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‘Change Starts With Me,’ Says Guidewell President And CEO Pat Geraghty

Pat Geraghty Headshot
Photo Courtesy of Pat Geraghty
In this edition of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, Guidewell President and CEO Pat Geraghty discusses his remarkable success as a catalyst for organizational change—starting at the top.

On his first day in the office at GuideWell, before he even interviewed the vice presidents who reported to him, Pat Geraghty dropped into the company’s customer service department, put on a headset and listened to customer service calls. That simple act changed the culture of the organization into one that makes listening to what customers are saying a part of every leader’s responsibility at the company.

While some leaders demand that change start at the bottom—”we are going to make these changes, and they are going to start down there“—Geraghty believes leaders ought to be the catalyst for change, so he starts up here

“If you want people to change, you have to change,” he says in the podcast. “Change has to come and be demonstrated by the top of the organization. I wanted to hear what our customers were saying. I also wanted to see how our frontline was handling the customer. By beginning change at the top, it set the framework that there was a new man coming, things were going to be different, so don’t be surprised.”

Under Geraghty’s leadership, GuideWell, whose family of companies includes Florida Blue and Triple-S Management, has moved to the forefront of healthcare transformation, serving more than 38.5 million people across the U.S., Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. And it has done so while achieving notable accolades for being an exceptional place to work and receiving praise for its commitment to diversity and employee satisfaction.

A former football player at Colgate University, Geraghty has developed impressive coaching skills and excels as a motivator and strategic thinker. Listeners will enjoy his insights about motivation and quickly assessing what makes individuals and teams click, including lessons such as these:

  • How to be the leader each member of your team needs rather than a one size fits all leader.
  • Why organizational success should never come down to a single-point of success or failure.
  • How to model calm presence and total responsibility to your team when these qualities are needed most.

“In the moment, you cannot be a defeated individual, especially if you’re in a leadership position,” cautioned Geraghty. Employees look to leaders for how they are reacting to any difficult moment, and if you’re throwing your hands in the air or acting like you just want to throw in the towel, your team will react to those things. The key, offered Geraghty, is to focus the organization’s collective brainpower and problem-solving potential: “How do you use all your assets and resources to make sure that everybody who can contribute to the result has a voice in helping craft the answer?” 

Check out more episodes of Corporate Competitor Podcast with guests including Deion “Coach Prime” Sanders, MasterClass CEO David Rogier, and Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian.


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