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The pace of change is more accelerated now than ever in the health care industry, requiring specialized skills from leaders who have to manage – and excel – through those conditions. Florida Blue
is fortunate to have women leaders like Joyce Kramzer as Senior Vice President of Business Operations to translate what those market forces mean to everyone from front line service advocates to senior-level staff. As much as Joyce’s business acumen is paramount to her leadership role, we discovered that her heart plays an equally important part.
Open, candid conversations are a hallmark of Joyce’s leadership style, but so to is her equal treatment of every level of employee in her 4,000-strong division. Joyce delights in the hugs she gets from employees as she walks across campus, something she attributes to her belief that every leader is best when they bring their true “self” to their role.
Joyce highlights three traits she believes all leaders, women and men, should hone as they evolve in their careers:
1. Practice your presentation skills, something Joyce laments is not a natural skill but over time, and with the help of her “kitchen cabinet,” she’s developed within herself.
2. Know how to build relationships that result in both collaboration opportunities and the ability to influence a decision or outcome. Never try to go it alone, and use a defensible position (not a personal agenda) to argue a point.
3. Don’t be afraid to bring your emotional senses to the job: being human makes people know that you care about them personally, not just the business matter at hand.
Be sure to listen to Joyce’s full interview for more salient advice on how to be a leader at whatever level you currently inhabit. You might identify with how Joyce took a tremendous leap of faith in her career, or how she wishes she could tell her younger self “not to sweat the small stuff.” We’d love to know how this or our other Women in Leadership podcasts
resonates with you! Leave us a comment below.
Joyce's photo courtesy of Tina Higgins. The complete transcript of the audio recording starts here:
Welcome to Florida Blue radio, where we explore health care topics important to you. Whether you own a business, are a health practitioner, or are an individual interested in how health care is evolving, experts across Florida Blue will keep you in the know. In today's session, we continue our women in leadership series with Joyce Kramzer, Florida Blue's senior vice president of business operations. As one of the company's longest standing women executives, Joyce shares how she's seen leadership evolve to embrace more feminine qualities, plus what three skills she thinks all leaders should master. Our host is Kate Warnock, social business strategist at Florida Blue. Now, here's Kate.
I'm here today with Joyce Kramzer, and Joyce is our senior vice president of business operations for Florida Blue. And she has graciously agreed to sit with us and share some of her experiences as being one of the longest standing senior executives at Florida Blue who happens also be a woman. I would like to begin, Joyce, today with a question about can you tell us a bit about your journey to and within Florida Blue?
Certainly, well, first of all, it's a pleasure to be here and to share some of my experiences. So I joined the company in 1997. And I joined as heading up the underwriting operation. So I spent a few years doing that. And I then moved onto a role which was a general manager role when we were organized a little bit differently. I headed up a business unit in the northern part of the state.
And then I moved on to manage the delivery system. And delivery system is everything that has to do with our providers, so our network contracting, our network operations, the clinical staff, and that was a huge learning experience for me. It's the first time I ever managed clinical staff in my life. And then about five years ago, those duties were expanded to include not only delivery system, but IT and claims and customer service.
So you really have journeyed all across the enterprise, in other words.
I have. I've been incredibly fortunate, because it's been a tremendous learning for me and it's given me, I think, a very great business acumen, broad experiences, and it's been a great experience.
So obviously, the perfect experience to have to now be in this role of business operations lead. I would like to know, how has that journey helped to prepare you with this role? You currently have approximately, I have written down here, 5,000 employees in your division.
Slightly less than that, about 4,000, but a large staff.
Right, so with that broad experience, how has that translated into you being able to lead this division?
I think every one of those opportunities that I've had at Florida Blue and my life at Cigna before that has really given me experiences that help in today's environment. First of all, as I mentioned, I have a very broad business background. So I've dealt with customers, had a lot of experiences with members, certainly with our providers, so that engagement has helped me really, I think, understand the business from those critical perspectives.
