Hello and welcome back for another episode of the Future Ear Radio podcast!
In this episode, Jason and I discussed:
- Jason’s backstory and professional journey as an Audiologist
- The decision to go into private practice
- Taking over an existing private practice clinic and the challenges associated with it
- Scaling a private practice to seven locations
- Expanding into new services while scaling the practice to broaden the prospective patient pool
- Focusing on leadership development and some of the specific tactics that Jason has used to become a better leader
- The importance of hiring and retaining good workers and sharing some different ideas to be more successful in hiring
-Thanks for Reading-
Dave Kemp 00:02
Okay, and welcome to another episode of the Future Ear Radio Podcast. I’m so excited for today’s episode with Dr. Jason Lane Decker. Jason, thanks so much for coming on the show. Let’s kick it off by having you share a little bit about who you are and what you do.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 00:18
Oh, great. Thanks for having me. I’m so excited to kind of be on a second season. You know, transition from 100 to 2000. Here
Dave Kemp 00:29
we go. Yeah, you’re gonna be like 103 of 1000. Eventually, yes.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 00:35
So, my background, I became an audiologist in 2010. Graduated from at still university through their residential program. Prior to that was in a Speech and Language Hearing Sciences program in Morehead State Minnesota, up in the frigid cold, Moorhead, Fargo, North Dakota area. So it was a great transition to go from that cold to that warm, Arizona, and really enjoyed my time. Learning about being an audiologist, I from the start, wanted to be an SLP, just like most audiologists, but then took over my train of thought for Audiology. After my first intro to audiometry course, I always knew I wanted to be in private practice. Because I knew I’d have the most flexibility, the most autonomy to be able to provide the best level of care, because my whole reason for wanting to get into healthcare was to provide an impact. So I knew that I could provide a bigger impact in private practice, and had the most flexibility to do the best level of care in that process. So since then, I worked for a private practice owner, a mentor, Dr. Paula Schwartz, took over her practice in 2017, with two locations, and now we’re up to seven locations since then. So in the last five years, we’ve grown a little bit.
Dave Kemp 02:08
Yeah, no, this is great. I can’t wait to get into all this. And just really kind of break down your, your journey, what you’ve learned along the way, how you’ve scaled it from actually how you even came to be connected with Paula, take on her practice, scale it so we’ll get into all that. But let’s go back to the beginning. So you mentioned that you originally were planning on being an SLP. I love people’s backstories and hearing about the mindset changes that came about. So how did how did you come to this decision to go from the SLP route and pivot over to audiology?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 02:44
Well, ultimately, I hated my phonetics class. And I knew that also the amount of paperwork, the pre planning that was involved with speech therapy was was not my superpower wasn’t an area that I found of expertise. I knew scaling it down to a one page report, where the hearing was much more my speed. And I liked the balance between the science and the biology in that process, and also the counseling side of things. So I really found that it was a much better fit for me early on my second year of undergrad.
Dave Kemp 03:24
So when you ended up down it how did you come to choose AT Still?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 03:29
Well, there was a one other student that was like two years ahead of me that went down there had a really good experience and let my my professor know that. So through the process of looking at schools, I also looked at knowing that it was built as an audiology program not as a or as a doctorate program, originally, so the process of what I was going to learn was going to be much more scaled towards me being able to see a patient when I was done. So I really enjoyed that.
Dave Kemp 04:01
That’s cool. So during your time there what stands out to you any memorable teachers, mentors, courses, part of the curriculum, anything that like really stands out in your mind.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 04:14
You know, I loved their, their open door policy, their their ability to you know, hop in their office at any time ask a question. I spent a lot of time with certain professors on the golf course on the weekends. You know, so I didn’t just learned from them in, in the classroom, but I learned from them you know about life and about how to perform as an audiologist and work with people as well. So, you know, I love all of my professors, so it’d be really hard to say one versus the other because they’re all great. Dr. Troy Han was great for the fact that his background was tinnitus, which is a strong suit of mine, and he connected me with Paula So that was one of the benefits. He was also a golfing partner. So there’s some stories there that if you asked him versus me, I’m sure they’d be quite a bit different.
