Ep 011 | Decoding Strategic Execution: From Ideas to Impact


Stop Team Turnover: Expert Strategies for Building Trust and Retention

February 7, 2024

About this episode

Today, we have the privilege of sitting down with Eric Patten, Executive Vice President of Operations at Kingstree, as he shares insights into his personal approach to team building and enhancing productivity.

Drawing from his extensive 31-year background in nursing, Eric brings a unique perspective to his role, fostering effective teams and nurturing enduring client relationships. 

Hear more about how Eric strategically builds and assesses teams, handles workplace turnover, responds to feedback, and approaches customer service.

Join as we discuss:

  • Assessing Team Fit in Projects
  • Team Building and Turnover in the Workplace
  • Communication, Feedback, and Teamwork in Customer Service
  • Leadership, Positivity, and Mentorship in Healthcare

Guest Intros

Stop Team Turnover: Expert Strategies for Team Building and Retention

Eric Patten, RN, B.S.N.

EVP of Operations and Business Strategy at The Kingstree Group

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Transcript 📝

Benji Block  0:09  

You're listening to The Strategy Gap from AchieveIt, the platform that strategy and planning leaders use to track, manage and execute their most important plans and initiatives. Each episode features strategy leaders sharing the practical advice you need to turn your plans into reality. Your vision is only as good as your ability to execute. And we're here to help you do just that. Let's get started.

Jonathan Morgan  0:37  

Welcome everybody back for another episode of the strategy gap. In today's conversation, we'll be talking about all things team building and building a productive team. Joining us for the conversation is Eric Patten RN BSN. And the EVP of operations at Kingstree. He spent the last 24 of his 30 plus years in nursing, working in the worker's compensation arena. He's a strategic operational and business strategist with an extensive clinical experience. He's also a dynamic leader and manager that's clinically focused and driven to succeed, leveraging a consultative approach to problem solving. He's a national speaker and educator on Trending healthcare topics, and is known to execute solutions that create value and growth for both the customer and the company. Eric, welcome to the show. Thank you. So in today's conversation, we're planning on covering a number of topics related to your experience, and team building and nursing. But before we get into the actual meat of the conversation, I want to take a quick step back. So some listeners may be familiar with the type of work you do within workers compensation. But for those that may not be as familiar, do you mind briefly describing a bit about the space you're in and your role that you play within it? Sure. So

Eric Patten  1:47  

our company, our organization is a case management company. We're a national provider of case management services. What that means is, we have nurses throughout the country that are stationed in different states who have either compact licenses being able to cover multi states, or a state jurisdiction license, where they're just able to cover that one state. And they operate telephonically handling the injured worker. So if somebody gets injured on the job, they come into our process, they hit our triage line, which really is just the direction of care. So Joey gets injured Joey calls an 800 number, he's talks to her nurse, we go ahead and direct care based on an algorithm. And then that gets pushed over to that individual, as well as treating provider, again, comes back into our system. And our nurses step in even further and take and work with Joey who may or may not need for their services, we work primarily with the insurance companies TPAs, we also work a lot of the time with the self insured, and that's really our bulk of our business is where we work directly with the employer whose dollar is dollar one, it's their money. So what we're looking to do is reduce that case, or that claim based on what's going on not cutting corners, but ensuring that If Joey has an issue, Joey moves through the system appropriately, utilizing that clinical expertise, you need mine, or one of the nurses to be able to go ahead and kind of dive deeper and have a conversation with a physician or to have that conversation and say, Okay, are we on track what's delay, and then go back to the employer as well as the insurance carrier TPA payer source, if you will, and engage everyone in a consultative approach to say, hey, including that injured individual, so that everybody has that bias. So we're really looking to lower the cost of the spend, as well as to improve that return to work and get those individuals back to work faster. Yeah,

Jonathan Morgan  3:44  

and certainly, it's a most important thing for the health of the individual. But you're thinking about a lot of different individuals, in this case, you know, the company, the teams, the nurses, and all of that is important to deliver the best solution and think about each one of those components. And certainly across the medical field, this applies, right, you know, in a hospital, you're dealing with nurses, and doctors. And all of that leads to having an effective team that ultimately is working together at the end of the day. Correct. So when you're building these approaches to how you're working with your customers, as you're working with patients, what is your approach to building an effective team and what factors you typically think about in that process?

Eric Patten  4:22  

So when I build a team, I work with a team that's existing, we'll talk talking about building one, I will look at the need of the customer. If the customer has particular clients that are injured individuals, or employers or employees that are in particular locations, obviously, I want to build a team around that location first. Then I talked to the individuals involved meeting the customer, whoever that is, and then I talked to my team and say, okay, the customers needs are this and then I appropriately match the team with the customer. So if it's construction, if I have to send a nurse out I'm not sending you Nurse out dressed as I am, I'm building a team that's dressed appropriately. So it's more casual where when they meet with that injured individual, because we want the perception, which is there, and it's not really perception, it's truly what we do is to build that approach around that individual. So I look at the needs, and then I balanced the needs and find the right appropriate folks within my team, or go out and get that individual who has those appropriate components? If you will, I then also manage to that process working directly with that team, and saying to the nurse on the file for the care coordinator, depending on which term you want to use, what are you struggling with? Where's your point of disagreement? What do you think you need to move this forward? So there's always a consultative approach, as well as a guidance along the way. Never punitive, really just Hey, Tony, or Tammy, or whoever the nurse is, I need you to do X, Y, and Z, what's the stumbling block, and then we break it down together. So there's not that dictated or authoritative approach, hey, Tammy, or Tony, you need to do this. I want that by the gun. I'm also buying that it from the other side. So it's really making a collaborative team approach versus, here's your team deal with it. If you don't like people on the team, well, that's too bad, we're gonna move forward. We need to have that buy in, because in this industry that we're in, but in other industries as well, you want to have a collaborative approach. And that consultative approach really helps you do that, have that consultation, figure out what his or her needs are, and then move it forward and build around them, just as I did in nursing, when I was on the Florida, what's the injury? What's going on? What is this individual need, who are his or her support system, and then work together to kind of pull all that together and make more of a Cohesive Team, make it more collaborative?

Joe Krause  6:57  

It's an interesting concept you're talking about, because we rarely get into this topic. Even in my client conversations, this is sometimes omitted, where somebody might bring a consultant in to help them build their plan. And like, what should we be focused on? When I say plan, the strategic plan for the organization? What should be our areas of focus? Where should we do that they bring people in to help with that. Sometimes in the middle, they have somebody come in and help them then build out what the plan actually looks like. It's a lot of the work that we do. Okay, how are you actually going to break this down into a plan. But the piece that I think you're talking about, and the part that is rarely talked about? And I'd love to get your perspective is we build a plan, we say this is what we're going to do. But then we look at who we actually assigned the work to, and never really had the conversation on? Can this person actually do this work? Do they have the skills necessary to be able to do this? That is sometimes very common in like engineering. If you're doing software engineering, you know, you need this many engineers that do this, that know these languages. But in regular straight up business, it's a little bit more challenging. So have you had any experience with kind of looking at your plan for the year and saying, we have the right people? We don't have the right people? And really, how have you managed through that?

Eric Patten  7:59  

Yeah, so it's a great question. It is something that is looked at quite frequently. And it shouldn't be, in my opinion, at least we dive into it a little bit deeper, because it is something that is the missing ingredient, if you will, my wife is Italian. So she'll tell you it's an ingredient. So you take that missing ingredient, which is one of the neat. And then we look at that quarterly, if not by annually, depending on the client, is this really working, if I've got Johnny who's running point as the contact for this ABC warehouse down the street, then he or he's having the conversation. But Tommy, the manager, and Johnny, they don't get along, there's a problem there. So we want to address that. And sometimes it's perception. And that's the other thing is getting a pulse check and saying, you know, Joe, where are we with on urine? Let me tell you where we're at, and then come back to the table and have that further conversation. So if I do need to bring somebody else in, or I need to have that expertise, we'll use injury, chemical burn, but he also had a fracture, and the combination of not healing? Do I want to bring in at burn specialists, one of our nurses who has that burn expertise, and get them involved as well as have consultative ly, another nurse who has that orthopedic approach, look at it and kind of say, hey, if it was me, from an orthopedic standpoint, or engaged one of the physicians, so that is something that we look at quite frequently, and depending on the clients that we service, their needs are always they're different. Everybody's needs a little bit different with their injuries. So then we are always having that conversation. Often it's done quarterly when we sit down to do the quarterly case reviews. That's where we'll pull it apart, not go back to my team or go back to the customer directly and say they see a disconnect. Am I wrong might just overthinking this, or is there a disconnect and would it benefit you based on what I've seen to add X y&z See components or bring another person in to help offset that need?

Jonathan Morgan  10:05  

Yeah, it's a great point and a great example within healthcare about how there are specific things that you can draw to to have those conversations, right. If someone has a certain injury, you know, you can treat that particular injury or disease and build a team around that. But maybe taking one step back and thinking about others, that may not be so straightforward, right. It's not a specific injury or disease that they're treating for, there's still ways that they can break down that type of an analysis and that consultative approach to then build the team. So whether it's in health care elsewhere, what are those factors that you are looking at individuals to see if they fit within that team? You know, you mentioned before, expertise, location, personality, what are those larger categories that you typically think about? So part of it is

Eric Patten  10:49  

location, I mean, I want to look at geographic locations as well, if I've got a customer was on the West Coast, it doesn't necessarily make sense to have somebody on the East Coast, because now I've got not only a time difference, there's a difference between West and East. And I don't mean that in a bad way, we all do things differently. And so if I take somebody from the Midwest, and get them closer to California, or Oregon, wherever it's or whatever western state you want to put in there, you tend to have a better mix. So it's some of that. The other piece is, is really looking at the overall structure. I'll go back to a customer and say, Hey, you have us working with this individual, but it's not the right individual. Am I missing something? And then sitting down with those powers to be and say, where's that layer in between? So I want to match that. And upcoming into the mix, or the orders come into the mix in between that kind of in between that mediator to say, hey, you know what, Jonathan, you're great. But we also need this. And I'm going to work with Joe to make sure that that happens with the three of us. So really kind of looking at it that way as well. And I'm not sure if I answered your question. But that's definitely a key part of how we deal with it, geographic location, but also ensuring that my teams working with or the team that are managing to is working with the right person within that organization. Because sometimes the organization doesn't realize, hey, we've got so and so sitting at this level, when in fact it's a level up, or it's a level below. So

Jonathan Morgan  12:22  

yeah, it definitely answers the question, I think the kind of summary of it is you have to find ways to think about building your own team as if it is a specific problem that you're solving, right? You can't just say, hey, I really, this person is a really good worker, they always deliver great results, that could be the right person for the team and for the job. But you have to break it down into a problem to understand what are the different factors that are specifically needed for this role, and oftentimes favoring that over just the individual where it makes sense. I know one thing that I've personally run into, I know Joe has built teams around this as well as, over time you build a natural synergy within a team, right? Maybe with a customer, you always have the same two individuals, the same teamed up to work with that customer. And then you can kind of keep them together across similar problems or different problems. But another approach is you're always changing individuals on that team to kind of get new learnings and new experiences across the board. And your experience to either one of those models work better is the work better to keep the same team always together, or to use different individuals within the same team. So

Eric Patten  13:27  

two schools of thought, especially in mind, when I look at it, keeping the same team in place with that customer who's comfortable with that team is great, because obviously, the customer wants what he or she wants, and it moves things forward. But I always like to kind of change it up a little bit and add an additional component to that maybe midstream, maybe towards the latter part of the relationship or even in the initial part of the relationship. Because we are in a society where people are no longer jumping into a role and staying in it 20 years. So if I get used to whoever that individual is, as my primary or couple of individuals as a primary, I'm the lead on the team. And then all of a sudden, those people are no longer there, the customer starts to kind of think or feel, in my opinion that something's going on simply not changing it up, but always entering another individual who you know, has some time on the books with that organization you're working for. In my particular case, I might bring an account manager in or I might bring another clinical supervisor and kind of change up the mix and say, Hey, we all work together as a team. You're going to deal with these folks primarily. However, there's an occasional time where we're going to jump on because then I'm I'm leveling out the playing field, so that if somebody on that primary lead leaves, I've got that person that they're used to, and it doesn't necessarily need to be me but it could be any one of us that come opposite to that. So I do think keeping a dedicated team is great. But I do pepper that periodically with new faces. Because it is such a turnover in the world today, nobody stays in a job 20 years, it's not job jumping, it's skill grabbing, and it's going to that next level. So everybody's looking to advance their skills. So the chances of something staying on board long term are not as as effective as they used to be where you get somebody in the job for 30 years. And hey, I'm gonna go ahead and retire and they bail out and then retire with that organization. That doesn't happen as often as it used to. So that's where I pepper that in there and kind of balance that out.

Joe Krause  15:43  

And it makes sense that really makes me think about and we would be remiss if we didn't talk about the most famous kind of team building structure from Bruce Tuckman, the idea of forming, storming, norming. And performing the four stages of the team management, like that definitely has been updated. It's from the 60s. So there's definitely some things that have been updated. But the stages are fairly good. And for those that aren't familiar, it's definitely worth a look and listen, because storming is really where the team is created. And that's where the boundaries start to get figured out. It's who is the leader who's the expert, who's the subject matter expert here? What are the roles and responsibilities, that's that first bit of time, then once that's established, you move into the norming stage. And that's where people then start to truly settle into that stage, because there might be some friction. In the beginning, you might say, Well, I'm the boss around the subject matter expert, and has a little bit of that happening. But in the norming stage, that's where people start to settle in to their respective roles, performing would be all about doing the actual job and doing it extremely well. So that's the third stage. And then last, but not least, there's sometimes in a journey stage where team has done their job and now move on to certain things. So from your perspective, and the work that you've done, is there a particular stage in this whole four stage process that's particularly difficult, or one that you would be able to share some pearls of wisdom, to help people either create a team, get them to perform, etc.

Eric Patten  17:05  

So I would say it's probably stage three. And again, in stage three, you don't want to get on, I'll phrase this as nicely as I can. Stage three is great, you're moving along, things are great, everything's wonderful. But there's that piece where there may be a start to be pushed back. And and what I mean by that is, it's life, you have a relationship doesn't matter. If it's employer, family, whatever, you're going to have those bumps in the road in that rub at times, you tend to start to get that rub latter part of stage three, in my opinion. So that, again, is going back to the table and having that conversation, just as if you're going to have a family meeting, and you've got a 15 year old who's giving your run for your money and thinks, hey, I'm not listening to anything, because everything's been going, Oh, wow, all of a sudden, they hit 15 and a half, bam. And now everybody's pushing back, sit down and reevaluate that have that conversation. I use that as a simple analogy, but it happens quite frequently. And so and in the business, everything's running, doing really, really well. And then all of a sudden, there's these little hiccups, or there's whatever it is. So I really, when I'm dealing with, and I deal with a lot of large customers, I'll sit down and have that conversation, especially if we've had them on board for a while. But very quiet customer that's 10 years in. And I took this role on almost two years ago now. And when I came in, I went to those customers right out of the gate and said, Listen, you've been on board with us 510 15 years, and what's good about what we do. But better yet, what are we doing that isn't as is normal, or that you don't really like that we can correct so that we can continue that stage three versus moving around and looking to recruit a team again. And it works really well. And it has worked really well knock on wood. But any of my previous life, I've done that as well. Because not every customer is ever going to stay around. We're not the only solution out there. I don't care if you're selling widgets, if you're on a podcast, or if you're doing clinical work, there's always somebody standing behind you your competition, looking to get into that customer that you are so that's the piece that I always reevaluate, and that's the piece that is a constant. Number one on my whiteboard is I want to make sure that these folks that are running well and doing well and are in that norm are staying there and if they're not let's reengage and so that's done periodically, I'll and I don't do that probably as often as I should, given everything else that I'm doing, but it is something that I will try to do at least once a year with our customers. And then now taller teams and the teams that reported to me to do that as well. And then when they do come back with Hey up at someone so who's got this concern. We can sit down for Have you done together? And I've taught my team members, they go back and then engage me as well. So this that reeducation and rethinking the

