and so I just I did not even, but it's going to. 

0:04:28 - Mark Henderson Leary

You're going to laugh. I didn't even think about what it might be to talk about the importance of sleep, because I'm a huge I'll destroy you with it, if you want. I'm a huge sleep geek, and so I spent several years trying to unpack why I was tired and figure it out and how to sleep better, and managed to really crack the nut after having read three or four books over the course of a while. 

0:04:55 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

What books did you get into? 

0:04:56 - Mark Henderson Leary

So there was one of the early ones I read was Dreamland. It kind of got my curiosity going. The first one that really was substantial was Matthewthew walker's book while we sleep. 

Yeah, that's, that's the bible. Yeah, for sure that, and that's the one I recommend is sort of the cornerstone. Then till ronanberg. I read after that I probably almost called something about 12 hours or something. It was highly referenced in matthew walker's book and really good as well, and I think there's some. I read some other ones that weren't as useful at all actually, but certainly man, why we sleep, was so powerful yeah, you know. 

0:05:31 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

So sleep is one of those things and so often I feel like in the western style of of living, you know, there's a the taoist, the yin and the yang, right I mean what. They're both balanced and there's both just a little dot of each other and in one another, right. So you have the white and you have the black and they are balanced within each other. And I think so much in the Western tradition, especially in those of us that are higher high achievers and really go-getters, which I know you are, you know, so often we forget about the rest because our whole lives we've been taught, you know, I'll sleep when I'm dead. 

Sleep is for the weak. Yada, yada, yada. But man, you just can't optimize and you can't get as deep as you can when you're alive. If you don't sleep, I mean hell. 

I tell my people, you know we do it in a third of our lives and if we're not optimizing sleep and if we're not really focused on making sure that we're getting the best sleep, then we're leaving so much on the table and to me it's like it's the lowest hanging fruit out there. 

I mean, we all want to sleep, we're all required to sleep, and if we can optimize our sleep, then the leverage marker on sleep is just so huge, especially for people who are really trying to produce something, who are trying to do something good for the world and who are even trying to really dial in what they bring to the table, not only whether it's as a family member at their own health, as a provider or a leader. I mean just sleep is so fundamental in all these categories that I'm glad it's starting to become more of a zeitgeisty topic. But even then we're still ignoring large parts of it because we're not doing really well. And then you take it and we tend to be over-medicated, our food supply is not that great, our circadian rhythms are all jacked up because of lights, and so really to try to find how to get good sleep, it can be elusive at times. 

0:07:17 - Mark Henderson Leary

Well, I think a lot of it has to do with perspective. Because you say you know everybody wants to sleep. Long before this zeitgeist had any presence. It was very much like why are you sleeping? If you're sleeping too much, you're lazy and it was very sad You're losing, you're losing and like, and the way you said, the third of your life you sleep. You should optimize it. The way it was said when I was a kid was that's a third of your life. Like you could get a lot of life sleep. 

You did a whole third of your life back if you forgot how not to sleep and I was like that's brilliant, let's stop sleeping, let's eliminate sleep. 

0:07:53 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Yeah, so people that come in and see me. So I routinely what I do is I treat patients that have sleep apnea. What we see nowadays is anywhere up to one in five adult females in the West or in the US have sleep apnea, and close to one in four, one in three men have it, and it's just and I can go into deep detail about why we believe this is happening but what we see routinely. People that have sleep apnea could, on average, lose seven years of their life. 

0:08:17 - Mark Henderson Leary

So literally you're robbing Peter to pay. 

0:08:19 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Paul in this case. And so it's a, it's a passion of mine, I absolutely love it. And and just again, what it brings to the table, like if you take somebody who is chronically underslept, they're likely kind of an asshole, at least to the people that they love, because that's easy, they're likely to include me that by might I mean I've been told like yeah. 

And they're likely favoring highly processed foods. Because of the cortisol impact of poor sleep, they're likely not as active as they could be. You know taking part. You know I have a young, seven year old daughter. If I don't sleep, the likelihood of me actually going and jumping on the trampoline with her doing something fun is very low. And so just again, not to mention, I might die seven years earlier. So so it's not just giving you more life longer, but giving you more life within the days that you have. 

0:09:09 - Mark Henderson Leary

Yeah. So there's a lot you just kind of uncovered there. But I think the perspective shift is from like time Time is the missing piece, it's performance that's the missing piece. 

And so if you shift the mindset to recovery and optimal time when awake, and objective measure of output and results, it's Peter and Tia, it's like, hey, you're going to live longer, why, if you're going to be half dead, what's the freaking point Health span and lifespan, exactly If you're going to get 10 extra years, make them 10 kick-ass years, and so if you're going to be awake for 24 minus 8, 16 hours, 16 solid hours, they better be kick-ass hours and like when my son wakes up, he wakes up early enough at 645 if he's sleeping in, and it's like do I want to be kind of half dozing for that first hour, or do I want to be let's go? 

You watch TV while I sleep, or no, let's go, let's absolutely like you watch tv while I sleep or no, let's go outside and get on the bike and let's go do something. 

0:10:09 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

That is a totally yeah, let me give you a hug where I'm actually present. You know not, let me just give you a side hug. Let me give you one where I absolutely love you, so that way, when you do go do something when I'm not around, you'll know that my presence was felt. Yeah, performance. 

0:10:24 - Mark Henderson Leary

Performance I mean the workday, I mean figuring out when I'm going to be too tired to do something creative. And if I got to invent something, you know, create a new. I may invent something. I mean like create new content. I've got a presentation that needs content. I can't do that if I'm like half dozy, sometimes there's some work I can do. That's kind of mindless. But yeah, this the idea of what's your life going to be measured in Absolutely, be awake Well you know I'm going to butcher this study. 

0:10:51 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I can't remember where it came from. It was probably highlighted in why we Sleep by Matthew Walker. But they took a bunch of concert musicians and I want to say they were either violinists or pianists and they had them not sleep and learn the scales. And then they had not sleep and learn the scales. And then they had them sleep and learn the scales and the performance on, the people that actually got some sleep, like they learned the scales, they learned the difficult measures very, very quickly in compared to those people who didn't sleep. And so while the people that didn't sleep got more practice, the people who slept actually retain that knowledge and retain that performance factor. So you know you're, you're right on. 

0:11:28 - Mark Henderson Leary

Yeah, and I think I've got studies that say same kind of same problem. Matt Walker and another like Daniel Pink, has got some sort of tertiary, secondary, tertiary research, like he doesn't do the primary but he pulls it out and so you can find it in like the book of the books. I would consider the pile Daniel Pink's book when. But talking about how, if you learn something and then take a nap and then are asked to recall it, you recall better than if you didn't take the nap. Your brain processes the storage of the information. So, all this to say, one of the ingredients to kick an ass is proper recovery and I think that, like when people didn't live long, I guess you can sort of figure out that if your highest performance was right before, in your 20s, right before you died, you didn't need to know this. But now that I'm 52 soon and like I recover. 

0:12:19 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You're looking great, by the way. I mean compared to looking at me like I look like old man, winter, compared to you. 

0:12:25 - Mark Henderson Leary

You got a beard, because it's a long, long beard the daughters, this is what I attribute it to. But like I absolutely know how to work myself hard enough to be worked out, like that is not like my physical capacity to work out and damage myself that's easy to find, so it's flipped. It's like how do I max the recovery so I can go work out again and so I can actually increase my performance? It's totally gone the other way. I have to figure out my optimal recovery rhythm and sleep is absolutely the cornerstone of that Amen, brother Amen. 

So obviously we could geek out on this a while. So I think we could go a couple different ways with this. I'm stuck. Let me tell you what's on my heart right now. 

0:13:09 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You know I kind of tease this and this is a passion of mine, so I'd like to get into it. I definitely want to get into a little bit of leadership, and especially with EOS, since I know you and I can geek out on that Like I could actually learn a whole lot from you, given the fact that you've been an implementer for so long, and especially since you're branching into healthcare, because that's kind of where I've almost niched myself inadvertently. But I do want to touch on the sleep apnea thing again, because this is what I do and this is what my passion is. So, like I mentioned, I want to say a quarter of westernized adults have sleep apnea. 

Now, why is this occurring? Well, I believe there's a few different ways. One thing is our structure, and this is kind of the hallmark. What we're seeing is we're seeing a smaller lower face, and when we're seeing a smaller lower face, what that does is that crowds the tongue. Now, why is this occurring? We don't really know. But what I do know is over the past thousand years, archaeologically, we've actually seen the lower face of humans actually get smaller. 

0:14:04 - Mark Henderson Leary

So a thousand years ago you used to be literally the physiological shape of the head. The lower face is smaller. 

0:14:10 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Smaller correct. 

0:14:11 - Mark Henderson Leary

It's crazy. 

0:14:12 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I would have never even asked that question. Yeah, case in point there used to be plenty of room for wisdom teeth. Now, at least 80% of patients need their wisdom teeth removed. There used to be no need for orthodontics at all. 

Everybody used to have a big, wide smile with very little crowding. But over the past thousand years we've actually seen a reduction in the lower face enough to where there's no more room for wisdom teeth and there's the need for orthodontics. Again, 60 to 70% of westernized humans have some degree of crowding. So what's going on Now? Not only is this crowding the teeth, but it's also crowding the tongue, and so when the tongue gets crowded, the only way it can go is backwards. Okay, so again, why is this happening? There's a whole lot of theories out there. The theory that I've kind of bought into is that over the past thousand years, we've domesticated both livestock as well as agriculture. We've selectively bred for the easier palatable foods, the foods that have a high energy density, and when this occurs, there's no environmental signal for our body to create a large lower face, because we don't need that chewing mechanism quite as much as we used to anymore. You combine that with a change in development when it comes to breastfeeding. No longer are we breastfeeding till age five, no longer are we really breastfeeding. Oftentimes we supplement it with a rubber nipple, and so there's just no environmental draw to create a large lower face. So now, all of a sudden, the tongue's getting pushed back in the back of the throat, the airway closes down. That's where we get sleep apnea. Secondarily, as we age you kind of put a nail on this one already as we age, musculature is not as tight and is not as rigid as it once was, and so the musculature of the upper airway is no different. When the musculature of the upper airway starts getting loose and not as rigid anymore, it becomes more collapsible. And then, third, when you add all the environmental contagion well, not environmental toxins, let's say processed food, whether it be any sort of environmental kind of what would be a good word irritants or anything like that we start seeing a lot more inflammation in the system, which actually closes down the airway to where now we're not breathing through as big of a tube. So we're collapsing the tube. The tubes are much more collapsible than it once was, and now the tube is not quite as big of a tube, so we're collapsing the tube. The tubes are much more collapsible than it once was, and now the tube is not quite as big. Therefore, what ends up happening is, as we're breathing, when we're really, really relaxed, what happens is our airway closes down. When the airway closes down, we go through a fight or flight response. That fight or flight response raises our blood pressure, raises our cortisol, awakes us out of sleep, and that's what we call sleep apnea. 

And so what I do is I treat patients that have sleep apnea. Traditionally, there's two different ways to treat sleep apnea. There's the CPAP, and what I do is an oral device. So I artificially create a larger lower jaw so that people can breathe effectively through it. And so where does this come from, or why am I getting into this? 

Well, this is a really new industry. This industry is, I want to say, at best, 10 years old. We've seen the first generation, which was more than 10 years ago, which were just tinkers in a garage more than anything. Then we started seeing people create businesses out of this methodology of treating sleep apnea, and these were kind of the trailblazers, didn't create a really great business model around it, they were just trying to make a market in the world around them. And then we're kind of the second generation where, all of a sudden, we've seen that this is a viable product. We see that this is actually something that's benefiting people's lives. Now we need to create a machine that brings it to the public in volume, and so that's where I fell in love with EOS. It brings it to the public in volume, and so that's where I fell in love with EOS. I had to create a really strong machine in order to, at scale, bring this product to the world around me. 

0:17:56 - Mark Henderson Leary

So, again, I love where you went with that To me what I think is most important, and I could be wrong. 

0:18:02 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

No, that's not true. 

0:18:02 - Mark Henderson Leary

Most importantly, if you're going to run a business, run it with an operating system. And why? Because it's a complex problem and complex problems are solved with systems. That's sort of my life philosophy. So a system is how you manage complex systems. Complex problems because interdependency, too many variables for you just to sort of intuitively, and certainly as an organization with a bunch of people running around For everybody to be in sync, you can't do it without a system when healthcare I think in particular as businesses when you compare them, we talk about atrophied muscles or never developed muscles it's marketing and understanding of maybe even commercialization on the tech side. 

But healthcare has never had to sell itself the way that most free market has had to. And so over the last 50 to 100 years there have been a few places. Dental, I think, has led the charge from my perspective optometry close behind. How do you go sell? Because you ran out of stuff to do that was covered and there was a lot more value to be given. Insurance wasn't going to make it possible, so you had to innovate, relatively speaking, and say like I guess we're going to go sell this ourselves, I guess we're going to market, I guess we're going to build a brand. I guess we're going to figure out who our customers and the rest of healthcare is like no idea that this is a skill. We're just going to wait to be credentialed and people are going to show up. So what's this like from a? You have to market like retail. Yeah. 

0:19:33 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Well, and I would say that there's something that we miss in the healthcare industry that is kind of unsung when you can't market or when you choose not to market, it allows for bad players to kind of exist. You know, for anybody to have a strong marketing base, there has to be a solid product behind it, and so often with health care groups, we're marketing the health care provider. And if we don't market that effectively, then these health care providers, they're not forced to grow, they're not forced to adapt to what the public around them is asking for, and so much of that is marketing. Marketing is not just a one-way street. It's like you got to see what the public around you is asking for. You got to learn that within yourself and then you actually got to say, hey, this is something I can deliver on. And so with healthcare, so often we build these little temples around the provider. Whether or not that provider is solid, People will, like you said you actually meant you said insurance because so much of this marketing, the marketing spend. A lot of it is dependent upon what your insurance reimbursement is, and so you're allowing the insurance company to market it when they really have no vested interest in the outcome of the patient, unfortunately, because that's just the way the insurance market has been set up in the US. And so, with marketing, not only is it something that you have to get good at, but it also forces you to get good. So much of this is so important, and I agree with you 100% If you're fully to step into your role as a physician, as a provider, as a dentist, whatever it might be means that you have to hear the public provide what the public needs and then speak that out to the public from a marketing standpoint. And this looks like social media. You have to be a person With social media. What's great about it is they get to see. So much of my stories on Instagram recently were about me going to Jazz Fest, Because health happens in relationships and you relate to people that you get to know, and so, because of the insurance drive over the past 50 years or so, we've made it a transactional relationship and people just don't get well in that relationship. 

You know the doctor when you go back to the Latin of it. Doctor means professor or teacher, and so when I interact with my patients, the most important thing that I can tell them is hey, this is your journey. I just get to be a part of it. Consider me a Sherpa. You get to make your decisions. This is your disease that you get to live with. Now, how are we going to best affect it? And is something that I provide, something that's going to be a tool for you or something that's going to get in your way? And let's identify that? And when we identify that, then we can know that you're on a good path, because this path doesn't end. Yeah, you especially understand this. I mean, you're one of the healthiest individuals that I know, just based upon some of the stuff you've talked about. This isn't something that you were just born with. This is something you constantly have to work on. 

0:22:38 - Mark Henderson Leary

Just like your sleep journey. 

0:22:39 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You know, you have to see. Okay, these are my symptoms. What resources can I bring in and understand this and then treat myself along with, maybe, a healthcare setting, in a healthcare setting as well? 

0:22:54 - Mark Henderson Leary

Well, I mean, this conversation is just so rich in so many ways that makes me feel like we need to do this routinely. The health metaphor and I cause. Obviously I brought up marketing and and as a, as a underdeveloped skill, and then I started questioning like, is that really what listeners need to know about right now? And am I going to, because I think it's a really important thing to innovate for strategy? 

And then, as you sort of talked, I was thinking about the implications of leadership in the organization and the role and what I think you opened the door to is really powerful that when you say to yourself what do people need? Who are they? How do I, how am I going to tell them that? How am I going to make it easy for them to understand how to come here and exchange money for value? It's like I'm going to give something really cool and they're giving me some money. That really asked you to go inward and say, like, what am I doing here and what value are we offering? And I love to say that, like the least valuable organization in the healthcare space that I work with, like the least value offering not that valuable by comparison is still on their worst day healing people. 

And so it's like it's a privilege, it's a gift that we have so much to work with to help people live better lives and get back on the field and get back with their kids and and live longer, healthier, happier. Even if it's in small ways, it's like it's still huge, and so to go back with some humility. I think the one way to describe this trend that starts kind of with marketing to some extent and ends with culture is we need to degenerify all of healthcare. All of healthcare in the past is some doctor white coat same as the next, which they never were, never were the same, but we all I always treated them the same. The worst doctor in the world and the best doctor in the world looked exactly the same. 

But now that's not what we do. Now it's like hey, you're, you're a fitness oriented buyer, you want to be here on days when you're not sick. That's a. We can have that conversation now and as opposed to somebody who is like, no, I just want to eat donuts, cool, I got a system for you, and so we can really personalize this. And that starts with and this is where I think I'd love to kind of unpack this the founding physician, the founding doctor, the founding healthcare provider going inward and saying who am I, what am I passionate about, what are my gifts? And it really is this vulnerable starting point of self that invites the sharing of these powerful gifts throughout the entire culture and having everybody in the organization feeling like that front office coordinator is thinking man, I'm really healing people today and helping people's lives be better by organizing the schedule and making sure it's convenient for them and making sure this everything flows inside the office, which is so awesome when you can get there yeah 

0:25:41 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

and it's you mean you're hitting the nail so squarely on the head. I mean, first of all, when it comes to me, like going to what you just said, like I get to help people live better, longer and people give me money for that. Yeah, I mean like I get to help people live better, longer and people give me money for that. Yeah, I mean like I get chills thinking about it, like how, what's a? What a blessing. Like I, I wake up every morning thanking God for giving me this opportunity in order to help people live better and make money good money doing it. And I think so often people, especially physicians or people in healthcare they get into it because they're really good at science, they can solve problems very well, and then they've been told that this is what they need to do with it. And then they get out of medical school and then they get just annihilated with all the red tape and all the kind of the do's and the don'ts and making sure they're perfect when it comes to doing that, that they oftentimes lose sight that we are healers, we are life givers, we help people discern what's right and wrong biologically, and it's just so fun to do that. Okay, so that's me. 

Well, how do I communicate this to my team? And the thing is, I say the same thing at all of ours. So we run EOS, and so that means every quarter we get with our team. After we do, we run EOS, and so that means every quarter we get with our team. After we do our quarterly meeting, our leadership meeting, we get with our team and we talk about what's going on, any changes to the VTO, any issues that we need to work through, and we run a quarterly meeting and I will come up and I will say the same thing over and over and over again and I feel bad for the people that have to sit through it every single time. But even when I'm talking about it for the fifth time, I still get welled up, I still get tears and I'm still telling them my passion. 

It's like we have the ability to make a dent for the positive in humanity around us. We have the ability to help people love on their people better. We help people like live longer. We help people live a better, longer life, be more productive in the days that they live. 

Please do not forget that what you do is so important. Allow it to take you through all the hard times. Allow it to take you through the angry patient, allow it to take you through the insurance that doesn't want to play ball. You have to come back to that and you have to constantly remind not only yourself but your team, that what we do is we are making a positive dent in the world around us that is so fundamentally flawed. We have to be the ones, we have to be the shining light, be the example, and so much of that allows for culture to breed appropriately, which again is the cornerstone of marketing, like you mentioned. To bring it back, we have to have a product, and that means we sell our brand, we sell ourselves and the cornerstone of that has to be a passion and a desire to help people live better. 

0:28:24 - Mark Henderson Leary

Just hearing you describe it, I mean I, I kind of wells up there. Your emotion is very contagious. You don't even know, but I get it, man, and so it's such. I just. I mean the way going back to what you're doing. 

0:28:35 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I mean, you're helping people do this better. Like, like, thank you. This is what we've needed. We need somebody to help healthcare get out of their own way and develop a product and a brand and a system that better treats the individual again, so we can have a better life and a better world around us. 