Dave Kemp 05:13
Well, that’s really cool. So, you know, you mentioned there that you got connected from this professor to Paula. And you had said previously that, you know, you always knew that you wanted to do private practice. I mean, was the idea. I’m going to go, I’m going to get my degree. And then I’m going to come back to I’m going to come home to Minnesota. And that’s where I’m going to practice. And that’s how you got connected to Paula.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 05:35
Yeah, I always wanted to come back. I knew that it was a means to an end down there. I enjoyed it. I think it’s a great place to visit, I still want to visit there. Especially right now when it’s like, snow showers and 20 degrees out. So yeah, I really do enjoy being down there. But my family’s here. My life has always been here. I grew up in central Minnesota, small town middle of nowhere. So even living in the metro of Minneapolis area. It’s, it’s still quite a bit different. But it’s it’s close to home. So I could still make it to all these holidays like Thanksgiving last week.
Dave Kemp 06:14
Yeah, no kidding. Okay, cool. So you get connected to Paula? And how long was it? How did things go there? Obviously, it must have gone well enough to where you took the practice over. But maybe can you walk me through what that period is like, and when was it identified that you would be the successor I guess of for practice,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 06:37
I interviewed at a few different places for my third and fourth year positions up in the metro area. And ownership was always a strong desire for me. So I did spend quite a bit of time trying to find people that I thought that there was an opportunity, she was a growing practice. And I ended up doing my third year with her and part of my fourth year. And they presented me with a great opportunity for growth, it was a team aspect to begin with, which is something that I really do appreciate. And if you look at the clinic, now today, it’s still a very big part of how we work and operate as a culture. So it was it was a great opportunity for me to branch out, but also have supportive team. So that was in 2010, when I graduated, they offered me a job right away. So in the transition between 2010 to 2017 was no doubt a rocky situation because you gotta be ready, they got to be ready. And there’s a lot of emotions involved. This is her baby, and I’m going to take it over, you know how that all is going to work. There was definitely some times where you didn’t know, but we always had the same goal that when they’re ready to go, that I’d have that opportunity. And when they were ready, I I was ready to go. So it’s been a learning opportunity constantly since then. So I thought I was a leader and people liked me and it was gonna go fine. But you realize when you start to become an owner of a practice that has multiple people involved, you have to learn traits to be a leader to not just an audiologist, and so ever since then that’s been my focus.
Dave Kemp 08:29
There seems like there’s a lot to that whole statement. I mean, I feel like that’s like, definitely worth unpacking. So what, what are some of the things that I guess you could share about maybe that part of your, your journey of learning about like, Okay, I need, there’s more than just like the career development side of the actual like learning all the ins and outs of being a high performing audiologist, but to be a leader, to be an owner, manager, all of that stuff? I mean, what were some of the things that you took away from that formative period where it sounds like you were probably growing a lot and a lot of trial and error, and you know, just like overcoming things and learning through firsthand experience. So there’s nothing that’s really, I think, a replacement for that, but what could you share with people that, you know, aren’t in a position like that yet, but might be down the line.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 09:22
There’s definitely a journey for everyone. And that journey is gonna have ups and downs, there’s no doubt but the primary thing is, is that you have to have a goal in mind and continue to work towards that goal. So in that process of me taking over, there’s no doubt I learned opportunity. I had learning situations that I had a an employee that was stealing from me because I was too trustworthy. I didn’t communicate well with my team. I didn’t give them my vision very well. And I didn’t keep that momentum going in the right direction. I didn’t keep people at horrible, as much as I probably should have. So learning through that process, people were unhappy. And so they, they told me a lot on how to operate and how to change. So then I also started picking up books. So I’m not a, I’m not a reader, per se, but I’m a listener. So I have about 150 books in here that I listen to on a regular basis, I would say 30 to 40 new books a year minimum. And then I listen to a lot of the old books multiple times, it’s created a whole new culture. And I know that if I want my team to continue to get better, I have to get better. So I have to keep reaching out. So I’ve joined mastermind groups, and have met with practice owners from around the country multiple times a year, to make sure that I’m providing the best level of leadership to my team. So that way, they can continue to grow as well.
