Episode #56: 4 Traits For Any Leader To Build An Authentic Customer-Centric Culture With Jay Meyer

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric Culture

Meet Jay Meyer. Jay is an accomplished business owner and entrepreneur who shares his personal journey of addiction and recovery on this insightful episode with Betsy and Tony.

With decades of business and leadership under his belt, Jay has seen a lot change over the years, but one thing has remained: his desire to get to know his customers. Jay started his career by building authentic relationships with his customers, being curious, taking them to lunch, and caring for his customers’ families. He has taken these practices along his journey because of the impact he wants to make in others’ lives.

Jay shares the ways he consistently maintains his positive spirit and how he is driven to live out his personal mission to “inspire others, dream more, be more, and live in the light more.”

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About Jay Meyer

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric CultureJay is a 1977 graduate of Covington High School and a 1982 graduate of Ohio Northern University’s (ONU) School of Pharmacy. While at ONU, Jay was a member and captain of the varsity basketball team.
Jay is the President of JMeyer Strategies, a business consulting firm he founded in 2010. His business consulting primary area of expertise is helping organizations create a clear vision for their future through developing a strategic plan. Over the years, Jay has assisted numerous for-profit and nonprofit organizations with their strategic planning process.
From 2010 to 2017, Jay served in various capacities for Aileron, a nationally known private-business catalyst located in Dayton, Ohio. From 2014 to 2017, Jay taught Aileron’s flagship course, “The Course for Presidents.”
From 2013 to 2018, Jay served as a facilitator and coach for the Catholic Leadership Institute Project (CLiP). CLiP provided business leadership training for Catholic School principals in the Dayton, Ohio, region.
Jay teaches professional management courses to nonprofit organizations in the Dayton, Ohio, area on behalf of the Mathile Family Foundation.
From 2008 to 2010, Jay was the Senior Vice President of Operations for Remedi SeniorCare Pharmacy based in Baltimore, Maryland.
Before his role with Remedi, Jay was the President and a partner of HealthCare Pharmacy of Covington, Ohio, which Remedi acquired in July 2008. Jay began working at HCP in 1978 and spent his entire pharmacy career building HCP into a nationally respected nursing home pharmacy. The pharmacy grew from four employees to over two hundred employees over a twenty-five-year period.
Jay was one of the founding members of NetRx, a national buying group for independently owned long-term-care pharmacies, and served as its President from 1998 to 2008.
In 2003 Jay co-founded The Senior Care Pharmacy Alliance (SCPA), which served as the national legislative voice for independently owned long-term-care pharmacies. SCPA was quite active during the passage of the Medicare Modernization Act and the Medicare Part D prescription plan and also actively worked with The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on the Affordable Health Care Act. Jay served as SCPA’S President from 2003 to 2008.
Jay is a past advisory board member for Managed Health Care Associates (MHA) and a former member of the American Society of Consultant Pharmacists and the Ohio Pharmacist’s Association. In addition, Jay served on the Ohio Northern School of Pharmacy advisory board from 2006 to 2012.
In 2006, Ohio Northern University named Jay a “Distinguished Alumni.”
Jay has served on various nonprofit boards and is the past chairman of the leadership board of Ginghamsburg Church in Tipp City, Ohio. In addition, Jay is a director for the Covington Savings and Loan, a charter member of the Covington Noon Optimist Club, and has served on various advisory boards for privately held businesses.
As a recovering alcoholic and drug addict (since 1987), Jay has spent significant time helping those affected by addiction disorders. Jay is a past member of the Miami County Recovery Council board of directors, where he served from 1990 to 2015.
Jay enjoys spending time with his family and has a passion for reading and writing. He writes a daily inspirational blog at www.eaglelaunch.com and has also written three books: In Search of PEACEFear-Proof, and Victory Over Opiates. He also has a leadership podcast, The Higher Leading Podcast.
Jay’s hobbies include competing in triathlons and grooving to 70’s music on his drums.
He and his wife Lori reside in Covington, Ohio, and have three grown children and three precious granddaughters. Their middle child, Jordan, is developmentally disabled and still lives at home. As a result, Jordan serves as the family’s “perspective keeper.”

