CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Spotlight - Q&A: Ten Things a Leader Must Do When Building a Mission-Driven Company

CEO Spotlight

Q&A: Ten Things a Leader Must Do When Building a Mission-Driven Company

Seth Bogner

How impactful is a shared mission on a company board? 

Everyone, not just on HeartPoint Global’s advisory board, but all of our employees, are all attracted to the dual mission of HeartPoint Global. Our mission is to bring a minimally invasive, effective, adjustable solution to patients that have cardiovascular disease in the western world, and in the developing world, to help bring solutions to the 90+percent of the world that is underserved in cardiac care. 

At HeartPoint Global, Dr. Paul Vogt of Zurich University Hospital, who founded the EurAsia Heart Foundation, a Swiss nonprofit, is the chairman of our medical advisory board. Our board and staff greatly value Dr. Voght’s skills, and we have benefitted immensely from his expertise, deep understanding, and alignment with our passion and values. His work with them in performing cardiac surgeries and training cardiologists in developing countries has been invaluable in leading with purpose and values. At the request of governments, the EurAsia Heart Foundation educates medical personnel in these countries delivering abroad what is hardest to learn: practical knowledge, technical skills, and their implementation on the operating table as well as the intensive care unit. 

How does a business leader foster a culture of creativity and innovation? 

A team must be results-driven and fruitful. A business leader should encourage their team to create positive results for the company; if they cannot do so, they harm the team. According to Forbes, good business leaders rally their people and encourage creativity to flourish. At HeartPoint Global, we value originality and innovation and foster productive dialogue, bringing diverse perspectives and ideas to decision-making. Our team is a wonderful group of professionals. I am always amazed at the uniqueness everyone brings to the table and their enthusiasm for helping sick kids with cardiovascular disease. I’m a firm believer in hiring the most brilliant people we can find, and the fact that they all joined us because they have the same vision provides synergistic thinking and great collaboration. 

Does an entrepreneur’s potential increase after experiencing failure?   

It depends on how you embrace your failure and whether you use it as a method of correction or if it continues to be ignored. It is necessary to improve your approach to business after any experience, even if it differs from the desired outcome. I always say that an entrepreneuer is measured not by his values but by how he responds to those values. What first appears as scars can turn into new opportunities.  I have experienced many learning opportunities throughout my career, and Bloomberg says that serial entrepreneurs are the most successful in new business ventures. That has been true in my career journey. My background in principal investing, structured finance, restructurings, and merchant banking across numerous industries is helpful with what I am doing now with HeartPoint Global. I am grateful to have had those experiences. Starting multiple businesses has made me more resilient and able to use my knowledge and experience and apply those learnings to our greater mission. 

What is essential for an entrepreneur to know when building a business? 

When you start a business, you must prepare for the unexpected. In our business, we were fortunate when COVID-19 hit that we were already a global team that was used to working on Zoom calls together, and all of our employees had a certain level of responsibility, so remote work was not a new concept to them. Fortunately for us, while operating in four different locations worldwide, we were less impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic than we might have been if we had a traditional structure. Who would have predicted the supply chain shortage, and how would it have impacted our business? We were also severely affected by the war in the Ukraine, where we had done  lot of work and planned on doing our clinical trials. Being as prepared as possible with contingency plans for the unanticipated is crucial. 

Having a passion and vision for what you do with a purpose greater than yourself rather than just making money is vital. That greater vision will serve as a true compass when times get more complex, and challenges come. The sacrifices and hard work I have invested into developing HeartPoint Global have been worth the effort because I believe in reinventing capitalism through hard work and having a higher social good as a significant endeavor.

What should entrepreneurs consider when moving into a new market?  

The first thing to consider is your purpose in moving into a new market and what you plan on contributing. Next, it is essential to learn from the success and mistakes of other businesses. When developing primary operations for HeartPoint Global in Israel, my knowledge and love for the country made it the perfect fit for my team to create and execute our mission.

How do leadership strategies change in a remote workplace? 