Dave Kemp 11:04
I feel like this really resonates as a young person that is like, you know, my hopes and aspirations are to move into, you know, higher levels of leadership and stuff like that. And one of the questions that I always, always have is kind of like, what are actual, the actual tactics to doing that. So I appreciate you sharing like that, like audiobooks were a huge source and wealth of knowledge for you. But I’m curious, like, so in the example of like, you mentioned, where you weren’t really a good communicator to your team? What does JSON 2.0 look like? You know, I guess, like from the past of what you maybe were doing to where you are now, what are some tangible differences in terms of the way in which you, you communicate now.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 11:47
So I think back to some of my best professors going through school, they had the ability to teach to multiple different learning styles at the same time, right, some people needed to hear it, some people needed to do it, some people needed to read about it. So they would have multiple modalities within their program to be able to make sure that all the students are successful. And that’s what made a really good professor. So I took a lot of that information into my practice as well, having multiple ways to be able to communicate to our team. So we use Microsoft Teams, we have email, we have a larger kind of an intranet programs, kind of like a Facebook page for our company, that’s all HIPAA compliant. So we keep a lot of data, and we’re accessible as much as possible. That also meant I needed to see less patients. So that way, I could be more accessible to them. So now I’m down only seeing patients about 12 hours a week. And the rest of the time, I’m traveling office to office to work with a team, make sure that they have all the tools to be able to grow professionally and keep our company going forward as well.
Dave Kemp 12:59
Yeah, this is super interesting. So, you know, with this, were you like when you started to feel like okay, this is all like as you started implementing these new communication strategies and stuff like that, did you feel like you were getting momentum? And how quickly did you feel like, okay, like, this is, I’m getting momentum behind all these new changes, and this is the path that I need to go. Was it something that happened rather suddenly? Or did it was it like a multi year process where you just kind of like slowly introduced new ways in which you communicate new processes, stuff like that,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 13:34
for the most part, it was kind of a slow transition, I would say in 20 2019 was a big year, because I owned two practices to locations 2017 through 2019, I hired a new director of finance, who came from the industry and had an MBA and understanding. So he brought a lot to the table on the communication side that I didn’t realize, you know, coming from a big business side of things coming from the manufacturer side of things, he had a lot more skills in that area. On top of that, adding three more locations in 2019. They, we learned a lot from how not to do things from not supporting them enough not giving them a plan, not giving them tools to succeed. So 2019 was a very big year on learning. So this year, when we added two more locations, I felt like we were much more confident the staff was much more ready to jump on board with us and felt like they had a purpose within our larger team to be able to to still support their patients and provide the same level of care that we were trying to achieve in all of our locations. So it’s been good.