4 Traits For Any Leader To Build An Authentic Customer-Centric Culture With Jay Meyer

How Curiosity, Humility, Vulnerability, And Consistency Will Drive You

Betsy, I am delighted that you brought Jay Meyer on the show. I know you guys are longtime friends. You’ve worked together in business. To me, it was the first time I met him. I was blown away by our conversation. The one piece that I want to direct the audience to give them some hints toward is the idea of the culture that he built. He’ll talk about the journey of his business.

He became a partner first and, through multiple acquisitions, he stayed with your organization. Through all that, one of the pieces that I was happy to dig into is how you build that initial culture, how you keep the culture alive as you went through this acquisition, and what would that take. He had some good insights that all of our readers will gain something from. I know I gained something from it. I’ve been in this world for a long time of really knowing and listening to your customers.

I couldn’t agree with you more. Jay and I have been friends for a long time. One of the things that we always talk about when we get together is culture. We’re both very passionate about culture. I have to give you props for the question you asked him that went even deeper on culture. It’s not just the culture of the company but the culture that you keep within your own being. I am also teasing that out to the readers because that was a fascinating part of the conversation. I was thrilled to have Jay on the show. I have always been very inspired by Jay and his story, which is amazing. Without any further ado, let’s talk to Jay Meyer.

Jay Meyer, it is so good to have you on the show. I’ve been looking forward to this for quite some time, and we’re thrilled to death to have you on the show.

I am so excited and I feel blessed that you asked me.

I had the good fortune of being on your Higher Leading Podcast, so it’s fun getting to do the show with you. For our audience, can you start us off just by telling us about your journey in business and your personal journey? Help us let the audience get to know you a little bit better.

I was born and raised in Covington, Ohio, which a lot of people get confused with Covington, Kentucky. I went to Ohio Northern University, played basketball, and got a degree in Pharmacy. I went to work at our corner drugstore in downtown Covington that had been there since 1938. I started working there as soon as I got out of college and did some internships there while I was in college. The owner there, I know he recognized that I had an entrepreneurial spirit, kind of a visionary strategic type thinker. I started seeing opportunities to provide medications to nursing homes. Back then, they were called rest homes. We slowly but surely started providing medications to local rest homes and local nursing homes.

During a stretch, I graduated college in ’82, from ’82 to ’87, I call that my long weekend, if you ever heard about John Lennon’s long weekend when he went off for a year. I got taken to my knees from a drug and alcohol addiction. I was a functional alcoholic and a functional addict. We were still growing the business at the time, but I was slowly going down the tubes. August 1987, I was spiritually, financially, physically, and mentally bankrupt. Thank God there were some people in my life who helped get me into a treatment center. One of those people was the person who owned that pharmacy.

Long story short, after two years of not knowing if I’d ever practice pharmacy again and not knowing if I was going to go to jail because the DEA, local prosecutor, and State Board of Pharmacy were all involved in my case, after about two years, I was free to continue to practice pharmacy. It was the greatest blessing. If you don’t believe in miracles, there’s one for you. My boss took me back and then eventually made me a partner in this pharmacy because we were gaining momentum in the nursing home industry.

I must say that at that time when I went to treatment and got my addiction in order, it was a life-changing event for me. I went from this egotistical, arrogant-driven, self-serving, selfish human being to someone who knew the only route for me was to be humble. I had taken advantage of people, lied, stolen, and cheated. It’s always important for me to note that it was life-changing and life-transforming for me. We built this pharmacy to the best of our ability the right way, taking care of our employees, taking care of our customers, and charging a fair price.

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric Culture
Customer-Centric Culture: We built this pharmacy to the best of our ability and the right way. Taking care of our employees, taking care of our customers, charging a fair price.