Joe Krause  20:10  

idea of asking for feedback, and then actually acting on it quickly. That's the thing, too. I mean, a lot of people don't even ask for feedback, they just think things are going well, therefore, I'm not ever going to ask if there's anything we can improve. But then when they do ask for something, I mean, at least trying to deliver them, you can't always deliver on what they ask, but at least showing that you had made an honest effort to track something down. And it was always something that I tell my teams when working with customers, that's what the team that I manage, basically, is everybody customer facing. It's like speed is one of the few things that you have that delight, no matter what every single one of us love. When we hear a response back quickly from somebody or the issue has been resolved, that we felt heard, it's just a natural innate thing that we like. So sometimes you don't have a response or don't have an update for somebody. It's not the worst thing in the world to say, Hey, by the way, I know your response. I'm still tracking it down. Please bear with me, like these are basic things that we sometimes avoid running with teams, because you feel embarrassed, maybe don't have an update, or whatever it may be. So the idea of you saying checking in, and then also delivering quickly on what has been maybe promised, or hey, can you fix this one small thing, and we'll be happy to do it. I think our listeners can really listen, and take heed to that, because it is one of the few things that doesn't cost much, it's just quickly responding to feedback that you are hopefully soliciting to your response.

Eric Patten  21:24  

I completely agree with you the honesty, the quick response, and providing an additional perhaps timeframe, which we do quite frequently, I'm in the middle of working on a rather large project for customers we've had for a very long time. And we're solving an issue. And part of it was our engineers, we've talked about engineers in the past, but our engineers coming in from a telephonic standpoint and saying that we've got to create this way. And instead of going back to the customer and say everything's moving smoothly, which it is, we go back with, here's where we're at, here's where we expect to get into testing phase, and provide them with a timeline versus, hey, everything's great, we'll get back to you in the next six weeks, we anticipate launch by February 2, or whatever the date is, and then not provide that or have complete radio silence in the communication and the clients pinging you. So honesty is the biggest and the most important piece when you're building out a response, quick, honest, and a plan on where we're headed. And if you don't necessarily have the plan, this is a plan in progress. And we'll keep you updated. Please expect the next response by and my team is in tune to doing that now. And in the past, that not necessarily was the case. So that's something that I think is extremely important, as well as providing a timeline and a timeframe on when you're going to receive the next communication. But as you said earlier, Joe, it's that quickness, it's that quick response, but having your thoughts put together before you send that response out, because I've seen some that send them to me. And it's like, what did you say? And

Speaker 4  23:02  

what job What were you trying to communicate here,

Eric Patten  23:05  

and sometimes it's Oh, my quickness, I forgot to add these pieces, or it jams them up. And then like, because they really were just trying to get it off their plate. And you know that there may be a little more to the picture than what you're seeing.

Jonathan Morgan  23:19  

Yeah, and really, it's not only just the speed thing, but it often comes down to the building a culture that then can support it. And if you have it great, but sometimes that culture is just not there. And oftentimes what I'll see in organizations, they struggle with that culture, because there's a disconnect between those that are actually doing the work. And those that are actually leading the teams and setting the direction. As you dig a bit deeper, there's some level of either resentment from the doers, that thing like, oh, this person has never done this job before. They don't know what they're talking about. Or the leaders feel entitled that, hey, I'm the one in charge, like you just need to do what I can do. I think you have a unique perspective. We from your intro, you know, you are an RN, you have that background, how has that background in nursing actually impacted your ability to then lead within that space? Yeah.

