C-Suite Partners

Cole Sirucek Part 2 -
Co-Founder & CEO - DocDoc Pte. Ltd.

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Intro  0:13  
Many aspire to reach the upper echelon of the healthcare industry, but few are able to successfully navigate the corporate ladder. As Asia becomes the world epicenter of the healthcare industry, C-Suite Partners sits down with international healthcare executives asking the tough questions and unpacking the personalities of the top industry leaders.

Welcome to the boardroom.

Michael Murray  0:44  
What’s the biggest challenge going from the commercial/corporate world? What was the biggest every punch in the face that you will were like

Cole Sirucek  0:54
That I knew nothing. Okay, that I knew nothing. That was the biggest one. Yeah, the most humbling part of my life was that how much more Okay, so. So you don’t start a company because it’s an easier way to make money. And there are these super atypical success stories of guy finds company, perfect product-market fit day one, it all takes off, makes a giant dump truck of money in three years sells the company. So the hardest part is having the humility to realise hey, I mean, there I was doing billion-dollar financial deals and I had an army of people around me supporting me, lawyers, accountants, people doing everything for me, you have to build all of that from scratch, and you have no idea how to do any of it. I mean, financial controller, no idea how to do that and that was the hardest part was the realisation that you had to learn it all. But the reality is, is that most executives and big companies don’t really know that much about the businesses in which they operate. 

Michael Murray  1:52
It’s true

Cole Sirucek  1:53
I mean, when you really dig in, I’ve been enamoured, my a look into several of our channel partners and prospective channel partners, when I’ve really got in the weeds with them. There aren’t a lot of people in the executive level that understand their workflows. And, and, and it all derives from workflow. So you start out realizing you know, nothing. And then, as an executive with an executive, you’re still a smart person. And you still have a lot of education, you understand how to structure things, you understand how to break big problems into small problems. And then you realize you have an advantage. It’s called beginner’s mind. You can look at the problem as an intelligent human, without everyone else’s dogma. And then you start building workflow from first principle. And then everybody starts seeing it and they start saying, Wow, that’s innovative. Yes. Wow, that’s different. How did you know what it wasn’t about knowing it was about having the courage to start and the tenacity to keep going. That’s
the real trick. 

Michael Murray  2:58
Your lowest moment that you’ve had so far as an entrepreneur? Was there was a deal? Yeah.

Cole Sirucek  3:02  
So So yeah. So there’s a fundamental lack of integrity in the world. People basically don’t do what they say they’re gonna do. And that adds a lot of ins of needless instability. So the ideas in building entrepreneurial ventures you want to build as solid and steady and nimble an organisation as you can. And then you want to be letting uncertainty in, in one or two areas. So I know there’s market uncertainty, I can’t control that. But everything else is solid. I know there’s fundraising uncertainty. But I can’t control that just yet. But everything else is solid. What happens is, is when you think you have something nailed down, and then, and people have said they’re gonna do it, they’ve done a handshake on it. You’re depending on it, and then they just don’t do it. And then they just ghost you. Yeah. And the first time that happened, I thought, Oh, that’s, you know, wow, I’m unlucky. And the second time it happened, I started getting into the victim psychology element. Yes. Wow. I’m a victim here. And then I had to kind of snap out of and go, Wait a minute. And I went to this, this really great event called the founders forum, okay. And I started meeting other founders and we started comparing stories, and then I realised my exam, my journey isn’t typical, it’s the rule. People basically don’t do what they say they’re gonna do. You basically cannot believe them. Because it’s not that they always won’t do it. It’s that they won’t do it in a high enough probability that if you don’t have backups on your backups, then you’re are taking a lot of risk in this situation.

Michael Murray  4:35  
What about the people that you’re bringing into the business because you’ve worked? He’s talking about billion-dollar deals, you just ran by an army. What are you looking for? For the staff that you bring onto the team?

Cole Sirucek 4:47  
We only need two types of people, world-class experts in a particular domain, and super young people that are willing to chew through two by fours. They’re smart, right? So they’re untrained but they’re smart. And they have a college education and they’re wickedly smart in that, as they know how to structure arguments, they have writing skills, things like that. You can train them. And then real class experts that can train best practice, mid-level management is a disaster. It’s a disaster because they end up filtering information that stops innovation, they end up filtering risks, and they end up locally optimising. Right? They’re trying to protect their role and most people that are in the mid-level, the reason they’re mid-level managers is because they weren’t that good. And I hate to say that, but you will you don’t want a company that doesn’t have good people. You got to get rid of systematically weed out the people that aren’t good. Now, how do you find an executive? That’s interesting one. We think there’s three levels of knowledge. There’s never seen it done, never done it. Right. So now they’re going to invent everything on their own, seen and done, but never done it. Those people at least have a mental roadmap of best practice. They can acquire knowledge from third party sources from a bit of a network, they can kind of stumble through it. And then there’s seen it done, done it. And so whenever you’re hiring an executive, the key is you have to say, What are you hiring them for? What exactly is the role that they’re going to bring in and what do they have? There’s one exception to that. Occasionally, we hired just truly brilliant young people. Like we have hired, we’ve had made a couple of hires where the person was like six out of the India National test, you know that they make everybody in their class, and the person gets like six out of, you know, 2 million people. And they’re just so bright, that you just want them around the table when you throw ideas because they’re coming at it from fresh principles. But basically, we hire experts that have got deep domain expertise, in the specific problem we’re trying to solve.

Michael Murray  6:50  
Tell me about your worst hire you’ve ever made.

Cole Sirucek  6:53  
Success and failure is a pattern. And people that tend to be really high quality will have been high quality. early in their career, they’ll have been high-quality middle through their career. Of course, they’ll have ups and downs but there’s a consistent pattern of progressive achievement. If that’s not there, there’s a problem. And so I hired one executive in particular, that had him was incredibly smooth and had a ton of perceived what I thought was wisdom and a ton of experience. But everything this person did, it failed. And I just don’t mean entrepreneurial, when you dig into it a ways. We realize there was no, there was no thorough vetting processes along the way. And the net result was a tremendous amount of drama and finger-pointing. Everything was always somebody else’s problem was never their problem. And so bringing victims into your company is disastrous. That’s the single when you recognize psychologically that this person is a victim, run. right. Don’t walk run everything else that they do, cannot overcome that fact. 

Michael Murray  8:06
On that note, thank you very much for spending C-Suite Partners in the boardroom. 

Cole Sirucek  8:10
Thank you

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