By 1998, in the industry, it was a good time to sell. My partner was seventeen years older than me. He was a majority stakeholder. He allowed me to broker a deal to find new partners. I found a new set of partners in 1998. What’s crazy is we sold that pharmacy on August 7th, 1998, and my sobriety date was August 9th, 1987. It’s like all those numbers go together. It’s just amazing. 11 years later, after being in the pits of hell, here I am feeling like I’m on top because it’s every entrepreneur’s dream. At some point, somebody thinks enough of your business that they may be able to make an offer on it.

My new partners and I took this to a whole other level from a revenue standpoint and an employee standpoint. By ’05 and ’06, we were at a $50 or $60 million business. When we sold it, we were at maybe $6 million. When we sold it, we probably had 40 employees in ’05 to ’06. When a private equity company came in, we had 200 employees. We then had another acquisition along the way. A pretty big player in the national space bought us in ’08.

In ’05 and ’06, I started getting this itch to go out and do something else. It’s like you could run this business forever. I was getting paid more money than I ever thought I’d get paid, but it’s like, “I enjoyed helping build the teammates in the organization. I’m going to check out being a life coach and maybe becoming an executive coach.” That’s where my journey started.

In 2010, I was already a member of Aileron. Aileron is a great campus for entrepreneurs in the Dayton area. They asked me if I would help facilitate courses there. For their leadership courses, I started doing that. That’s when Betsy and my journeys crossed paths for the first time. I thoroughly enjoyed facilitating those classes and coaching the for-profit leaders. Once again, my heart started going toward nonprofits. The Mathile Family Foundation is very much involved with Aileron because it’s the Mathile Family that built Aileron. I started working with them to help the people that they give funds to better run their organizations like a business and also coaching nonprofit leaders.

I’ve been doing that for probably 5 or 6 years, and I’m thoroughly loving it. I have been happily married for many years. I got three children. Our oldest, Jason, has blessed us with three beautiful granddaughters and a beautiful daughter-in-law. Our daughter, Michelle, is climbing the corporate ladder at CapTech. If you’ve ever watched PGA golf and you see the trackers of the golfers’ drives in the air, her company is behind the software that makes that happen. It’s pretty exciting. Our middle guy, Jordy, he’s developmentally disabled and still lives at home with us. That’s me in a nutshell.

All good, Jay. Thank you so much for giving us that background. There’s so much there that we want to dive into. One thing that strikes me is what a powerful story, as far as being able to overcome big, huge challenges and looking for the opportunity to be better because of it. I love that part of your story so much and it’s very inspiring. Tell us a little bit as far as when you were building the company. The show is called REALLY Know Your Customer. You and I have talked about those customer-type topics before. Tell us a little bit about the culture that you built as you were growing the company to the point of being able to be acquired.

It goes back to the owner. His name was Tom Hagan. Unfortunately, Tom passed away a few years ago. He was only the third owner of that pharmacy. It started in 1938. I came into this pharmacy as an intern in the late 70’s and I see nothing but excellent customer service. Tom was one of these people who if a nursing home would call us and say, “We need meds for Mrs. Smith and we’re also out of Dove soap. Could you stop at the grocery and pick up some soap for us and drop that off too?” Tom would say, “Absolutely.” He’d always say, “We’re the can-do kids.”

I picked up that natural tendency to embrace the customer so much that when we started growing, there was a requirement with Medicare or with CMS that every nursing home pharmacy has to go through every chart of the residents in those nursing homes once a month. We have to review the meds. We have to sign off that they’re safe and effective. I was the person primarily responsible for that. I’d go to these nursing homes. I’m sure some pharmacists would sign the charts and be done with it. I’d go in, they’d feed me lunch, they bring in the nurses, and we would sit and talk. It’s like, “How can we do our job better for you guys? How can we make life easier for you?”