Eric Patten  24:08  

So having been a nurse now for going on 31 years, everything that I do, and it drives my wife crazy, it drives my family crazy. I assess the situation. And I break it down, we probably overthink that. That's the clinical mind. So when I come in and look at the new teams that I built within the last 18, two years now, prior to that, I was assessing the situation. So always assessing and building out some sort of an assessment, what's my plan? What's my course of action? What are the objectives, and how am I going to deliver that? And what am I going to get to so those are the pieces that I break down, and I have that conversation with the team. So that's the piece that and I'm not micromanaging, which is often the result of some of that you come in and it's easier for me to say Joe Jonathan, you're going to do it this way. And if you don't do it this way you hear from me, versus Here are the tools, here's where we need to be. Let's have this conversation before we execute it. But I'm giving you the ability to come back and say, here's my plan. Here's how I'm going to course of action. Here are the possible objections, and how am I going to deliver that? What are those look like? What is that deliverable that the customer is looking for? So for me, I assess it, I look at what do I need to do next from an action item? Meaning do I need to address the wall? Do I need to get this person to a different specialist? And then what are the objectives? Well, doesn't like surgery doesn't like this, he's allergic to that, whatever it is. So what are my deliverables? What am I going to deliver back to the customer? And I take that patient piece and then insert that customer? So what am I getting that? What do they expect, they expect a timely response, they expect the individual to be back to the optimal level of work, they may never be that original, because nobody goes to work expecting to have work injury, or goes anywhere expects to have an injury, again to the optimal work capacity. And what does that mean for the employer, Joe or Jonathan can do X, Y, and Z. And their limitations are this. But understanding the whole parameter as well. So being able to deliver that back. So that's where I take that oval piece and put it into teams. And it's interesting people like when you're simplifying this no, not actually simplifying. And I'm just putting it in terms that are easily managed to. So that's how I kind of have done things in the past. That's what I've done here. The other pieces is I don't say no. I'd rather say maybe than No, because we're a world full of No, instead of maybe, and it goes back to what we just talked about the response to the employer, or a response to that customer. You're giving it you're giving them where you're at. You're never saying no, it's sometimes we have to say no. But we give an explanation on No, this can't be done. However, we can do it this way. Are you opposed to us trying this? And that's the other piece that I give back to my team and kind of charged them with and say here, come back when you're playing your action. Tell me what the objections are, and tell me what your deliverable is and how you're going to get there.

Joe Krause  27:25  

I mean, just hearing you speak about how your process goes, I mean, you definitely are drawing upon you having this clinical background, which has no doubt going to pay dividends when you're talking to people that are saying, they're sizing you up and down, like what do you know what you're proving both directly and indirectly. And it draws upon some experience that I've seen, I've worked with a lot of large healthcare systems in my role here at AchieveIt. And it's always interesting watching the groups that are physician LED or clinician led, like the CEO of the health system, has been in the trenches has served patients and in a way that directly relates to maybe some of the challenges that the team is experiencing. And those aren't always perfect. There's definitely some downsides to it. But there's more upsides and downsides, because everybody at the hospital knows that you've done this job, or you've been in that role. And I think there's something to it. And some of the best ones actually still even have office hours, where they're seeing patients on a regular basis, they're still acting as a clinician to make sure that they are keeping their knives sharp. And also, because they love doing it, anybody like yourself or anybody that's in this space, they typically are in it, because they love doing it, because that need to help. And that just sends the right signals to the people that you're managing that isn't important to you. And also I can commiserate with you. And so I think that's something that our listeners can really, hopefully relate to. And if you are somebody that's coming in and doesn't have experience directly with the team you're managing, try the best way you can to get that experience, either ride along with them, sit on a call, take a call, take a couple customers do something so that you feel that you have the credibility then to give that recommendation. So just wanted to kind of bookend what you're saying is something that I've seen be really effective.