0:28:53 - Mark Henderson Leary

I love you, thank you for saying that, and I love the enthusiasm for that because I still my tenure target is 1,000 healthcare companies running on EOS, and sometimes I don't say the EOS part because not everybody knows what EOS is, but it's really about and if I'm talking to somebody who doesn't know EOS, I say 1,000 healthcare companies where it's really the founders living their best life, having made their biggest mark, and I think frankly that of a thousand companies, over the next 10 years, 900 of them will just be running good, traditional style businesses in terms of who's their best customer, providing great service, great care, great culture, great benefits, healthy margins. 

And that's amazing. Right Now, I think 100 of them, 100 of that 1,000 will be game changer entrepreneurs, whether it's health tech or, you know, the Uber for dentists, the Uber for there's all these things. I've interviewed a bunch of these folks. There's all kinds of amazing technology that is, I think, going to totally transform healthcare for the better. But that technology that is, I think, going to totally transform healthcare for the better. But you don't have to do that Like there's so much money on the table in terms of metaphorical money actually literal money too. Profit follows value. There's so much value on the table of just running better businesses, taking care of people and having people love coming to this organization. 

That's helping, like it's a great experience Like thank you for helping my day in life be better. It's so powerful. 

0:30:17 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You know, it's that old adage of you know, the two children on a beach and then the beach is covered in starfish and one child is going and taking each starfish and throwing it back into the sea and the other child is like, well, why are you doing that? There's no way you can help all of these individuals, all these starfish, and then the starfish, you know, then the boy picks up one before he throws it into the sea and he says, yeah, but it can help this one. You know, I can help this one and that's the way I look at it when I'm seeing my patient, and that just means that you have to be present. The numbers will follow themselves. 

If you run a clean business, if you have desire and passion to help people, then being present in front of the individual that you're working with is so important to that one individual. And then the knock-on effects again for that one individual, it's countless and you can't even assume what that could be. I mean, it could be value untold for that one person, which means the value untold to you, and again, it's just such a huge blessing for both you and I. 

0:31:26 - Mark Henderson Leary

How did you because obviously you're running on EOS and so that invites all of this principle-based, simplified delegate, predict, systemize and structure these things that are just glued together, businesses that healthcare-educated folks have just never been exposed to. It's not like it's so hard and it's not like they can't understand it. It's like they've just been almost intentionally kept away from these concepts. What was your first inkling to go towards? Hey, let's run this in a proven way. 

0:31:57 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Well, as you can tell by now, I'm pretty verbose, so if you need to jump in in the story, please guide me a little bit more. So I'm a dentist by trade and so I started running a dental practice. And one of the dental practices I went to a keynote and he said there's the most important thing and this was his name was Brandon Dawson, and he used the terminology from John Maxwell and he said it's the law of the lid. And he broke the lid up into three different ways. He said you have to have operational effectiveness, you have to have belief and then you have to have leadership. And he said if you are at a five at any one of these, you will never run a 10 business. Like, if you're a 10 at operational effectiveness, then you're a five leader. Your business will not ever grow past a five. And so I heard this, and so one of the things early on I'm not strong. I wasn't strong at operational effectiveness. My belief lead was always a 10. 

But my leadership lead is something that I know I have control over and I can learn how to be a better leader. And but my leadership lead is something that I know I have control over and I can learn how to be a better leader. And so I started going down this leadership path of how to get a better leader and that took me to Tony Robbins, john Maxwell, all the things. And then, as I was digging through this one of the seminars that, I went to a friend who became a friend. His name is Jason Crawford. He said hey, are you an EO? 

0:33:14 - Mark Henderson Leary

And I don't. It's like EO. 

0:33:18 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I don't really know what that is he goes oh well, it's entrepreneurs organization. You need to really need to become a part of it. So I became a part of EO Austin and in EO Austin, everybody at the time I think traction had just come out relatively. You know, a few years earlier everybody talked about traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, traction, and so I bought traction and when I read traction I listened to it and then I bought it physically and when I listened to that book it was just like light bulbs went off. 

And one of the issues that I was running into is, as a provider, I would be working on a patient and I was this end all be, all of all questions in existence in my little realm. Like I was working on a patient and I had three or four people open the operatory door, ask me a question and then leave, and then that just kept on happening, while I should have been focused on treating that patient at the time and these were just operational questions like insurance, patient scheduling, all these different things. And I looked at my patient at the time and I was like, do you see what I'm dealing with? Like I just didn't have a place to put everything, not to mention I didn't know what I was answering. 

Like I had to answer a question and then you know, two hours later or two weeks later, I would give them a different answer to the same question. So fast forward. I brought in EOS. We have a beautiful implementer. He's such a kind man, he's an amazing guy, his name is Damon Ness, here in Austin, texas, and we implemented EOS slowly and begrudgingly. We made it happen in the organization and then, all of a sudden, we started treating patients better, we started having less complaints, better outcomes, just overall. The culture of the environment got so much better, and so at this time, I was actually transitioning to become a sleep-focused specialist, and then me and my partner, were looking at this and we're like, oh, if we're going to do EOS. 

We're going to go all the way and we're going to make sure that we do it the right way. 

And here we are, six years later we've scaled to be a $5 million company when the rest of the industry is maybe struggling to do $750,000. I mean, we have set ourselves apart probably one of the best you know top five, at least top three, at least top five, maybe top three in the nation and we're going to continue to expand. And I have to say, a lot of this had to do with EOS and getting out of my own way and actually running an organization through a team, as opposed to running an organization where I was the only one on the mountain, and so from that I fell in love with the language. I was like, okay, if we're going to do this, well, I need to dive in and I want to become and when you become an implementer which is what I ended up ultimately doing not only do you get to learn more about the tools, the techniques and better ways to implement those tools and techniques, but you actually get to see behind the curtain at other people's organizations. 

And so now I'm doing like I'm a master's program where I'm actually getting to see how people run their organizations and I can pick oh that's a really good way to do that, or maybe, okay, I see that we're doing that and maybe that's not the appropriate way to do that. You know, I can't take a whole lot of this into the session room with me, but at the very end I'm always running it up against what we're actually doing in my own organization, and really to a very positive light. 

0:36:27 - Mark Henderson Leary

That's awesome and I know Damon fantastic guy. He's a good friend. 

0:36:31 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

That's just a sweetheart guy, he's a good friend so that I can see just a sweetheart. I mean, golly, yeah, for sure it's. You know, I could implement in my sleep practice very fine, but having that third, that outside lens looking at things, is so fundamentally beneficial that we, you know, he can see through all the fog of war and say, well, what about this or what about that, or hey, you guys are chasing a rabbit that doesn't need to be chased here. You, you know, and it's just, it's done. So much for my own sanity, for our ability to create a fun workplace environment, a place where people in my whole organization feel ownership of not only treating the patient but building the brand. And it's such a beautiful thing. And, you know, god bless Gino Wigman, you, damon Ness, everybody who's a part of the journey. 