Dave Kemp 14:47
Yeah, that’s really cool. Um, so with, you know, like you take over the practice in 2017 What was the first like big, you know, I guess change that had Your fingerprints on it as the new owner, was it an another clinic expanding? Was it adding new services? I guess you said it was 2017. Right. So yeah, what were some of those, I guess first, you know, post Jason ownership changes, like,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 15:17
I think it was more culturally, trying to support my team more, you know, pushing them, I’m not necessarily motivated by money, I’m more motivated by impact. So pushing them to provide a bigger impact by supporting them education wise, you know, having more fun time as well, you know, so we could build our family a little bit stronger, I think were some of the things that I pushed early on, that were a little bit different than the previous owner. And it’s still today, a big part of our culture, I would say, we added an actual process to hiring someone, you know, and actually what we’re looking for in that person. So reading a book called The ideal team player, we came up with that we need to look for people who are hungry, humble, and smart. So we asked specific questions to find those characteristics. Because if they have those, we can pretty much train them to do anything. So it’s still been a big part of our philosophy. And that was, well, 533 years ago, that that book, and I make everybody that we hire read that book as well. So I’d say call again, the ideal team player by Patrick Lencioni. Okay,
Dave Kemp 16:33
you had mentioned too, that you listen to some of your books like twice, maybe even three times a year, what is on without putting you too much on the spot, like what’s on your Mount Rushmore of the books that you felt have changed your Outlook the most, I guess,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 16:49
I would go more than just books, but authors. So Patrick Lencioni, is a big, big motivator in my my wheelhouse for sure. Brene, brown, I love Simon Sinek. Because they all provide a perspective that is different than my own. And something that’s a hot topic of how a younger generation, which I have a fairly young staff, how they operate, and how they operate it together as a team. So, you know, bringing different perspectives are big. So I would say those are probably my three biggest authors. Awesome. And now there’s probably altogether at least 15 books between the three that I would recommend that are worth your time. So
Dave Kemp 17:35
that’s awesome. I’m familiar with Brene. And Simon Sinek. I mean, Simon, Simon Sinek is kind of a legend on the you know, your why the Golden Circle and all that. And Brene Brown is a huge podcast inspiration for I think a lot of us podcasters. So I’m familiar with those two, but I’ll have to check out Patrick, I don’t know him as well.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 17:58
He’s a lot more structural in how you can lead a business, you know, you know, having more meetings, but how the meeting should be set up. So that way your company is communicating better. You know, a lot of people push back on having meetings, because they feel like they’re pointless? Well, if you have an agenda, and it’s given out three days in advance, they get time to do their homework for it, that meeting can be so much more effective. So those are the things that I’ve learned from him. I know he’s a he’s a member with entree leadership with Dave Ramsey. So he consults a lot on that podcast as well. So I think that he’s he was one of my original authors to listen to, and his books are available based, so they’re a lot easier to read and listen to. And they give good options or good ideas and how to implement too. Yeah, I think that’s,
Dave Kemp 18:50
I mean, again, I just think about, like, it’s one thing to talk about, hey, you know, here’s how to go about starting a private practice or whatever. And I feel like, typically, things linger on the high level abstract, you know, like, you just move into it and you do this thing. And I feel like you’re kind of left with like, well, what are the concrete actionable things I can be working on day to day to prepare myself and just like, give myself as much of a head start as possible. So I love these suggestions. I think these are absolutely great. Okay, so to change gears a little bit, I mean, I love this whole piece around, you know, career development, but and, you know, leadership development, but with the audiology side of your repertoire. How did you really like grow that? Did you have the opportunity to get different types of hands on experience, whether it was in university or within, you know, Paul’s practice initially? What was that portion of your career like, where you were kind of accumulating your skills, if you will?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 19:50
Well, it’s a busy practice, and I always was when I started with them. So I graduated on Saturday. On Monday, I had a full schedule. So I think that my experience is half the battle, right? You got to get time in, you got to learn techniques, you got to listen to yourself. If you ever recorded yourself and listen back, you can learn so much about how you communicate, and what are the right words to say, How many times do I say, um, and how does that affect the influence of that patient? They feel like I actually know what I’m talking about. Do I actually know what I’m talking about? Right. So those are the things that I’ve learned on the job. And I think that a big part of it is also just, you know, going to conferences, yes, staying a forward thinker. You know, I’m a huge proponent of going to conferences, I go to AAA and Ada, I go to the umat Conference, which is our Midwest. Conference for Minnesota. And there’s so much you can learn by staying ahead of the game, just going and meeting with people, you can learn almost as much going in sitting at the bar or at the coffee shop before and after classes as you can, while you’re in those classes, too. I