I've also learned, and this is one of the greatest learnings I've had, especially when I led delivery system, it really tested my management skills because I did not have the subject matter expertise. I had to be incredibly dependent on the staff that I managed that I had to learn how to manage very well. And so that was a very different experience. Before that, I can always managed areas which I really knew deeply and had subject matter expertise. But that was a real lessons learned for me and I think it helped my growth tremendously.
I think the other thing, as you gather and get more responsibilities in larger organizations, it really teaches you that you've got to have an incredible staff and it teaches you how to bring people to the forefront. You've got to be able to manage well. You've got to bring the best people to the team that you can. You have to learn how to really challenge each other, create an environment that people can be candid, challenge each other, and I think all of those things have really helped me in the position I am today.
Such a great lead in. I'm going to jump around on these questions that I had laid out because you just teed up one for me. Again, in this executive position that you've held and with this various staff that you have managed, can you tell us have you seen different leadership traits be emphasized now under our current leadership than perhaps were in the past? So to that, you reference that you were willing to be vulnerable really when it came to managing your delivery system side in that you did not have the background on delivery side. You really had to lean on your staff to bring you along that curve.
We had that conversation with Elana Schrader. She had that same exact experience when she led product. So that vulnerability where people still recognize you as the manager and as the decision maker, yet they understood that you didn't have the depth of knowledge in that particular division, that might be a trait that in the past you may not have been willing to exhibit. So in that sense, are there other traits that you've become aware of that are more at the forefront?
Absolutely. We're going through tremendous change as an industry, certainly as a company, and so I think change management skills, the ability to lead an organization through times of incredible change, is a trait that is more important now than ever. So 10 years ago, we may have spoken about it, but we were not living it because the times that we were living in, we just did not have the level of change that we have today. So clearly, I think being able to manage and lead through change is a trait that is incredibly important.
I would also say maybe to piggyback on the last comment about leading in delivery system when I didn't have the subject matter expertise, you've got to be able to take risks and you've got to open yourself up to some of the things that you are going to be vulnerable. And so I think being a risk taker, they've going to be calculated risks certainly, but I think you've got to be open and willing to take risks.
And the other trait that I think is, more than ever, we are focused on execution. It's in times of great change where it's not only changing, but the pace of change is so rapid more than any other time in, I think, the history of health care. You've got to be really making certain that you are able to lead your teams through executions so that they can execute well, that we can execute on time, that we meet the needs of the marketplace.
Right. So what you're suggesting is you have to have that laser focus and make sure that you know what to tell your team to focus on as this disruption's happening in the marketplace. Can you tell us how do you address the softer side of what that change is going to result for your division? So people are sometimes worried about their positions or they don't understand how does my current skill set translate to a future need. How do you then help to bring along your staff so that they know how to tackle that change in a way that isn't just we need to be result oriented, but you're equipping them with skills to manage through that change too.
I think the most important thing is communication. I've always been such an advocate of communication. Throughout my entire career here, I've participated whether we call them two-way communication sessions or the staff meetings or just let's chat sessions. I do those routinely. And I think it's important to make certain that people understand, first of all, the need for change and why the change is there, and then to ensure that they understand what that means, not only for our members and our providers and our customers, but also what it means to them. So I think it's important just to share that out.
I think it's also important for them to hear that look, we all have a little fear and trepidation about some of this stuff. So I think they've got to understand that everybody has some vulnerabilities. We're all going to take some risks. So I think it's really important to be able to share that out with them.
I think it's important to give examples of folks who have been in one area of this company, who had strong skill sets, but that they have mastered other skills and moved on to rotational assignments within the company. And I think when they see that happening at all levels within the organization, not just at a vice president level, that they see people moving into different jobs and being incredibly successful in those new positions, I think they feel comfortable and hey, I can do that too.
That's one thing. I've worked at Florida Blue for a number of years, back when it was Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida too. And I think the nice thing about this company-- your own career is testimony to that-- you can really involved in so many different ways within this company, because it represents many different opportunities. So even if folks are comfortable and they feel like they have that master in that one area, I think you opening the door and looking back to your own experience and saying listen, I went from underwriting to deliver to where I am now really gives people another way to look at things.