It was almost this natural tendency that Tom put in me that, over the years, some of the big competitors would always say, “Jay, we can’t even get our foot in the door of your homes. What’s your magic?” It was listening to the customer. It was building these relationships, and they weren’t fake. We cared about each other’s kids, their sporting events, school events, the health of the spouses, and things like that. I wish I could say it was something that I read in a book and I tried it. It came naturally because of working for a guy like Tom Hagan and what the customer meant.

I remember having an epiphany moment. It was a Midwest American Society of Consultant Pharmacists Conference. It was in Indianapolis. Medicare was changing the way that we, as pharmacists, had to track the medications for those in nursing homes. I was sitting there thinking, “I could create some neat charts for our nurses to save them time because they were requiring them to keep track of the patient’s behavior.” It’s like you couldn’t just slap them on an antipsychotic or an anti-anxiety. You had to have proof that they were acting out, they were harming themselves, harming others.

The light bulb went off in my head. I went back and I got with, I don’t know if you know Lisa Hanauer, she owned MED-PASS. She’s a Dayton area entrepreneur. I got with Lisa who created documents for the nursing home industry. I said, “I think we can create something to save the nurse’s time.” Long story short, we did that. It took us up to another level. It wasn’t about Jay Meyer inventing something new. It was just me sitting there thinking, “How can I make this change that CMS is just stuffing down the nursing home’s throat? How can I make it easier for the customer?” It was just times like that where you’re constantly thinking.

I guess it was always approaching that relationship as a team. We were the pharmacy. They were the nurses. We had the doctor. Between the three of us, we provided the best care we could for the patients. Let’s face it, when a resident’s in a nursing home one of the primary ways they continue to thrive and stay alive is through their medications. What we did after that, as we started to grow and Jay couldn’t get into all the nursing homes, we hired other clinical people. We started putting together a customer advisory board.

We would meet periodically throughout the year and bring them to our place in a conference room. We’d feed them and share some ideas and what we were thinking about doing, what they think, and then we would seek their input on what they’d like us to do and see if maybe we could do that. You got me all pumped up. When you start talking about customers, it’s like I had this flashback to customers and teammates. You can’t take care of the customers if you don’t take care of your teammates. It’s those two that I was just very passionate about.

You can’t take care of the customers if you don’t take care of your teammates. CLICK TO TWEET

I’ve got about a dozen questions that I got to figure out how to get them all into this interview here. A couple of things that I want to hit on, and this is something Betsy and I have heard again and again, over and over. The path that each entrepreneur and each CEO that we’ve talked to has gotten there has been different. You talked very early on about your journey and reaching this place of humility. One of the things that we’ve got to state is that this is a law. To get to know your customers, you have to be humble. No matter how you get to that place of humility, you’ve got to get there or you’re not going to be successful long-term. How do you see that humility playing out over the course of this journey you’ve been on?

As I said, the life-transforming event that happened in my life created this sense of humility inside me. I believe that as entrepreneurs, leaders, and business owners, we have to be curious. We have to be willing to say, “We don’t have the answer.” It’s one thing to say, “I don’t have the answer, but this is what I’m thinking about doing. What do you think?” You receive the input and you don’t listen to a word they say. That’s the person that’s not humble. That’s the ego and arrogance. Believe me, I’ve been on both sides of those tracks. When you say, “What do you think about this?” and they start tearing it down, 1) That’s probably not going to work. 2) I didn’t do a good enough job explaining it, so let’s try it again.

This is what I’m talking about. Do you understand what I’m saying? This is one thing. The older I get, the more I realize, the less I know, so the more curious I become. I knew it all in my 30s and I ended up in a treatment center. That’s where my best thinking got me. Almost bankrupt, completely bankrupt in my life. You walk out of there thinking, “I don’t know a darn thing.” That humility, I listened to a podcast, this has been some time ago, a lady by the name of Kat Cole, who’s now the CEO of Athletic Greens. She’s had some kind of an entrepreneurial business career.