0:37:19 - Mark Henderson Leary

So I absolutely love the passion around EOS, because that's obviously what I do and I think of business operating system as sort of step one and I love that framework that you mentioned from Brandon Dawson's approach and operational excellence. What I see is that starting with the operating system is the way to jumpstart operating as a business. You don't know what you don't know yet, you don't know how to be great, but you know you have to have accountability and you have to start asking questions. So it kind of starts the process going, gets the blood flowing throughout the entire body. Then you've got new things to do and one of the things that comes up in that operational excellence I guess I frame it slightly differently is two aspects. One is we're going to have to have management and accountability. 

In a non-clinical language Well, I say clinical, there's two ways. You can usually use the word clinical. I mean in a health outcomes, not that language. It's like accountability, timeliness, accuracy, standardization. You know profit, that kind of language, the business language. We've got to have those people, the front office coordinators. You got to have the accounts payable, the revenue cycle. All that kind of stuff has to be driven and that's one of the first disciplines that I think people start to realize they got to get good at, which runs up against adjacent this other side, which is leadership and management of healthcare providers, which is very yucky to a lot of sounding physicians are like I, I'm a doctor and I was taught I was never going to have to be told what to do, and so I don't think it's fair for me to hire a physician to healthcare people and tell them what to do. And I'm like I understand why you would say that, except the exact opposite is true. How have you, how have you, dealt with both of those? 

0:39:04 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Well. So I think you kind of bucketed them very, very accurately. I mean, you know it's easy to deal with revenue cycle management because it's just ones and zeros. I mean, for the lack of, you have to have the right people on the right team and do all that. Now, again, I go back to the playbook with EOS. So much of it has to do with your people analyzer, defining your values, making sure that when you're hiring, you're hiring upon these values. 

Again, the adage slow to hire, quick to fire. I mean you got to and there has to be quarterly conversations around that value structure. You have to use the accountability chart and make sure that everybody's doing the bits and pieces that we've asked them to do. And then it becomes, you know something, a lot more tangible. To a clinician it's like, oh okay, if I check these boxes then I'm right and you just got to make sure that the boxes are right. As a leader and again, fortunately for me, we have hired the right people, we've done the right things and we've shown the people the right way. And so the LMA part, the leadership and management and the high accountability it's just every once in a while like I have a really good horse and every once in a while I'll just have to tap them with their riding crop just a little bit, not a whole lot. Now I can tell you, on the dental side of things, we've been doing it for 12 years now, and so 12 years is long enough to start seeing life happen to people that have been there really long, and it's very difficult when that comes. 

And again I go back to, that's why EOS is so good. It's because you have a framework of how to have the difficult conversations that would normally be kind of washed underneath the rug. And if you're following the formula, meaning every quarter you're gonna have a quarterly conversation, and if you're honest about those quarterly conversations, then a lot of these things either get washed out or forced out, and there's a degree of freedom within the framework, if that makes any sense. I know I'm speaking with a lot of hyperbole, or maybe not hyperbole, but ethereal language, and forgive me for doing that, but what we're going through with one of our longest-running hygienists right now is she's been struggling with health and it's really taken her off her game. And if I didn't have EOS to appropriately give me the framework in order to interact with her, especially from a values and a GWC or get it wanted to have the capacity to do it standpoint, then I don't. I would be paralyzed and you know, I know you're a Jordan Peterson fan and you know he's been. Recently he's been kind of twirling with this. 

One idea is how important it is to say the thing that needs to be said, even when it's difficult to say, and fortunately EOS gives us the lane or the ability to do that. But the key for the leader is to, when it gets difficult and when those things need to be said, that you have to be honest, not only with yourself but the person on the other side of the table, and you have to say those things and then trust that the framework is going to give you the freedom that you need in order to get past that difficult spot. And so often in leadership you're always worried about well, if I make this change, you're worried almost three steps down the line, when really you should just be worried about running that one play in front of you, which happens to be the quarterly conversation in this case. 

0:42:38 - Mark Henderson Leary

So, to make this tangible, two sides of your business, the sleep apnea side and yeah, I have three businesses. 

0:42:41 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Four, if you want to create, if you want to talk about the EOS implementation, so just in terms of structure understanding. 

0:42:46 - Mark Henderson Leary

So, like in the dental world, it's probably easy to understand. We've got dentists, hygienists, and so you've got like this professional services pyramid of sort of like you get the mid-levels all the way back to the dentist, and so your money capacity in the dental business is limited by how many dentists you've got and how much throughput and how many lanes, and so that's very traditional In the sleep apnea side. What's your limiting factor of like your highest, most scarcest licensed resource? 

0:43:13 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

factor of, like your highest, most scarcest licensed resource. Well, actually, fortunately, it would be dentists in this case. 

0:43:23 - Mark Henderson Leary

That being said, this is such a fun environment Dentists are begging for this because they get chewed up by the dental industry. 

0:43:27 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

We use dentists to be the frontline providers along with assistants. You know we are. Our assistants are specially trained in sleep. That's something that there's not a market for. We have to create that, but we have an amazing training opportunity in this case, and so when you're looking for assistance in the medical field, so one would be dental and one would be medical the assistants in the medical field traditionally. I know that if I can buy two years of time from them, then I'm looking for the individuals that are wanting to be the nurse practitioners, that are wanting to be the physician assistants. They maybe even want to go to med school. These are some of the ones that have some degree of buy-in to improving themselves and learning systems and going all in when it comes to that. 

0:44:10 - Mark Henderson Leary

So why I call that out is because it's not uncommon in my experience. When we say like we got to have the right culture and we are not going to tolerate people with the wrong attitude, the wrong whatever, and that resonates immediately and we go through the exercise, create the core values and it's like you know, our number one value is you know, we heal the patient, and number two is have fun. Number three is okay, great, whatever they are and yours might be totally different. And then I say are you applying to those core values to your physicians? And it's like what do you mean? 

0:44:39 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

yeah, because it's hard to find physicians right, and so that's the thing I gotta really wish I get it like in your. 

0:44:45 - Mark Henderson Leary

In whatever industry it's not uncommon to say we can only recruit once a year and so we're stuck with them for a year. And if we, if we wash somebody out, then that that recaps our, our Mac, our earnings for the year, and we can't go past that unless we manage to catch a bluebird from somebody who's jumping ship. And so you have to really change this mindset of we have to tolerate, because you don't. You just have to think more disciplined earlier on in the, in the expectation setting process. 

Because if, flipping it around, you say like, well, if you're going to be stuck with this person for a year, then you'd better interview hard against these core values. Cause cause you're getting married to some extent. 

