Podcasting to Create Exceptional Leaders and Save Our Rural Hospitals with Dr. Bill Auxier


“Leadership is not about authority and power. Leadership is about influencing others with vision and motivation to where they want to follow.” -Bill Auxier Click To Tweet

Today’s Episode:

Rural hospitals offer jobs and much needed emergency and local healthcare. You would think with a growing population, that the number of rural hospitals would be increasing. Unfortunately, that’s not the case. Rural health care is in crisis. In the last 10 years, at least 114 rural hospitals have closed in the United States. The impacts of this are far reaching. The lack of fast access to healthcare can have devastating consequences in emergency situations. The lack of healthcare resources and loss of jobs also has a negative impact on small communities. 

Dr. Bill Auxier has made it his mission to prevent further hospital closures. One way he is doing this is his Rural Health Leadership Radio podcast, which helps rural hospital leaders know what other hospital leaders are doing. Not being in contact with other leaders has been one of the challenges these CEOs have faced. He also received the 2019 National Rural Health Association President’s Award because of his podcast. He is even developing a certification program for rural hospital CEOs to help increase the number of qualified candidates. 

Bill grew up in the rural Midwest and began his healthcare career as a nurses aide while he was in school. He later went on to become the CEO of a surgical device company and traveled all over the world. Eventually, he decided to go back to his roots and his passion by teaching leadership and advocating for rural health care in the US. He is the CEO of Dynamic Leadership Academy and Bill Auxier Healthcare Executive Coaching. Bill is also a speaker and author of To Lead, Follow. This enlightening podcast is about leadership, rural healthcare, and how Bill’s podcast affected his work and his success. 

“One of the keywords that defines leadership is humility. It’s something that I work on with clients as well as myself.” -Bill Auxier Click To Tweet

Show Notes:

  • [05:37] Bill feels that our core values are shaped by our experiences and the people that we’ve met. One of the exercises that he has leaders go through is reflecting on their upbringing. 
  • [06:12] He grew up in a poor area of rural Southern Illinois. His dad was a Baptist preacher. It was a community that came together and chipped in when someone needed help. 
  • [08:48] When a rural hospital closes, people have to drive further to get to a hospital, but the jobs are also lost. 
  • [09:45] Rural hospitals closing have far reaching ramifications. Bill wants to do everything that he can to prevent further hospital closures. 
  • [10:45] In high school and college, Bill worked as a nurses aide. This began his career in the healthcare industry. 
  • [11:54] Bill wanted to share his passion for leadership and rural health care. If not for the close proximity of the small rural hospital, his family story would look different. 
  • [15:37] Bill was the CEO of a surgical device company where he traveled all over the world. 
  • [16:02] He then decided it was time to refocus on leadership and rural health care. 
  • [16:31] Challenges that these small hospitals face is networking with other rural hospital leaders. Bill decided that he would create the Rural Health Leadership Radio Podcast to enable CEOs of rural hospitals to have a central place where they can get information and find out what other small hospital leaders are doing. 
  • [17:35] Through his research, Bill found PPS which helped him get started, and we continue to work together today. 
  • [18:24] He had 24 downloads his first month. He doesn’t define success by downloads. 
  • [19:14] Because of his podcast, Bill received the 2019 NRHA President’s Award. The podcast has opened many doors for him, and listener’s even come up to him at conferences. 
  • [20:08] Hospital CEO turnover tops all industries. It’s also hard to find qualified individuals, so Bill will be running a certification program for Rural Hospital CEOs. 
  • [23:38] Challenges that Bill has faced with the podcast has been timing of guest interviews in time for production. Now he has the opposite problem with a bank of interviews, with experts wanting to know when the show will air. 
  • [25:27] Some guests will write out their answers on his interview questionnaire, but then they read the answers. 
  • [27:15] Bill targets some guests and others come to him. He uses an info packet with three segments. It has guest info, and he lets the guest have an opportunity to edit. He also sends a list of questions. He also book end questions. The third section is where the guest can add things they would like to talk about.
  • [30:46] He now uses Basecamp and has an intern coordinate things. He also has a portable home made sound booth. Made with room dividers and plastic sheets and sound tiles. He also has a stand-up desk. He found a great voice over artist on Fiverr. 
  • [33:51] Don’t wait to start podcasting. Find a service like PPS and get going. 
  • [36:43] He’s very proud of his book To Lead, Follow. He’s also a fan of What Got You Here Won’t Get You There and Triggers. Bill is also a Dan Pink fan. 
  • [37:48] Bills definition of leadership is when others follow when they don’t have to. 
  • [39:44] Darrell’s takeaways: Bill’s passion is fueled by how rural health care affected his family. We all need things to refuel or fill our tank. Bill defines success by how he is impacting his niche. Finding a balance between recording in advance and having too much lead time. 
“Rural health care is in a real crisis in America today. In the last 10 years, 114 rural hospitals have closed across the United States.” -Bill Auxier Click To Tweet

Links and Resources: