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7 Questions with Kyle Koeppler
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7 Questions with Kyle Koeppler
Name: Kyle Koeppler
Current title: CEO
Current organisation: CIAN Diagnostics
Kyle is a seasoned turnaround specialist and accomplished executive with more than 20 years experience in expanding existing business platforms. Over the last 7 years, Kyle has owned and operated several medical and clinical diagnostic companies, has been a featured speaker for the American College of Healthcare Executives, and drove his last organization to be recognized as one of the Top Ten Genetic Consulting/Service Companies of 2020. He has a strong business acumen, providing insight into current and future medical industry trends among Diagnostic, Medical Technology, and Laboratory space.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I'm not sure if I'd find this the most challenging, or the most exciting, it's identifying ways to increase corporate culture to the highest level of engagement amongst the generational differences within the organization. And how to obtain that level of engagement through technology, when technology proficiency can be a challenge due to the generational differences. The way we tackle this opportunity is by blending our perspective of our workforce into strategic and tactical directions. This focus helps us put the right people in the right places for them to succeed, benefiting the company as a whole.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
The journey to become a CEO was more of a quest to learn more about myself, how I could become a better asset to the organization, knowing my space intimately, always being a student, and having the goal of uplifting all around me so our team would be unified, focused, and driven to overcome present and future challenges in our space.
I started out in Sales, and was successful in that role by being strategic, inquisitive, and thirsty for excellence. However, I found that role to be only a portion of what really occurred in the organizations and needed to learn more, how could I become better, so I backfilled my natural strategic focus by continuing my education and earning my MBA. Armed with these new learnings, I created opportunities by working hard and seeking them out, leading to a role as a COO. That role was all encompassing, involving more 7 day work weeks than not, growing an organization by blending talents and tools, with the support of a great team. Through that success, it led to leadership roles and more opportunities.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I feel a holistic approach is the only way I can successfully lead the people who entrust me with their livelihood, a balance of work, health, and family. I wake up at 5:20am Monday through Friday to visit the gym, get to the office by 7:30am, generally work until 6:30 or 7pm (some days 9 or 10pm), then spend time with the family until it's time to retire for the evening (I do my best to get 7 hours of sleep). On Saturdays I will do business building calls, some operational calls if needed, board meetings, but generally shut those down by early afternoon. Sundays are spent with my family, honoring all that we have together
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Being the CEO of a large diagnostic laboratory during this pandemic, shuffling resources internally to pivot to COVID testing while growing a staff from 70 to over 200 in a matter of weeks, there is one lesson that really stands out amongst the others; the importance to have an engaged core management team cross-trained amongst several departments. To always maintain transparency within the organization on direction, focus, strengths, opportunities, and to empower your people to own challenges, allow them to risk making mistakes in order to turn them into lessons themselves. Lastly, to never miss an opportunity to be a guide and provide a coaching event, and also to have the open-mindedness to be on the receiving end.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
multipliers by Liz Wiseman
This book brought to light different strategies on uplifting the workforce around you to become better than they are. As I work daily within and on the organization, having the insight from someone with such extensive knowledge on the subject is always a great reset, reminder, and refresher.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
It all starts with your leaders clearly understanding the overall objective of the mission they are to embark upon, and how that fits within the overall mission of the organization. By having that established foundation, you can now empower them, delegating tasks where you know your leaders will succeed by understanding their talents. It's important to put together specific and measurable objectives that you review together. Most importantly, to make this relationship collaborative and supportive.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
I was new in my role as CEO at a new organization, working and learning the people within the company. Throughout COVID, our organization was growing exponentially, going from 10,000 samples per week to 70,000/wk overnight. There was a young person who had a position in Lab IT Tech Support, every time we had a growing pain (which was hourly) this person was always eager to roll up their sleeves and lend a hand. I pulled this individual into my office and learned they spent 4 years serving in this support role, and that there was a lot of untapped potential. I started one on one meetings, teaching the philosophy and strategy behind the organization, giving the 'why'. We started empowering this individual, stretching their role and providing leadership opportunities, promoting to an operational position. As of today, we've successfully taken someone from a remote position without any leadership opportunities, to successfully operating 3 departments with 32 people.