Dave Kemp 21:12
couldn’t agree more with that. And it’s like a good segue into you know, I just saw you at ATA was great. It was great to see you again. And I couldn’t agree more with that, though. From the standpoint of, you know, I’ve been saying this on the podcast recently, like one of the things that I find most exciting and positive that’s happening right now within our industry is this sense of collaboration seems to be growing. I just feel like there’s more open and transparent, candid dialogue being had right now in the public, on podcasts on YouTube shows, whatever, where people are very candidly talking about, here’s what has worked well for me. You know, here’s some of the shortcomings that I had, you know, whether as a professional or as a person, like all of this stuff, and I feel like the impetus for a lot of this is actually at the in person trade shows where people build those relationships. And then those relationships now I think are carrying over to this, like more mature online space that we have now where there’s more kinds of formats, to interact with one another. So I just want to like, highlight that, as I couldn’t agree more. And I guess it’s a good time to bring up that you are the president elect. So not 2023 by 2024, you will be the president of ATA. So I guess we’ll change gears for a minute and just talk about that real quick. How did you come to decide that you wanted to run for that position?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 22:40
Well, I always knew that Ada was the right, right organization for me to spend as much energy into as I can. It. It’s the movers and shakers of our industry. It’s the forward thinkers, it’s the people who are passionate about seeing our profession live on at a higher level, and providing the top level of care to our patients. And work the hardest, in my opinion. I’m a little bit biased, because I am on the board to make sure that audiology has a future. And so I think that the way that they operate, every conference is going to have good things to pull from, but I feel like I get more out of that conference. And the way they restructured at this last year to make sure that everybody kind of had a comprehensive approach to different areas and had tangible items on Monday morning they could implement was it was pretty awesome.
Dave Kemp 23:45
Yeah, I’ll just say that this Ada, I’ve had more like offhand discussions with people where they said the same thing that this was one of the best eye agendas that they’ve had at one of these conferences, because it was so grounded in like the reality of the situation right now. Like just, for example, that mobile audiology pre conference workshop that was took place the day before the show was unbelievable. I mean, really, it was like having panels of people that were talking about, you know, like how they’re setting up their mobile audiology practice and some of the different like, things that they’ve learned along the way. Again, it’s just people sharing this firsthand experience that I feel like it not only I think, helps to draw more people in and make it feel like more. I don’t know like it feasible, like it’s possible to do. And then at the same time, say like, you know, here are things that I would have told my past self had I already gone through all this. So in a way it’s like I feel like there’s this collaboration that’s happening that’s very, very positive right now and ADA seem to really embody that so I just huge kudos on that. upfront and and it seemed like it was so well received that I have to imagine that’s going to be the idea of moving forward is less academic talks, if you will, and more of kind of like, here’s what’s really happening on a day to day basis within our clinics, and here’s real world examples that are very tangible, rather than citing something out of a textbook,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 25:22
right? Well, I think that on top of that, you know, you think about academics and the tangible things that we need to use, there is a blend, and we have to find where we’re using our top scope of practice, if we aren’t using all the things, all the tools in our audiology toolbelt, then we’re not support supporting our patients and the consumer the way we’re supposed to, and then somebody else will. So I think that it’s really important, I think it’s the vision of ADA to keep working at the highest level of our scope of practice, to be able to do that we got to have conferences that that express that to
Dave Kemp 26:03