The older I get, the more I realize the less I know, so the more curious I become. CLICK TO TWEET

She said, “The 21st-century leader needs to mix courage and confidence with humility and curiosity.” I thought that that’s so true because we’ve got to be confident. We’ve got to have courage. You guys wouldn’t be doing what you’re doing now if you didn’t have courage and a little bit of confidence. You offset those two, and you don’t become too overwhelmed with them by being curious. Saying, “I don’t know. Do you think this will work? What do you think? I’m interested in trying to better understand why you’re not hearing me.” Also, being willing to say, “I don’t have all the answers. I need help.”

I think about that time in my life when everything got flipped upside down. One of the main reasons I survived was the people around me. The people that came to my side and helped me through that. When you have an ego, aren’t vulnerable, and aren’t humble, you aren’t willing to listen to people. Thank God I had the right people who came in and I was ready to listen.

It strikes me that part of why we love doing these shows is because we get to be in the chairs where we’re listening and being curious. We talk on the side about how much we have learned from the guests that we’ve had on the show and how that translates into the work that we’re doing. Curiosity is such a big important part of it. I agree with you. The older I get, the more I realize how little I know. That’s a peaceful thing. I know you write about peace. It’s kind of a peaceful thing to know, “I don’t have to have all the answers.” It’s like that burden comes off of you thinking that you do have to have all the answers. Tony, I know you have more questions.

You went through multiple transitions or multiple acquisitions, I should say, over the course of the time you were with the pharmacy company. I’m curious, one of the things we hear from people is that when there’s a transition from one ownership group to another ownership group, a lot of times the culture changes, mergers, acquisitions. Did you keep your culture alive? If so, how did you succeed in doing that? What did you find you had to do more of or less of?

The first acquisition that took place in 1998 was a company that owned nursing homes. They wanted to be an owner of a pharmacy. I was a minority. It wasn’t like I was a majority owner, but they treated me as if I were the owner of that pharmacy. The CEO and the CFO of that company, sometimes I would drive the CFO crazy because they’d let me kinda go. It’s like, “Jay, not to say this is yours, but you can run this pharmacy the way you think it needs to be run to be successful.” I was able to create our own culture. It was at that point that we had to create a more professional culture.

We were like this mom-and-pop drugstore family-type culture, and there’s nothing wrong with that. I work with organizations now when they’re thinking they need to build a new culture, it’s like, “What are the things we need to stop doing? What are the things we need to start doing? What are the things that stay?” We sat down as an executive team and we focused on the new things we needed to start doing. The other things took care of themselves. What needed to stay? What’s some of the history? You got the myths, you got legends, you got all these great stories that you don’t want to lose track of like when Tom stopped at the grocery store to buy Dove soap when the nursing homes wanted some medication because they also were out of their soap.

That one, and that was from ’98 to ’06, that’s where we built an amazing culture. Our number one core value was to treat others better than we expected to be treated. We called it the golden rule plus one. We wanted to create this challenging, safe, and fun work environment. That was something that we agreed upon. We were determined to show excellence in everything that we did. Those were these three values that we all held true to.

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric Culture
Customer-Centric Culture: Our number one core value was to treat others better than we expected to be treated. We called it the Golden Rule Plus One.

In ’06, the parent company had the opportunity to sell. They were hoping to spin the pharmacy off and keep the pharmacy, but they had to go as a group. It went with a private equity company. Private equity, they didn’t want us. Nothing against them. They started looking for a buyer and sold us to a pretty big national entity. When that took place, I met with the owners of that and the leaders of that. We felt like we had pretty similar values. I will tell you, when an acquisition or when a merger takes place, whoever the majority owner is, those are the values. That’s the personality the organization’s going to take on from a cultural standpoint.

There’s nothing bad about that. That’s just the way it is. I saw that happening. Nothing against them. They had very good values. That’s when it’s like, “It’s time to move on.” The one experience was fantastic. Before that, Tom and I were building this little pharmacy and creating a culture we did. The second one, I had less ownership in it, very little. Even though I was running that pharmacy in Covington, Ohio and we’re taking care of the Midwest region, a different culture started happening.

