In each “On Leadership” column, Allen Lima Leadership Executive Director Matt Childers talks with a regional business leader. This week, he profiles Brian Garver, vice president of sales and marketing for Keybridge Medical Revenue Care.
Matt: When you were in junior high and high school, did you know what you wanted to do professionally, and what did that look like?
Brian: I grew up in a blue-collar family. My dad worked at the Ford plant and General Dynamics, and my mom was an RN. So to me, it is always about what you see in life. I decided to go to college and thought I might end up in computer mechanics. But that didn’t happen.
Matt: What lessons did you learn from your parents?
Brian: Hard work, for sure. My parents were hard working and disciplined. I am not sure they ever took a sick day. Great examples for me and my brothers.
Matt: Where did you get your education?
Brian: Bath High School and OSU-Lima.
Matt: Who influenced your leadership style?
Brian: First my parents, and then a big influence on me was Bob Keller (Powell Company), who gave me a chance in college to do a variety of things. Bob was an amazing leader, I always admired Bob and his character, humor, his involvement in the community and his personality that everyone was attracted to. I wanted to be in that world that Bob had created.
I also must mention Bill Schroeder (who bought Powell). Bill taught me the next level leadership and how to make tough business decisions. And finally, Dave Carr, who took me from managing to being a leader of people. Dave was an amazing educator. He was passionate about raising people up and making them the best version of themselves.
Matt: You speak to many groups and organizations about culture. What is it about culture?
Brian: I connect culture to the leadership of the organization within. It’s the leadership’s ability to invoke the right type of culture. That’s leadership’s responsibility, and it’s often overlooked. I see it over and over, organizations that make culture a high priority, these organizations thrive, and they grow. They put a premium on their people. As Woody Hayes said, “You win with people!” That’s what I have witnessed at the Powell Company and here at Key Bridge.
Matt: When you hire, what do you look for?
Brian: That’s a complex question. I will try to simplify. I look for integrity, confidence. I don’t just look for a brilliant mind, I look for a person that wants to share their talents. That’s important for us here at Keybridge, to be a larger member of this team.
Matt: What advice would you give to young college students?
Brian: For one, to be able to articulate what you are passionate about, and great things will come your way. Attitude is everything! Any great coach will tell you attitude is the core of winning teams and winning players.
Matt: Tell me about some recent leadership lessons you have encountered.
Brian: Sharing. I think it is vital to communicate to our teams: to communicate our thanks for the work they do and continue our message of teamwork for the greater good.
Matt: You were a member of the 2005 Allen Lima Leadership Class. What do you recall?
Brian: I remember it well. We spent 10 months together as a class. There was a great bond! The community awareness was very eye-opening. The criminal justice system, spending a third shift with the (Lima Police Department) and learning with my classmates all the great things in our community. This is our community, and we must take a great interest in Lima. Allen Lima Leadership gave me that foundation.
Matt: In your current position, what is next on the horizon for you and your team, and how does leadership play a role?
Brian: Great leaders care. Best experience wins today! Giving our team and our customers the “ best experience” possible. I believe if we internally have a great experience, then our customers and community have that same “ best experience.”