Make relationships the focus of everything that you do, be it your customers or students.
Dr. James Hauschildt grew up in Iowa and is a first-generation college graduate who always had a desire to help others, so he went to college and became a nurse. This calling to help others stayed with him while in the Air Force, where he worked clinically and as a safety and training officer.
While still in the Air Force, Dr. James Hauschildt obtained his Master’s in Business and then his Doctorate after the Air Force teaching nursing for four years. He then taught online for the next nine years, as well as serving in a consulting role. As a consultant with healthcare organizations, he saw how technology could help improve operations and make things more efficient and safer for patient care.
As a faculty member, dean, and president of two organizations, Dr. James Hauschildt has helped to develop a culture of mutual respect. His personal mission is to support a comfortable workplace to share ideas freely, as well as a place where students learn in the most efficient ways possible.
By using technology and being able to integrate and share information more transparently, employees and students can obtain the data they need to ensure better academic outcomes. By fostering a culture of respect and high-quality education, James has seen student retention improved, and various new and innovative academic programs started.
For the last 30 years, Dr. James Hauschildt has been in healthcare and education in various environments including government organizations, for-profit and nonprofit organizations. He feels blessed to have had so many opportunities and the ability to help so many people. He lives in Mason, Ohio, with his family.
Where did the idea for your company come from?
I think it was basically just growing up in a small town and my parents instilling good values with an importance of treating others with respect and compassion. My opportunity to help others came through education and it really was the best way to improve personally and professionally.
What does your typical day look like and how do you make it productive?
Supporting relationships is a big part of my job. A typical day is when I first get to work, I make sure that the people I work directly with feel supported. I like the term “management by walking around”, and I do that by simply being present and engaged. That also goes for students, too. I’m walking around and talking with them, checking in to see if they help with anything. I typically ask them, “what could I do today to make your day perfect?”
I focus first on supporting people I work with and our customers or students by making sure that they have whatever they need to go through their day in the most efficient and effective way.
Then there’s always lots of meetings and I do the same thing, “listen more and talk less.” I believe in leaders delegating responsibilities to other leaders and try to cultivate that environment where the leaders I work with feel empowered to do their jobs. Effective relationships and communicating trust, transparency, and support for others is what makes up the majority of my day.
How do you bring ideas to life?
You have to start with that environment of trust and transparency to have a safe and comfortable atmosphere for innovation. Once you have that, then invite representative people from various parts of the organization to share out and talk about the different ideas. Having a supportive and respectful approach to various ideas is so important.
What’s one trend that excites you?
I think one trend that I find exciting is the concept of social determinants of educational success. The landscape of higher education has changed a lot and there are a higher number of non-traditional students, like working adults, people working on their second career, or coming back for additional certifications, for example. This trend requires efficiency and effectiveness in meeting new demands in higher education for our organizations to adapt to and meet.
What is one habit of yours that makes you more productive as an entrepreneur?
I’ve always been an early riser; I love that time of the day. I start my day with a positive frame of mind and gratitude for the ability to serve others. I end my day with thankfulness for having had the ability to serve. I think it’s simply having that positive frame of mind and focus on helping others is really what makes me productive. Everything else falls into place when your frame of reference is grounded securely on those.
What advice would you give your younger self?
That’s a good one. Probably to stay strong, stay focused. Never lose faith or focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing, and that’s because of people.
Tell us something that’s true that almost nobody agrees with you on.
That would be to invest in a single integrated platform for our technology, although it was more expensive to buy. It’s almost unheard of in smaller colleges to spend more money to integrate technology systems to get the outcomes that you need or want. That was something that was difficult to get everyone to agree on. They saw the value once it was done and what that did for us. Being able to share information drove our culture of trust, transparency, and quality. People doubted that the cost would be worth it initially.
As an entrepreneur, what is the one thing you do over and over and recommend everyone else do?
Make relationships the focus of everything that you do, be it your customers or students. Just by maintaining relationships and open communications, it creates an atmosphere where people feel comfortable to bring in new ideas. I’m not the only person running the organization or have all the ideas, there’s 600 others I depended on. Keeping that intense focus on the quality and value of that relationship with everyone is key.
What is one strategy that has helped you grow your business?
Technology integration is really the thing. We communicate more effectively with new technology that’s focused on addressing our core business issues. We can recruit through CRM (customer relationship management) platforms, use social media, and facilitate a greater online presence. Technology allows the sharing information across campus departments and being able to track progress on strategic initiatives in near-real-time.
What is one failure you had as an entrepreneur, and how did you overcome it?
I’ve had many. The way I overcame it was that I learned from it, kept going, and never gave up. Just by being persistent and have a no-fear attitude in that, you learn from what you’re not successful in.
One failure I’ve had was during my independent consulting time and tried to do too much myself. Now, I have a bigger network and the maturity to understand that asking for help and focus on relationships has helped me overcome early failures.
What is one business idea that you’re willing to give away to our readers?
A company that could develop one system that does all the functions of higher education from teaching classes online to inputting grades, to facilitating online application processes. We looked and couldn’t find one system that could do it all.
What is the best $100 you recently spent? What and why?
I think it would be supporting our son on his recent mission trip to Croatia. The money spent getting him there for that, to help people, will change his life. Providing opportunities to both of my kids to travel and learn from those trips will give them a broad perspective on life. Investing in them in that way is invaluable.
What is one piece of software or a web service that helps you be productive?
I love Twitter. I use it to stay on top of what’s going on in health care and higher education. It started several years ago when I was stuck in Ohio on a flight that had been cancelled. Of course, the phones were backed up little red cards were being handed out to rebook flights, etc. I saw that it said, follow us on Twitter to get assistance, so I signed up for a Twitter account and messaged customer support assistance and they rebooked me on my flight, told me where my luggage was, all within 10 minutes, before I got off of hold on the phone. That was awesome and I tell everyone about “my Twitter story”. It’s using technology as opposed to waiting two hours and doing it the traditional way that was my lesson learned.
What is the one book that you recommend our community should read and why?
I’ve recently read and enjoyed “Love Does” by Bob Goff. It’s about promoting acceptance, love, and support for those that we interact with on a daily basis.
What is your favorite quote?
It is by Walt Disney. It goes, “We keep moving forward, opening new doors and doing new things because we’re curious and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths”.
● Never lose faith or focus on why you’re doing what you’re doing.
● Keep going and never give up.
● You learn from what you’re not successful in.
Steve (Stefan) Junge hails from Germany and helps with the day-to-day publishing of interviews on IdeaMensch. While he and Mario don’t share a favorite soccer club, their enthusiasm to help entrepreneurs is a shared passion.