I’m going to switch gears a little bit. One of the things, through the many years of our friendship that I have had such great admiration for and something I try to emulate and pale by comparison, is your consistency in what you do. I want to switch gears a little bit to more of the personal development sides of being a leader. You’ve been writing the EagleLaunch email every day for I don’t know how many years. You can fill us in on that. I know your physical training, spiritual training, and daily training of things you do, you’re so consistent. Can you talk us through what it takes to find that consistency? What it means for a leader? What it means for you personally for building a business? Talk to us a little bit about that.

Consistency is so key, especially when you’re in a leadership role. Many of those habits that you mentioned, I developed back when I was in early recovery. I was in a very fragile mental state back in that time. I found that exercise was great for my brain. It would help chill me. Also, if you talk to anyone who’s been in recovery and who’s made it, I’ll be celebrating 36 years next month, anyone who’s made it for any extended period, most of the time, believes in a power greater than themselves. Mine came through this relationship with Jesus Christ.

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric Culture
Customer-Centric Culture: Consistency is so key, especially when you’re in a leadership role.

Something we learned early on in recovery was to have morning time with this higher power. The first 3 steps of the 12 steps are simplified. I can’t. He can. I think I’ll let him. That’s every morning. I can’t do this alone, I’ll screw it up. I know he can. Here, God, here’s my life, here’s my business, here’s my family matters, here’s all the stuff the devil’s going to try to attack me on. I’m going to ask you to help guide me through this. That physical exercise and the whole spiritual piece both played into my mental state and consistency.

I was at a retreat. We used to do this thing with the junior high in Covington. It’d be like an all-night retreat in the school and we had a guest speaker come in. His name was Harvey. I’ll never forget this because I was intrigued by thinking about maybe I’d be an inspirational speaker someday. The guy was in shape. You could tell he had it together. He said, “If you’re going to be an inspirational speaker, you got to take care of yourself. You’re going to come in here and tell these people, “You’ve got to be disciplined. You’ve got to be consistent. Your habits determine who you are and what you become.” He says, “You can’t present in front of them and not play that part.” I never forgot that.

It’s like when you’re leading people, they feed off of you. They watch you and that’s part of the culture, I believe. I also think it’s important. I do, Betsy. I don’t want to not answer your question. I do have specific habits that I do every day. As you said, I’ve been writing the EagleLaunch inspirational piece. I started that in 2008. Part of that, probably the primary reason was, I wanted to make a dent in what I call the devil’s playground, the internet. Back then in ’08, it was nothing like it is now from social media and all that type of stuff.

It’s like, “I’m going to lob some positive thoughts out there.” It then became once a month, then a couple of times a month. I thought, “You know what? I’m going to start once a day.” I write them. I’m usually ahead a couple of weeks, so if I happen to pass away tomorrow, you’ll still get some blogs from me after my death because I’ve already written them. Consistency also has to be a healthy blend with vulnerability.

People need to know that I’m not Superman. I have my moments. There’s going to be times. My mom passed away back in March. Here I am, this guy that people look at as pretty strong and all that. I went through a rough time and I’m still having these little grief avalanches that come up on me. As leaders, we need to be okay with saying, “We’re not okay.” I consistently do these things. I try to show up as the best person I can be every day, but there might be some times when Jay could have been a little better. It’s important that you mix the two.

As leaders, we need to be okay with saying, “We’re not okay.” CLICK TO TWEET

That’s so critical. A very good friend of mine who’s also an entrepreneur, we were talking at one point a few years ago. She has a medical condition, MS, or something of that nature. She was down this particular day we were talking. It struck me. It was just one of those moments of inspiration that I’m grateful that I was open to. I told her, “Success is not comparing yourself to yesterday. Success is based on where you are today and doing the best you can today with who you are and what you’re facing.” I’ve needed that myself. It struck me to share that because I heard that in what you were just saying.

We’re human. Sometimes we forget that.