totally. So, you know, touching on this whole point about practicing the full scope. That’s been another big theme on this podcast is like, you know, how do we kind of like, re elevate and create a equal perception of the, you know, of the patient of the consumer, of all the different things that an audiologist does. And I mean, I think there’s a lot to be really excited about from all of these sort of ancillary, non hearing aid specific, you know, portions of the of the scope, whether it’s vestibular or tinnitus, or cochlear implants, or you name it, it just feels like there’s more of a focus than ever on some of this stuff. And not only just like, knowing that there’s a demand, and that we should be as an industry, I think, like encapsulating this whole thing, but it seems like there’s more concrete ways to monetize some of this stuff that maybe hadn’t been as monetizable in the past or well known as to how you monetize it. So can you maybe share? You know, as you were scaling, I thought, when we were talking beforehand, what’s really interesting about your practice is that you have certain clinics within the seven that are specialty clinics for a specific, like a cochlear implant or something like that. Can you just talk to me about what the kind of mindset is there and as you’ve been scaling, has that been front and center with your decision making process of like, Alright, I’m gonna need another Cochlear Implant Center. So I need to geographically be strategic about where I placed that just kind of walk me through that part of your practice.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 27:36
As friend of mine once told me and I still look at it in my notes all the time, the riches are in the niches. If you aren’t, if you aren’t focusing on all parts of the scope of practice, there are areas in there that that you’re missing out on it. So our area, we specialize in tinnitus. So we have two of our locations for for providers currently that are doing tinnitus, and we are TRT trained. And we have been even before I took ownership. So it’s been something that we’ve been really priding ourselves on finding that niche, but now it’s like, well, there are a lot audiologists on my staff that tinnitus isn’t for them. And they have joy in doing more than just hearing a hearing aid fittings and they want to do more. So we’ve been branching out, my goal is to be a full fledged audiology practice to be able to support every patient in any way hearing, or tinnitus or balance related. So as I find more providers to come on staff, I ask them their passion. And if they’re passionate about something, I will support it. If it’s something that we’re not currently doing, you know, the the push right now, and I’m listening to some of your podcasts in the bag before it’s all about, you know, cognitive abilities and speech and noise testing and an auditory processing disorder and being able to support that part because I think that’s going to be huge part of the future of audiology is is working in the brain more than the ear. So we need to be able to support that and have experience so as our team continues to grow, I’m going to support them in that area. Now when it comes to, you know, adding new tools to the area, it really depends upon, you know, is there a need so we do an assessment of the area where where people are able to get the care and if they’re not able to get it locally, then we’re going to try to support it as much as possible. So
Dave Kemp 29:42
you what was it that originally kind of captivated you about tinnitus?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 29:50
I really liked that it was different. Dr. Troy Hahn, my mentor Professor really brought it up that these are For people that are underserved, and the satisfaction of helping somebody in that area was much higher, they you’re, you’re essentially taking somebody that could be locking themselves in a quiet room, to being able to go back to work and have a reasonable life, again, a lifestyle that they had prior. And that can make a huge difference. So it was something that gave a lot of satisfaction to me to be able to help somebody in that scenario. So originally, it was it was always from when I wanted to do my fourth year, I was looking for a place to be able to have that as a
Dave Kemp 30:41
background. So has that been the kind of like the the key magnet of patient acquisition is tinnitus? Or is it kind of across the board, you get patients for all different types of things.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 30:54
I don’t mark it for tinnitus management anywhere anymore. Okay. And I currently only see new to this patient. So I have a few hearing care patients that I still see. But I primarily only see new tinnitus patients. Because we’re running into a capacity issue, there is much more of a need, and we don’t want to overwhelm ourselves. It’s a pretty stressful appointment, it can be there’s a lot more paperwork, typically with workman’s comp or auto injuries or a TBI situation. So there’s, we try not to take on more than what we can chew. So in that area, it meant that that’s what I could only focus on, and we’re so booked out about three months in that area.
Dave Kemp 31:40
Wow. And then some of the other things that you’re expanding into what other parts of the scope, I guess, if you will, or parts of the scope that you feel could maybe be expanded, what’s giving you What’s making you excited about, you know, some of the different other areas beyond just like tinnitus, and hearing aids that you’re getting involved with? Well,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 32:05
just learning more about the brain and how the brain interacts with hearing and the year itself. You know, we’re looking at cognition, we’re adding cognitive view, we have it in four locations. Now, we’re creating a whole communication needs assessment. So we’re, we, you know, I listened to your talk with Brian Edwards about how the audiogram is so very basic in the fact of how to program a hearing aid in in in treat the person we need to be looking at speech and noise test. So we’re, we’re adding a lot more speech and noise testing to our protocols and validation measures that are much stronger. Besides just questionnaires we actually want to want to use the science to our benefit to help our patients more.
