“Your executive team is crucial and an important skill set. Finding people that have your weaknesses as strengths are an essential element to help your company thrive and bring it to the next level. Also, avoid bureaucracy in your company. It’s not important and doesn’t help you get to your end goal.”
I had the pleasure of interviewing Dr. Alejandro Badia, co-founder and Chief Medical Officer of OrthoNOW, the nation’s only orthopedic care franchise.
Thank you so much for doing this with us! What is your “backstory”?
I knew I wanted to be a hand surgeon since I was eight years old when I went to the hospital with my grandmother who suffered from Rheumatoid Arthritis. I was fascinated by the process and moved by her experience, which is ultimately why I chose my specialty. Later in my career, I saw a huge need for immediate specialized orthopedic care and started OrthoNOW.
Can you share the funniest or most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?
I am not just the CEO of the company, but a client. I have had two surgeries as CEO and had conservative treatment for both my knee and shoulder through my own center. I probably was there worst patient.
What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?
OrthoNOW stands out because we are disrupting the way orthopedic health care is delivered and the first to market a national orthopedic and sports medicine walk-in center of its kind. The company established the OrthoNOW franchise in 2014 and has become the nation’s go-to resource for orthopedic issues.
Are you working on any new or exciting projects now?
Well, as of last week I am no longer the CEO of my own company and I am now focused on being Chief Medical Officer and this will allow me to focus on what is truly important to me. The new project we are working on is developing an employer health solution since more than 93% of worker’s compensation claims are actually orthopedic. We are helping employers incorporate corporate well-being programs focusing largely on muscular skeletal nutrition and fitness health, which will pay significant dividends to companies. Some estimates range from $6 to $7 for every $1 invested by a company.
What advice would you give to other CEOs or founders to help their employees to thrive?
Your executive team is crucial and an important skill set. Finding people that have your weaknesses as strengths are an essential element to help your company thrive and bring it to the next level. Also, avoid bureaucracy in your company. It’s not important and doesn’t help you get to your end goal.
None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are?
Several mentors when I was younger. First and foremost, my most important mentors were my parents. The second was my high school swimming coach, who taught me the value of hard work, which will get you to achieve your goals. My main mentor in hand surgery is Dr. Joseph Imbriglia from Pittsburg, who taught me to focus on what is important, an approach I continue to use.
How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?
Fortunately, when you are talking about health care that is a pretty easy answer. One of the very few professions that takes care of our fellow man and like many other physicians, I have done some medical missions where the reward is changing someone’s life. One of my last missions was at Ghana, Africa where I spent two weeks operating on some very complex cases with a colleague from Switzerland. Now, that I can solely focus on being the Chief Medical Officer, I am hoping to more of these types of missions.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO” and why.
1. Bring in the right people. I co-founded the company with Justin Irizarry, who is the Chief Financial Officer and we’ve made a great team. Now that the company is growing, we have been able to bring on Nick Mendez, a very talented and experienced healthcare industry veteran who understands the vision. Just as importantly, we have phenomenal individuals working at every level. The success of a company is a result of a collective effort, and without the appropriate team success cannot be achieved.
2. Ensure you have balance in your life. It’s hard not to totally immerse yourself in the company, but make time for your family and your hobbies.
3. You should have an end goal. Have an exit strategy whenever you start a company.
4. Even if you are not CFO, have a solid understanding of finances before you start a company. Know how to read a profit and loss statement.
5. Enjoy the process! No matter what your circumstances are, learn to enjoy what you are going through. Although I had a grueling residency, it made me appreciate my circumstances and made me a better surgeon. Enjoy the small victories!
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
When I was younger, it was, “ Winners never quit and quitters never win.” This particularly speaks to disruptors, such as my company.
Another one I love is “You have to care. You can’t do good if you don’t care. That’s not necessarily a strength but it gives you strength.” by William Albert Allard
Some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this :-)
I would love to have a private breakfast with Elon Musk. He was a scientist, but had the business savvy to start two amazing companies. He would be amazing to sit down with and I am sure it will involve lots of coffee.
If you would like to see the entire “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me” Series In Huffpost, Authority Magazine, ThriveGlobal, and Buzzfeed, click HERE.