0:45:24 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Yeah, and, and I think you know, there's a piece of this that is mind trash that I have to deal with constantly, because on our, on our end, the hygiene especially in Austin Texas, the hygiene well of, of good client or good talent is very, is very limited, you know. But I mean, are we, are we called as providers to be, and especially as entrepreneurs? Do we have a limit limited mindset or an abundance mentality? Like you know, so often we get so scared of what the and I'm calling myself out on this but are we allowed to give substandard care to individuals because we're scared that we can't find something that keeps the revenue engine running? Is that the right way we're supposed to do it? 

And just if I look back in my 20 years of being an entrepreneur, there's always a train leaving the station, there's always somebody that needs a home and the transition between releasing somebody that's not good to finding somebody that is. It might be slightly rocky, but is it any more rocky than allowing a provider to do a harmful disservice to your brand or the patient that they're actually treating, you know? And so this is not. This is something that I struggle with on the daily and I have to remember, abundance is all around me. 

The right move is always the right move and and I gotta do I gotta make sure that the product on the backend is the most appropriate product, because, again, we're giving life to people. So do I take chances or do I cut corners because of that? And the answer has to be you know, even even if I go through it over and over again, like the right answer is right in front of you always. You know, and you just gotta be okay, like going back to Jordan Peterson even if it's scary, you have to say the right things, you have to say the thing that's right, you know. Yeah. 

0:47:19 - Mark Henderson Leary

I mean thinking about your values. Thinking about, I mean Shurzad Shamim with the positive intelligence he would say 10 years, thinking 10 years from now, what choice would you make, regardless of the outcome? Right, if the outcome is good or bad? Like which choice would you make? That's true to your values? And so I love to preach abundance mindset. But one of the things I've learned and say I don't want to work with anybody's scarcity mindset. You know what's scarcity mindset Like? If you're, if you're obsessed with the price of Q-tips, if you're obsessed with like you're playing too much of your lab techs and you just really want to reduce the cost of that, then I'm not feeling you. But the reality is that abundance mindset is oftentimes aspirational. We all get afraid. We all the fear creeps in Suddenly. You know the surgical center is invested in it and is launching and there's 80,000 a month in debt service. Oh my God Like. If you're not afraid of that, then you're absolutely sociopathic. 

0:48:19 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You're not. 

0:48:19 - Mark Henderson Leary

You're not saying exactly like I get, why scarcity of mind would would flow into that. But you have to have this sort of kernel of that flame inside you that that's once more wants to look back on your life and say that was amazing gift that I gave and I lived well and I lived my values. And so if you're, if you're struggling with that scarcity and the fear flowing in, that just means you're normal and it's that feeling of guilt that's actually the indicator that you're a good human being and so we want to cultivate that. 

0:48:51 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Yeah Well, and you know, let's go back to kind of what we've created. I mean, if we've created a strong business that creates, that actually empowers. You know so oftentimes for physicians and practitioners, if they don't find the buy-in, if they think it's just a jobby job, then they're going to act like it's just a jobby job and their product oftentimes suffers because of that. But if you create, you know, some ownership mentality and the overall wellbeing of the structure that you set up, and you create some ownership mentality and the overall well-being of the structure that you set up and you create a strong brand can really find people that are looking for something more, especially if we're breaking into some of the newer generations of the millennials who really want to feel like they're a part of something and they want to be a part of the creation of something that makes a positive impact in the world around them. You just have to telegraph it. 

You have to explain it, you have to make sure that people know it and then they feel it. And you have to not remove all the the barriers in front of them, but give them the tools to jump over, climb over those barriers which is what is beautiful about eos, and so well, that's eos. 

With eos, you just you can't pull one little piece out, or one little piece out like so much of it is all encompassing, that that you're actually, you know, missing the force for the trees if you're only doing just a little bit here and there. 

0:50:20 - Mark Henderson Leary

Well. So, yeah, lots to talk about there, for sure, talking about that purpose idea, the younger generation and I think we've done the study, done the research and that what the younger generation wants so frustrating for companies when they can't like they're entitled. They want all this stuff. If you really unpack what they want, they want the exact same things that your very best employees want and they want to make an impact. They want to know what the impact is. They want to know what their role in that is. 

And I do see this, I've seen this for decades through mature industries like, for example, I'm in Houston and so the oil and gas industry very mature. And so when, when people started feeling like man, it's not all just about the money anymore, the margins are eroding, it's not, it's not just you get rich by being in the oil and gas business. What's what's? What decides where you go work? Well, you got less to work with, and so it's like, well, it's closer to my house. Well, it's. People are there cooler, the people? The boss is actually kind of, you know, he's a mentor to me, approachable. 

0:51:23 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Exactly, mentor, so we're starting to see an evolution of what could be. 

0:51:26 - Mark Henderson Leary

So healthcare's got the same problem right. And it's not just like you're lucky to have a job. I'm sorry, that's not good enough. Like why here? Like why here and feel good about it. And if you don't feel good about it you're not a bad person. Just means you shouldn't work here. 

0:51:41 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

You know, I went to I have a part of EO and I'm doing this entrepreneurial master's program and a gentleman by the name of Vern Harnish came and talked to us and he said one thing if you're going to take one thing away, he said I want you to talk to your people regularly. And he said, if you're running a team of over 100 people, it becomes very difficult. He said so if you have an inward bound email or an inward bound text system, we use Slack. Make sure that you're touching base with whatever is on your mind, and it doesn't have to be about the business, it's literally whatever's on your mind. Touch base once a week, at least once a week. And so I've created a Slack channel called Dr Dumps, kind of a play on me sitting on the pot thinking about things. And so I've created a Dr Dumps Slack channel and I'll find quotes that I find very interesting and I put it out there. 

Sometimes I'll get on the horn and I'll just video myself talking about how much I appreciate them. Sometimes I'll get on the horn and I'll just talk about talking about how much I appreciate them. Sometimes I'll get on the horn and I'll just talk about what I'm going through and what I'm struggling with throughout the day, or things that I'm happy about. And what that does is it allows people to feel some degree of proximity to the fire and the more proximity we can to the fire and you know this is difficult for providers, or maybe not entrepreneurial providers, but you know doctors, a lot of times they're in their own head and they don't really kind of expose their vulnerabilities to people. 

But man, so much of that is is, it's so powerful and we want to know the story. Everybody has a story and we all want to hear that. That's what drives, that's what drives enjoyment in the in and story. The more, the more vulnerable you are with your story, the the the more tangible and approachable you become and the more impact you ultimately have, at least with the people around you. At least that's what I'm hoping it does and I see that. And so you know, I don't know if everybody reads my doctor dumps, but at the very least, or sees them, but at the very least I'm so total gear shift because we're going to run out of time and I realized definitely this is probably a massive gear shift. 

0:53:42 - Mark Henderson Leary

I hear the visionary in you. I love it and it's contagious, and that's exactly what I want a visionary that I'm working with to feel. Their role is to just light the fire, paint the picture, make it share that contagious energy. What are you doing for the integrator side or the business leadership side? Are you doing both right now? Do you have that? How does that work? Oh geez. 