Great response. So I think too, you mention obviously the dynamic change in the marketplace. What is it that you see as the biggest challenge right now in the marketplace and how are you personally working to address some of those challenges by providing solutions?
I think our biggest challenge in health care continues to be affordability. So even with the Affordable Care Act and reform and everything that is going on with that, there are still a significant number of folks that are uninsured, that are under insured, and even those folks who have coverage, some folks simply can't afford the out of pocket costs. So to me, it's all about affordability. I think we just need to ensure that we have products and services that meet those needs in the marketplace.
In these communication sessions with employees, I try to help them to understand at a deeper level what our customers are facing in the way of rate increases, in the fact of when we see out of pocket cost, how high deductible plans and out of pocket costs are growing, and how we really have to focus on making certain that we can do things as effectively and efficiently as possible so that we can do it in the least expensive way and that we pass on any of those savings to our members.
The same thing happens not only the administrative expenses, but in our medical costs. I get questions about why do we put some of these programs in place, because some of them maybe a little bit administratively burdensome to our members. Our employees who pay claims and who are doing the enrollment and billing, it causes them to do a few other steps in the process. I think it's really important for them to understand the whys behind everything we do.
So when we have those programs in place, those savings go not to our bottom line from a profit standpoint, we put those savings in the rates that we put out in the marketplace. And so this year, we're expecting to achieve about over $100 million in medical cost savings. That will help the rates that we have to charge folks going forward. So I think it's important that everybody have a really deep and clear understanding of how we can help members get to more affordable prices.
I really appreciate that you address that, because I think that there's a misperception that cost savings to the company means that we pocket the difference. And clearly that's not the case. That's not why we're in this business. So thank you for shining a light on that. Let's get back to your team and the fact that you manage only 4,000 people. And you have a staff of seven, is that correct?
How do you engender synergy? Again, you have many, many accountabilities in your current role. What is it that you do outside of communication? You certainly addressed that. How is it that you bring about that sense of team so that you really can accomplish all those goals that you have?
One of the body of work that we did last year and refreshed it earlier this year as a team is really to have a common vision. So what does business operations mean? What are the visions and the goals? And it sounds like it would be fairly easy to do. It took us hours to actually get agreement on what is our focus as a business operation team, because the team is so different. We've got an IT and now we have an analytics. Allen Nadeau just joined the corporation to head up analytics. And we've got claim and customer service.
So we really spent considerable amount of time saying what's the vision, what are the goals and the objectives? So what are we striving to do as a team? And once we got our hands around that, every time that we talk and we go through some of the processes that we go through, we test that to say are we doing the right thing to really enable the strategy of Florida Blue and making certain that we're doing the work that allows the company to meet its goals. So that has been helpful.
I think the other item that we do is I hope I've set an environment that people feel really comfortable being incredibly candid with each other, that we share our thoughts and feelings, and that we really work in the team to reach agreement on things. So if somebody doesn't agree with an approach that somebody in network is doing, we're going to move to a narrow network and Kirk Fischer is going to share that out, Camille Harrison may be saying, do you understand the ramifications to the members and do you understand the work that's going to be?
I encourage those kinds of conversations and I think those open and candid conversations help gain alignment. We may not always be 100 percent in the same place, but we're always going to walk out of that room and support each other. So I think that's incredibly strong.
The other thing that we do is we have not only individual goals and obviously goals for the company, we also have goals for the business operations team. So getting everybody to look at a common set of goals I think is also another area that really helps us in alignment.
So it really helps you to know what to say no to and what to really focus on.
Absolutely. We have some lively staff meetings. But you know the outcome of that is we walk out of there with, I think, very strong alignment and we're very supportive of each other to ensure that the goals are going to be met. So in our team, I'm incredibly proud that folks don't just go down their set of goals. They actually will talk across the entire business operation area.
Which is really smart and you would think would be obvious. But it doesn't always play out that way, does it?
This is a little bit off our topic, but do you think that that approach cascades down to all leaders, all levels of leadership within your organization? That's really maybe a different approach-- to trust in other people, have the right to say what they're thinking, and make sure that they're collaborating in an effective way. How do you engender that all the way down to your front line staff?
I think we certainly encourage that it happens. But in all candidness, I don't think it happens everywhere. You've got to be comfortable that when you have that kind of an environment and you have those candid conversations, it's not the easiest way to manage sometimes. But I don't think that it exists to the degree that it needs to. I think as Rene Lere has come on and he's actually set a tone also of making certain that we're having these candid conversations, that we are aligned as a group, he reinforces that. So I think it's now starting at his level. And hopefully it will continue to cascade down.
Sometimes it just takes some managers. It's, to me, a little bit of a maturation process. You've got to feel comfortable as a manager, you got to feel comfortable as a leader, and sometimes you're going to have folks in your staff who are going to want you to be the deciding vote. And I generally shy away from that. If I have to make the decision, I'm more than happy to do it. I like to let that group come together and make that decision. And so that's sometimes just, to me, a pure learning experience.
I think the value of that though, obviously, if people feel like they're part of it, and from front line staff to your mid-level manager, if they have ownership of the outcome of a decision, then you just get that much more power behind them enacting it.
Absolutely. And I think they feel confident in carrying out the bodies of work necessary to meet those goals, because they have been a critical part of that work effort. They own it.
Exactly. Ownership means so much.
It really does. And everyone might have their own perspective from doing the work on how something could be done differently or how it might impact someone else. So I understand from talking to some other people that you have mentored many, many individuals within this organization. I was wondering what is the most unexpected advice that you have ever shared with any of your mentees?
Unexpected advice. I think some of them are surprised when I say I think everybody needs to be themselves. So sometimes when I mentor, especially folks who have less experience-- I'll say they are absolutely younger than me, but I'm going to say less experienced-- sometimes they look around at others and they try to emulate the style or the approach. They think they have to do things differently from their personality. And I really try to encourage everybody.
There are things that you want to do to make certain that you're a good manager and you're a good leader, how do you work well with others. But you really need to be yourself. We are all very different, we have our own personality, our own style and approach, and sometimes what works for one person simply doesn't work for another. So I've probably gotten more feedback from individuals I mentor when I say that. They say that surprises them.
Because I thought leadership was one way or the other.
Or they look around, and it's one thing I think to try to emulate a style of somebody that you've seen has been successful. It may work for you or it may not. And I think when they read a lot of the books on leadership and whatever and they try to, I think, take advantage of many of the qualities that are being shown, that's great. But I think your heart and soul is yourself.
But I think the second thing that I really try to get across and some folks are surprised by it is the heart plays a big role in the whole leadership piece. You've got to make certain that there's a strong focus on the work and execution on the work, but you've got to really develop a strong report within the organization, with your employees, with outside constituents. And it's OK to show those emotions. Also, I think, people come back and say, well, I'm surprised by that.
So what would you say for yourself? If you're bringing your complete self to work-- and as a leader, obviously so many people look to you for how to be a leader-- what is unique about you that you think you bring to this role that really affects how you lead your team?
I would hope people would say that I'm easily accessible, that they feel at any level in this organization they can come in and talk with me and feel very comfortable, because I've got individuals in my organization who go from physicians down to the front line staff who answer the phone. I want to treat them all fairly and equally. And I want them to feel incredibly comfortable with me.
So some of the feedback that I feel best about is, when I'm walking the campus from one building to the other, that a lot of people will come up and speak to me and I get a lot of hugs. And I love that, because I think I want to be viewed as incredibly effective in getting the work done, I want to be viewed as incredibly approachable, and I want to be viewed as I really understand the issues and concerns at all levels within the organization.
I think that probably speak so well that someone's willing to hug you. Not only does that mean they know who you are, and sometimes you have the folks who tend to stay on the top floor, but just that familiarity, I think, people like to feel like they're part of something.
They're a part of something and that they feel comfortable and they can look at senior leaders and they feel that they can have an open and honest conversation with them as well. And that's what I want to encourage in environment. And I hope that people see me that way and I encourage my team to do the same.
So Joyce, you are I think the fourth female executive that we have spoken to. And I will say that is a very, very common trait so far from all of these interviews is that our women leaders really view themselves as accessible. And I just anecdotally could say that they are, but that they want to foster that sense of you talk to me about anything sort of thing. So it takes me to my next question then. Do you think that there are specific traits that you would expect a woman leader to have or recommend that there's an area of yourself that you would want to develop to be a female leader and be successful? And would those traits be different from what you would say to a man?
I don't know that the traits that I would recommend or suggestion to a female would be much different from a man. I just think that there are probably areas of focus where at times females may not be asked to participate in certain things as frequently as men. So I would say you really want to hone your presentation skills, because there's so much going on both inside our company and in the community.
And I think it's incredibly positive if you're asked to participate, whether it's a panel discussion or to do a 15-minute spiel on what's going on within Florida Blue and what's happening in the marketplace. I think you want to hone your presentation skills. And I would say that to both males and females. I think at times some of the females are maybe not invited so frequently to do that. So I think you want to do it well and make yourself known about that.
Another trait that I think you want to be able to do, and I think females do this incredibly well, and I say to the guys. You want to be able to really hone both you're influencing and your collaboration skills as a leader. You really want to be able to collaborate. None of this work ever gets done in a silo. Though how you do that may be different for females versus males, but I think the collaboration is incredibly important, and also being able to influence.
You're going to bring a room of 20 folks together, it is hard to get total alignment. Once again, how females may do it may differ a little bit, sometimes not. Those are some of the traits that I think are incredibly important. For the females, at times, they may be viewed a little bit differently in the how. And I think that's OK. That goes back to my point of you've got to be true to yourself. You've got to be yourself. And how you get those results may look a little bit different. And I would also say don't be afraid sometimes if the emotions show.
Well, that's a very honest answer. And again, that might be surprising to some people. But with those three skills that you suggest, how have you see those involve in yourself? I mean, were you always a polished speaker who gave wonderful presentations and could influence a room full of 50 different opinions?
I wish I could. I'm incredibly jealous of anybody who's a polished speaker. I am not. I continue to develop my presentation skills. It is not a strength to me. And that's why for anybody I mentor, I say, you know what? If I had to do it all over again, I'd start younger in doing those and get more comfortable. You also have to understand those presentations look different to a board of directors than they do if you're doing something out in the community. If I did it all over again, I'd get those skills honed much quicker.
So what did you do to hone those skills, again, because I would say you're a very polished speaker.
I don't think so, but it's not a strength for me. I'm not a natural at that. I've spent a lot of time just practicing it, and I will volunteer for things that the day before I have to do it, I'm thinking Joyce, why'd you do this? But it makes me better.
The butterflies are still there.
The butterflies are definitely there sometimes. And staying focused, it's a challenge for me sometimes on the topic. People ask me a question, I can get thrown off sometimes. But I just try to practice it more. The collaboration, the influencing, that's a lot easier for me. But I've also learned how to do some of this. And one skill that I always say to folks, whether they're folks I mentor within Florida Blue and I also mentor through the United Way, if you've got a group of people, we all sit on some type of team. So I'm a member of the leadership team.
From the day I walked in the door at Florida Blue, then Blue Cross, I've had what I call my kitchen cabinet. So I pick two or three people out of that leadership team who I know will be brutally honest with me. So you can't pick your friends who will always tell you oh, you did great, when you know in your heart you didn't. And I tell them here are my development. And I will say it's presentation skills, or I say here's what I'm working on, and when you see me in the meetings, when you see me in a presentation, will you give me honest feedback? And they do.
And I always recommend that folks do that. Because I think a way to grow is not only to have your boss give you feedback or do the 360's that we all do at times. It's really to have a couple people who see you frequently enough, who know what you're working on from a development opportunity, and to ask for feedback.
So it takes a bit of courage to do that.
It absolutely does.
But obviously you're asking people that you trust.
You have to have a trust factor. And here was a learning for me. The first time that I picked a couple folks here, two of the three were too kind to me.
Oh, too kind, not too honest.
No. The third one was brutally honest, and that was the most helpful. It was hard to hear. That's the vulnerability. That's the risk, because you ask and then you think, well, now I can't be defensive when they're giving me the feedback. The other two were just too kind. And it's great to be kind, but you don't learn from it. So I've continued that process. I've been here 17 years. So for those years, I've always continued that.
Great bit of advice though, and maybe something that's a little out of the box thinking for some people that, I think, everybody feels like they were a little bit better with their presentation skills. So what a great way to go about it. I was going to ask too, do you think as far as being able to influence people, do you find that the more you know about the topic, the more conversant you are, the easier it is to influence because you have that mastery?
I definitely think that's an advantage. I think if you have subject matter expertise, that helps, and the more that you know the topic. I also think that you've got to be fact-based when you're sharing information. So you may know the topic, but you don't want to be sitting there providing anecdotal things, because I think then it's hard if people will say is it an opinion or is it fact? So I think certainly the more that you can be fact-based and have that deep knowledge, it helps.
And I also think that developing the relationships and having some strong relationships across the organization help as you look to influence, because I think you've gained respect. When you've got the strong relationship and people respect you, they respect your opinion, they respect how you treat folks, I think they feel that as you're trying to influence, whether it's what's the next new product we're going to do or how should we set up a network or we want to make some changes in this process, I think it's much easier to do when you've got that base.
It makes sense. I mean, if you're talking person to person, if you have some other basis for your relationship other than just the facts that are on the table. And I think that's a natural. So do you yourself, do you network? Obviously, you network within the company, but to you have those opportunities outside of Florida Blue that you take up?
Absolutely. I do a lot of work within the community. I serve on a number of nonprofit boards within the community. We're going to a board meeting tonight were I'm going to use my influencing skills hopefully incredibly well, because it's all about financials as we're looking at a capital campaign. So I think in that influencing, I really try to build a network of folks within the community as well.
And it's not only just tied to the work we do at Florida Blue, I think it's tied to improving the community. And so when you have that network of individuals and you go back to try, those kinds of networks help me actually be a better person within Florida Blue, because I can practice some of the things that I do on those not-for-profit boards. And I can test out. Now nobody at that board cares what kind of influencing skills I have at Florida Blue, and I've got to develop those relationships. I've got to be fact-based.
And I think the other big thing for all of this, whether it's in the community or in the company, you want to ensure that what you're proposing is not in the best interest of Joyce Kramzer. It's for the best interest of the company, or in this case, for the best interest of the not-for-profit. And I think when you pool all those things together--
It's far more defensible, isn't it?
Absolutely. It's far more defensible.
So you're not there with Joyce's agenda.
And this isn't for the betterment of Joyce.
That's a great point. So pivot a little bit here. You've had a lot of different roles and everything and came from a pair before you came to Florida Blue. But have you ever had a time in your life where you had to take a leap of faith? And if so, can you explain what that experience as like for you?
I would tell you probably the leap of faith was coming to Blue Cross.
I was with Cigna for 17 years. It was my first job out of college and I had held a number of positions there, and actually had lived in probably seven or eight different cities. I had been transferred numerous times with Cigna, and basically thought I would end my career at Cigna.
It must have been home.
Yeah. And then one day I got a call from our former CFO and asked me to come down to talk about an underwriting opportunity at Blue Cross. And I really was not looking for a job. I had no idea about Jacksonville, Florida. Florida, to me, was either Orlando or the coast for vacation, but had never been to Jacksonville. Cigna's a for profit, Blue Cross was not. And came down, went through the process, obviously he was a much better salesperson than he gave me credit for, but it was a little bit of fear in moving.