Eric Patten  28:56  

Yeah. And the other piece is, we hear no, we have the negativity in this world way too often, for whatever reason, finding the positivity and giving those individuals those kudos that they deserve. Because they don't necessarily hear that often. Or, or they do great. But it's not built within most organizations these days where they say, Hey, Jonathan, you're doing an outstanding job. You look outstanding. Today, you've done an outstanding job, and thanks for driving that home. Or hey, Joe, great work. Let me know how I can help you. And, and that speaks volumes. And it goes a long way when you're working with a team. Because they know if Eric comes down and says hey, what were you thinking? We're going to have that conversation but it's never a punitive. Obviously, you've got individuals where you do have to be punitive, but for the most part if you treat an individual the way you want to be treated, and give them that positive review in that positive, comment back when deserved, it goes even deeper. And to your point Joe Being in the works and doing it and saying, hey, when we sit down to claim reviews, I get involved in that process. Because I've been there, done that. And I want everybody to understand that I'm not just standing over here at this level pushing down. I'm working together as a colleague, and having that conversation and saying, Hey, Jonathan, let's look at this, or hey, Joe, have you looked at that? What is the customer saying? Can we get the feedback, really engaging that way as well, and keeping it positive? Perfect.

Jonathan Morgan  30:30  

And I'm gonna take those examples as genuine statements about the great job that was done on the podcast.

Eric Patten  30:36  

I'll give kudos to where that came from. I have a mentor, and I've had diabetes, type one diabetes for 43 years going up 44. Before the forum February, there was an individual pop man, who's an educator by trade, who I started working with at a very young age by 11 years old. He was a counselors, a mentor, what have you. And I've stayed in contact with him over the years, and his work to everyone at the right appropriate time to say, I hear it across the field as I was walking back to the cabinet, when I had kids, and I was a counselor, and he was overseeing that camp. It's a pattern, you're doing an outstanding job, or HERE COMES outstanding patent. And you know what, the more I thought about when I got into business world, the more I realized that, that positivity in those sayings truly make people given that natural Hi of hey, great, you know, I'm really doing a great job, somebody is looking out for me. So I tried to give that back and unused, and with his permission, and he's kind of taken off the understanding piece, because he's done it for 40 some odd years. And people are like, okay, man, enough, cut it out. But that's that mentor piece that I had all through college. And in my later years, he was there and it could reach out, he still does it today, you know, you're an outstanding individual, keep up the great work, great to see those kinds of things. So I've taken that. And I use that now when I work with teams, as well as customers, customers love it when you come into them. And you say, Hey, you gotta be one of the best customers. And they're like, Oh, you say that everybody know what I really mean is and you break it down, and you tell them, and then they're like, Oh, now I've got that even further buy in with King Street or whatever the organization is, because it is one of those pieces that they don't necessarily get from the next vendor or next partner, or whatever it is.

Jonathan Morgan  32:29  

Absolutely love it. We'll closing things out with one final question that we ask all of our guests. And that is if you have to think back about your experience the conversation today and everything you've learned throughout your career, and go back to day one, younger Eric getting ready to take on the world and give yourself one piece of quick advice. What would that advice be? Don't

Eric Patten  32:49  

sweat the small stuff. Probably spent a good portion of my first part of my career, sweating the small stuff. Don't sweat the small stuff. Don't overthink it. Sometimes that whole kiss theory is truly right there. Keep it simple. And you move it forward. So that would be what I would tell my younger self don't and there's obviously other things but in the business world, keep it simple.

Jonathan Morgan  33:12  

Yeah. Yeah, absolutely. Well, thank you, Eric, for your time, your outstanding guests. Keep up the good work that you're doing and we'll talk soon.

Eric Patten  33:20  

Thanks. Thanks, everyone. Appreciate it.

Benji Block  33:23  

You've been listening to the strategy gap from AchieveIt. Be sure to subscribe wherever you get your podcasts so you never miss an episode. Until next time.

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