0:54:07 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

And thank God I don't do them both. I used to and man talk about a. You know I did the bits and pieces and I was okay at it. But, man, once I got the right person in an integrator seat, meaning somebody that doesn't mind having difficult conversations, somebody that's really good at keeping the beat of the drum you know all the right check marks for being being an integrator. 

Once I got that person in that role, not only was she like hey, like it's like okay, now I have some degree of control in the world around me. For her it was me not feeling as though that I'm not doing my total job, my highest and my brightest, like literally it was a game changer and we probably grew in a million dollars in revenue the moment we made that move. I mean getting for people who are visionaries, and especially providers that are visionaries, there's some degree of control that you always want to maintain, but there's somebody better than you there is always going to be somebody better than you and find that person, pay them what they need, pay them what they want and you will see the bottom line increase. You definitely the top line increase in likely the bottom line increase just because you're just not doing a good job. 

0:55:14 - Mark Henderson Leary

You get too much on your plate. How'd you find your? 

0:55:17 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

integrator, especially as a provider. So I'm still a provider, I still see patients, and so I was in three boxes Okay. 

0:55:23 - Mark Henderson Leary

So I do want to ask the question how, cause there's a lot to the integrator side of this, cause some of the organizations I work with really struggle with getting that right. All right, so the three boxes like E primary leaders, the visionary, which is usually the founder, usually carries the vision. 20 ideas a day, 19 are not quite baked. One of them's ready to go. Maybe the integrator is like we got a plan, we're going to do a lot less. We're not going to get distracted, we're not going to. We're going to focus on execution, we're going to drive accountability, have hard conversations, be data driven and that sort of dyad leadership is proven. It's got not just an EOS thing People so often sort of attribute as like an EOS thing. It's got some EOS words that make it seem EOS. It is not, it is. It is proven well outside EOS for generations. 

But in healthcare there is that third box because, like most plumbers are not thinking like you know, I'd love to lead this business, but God, I'd really love to run some pipe and put in a, you know, a faucet in a lavatory somewhere. That's not usually what happens. But a plastic surgeon is like hey, it's my name out there, that's my surgery. Like I created this craft, like I've spent 20 years being the best in the world. I have a lot of love for this. So that third box of that individual healer creates a third pull of like which seat am I supposed to be in? And I do see very often a manageable relationship between individual healer and visionary. It still pulls, though right. It still feels like it's hard to do both. 

0:56:52 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Yeah, it is, but you know, that brings me to my roots, Like again. Going back to the marketing thing that we mentioned, I got to be on the front line to actually see what the patient needs and what's actually resonating with patients. So that allows me to assume my role as a visionary I think even better but as an integrator I just wasn't doing the job. I wasn't having the difficult conversations. Fortunately for us, we were able to elevate somebody within the organization that we saw would be a good integrator. 

For people who don't have that, I would say this is one of those things where if you're playing poker, you're always getting rid of that card and trying to get a better one until you find the one. And that's just the way it is, because really an integrator is an all-purposer. They don't have to have healthcare experience. In fact, sometimes it's better that they don't. They don't have to have whatever your special speciality, whatever that is, because really their job is to make sure that they're having difficult conversations. You've given them a framework to work with and to tell you as the visionary no, we're not going to do that, we have some other things that we need to do. Or, yes, give me some time and I'm going to make that happen because it has fire. Yeah, so how did? 

0:58:00 - Mark Henderson Leary

you find out. Was it hard? How much time did you spend before you got somebody you felt was locked in? 

0:58:05 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Well, fortunately, it didn't take a whole lot of time. On the sleep side, we're still running through iterations of this, not really on the dental side. Again, I went through three or four integrators on the dental side until we rose one somebody up who was an assistant. Then she was a lead assistant. Then I told her hey, I want you to run my office, but I need you to do front office management to understand that. And then, once she did front office management, then we put her to integrator and she's fantastic at it. So it I mean it took it was a two year journey for her, not to mention everything she did prior. 

You know, for me, though, again being able to let loose, that it was like the, the concept for me took a while too. Like I had to, you had to, I had to spend some. You know my. What is it? We call it clarity breaks and EOS. One of my clarity breaks is I go and I sit in a one of those tanks whatever they but yeah, I sit in a float tank and I just work, I work through my thoughts and everything like that. 

It took me two or three times in a float tank to realize hey, max, you got to get out of this scene. Dude, like this seat is not, you are not serving your people appropriately. You're becoming a lot more agitated because of it. Get out of this seat, let the right person in it, and once that happened, just the freedom that it brings and just the overall operational effectiveness that it brings is. It's not. I can't put it into words really. 

0:59:26 - Mark Henderson Leary

Yeah, for sure, and that's. There's a lot to that, so it's hard to describe, because what I say to a lot of visionary leaders is you know, I'm going to do a whiteboard diagram of the visionary integrator and you're going to see the visionaries about ideas and about impatience and about emotion and really passionate, and an integrator is really patient and really can say no and have hard conversations and like ten seconds you're gonna if the light bulbs gonna go on, that there's a missing ingredient and then when we say let's find one, the right one for you, what's it? Look like the language is gone. There's nothing. 

0:59:58 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

it's like well, I don't know what to say. 

1:00:00 - Mark Henderson Leary

There's no most visionaries have no language for accountability and discipline and management. They don't have the words, don't know what they mean, and so when you start trying to say the planet out, there's nowhere to go, it's like just something, somebody who does it like and gets it right. 

1:00:14 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I mean had tip to Mark Winters for writing Rocket Fuel. I mean you know, that definitely helped me too. 

1:00:20 - Mark Henderson Leary

But even still, I think it's like one of the things he starts talking about is that wish list and the puzzle piece, and I think there's this expectation that it's going to be like okay, cool, give me this puzzle piece this afternoon. It's like well, what's the puzzle piece and how would you know your right fit? And you say two years, two years. When we say two years sounds like two seconds. How long is two years in real time? It's two years. It's so long sometimes and I've got a client who's like on their third or fourth integration and they've had a not integration integrator selection and they're just kind of down in the dumps again. It's a very good business and they are just like man, I guess we're broken. I'm like no, you're not broken, you're going to have to pick, pick yourself back up and go after this one more time. 

1:01:07 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

And eventually, if I were to challenge yeah, if I were to challenge myself, I think it's. It's. It's this idea of what am I, what do I not realize? I have control over that I need to get rid of, which is the hardest question what am I not getting rid of? That I think I'm good at, but I'm really not like it's. So much of it is that you have to dig into the soul of the visionary and whatever you're not good at yeah, you're not good at you got to get it off your plate and that's what that integrator is going to do. 

1:01:37 - Mark Henderson Leary

And so this is I to get it off your plate, and that's what that integrator is going to do. And so this is. I love that, because that only is half the problem, because the other part is you cannot lower your standard of excellence. 