Jay, for people that are entrepreneurs or leaders that are maybe in that period of time where they’re struggling and can’t see the light of day. I know for me, with all the stuff that’s going on in the world right now, it’s hard to keep your head above water sometimes. Even if you try to block it all out, it seeps in, all the stuff that’s going on. What would be your advice to not necessarily leaders, just to anyone, as far as, how do you keep that positive spirit? I know reading your email every morning is helpful. What are some of the other things that you would recommend to people who are trying to catch their breath every single morning when they get up?

I’m a big reader. I read a lot. I also journal. I capture a lot of my craziness in my journal. I filter before I enter the world. Part of my morning devotion and time with myself is just journaling and I just write thoughts. Like this morning, I had a couple of challenges the last 2 or 3 days. I started journaling all the things that I have to be grateful for because you cannot be afraid and grateful at the same time. You can’t be angry and grateful at the same time. Gratitude is this disposition that can fight off. To me, it’s all about having the spirit and being full of the spirit.

You can’t be afraid and grateful at the same time. You can’t be angry and grateful at the same time. CLICK TO TWEET

Journaling helps me. I mentioned my time with my higher power. I can’t remember the exact year, but I can remember a time in the business when we started gaining momentum. I would take time during the evening before I’d go to bed and capture everything that was going on with the business and just say, “God, here it is. When I get up in the morning, I know you’ll have the answer.” I could fall asleep. Having that habit in the next morning saying, “I get it,” turning it back over to him, and having that belief and trust in the higher power that he or she is going to guide you through these tough times is another great habit.

Along with journaling, prayer, trusting the higher power, reading, and listening to podcasts, you have to surround yourself with good people somewhere. I consider John Maxwell my friend, even though I’ve never met him, but I’ve read almost all his books. I listened to his podcast. I also listened to Ryan Hawk’s podcast, Lencioni, Full Focus, and the Hyatts. I surround myself with good-quality people who have like interests. That’s important for me because if I’m not doing that, I can easily get drawn to the world.

As you mentioned, Betsy, it’s messed up right now. I’m into my seventh decade. I’ve lived almost 65 years and there are a lot of challenges out there. If you spend time paying attention to that, instead of paying attention to improving yourself and making the world better because of you and because of what you do, it can get you down.

I love this idea. What occurred to me as you’re saying this is that, while you built cultures in companies, where you start though as a leader, is building your culture within yourself. You’ve surrounded yourself with these mentors and advisors probably many of whom, you’ve never talked to. They get in your head and they influence the way you think. It’s like we’re creating a culture around ourselves, which we then take with us wherever we go in the world.

That is such a great insight because part of my morning time is reading. I have a mission statement to inspire others to dream more, be more, and live in the light more. I then have these three guiding principles that come from the book of Micah in the Bible, 6:8. That’s, “Do right, give mercy, and be humble.” That is my culture. You’re exactly right. That is how I go about doing my business or I try. Most of the time I do right. Giving mercy is hard sometimes. I still struggle with that. I try my best to be humble.

KYC 56 | Customer-Centric Culture
Customer-Centric Culture: Dream more, be more, and live in the light more.

I love what you said about how we’re so fortunate to live in this time where we have access to all these amazing people. Just one click on YouTube and you can find a lot of stuff or a podcast. I listened to a lot of the same ones that you do. I’ve recently started listening to Ed Myllet. I don’t know if you know his podcast. It’s so good. It’s what you feed your brain as much as it is you feed your body.

I can’t believe how fast this time has gone. I hate to be the messenger that we are running out of time. Jay, any final thoughts you’d want to share with our audience? I could talk about this stuff all day. Tony, This is where we’re going to have to do a part two and get Jay back on the show.

Yes, because I have questions after 2010. I’ve got a whole bunch of questions that we’ve got to ask you.

This did go fast.

This is going to have to be a two-parter for sure. Jay, anything else you’d want to share with our audience? I know we’re going long here, but one thing I wanted to talk about is how amazing it is what you give back to the recovery community, to the community of Covington. I had the good fortune years ago when you hosted a Thanksgiving meal, I believe it was for your community, I saw what you were able to do in terms of giving back. I didn’t want that to go without saying that I’m sure your mindset is very much about giving back. Just a few thoughts on that before we close.