Harvard Business Review suggests that companies should adjust their hiring and training processes in favor of potential employees who are self-starters. I have been grateful that my team is comprised of proactive professionals, which has made a substantial difference in the productivity experienced daily in the work we do at HeartPoint Global. 

How can entrepreneurs cultivate equality and diversity within their teams? 

At HeartPoint Global, we try to find the smartest people to work with us, resulting in a diverse workforce that can adjust to the many different countries and cultures where we operate. My number two person is a woman and has an engineering background. Diversity is so important, and we endeavor to be more diverse and culturally sensitive because it adds value to our organization. Equality ensures everyone receives the same opportunity, helps leaders retain employees and lowers employee turnover. Harvard Business Review says that companies must listen to the experiences of their employees from marginalized groups and use that to enact a complete workplace reform that promotes fairness within systemic structures. At HeartPoint Global, the diversity of our organization is our greatest strength, and I have been amazed at the results we have obtained through our team’s unique perspectives. 

In which way can an entrepreneur stand out in a saturated business market?  

I always like to think that the truth and clarity of the mission vibrate at the highest level. At HeartPoint Global, having a dual model of servicing both the developed and developing world allows investors to profit and do social good simultaneously. This is part of my core belief system, and I believe we must reinvent capitalism to be more caring without interfering with the profit motive. I don’t think those two things are mutually exclusive if a business is structured correctly. When moving into a market littered with competition, it is most important not to become discouraged. Every entrepreneur can find their niche in a market and craft a successful business around the customers that identify with them. 

What is the best way a business leader can reinvest profits?

Reinvesting your first profits into your business can lead to more significant gains in the future. You can use a small amount of money on training, apprenticeship, and education for yourself and your employees.  This investment in your business will ultimately be profitable and make your company competitive. At HeartPoint Global, we want to fulfill our mission by having the two values of making money while also doing good, so reinvesting profits into a company that is fulfilling a social mission is the most logical thing to do, in my viewpoint.

Is it possible to start a profitable business during a global economic crisis? 

Yes. I have always started businesses during an economic crisis. That is when the greatest opportunity is available. You also separate the wheat from the chaff. Quality ideas and exploiting the opportunities that appear in the best possible sense of the word because of the crisis become open to you. It doesn’t take a genius to make a lot of money in an upmarket, but opportunities are at their greatest when there is distress. The COVID-19 pandemic, and inflation, have been difficult for everyone, including major corporations. The Economist says that entrepreneurship is currently great for the economy as it creates more jobs and higher productivity. There is no doubt that the global pandemic has brought challenges. Still, there are always opportunities for innovative, creative people passionate about using their expertise and skills in mission-driven leadership.

Written by Seth Bogner.
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CEOWORLD magazine - Latest - CEO Spotlight - Q&A: Ten Things a Leader Must Do When Building a Mission-Driven Company
Seth Bogner
Seth Bogner currently serves as Chairman and CEO of HeartPoint Global Inc., where he merges his exceptional leadership abilities with his long-time goal of creating a business that is both profitable and socially responsible. At HeartPoint Global, he and his team provide global, breakthrough medical solutions for cutting-edge cardiac care that are affordable, safe, and minimally invasive.

Bogner began his career at Loeb Partners Realty, where he played a key role in securing many multi-million-dollar financing deals. He later served as the Chairman of Hearthstone Management Group Ltd., where he invested in and managed a portfolio of over 14,000 apartments and was a pioneer in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).

With more than three decades of experience in principal investing, structured finance, restructurings, and merchant banking across numerous industries, Seth Bogner is a visionary entrepreneur who has served as the CEO and president of many funded and/or financed entities. To date, he has closed over 200 investments as well as merger and acquisition transactions during his career.

Prior to joining HeartPoint Global, Bogner was the managing partner of Union Square Partners Ltd., which operated as a principal partner with institutional investors in various fields. He also founded Ohr Partners in 2007, where he managed and was a director of two licensed regulated mutual funds that operated globally.

Seth Bogner is an opinion columnist for the CEOWORLD magazine. Connect with him through LinkedIn.