1:01:48 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Amen. Yes, because that's when you get a bad integrator and that's where it becomes very difficult. 

1:01:52 - Mark Henderson Leary

Like my standard of excellence and my delegation of that are very emotionally connected and it's very disorienting to say you now do this and I have to let go and then at the same time I just see a lot of sort of crises of visionaries. 

1:02:13 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

I agree, and where I've had trouble and I know we're marching a little bit deeper than we need to go, I know we're gonna get off this deeper than we need to go. 

I know we've got to get off this pretty soon. This is too important. So for me, the thing you have to be so upfront in the interview Like literally, if we're doing X's and O's on this do the mind dump, do the delegate and elevate sheet. Make sure that that delegate and elevate sheet is whatever you're delegating is within the box where the integrator and not. It's not after you hire them, it's before you hire them. You have to have that conversation. These are the things I need you to do. 

And let me tell you, as an integrator, I'm going to want to trample all over you and your ability to or not an integrator, but your job as an integrator, my job as a visionary, I'm going to run roughshod over everything. 

I'm telling you and you have to be okay with telling me no. I need somebody who's going to tell me no in this situation. I need you to wrestle this stuff out of my hands. And we need to have honest conversations and you tell them when you're hiring them, and then you ask them to keep you honest when you're giving them the quarterly conversation, like that's what an integrator you have to give them the ability, you have to give them the opening. And then, when you give them that opening. That's what you're holding them to account, not all the bits and pieces, because you can, as long as you're willing, to sit with them and tell them that they need to do better and give them the opportunity to do so, but you have to give them that opening to look. You have got to keep me honest with this and these are. This is where my excellence is, this is where I want, this is what I want, and if I'm off base, tell me, and I'm going to have to have a fight with you. And are you okay with? 

1:03:52 - Mark Henderson Leary

fighting. Yeah, and that's. I love that because I have been a part of many of those conversations and I found that a lot of people will nod their heads to that and they don't get it. And in the afterwards, like Mark, when you said you know it was going to be a fight and I didn't, I didn't know what you meant and I was like you were serious, like yes, I was serious. The ones where it's. 

I had some conversations, some noteworthy conversations, where I have had pre-interview conversation or pre-hire conversations where I've like really let both barrels wide open. 

Like this is the situation you're, you're about to be in with my client or friend or whomever, and I've been told later that, like what I told them almost made them not take the job and what they were like intimidated and whatever. 

And in the end it was and and you were exactly right and I'm glad I took it and it set my expectations right. So it's really hard to land the clarity of when you're the integrator, you're truly accountable to the success of the organization. You don't have to create the vision, you don't have to create the inspiration, you have to pressure test the plan and you got to make sure nothing interferes with the execution of the plan and it to make sure nothing interferes with the execution of the plan. And it's going to. You got to battle on two fronts. You've got a visionary who's going to unknowingly try to undermine it every week, and you've got another team who is going to be over their skis part of the time and you're going to need your help coaching them to excellence. And you're going to have to take some players off the field and really be a head coach. So it's the force. Metaphor is super strong. 

You've got a crazy owner up in the owner's box coming down trying to run plays and you're like, no, you're not the coach, you're the owner, and then you've got a bunch of players on the field who are at the top of their game, who hopefully and when not, you need to take player off the field and get another great player, even better player off the field and on the field, and it's a very hard job. 

1:05:42 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Yeah, yeah, amen, brother Nailed it. 

1:05:44 - Mark Henderson Leary

Oh man, we've covered a lot. What did we miss? 

1:05:48 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

All of it, none of it. I wish it was easy, but it's a good thing it's not right? 

1:05:56 - Mark Henderson Leary

Yeah, we should. We should do this again in the future, for sure. Amen, brother, this is fun, a blast, a total blast. I love the conversations. It gets me totally fired up and we need more people like you, 100%. 

1:06:08 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Oh, that's sweet. We need more people like you, brother, like I'm glad, like it's really neat that you're doing this, especially for our industry. That is on its industry, that is on its you know it's always on its heels and it shouldn't be, because our industry again is a life-giving industry and we're just getting annihilated from, whether it be policy or insurance or even perception. And people like you create an opening, create hope and drive better businesses, which is what we need, especially in healthcare. 

1:06:36 - Mark Henderson Leary

Well, thank you, matt, I'm grateful. What is your passionate plea to entrepreneurial healthcare leadership right now? 

1:06:42 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

Well, aside from, everybody needs to get a home sleep test, so I believe home sleep testing is something that everybody should do annually when they're getting their blood panel. 

I think home sleep testing should be as ubiquitous as a blood panel, but I got to go back and echo some of the things that you say. Find an operating system and run that operating system. Geek out on that operating system and if you're an owner provider who doesn't have an integrator, just like we talked about, do what's right for your business and your team, as well as your patients. Your vision deserves that. So get an integrator and be okay with multiple iterations of that. 

1:07:21 - Mark Henderson Leary

Love. It Couldn't underscore that darkly enough. I absolutely love that. Well, if somebody wants to keep up with you know what you're up to, we'll put some stuff in the show notes, but what's the easiest way to keep track of you? 

1:07:33 - Max Kerr DDS D-ABDSM

So I am on Instagram. That's kind of my main thing. Dr Max K Dr spelled out Dr Max K Max Kerr is my last name. Kerr is my last name and then I'm the Max Kerr on Twitter. What you're going to find on those two socials is, more than anything, sleep stuff, sleep-related stuff. I very rarely dive into business. On occasion I'll do some business on LinkedIn but and I'm always open maxcurr at EOS worldwide. If somebody has a healthcare question and they want to run it up against me, I'm accessible. I love nothing more than to help make our industry better. 

1:08:09 - Mark Henderson Leary

Super awesome man. Thanks so much for your time. Max is awesome. We'll do this again. Let's wrap this up. 

So, in conclusion, if this was valuable, make sure you get this in the hands of those people who could use it. We just can't share this information enough. There's so many founding physicians, founding doctors, founding healthcare leaders who are just having so much potential to make a massive impact and just due to simple ignorance of stuff that they could easily incorporate into their world, could help them make a bigger impact on their staff, employees, their self, their family and their patients. We just need to get this shared. To that point, give us some feedback. All the feedback we can get we love. Hit us with the speak pipe. You can hit that voice memo, send that to us. All the four or five star, six star, seven, 10 star ratings we'll love to have those. Those don't exist. But whatever feedback is, we love it. 

And, of course, don't forget like seriously we're doing this for a reason we're trying to help these entrepreneurial healthcare organizations get unstuck. If you're stuck, if you don't know what the next step is, or the first step is to creating a badass culture with super high value that you love, going to that you feel is making the biggest impact. If you don't know what to do, please don't stay stuck. Reach out, hit us at practicefreedomcom slash schedule and we'll get some time to figure out what that next step could look like for you. That's our time. We will see you next time on Practice Freedom with me, mark Henderson Leary.

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