Dave Kemp 32:48
Yeah, I that that talk that I do with Brent, I, it was really interesting. In the moment, it was kind of short because he was at the train station. But I didn’t really realize the magnitude of what he was saying until I actually heard. This is like the third time I’ve now cited this conversation on the new season. But when Dr. Kathleen Wallace interviewed Barbara Weinstein, Dr. Barbara Weinstein, and, you know, cuz she’s the one that created the whole hearing handicap index. She was talking a lot about kind of the same thing where it’s like, the pure tone audiogram isn’t really the best, like, compass, I guess to, to kind of like understand where somebody you need to have some kind of self assessment as well. And so I listened back to the whole brain thing. And what he said was, like, super interesting, like, basically that the way in which we assess hearing loss, like the whole methodology is probably antiquated and needs to be updated. So I think that’s a that’s a really interesting like, that could have massive implications, if that really were to if we were ushered in a totally new way. Again, like, you know, I know, Nick Reed and Johns Hopkins team have talked about having a score, you know, so it’s not just like, it’s not like I have mild hearing loss or moderate hearing loss. It’s much more akin to your eyesight, I have 2020 eyesight I have 2010 eyesight. So it’s like, would it would it make more sense to have different ways in which we even talk about hearing loss? So that whole thing was there was so much more than met the eye for me, as I kind of was like unpacking in listening back. And I was like, that was very insightful when he said,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 34:33
Right, I agree. We do need to continue to progress as a profession. I know that we’re still a fairly young medical profession. And we really kind of took off in the 50s. So you think about all the other professions that have probably higher level of processing or a higher level of diagnosing tools than what we have is because we haven’t gotten there yet. So Uh, you know, we’re along in this journey right now we have a lot of opportunities for growth, we just got to continue to push forward and and set some goals along the way.
Dave Kemp 35:11
Yeah, um, okay, so another topic that you mentioned that I wanted to touch on is staffing, and recruiting. And, you know, as you scale that seems to be one of the biggest challenges is finding the right people have the right composition of your team, the last thing you want is to bring the wrong people on board and sort of like poison, you know, the rest of the team or something like that, like you just want to have that good team chemistry. So in a, you know, market that I think everywhere, there’s a little bit of a labor shortage right now. And, you know, I don’t know how many young audiologists are aspiring to even work in a private practice, like that could be a challenge that you’re running into. So I’m just curious, like, what has that portion of your clinic and scaling the clinics been? Like? What has it been a challenge? Or have you found it to be pretty? You guys have done well with it,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 36:07
we have done well. But it’s becoming more of a challenge. So in the past, we would get two to three good candidates. And they do very well. Now we’ll get two to three good candidates, but you have to look at how they’re going to fit with the culture. And it can be a little bit more of a challenging situation. And because there aren’t a lot of audiologists available right now. And you don’t want to be too picky. But you have core traits that you’re going to look for, and you really need to stay with them as much as possible. To grow correctly. So we communicate with our why on our, our job postings right off the bat, right. So we want to make sure that they know exactly what they’re signing up for ahead of time. And then we we meet in teams, because we’re a team oriented, we’re a we’re a team, not a me team. And so we have multiple visits with the person we’re trying to hire. And most of the time it works out. There are definitely times where, you know, I was driving three hours, each way to a clinic to cover it, because we didn’t have a provider for a year and a half. And that was not fun. But it gave me a lot of opportunities to listen to books.
Dave Kemp 37:26
I was gonna say, I bet you could like knock out a whole bunch of books that way.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 37:29
Yeah, yeah. And since then, I mean, we hired like, 15 people in 15 months, it was crazy in the last couple of years, but now things are getting a little bit harder to find good people that fit the culture the way we want them to be. And not to say that there aren’t really good people out there that just may not fit exactly what we’re looking for. So it gets a little bit harder to find that right person. So that’s, I’ll keep working at it, though.