So I'm moving to a city where I know nobody except the one person. I had no relationships within the company at all, knew that I would really have to start from scratch. At Cigna, I was in charge of underwriting these very, very large accounts. So Allied Cigna with 300,000 people and just the book of business looks so different at that company. And then I came here, and we're a small group company. And so a group of 400 people was a large group. So there was a huge change in how I had to act.
And I bet the systems were different and I bet the--
Yeah, I think I embarrassed myself. I remember I was here for about three days. And at Cigna, we had these great systems. You could just turn around on your computer and you could bring up all of the information you needed to underwrite a case. And I went out on the floor to one of the senior underwriters, and I said, I must not have the right login. And I said, I don't know how to get these reports, because somebody had called about an account. And he looked at me, and he laughed. And he said, "Here's how you get the reports." And he opened up his desk and he took out a sheet of paper. And he said, "This is the request form for a SAS report, and it takes five days."
I'll remind everyone this was a long time ago.
This was a long time ago. The gentleman who brought me here, Chris Door, I called him that night and I said, do you know what happens here? But we've come an awful long way. And I was incredibly proud after a couple years in underwriting, it looked incredibly different as well.
It's the value though, I think, of having that outside perspective to help propel along.
That was a leap of faith to me. I'm incredibly happy that I took that leap. I would tell you in all honesty, and this is what I share with people, In those first couple months, there were numerous times I thought what have I done?
You held in.
I held in and got comfortable, made changes, got involved with the company, the community, and as I said, great decision on my part.
You made a new home.
I made a new home.
For sure. Just a couple more questions for you then. You already mentioned the American Heart Association and you're a member of many boards. How do you make time for those things that you're so passionate about when this is a very big job and a very big accountability that you have? You make time for those outside community things. How do you balance all those, Joyce?
I think you just really have to have a commitment to make it happen. In my family, our parents instilled in us from a very young age about giving back to the community in a variety of ways, whether it was helping out for charitable causes or whatever. And that has been, I think, in our blood always. And to me, you just make the time. And sometimes it looks daunting and you think how can I manage all this? I think if all of us take a step back and say, if I give an hour a week, we can.
And when you see the impact of what an hour a week makes in the life of somebody, it's amazing. And that's what makes me say guess what? I can probably find an hour and a half a week sometimes. So I'm incredibly proud of the American Heart Association and Big Brothers. And I joined the Mission House. I just think we need to get back.
There is time, if you really think about how to make that time, how you operate your day, I think everybody has an hour or so to give. And to me, what motivates me, as I said, is when you see the outcomes, the results of what you give. It more than makes up for the time loss that you think, oh, I didn't have that time personally for me. I get actually energized at work.
That's wonderful. So I'm sure too you've selected these programs or these boards that really resonate with you personally. So I think Jacksonville's probably very lucky to have you here. But I'm so glad that you advocate that. If anyone's going to emulate something, I think that's a good thing to emulate. Our last question for you. If You could write a note to your younger self, what two things would you say?
The first thing I would say don't sweat the small stuff. That has been a huge learning and it's taken me a lot of years to really understand what you have to let go. You cannot do everything perfect. And when you look back and you think sometimes about how much time and energy you put into something that really wasn't worth worrying about, I would say gosh, learn how not to sweat the small stuff.
And the second piece that I would say is you have to have fun at whatever you do. You have to find a career that makes you incredibly, I think, happy. And we work very hard and I try to really balance working hard but having fun while I'm doing that work. And it took me a little while to learn that it's not only OK to have fun, I think you get a much better result. And you have to focus on the stuff that really makes you happy.
Well, happiness definitely leads to a healthier person too.
A healthier person and a more productive person.
I think it's based to what you said. You need to be true to yourself and bring your whole self to work. And if you're centered that way, then clearly you're going to be a better person at the office too. I can't thank you enough for your time today and your honest answers and all of the advice and experiences you've shared with us. So look forward to talking with you again.
Thanks so much.
You've been listening to Florida Blue radio, recorded at our Jacksonville headquarters. For notes from today's program, visit our blog at floridablue.com. Be sure to leave us a comment there with your ideas or suggestions for future programs. Until next time, here's to you in your pursuit of health.