I learned in my treatment journey because I would wonder, “Why are these people, I’d walk into an AA meeting and everybody in the room is just willing to help you?” I learned the truth behind the saying, “You can’t keep what you have unless you give it away.” I learned how to recover. You can’t stay sober if you don’t help others stay sober. It’s just like our community. The community gave me so much. That little pharmacy, I’m forever indebted to that and the people that work here. I can’t keep that. I have to give that back.

Sometimes it’s hard with Jordy, our special guy, but I have found the means, like now through my podcast and through my EagleLaunch to whatever I can share with others to help lift them. Like I say, to dream more, to be more, to live in a light more that I’m all in. At the end of the day, when we leave here, all the stuff we might accumulate means nothing. It’s the lives that we’ve impacted along the way and hopefully made the world a little bit better place because we consumed some air while we were here. To me, that should be the goal of all of us.

Tony, any closing comments for Jay?

Jay, this has been phenomenal. I look forward to our next interview because I’ve learned a lot. I’ve taken a bunch of notes here. My biggest takeaway is this. Not just the words you’ve given us, but the spirit of humility and vulnerability that you’ve presented here. I hope our audience picks up on that because I do believe you cannot be a true leader unless you demonstrate and live those. I can see why Betsy puts you up there as one of her top friends and why she was so excited to do this show. I’m grateful to have met you. Thank you.

I’m very grateful to have met you, too. Betsy, I so cherish our friendship. I appreciate you.

Likewise, Jay. I’m looking forward to part two of this and next time we get a chance to go up to Miller Lane and have lunch. Thanks, Jay.

Thank you.

I am so happy that we had Jay here. Thank you for bringing him on, Betsy, and introducing us. The thing that stood out to me as I stepped back and reflected upon the things that we talked about was there was a common theme that we’ve heard over and over amongst entrepreneurs and CEOs we’ve talked with. It is this idea of humility. They all get there on a different journey. Jay had a very specific journey that got him to his level of humility. It’s not just something they talk about, humility, curiosity, courage, and confidence.

Those are the four that he pointed out. It’s not just that they talk about these things. They live these things. You can feel his humility and vulnerability as he talks about his journey. Not just his personal journey but also how he grew the company. It was the fact that he was able to go into these nursing homes, sit there with the nurses, and say, “What would make your life and job easier?” Also, coming up with forms that are going to make their lives easier.

I didn’t get the chance to talk about this during the show, but in some research I’ve been doing with the marketing agency I work closely with, we found that for behavior to change, if people are going to buy a new brand or product, one of the first things they have to be convinced of is that it will make their life easier. It was running through my mind. It was like, “We didn’t have time to get to that part, but I want to dig into that.” Maybe when we do round two with Jay, we’ll be able to dig into how people should make lives easier for their customers. That hit me because he talked about that concept multiple times, but it comes out of his curiosity and his humility that he was able to ask those questions and, “We are not making their lives easy enough. How do we make it even better?”

The part that I tried very hard personally is to keep good company and surround yourself with people like Jay. The people he has on his podcast are so awesome. Our regular audience will know this is a little bit different episode for us going so deep into the personal stuff and the spiritual side of things. I love that he is so open and vulnerable to sharing his faith on a public platform, and not shying away from that is a sign of strength as a leader.

That’s very much the philosophy of the people that he has on his show as well. For anybody who likes to go deeper into some of these types of topics, switch over to the Higher Leading Podcast. It’s an awesome podcast. I know that we are going to have Jay back on the show because we got to 2 of your 12 questions on part A. Tony, as always, it’s such a treat doing this show with you. I enjoy it so much. I appreciate you as well.

Thanks, Betsy. It’s been great again.

That’s a wrap for this episode. Thanks for joining us. We’ll see you next episode.

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