Dave Kemp 37:58
Yeah. So that’s on the recruiting new people, how do you maintain that good team chemistry that you all seem to have in spades,
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 38:07
I would say the biggest part of our success is employee engagement. Keeping our team excited, we’re very transparent, and where our numbers are, where our company is going. We’re setting goals individually, as a team. We work together, we have multiple meetings, so we’re communicating. And we’re also trying to have fun every once in a while. So you know, we’ll we’ll take our team and go to a baseball game, we’ll we’ll go. I took them to Miami last year for Christmas Day. Out on a short notice, they didn’t know where we were going. And three days before we left, and we had a great time. And we came back ready, energized, ready to rock and roll again. So you know, as we continue to grow, I can’t say that I’ll always be able to travel and take my team to far off places and the beach for when it’s wintertime. But we try to do our best to show that they’re valued, and that they get to make a difference in the world when they work for Audiology concepts.
Dave Kemp 39:13
I love it. And what is audiology concepts? Why?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 39:18
It’s to provide a high level of care. I gotta read it to you because it’s a little bit long, but I think it’s really good.
Dave Kemp 39:25
I’m curious. Anybody that’s like a big Simon Sinek fan. I feel like has kind of done the exercise. So I’m always curious to hear, you know, what your what you came out of it with?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 39:36
I used to have it memorized. But it was in 2019 and April when we first had three extra clinics. We we watched that video of Simon Sinek doing his TED talk on the Y and then we sat down for about two hours to kind of develop this but it’s we believe in helping each other to be better, to live fuller and to hear more. Our knowledgeable team to live was the best experience in hearing health care. And through our individualized approach that combines cutting edge practices, with the latest technologies, we keep you connected. So that’s our why that’s what we’ve developed as a team, we’ve, I’ve gone over multiple times asking do we need to redevelop it, we’ve added more people, we’ve got new people. And so far, everybody still believes that that’s what it should be. So we stay with that.
Dave Kemp 40:27
That’s awesome. I absolutely love that set of clothes here. You know, what does the next year look like? You know, as we head into 2023? What are the goals of audiology concepts? What are your personal goals, I’m sure you’re going to be ramping up your involvement with ADA, as you know, you become the president elect, working with Don. So what’s 2023 look like for you and your practice?
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 40:52
I think we’re going to be trying to figure out how we can use our abilities to help our current patients better. And we we need to operate at the scope of the highest level scope of our practice. And that includes, you know, more cognition, the communication needs assessment, more assessments, and it’s starting to add more technicians to be able to support our providers better. So we’ll be working on plans to achieve that a little bit better. If an opportunity arises to you know, add another location, we’ll definitely be entertaining it. But I think our primary goal is to, you know, we just moved our our main office, and that was a fairly big expense, and then added two more locations. So this year has been a spending year. So next year, maybe more of a recouping some of our expenses, as well. But I, I’ve been, I’m currently the president of Minnesota Academy of ideology as well. So I’ll be going into past presidency in 2023, and being able to mentor our new president in that role. And I just look forward to also providing any support I can for our profession, legislatively, and, and spend time at Capitol Hill if I need to. So that’s fantastic.
Dave Kemp 42:10
Well, Jason, thank you so much, I’m really glad that we had a chance to do this your practices, I think, just a really cool example of, you know, how this can kind of unfold, and I feel like you’ve come at it with such a, you know, just a well thought out way. I mean, just from everything on the leadership and personal development side of things. And I feel like that’s you really embodied by your practice, you know, I think the only way that you can be successful in scaling your business, the way that you have is to look inward and make sure that you guys are a sound team. Because I feel like that could lead to a road to that you don’t want to go down.
Jason Leyendecker, AuD 42:52
Well, and there’s no doubt I have to thank my team for a majority of that, you know, I tried to keep it going and be that leader for them. But they all work their tails off. And I really appreciate how much work that they do. And, you know, all my mastermind groups, things like that, that I’ve been in that they’ve given me a lot of skills to be able to support them. So it’s not all me in this process. But thank you for that. And I really look forward to seeing what you have for the next 1000 more.
Dave Kemp 43:25
Yeah, I’ll get right on it. Well, thanks so much, Jason. I appreciate it. Thanks for everybody who tuned in here to the end, and we’ll chat with you next time. Cheers.