My Big Break at Patientco
By Brendon Grant
When interviewing at Patientco I asked about how parts of the Core Values like “Make it Memorable” and “Improve Each and Every Day” could be seen at Patientco. My awesome recruiter, Matt, explained how the company had recently rebooted the Town Hall meetings with a talk show-style format called “Patientco Live.”
In the new format company leadership, project managers and other people involved in big initiatives are invited as guests. Each “guest” talks about an operations goal or process, and provides their updates with the host in an interview format. After watching an episode or two of Patientco Live I decided I would challenge myself, so I volunteered to host.
What goes into a Patientco Live episode?
Each host goes through the same prep session. A few weeks before the episode I met with each of the guests to go over what the guest will talk about. To add some levity, just like most talk shows each segment ends with a “gag” bit. To showcase my natural wackiness, the gags for this show were bizarre and so much fun to be a part of. I am honored because I now get to share stories like “Bird and I put on Bob Ross wigs, and painted our interpretation of our mission and vision.”
The next part of the preparation was probably the hardest for me. After reviewing the deck for the presentation and any scripting notes from the prep meetings, it was time for me to start writing my monologue and any transition jokes I wanted to make. Many of the jokes also served as cues for music or guests to come up on stage, so they had to be something that I could stick with.
Time for My Big Break
We went through so much preparation that I thought I could handle anything that came my way. I was involved in theater in high school, and have spoken in front of the company before at our Monday morning meetings, so I assumed that I had it in the bag. My walk-on music played, and I walked to my mark and I panicked! I had already forgotten my monologue (and that I had a copy of it in my pocket, just in case). In my panic, I also wasn’t sure what to do with my hands, my arms, or really any part of me. Since my walk-on music was still playing, I figured I would make use of it and just started dancing. I made use of the dancing time and tried to remember as much of my monologue as I could. I’m hoping everyone watching couldn’t tell that it was a last-minute panic.
Finally, the moment all of my prep has led to, time to interview guests. After the first guest came on stage, there was a huge sense of relief. While I needed to listen to the guest, I also needed to simultaneously read the room. While each guest is there to tell their story and provide their update, it isn’t effective if I don’t lead the conversation and make sure that everyone is following us. The improv skills I learned in high school theater popped into action and were incredibly helpful. Not only was it helpful when a guest would catch me off guard with a question, like when I was asked what color fur a polar bear has. (In case you’re ever on Jeopardy and are asked, the answer is clear) It also helped when it was time for our fun segments.
A Rite of Passage
If I was asked to sum up Patientco in an experience, this would be the perfect illustration. If you want to try something, you are encouraged to. There is always a great team around to help you, from those who have done it before to those who have done something similar. Even if you’re scared and start panic-dancing, you keep going. Because that moment of panic and how you respond to it, is how you really make it memorable. Finally, even if you panic and fall on your face, it’s ok. The falls are where we know what we need to improve.