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Welcome to episode #76 of the Morning Upgrade Podcast. In this week’s episode I spoke with Terry Herring, the Chief Commercial Officer at Synergistix.

Top Talking Points

  • How sports can help a person in their personal growth.
  • Having structure is helpful, but rigidity is harmful.
  • Surrounding yourself with people that challenge you in order to grow.

Resources & Links

Connect With Terry on LinkedIn or via email at terry.herring@synergistix.com

Synergistix

Find The Books Mentioned on Kindle or Audible

The Compound Effect by Darren Hardy.

Leadership Challenge by James Kouzes and Barry Posner.

Situational Leader by Dr. Paul Hersey.

The Book of Joy.

Subscribe to The Morning Upgrade Podcast

Thank you for listening to this episode of The Morning Upgrade Podcast. If you enjoyed my conversation with Terry, be sure to subscribe to the podcast…and leave a review.

Episode Transcript

Ryan  

Hey guys, it’s Ryan real quick. So my mission with the morning upgrade blog and podcast is to raise the awareness of morning routines and personal development. And I now have two products that also helped me with this mission. The first product helps you start a 20-minute morning routine. And the second product is a book that outlines how to use personal development to upgrade your life and business. You can get full details on both products over at morningupgrade.com. Thanks for letting me share and now on to the show.

Announcer  

Welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast with Ryan Cote where we feature casual conversations with entrepreneurs about personal development and growth.

Ryan 

Hey, Terry, welcome to the Morning Upgrade podcast. How are you?

Terry

I’m very good. Thanks for having me.

Ryan  

Yeah, Terry, I’m really excited to talk to you over these next 15 minutes. Just so my audience of Morning Upgraders knows who they’re listening to. Why don’t you start off by telling everyone you know who you are, what you do for a living? And then just give me one thing that’s going well in your life right now.

Terry 

So I’ve been in the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry for quite some time, over 35 years. I’m currently the Chief Commercial Officer at Synergistics. We’re a technology and compliance company helping organizations maximize their effectiveness and efficiency through CRM and sampling solutions. That’s a little bit about who I am today. Most of my career has been leading sales and marketing teams, and commercial teams, and helping to drive business to what’s exciting and going well in my life is that I’m looking around and seeing both my family and people I’ve worked with succeeding. And to me, Ryan, always one of the things that have been important is to see success and other people. So I’ve got several individuals that have worked with me that are reaching high points, my daughter is enjoying her career living in Hoboken. My wife’s a New Yorker, too, so so I’m not, as you probably can tell from my accent. And then my son is playing this weekend and the ECAC championships and soccer. So I would say what’s going well is that people around me are succeeding and doing great things. And that’s what I think leadership is all about.

Ryan  

Let’s talk about soccer for a second in sports. What do you think? How much of a role do you think sports plays in someone’s personal growth?

Terry 

I think both our children, we encourage them to play a musical instrument. My daughter played the clarinet, my son the drums, we encourage them to play sport and or participate in sport, not whether they were good or bad in the sport, but to just be a part of growing and learning and challenging themselves. I personally ran track at the Citadel and Charleston, South Carolina, and I believe what it helps me to do was to set goals and objectives, things to grow individually. And so for my two young individuals in my life, Savannah and Caleb, what I’ve seen is that participating as an athlete, whether you win or lose, whether you’re the best player or not, you’re part of a team, you’re connecting with other people, you know, you’re trying to make your individual self better. But you’re also trying to contribute to a team effort. So to me, being an athlete, whether you run on your own on the weekend, or you are in the basement working out or going to some facility and trying to get better. I think it’s it is really an individual aspect of saying how can I improve myself physically and mentally, and prepare myself to be a better part of a team? If you follow that logic?

Ryan 

No, I agree with you. 100%. That’s why we have my three daughters in sports, different sports, soccer, dance, swimming, or other sports to other activities. But yeah, basically keeping them busy. Being part of a team. I think it’s really competing. I think it’s a really important part of personal growth. 

Terry 

It’s been fun and you just said I mean, I didn’t know much about soccer until Caleb started playing. So you learn from their experiences as well.

Ryan

It’s funny you say that because my middle daughter plays soccer and I got invited to be like the assistant coach for her rec team and I don’t know anything about soccer so I just got thrown in there trying to learn it and my brother recommended I watched Ted last so you might find it inspiring so yeah, it’s a more comfortable as it now is on the sidelines and giving instructions I think semi seemed like I know what I’m doing. So let’s talk about your morning routine. Terry, how do you start every day?

Terry 

There are three components to this one. I grew up on a farm and in farm life, you get up early you have chores. Do you have things to do that prepare the whole day? And I have continued that routine, both going to military school, as I mentioned, where there’s a sort of preparing for the day in the morning. And I carry that over into my life, even as we speak, I try to use the morning, I have a meditation period, I have a devotion period, to try to prepare for the day to make me better. So I think that I have a routine in the morning. I also try not to rush into decision making early, I tried to clear my mind and get myself set up for the day, especially while people are working more at home than ever, I’ve also made it a routine to get ready for the day, you know, get up, get dressed, go through the same processes, and so forth. Some people, you know, can ease into the day, I’m cool with that. But for me, I need to set my day up and be consistent in both how I prepare for the day, and how I established the routine for the day. Now, I can also tell you that I don’t do it exactly the same way every day. But I do have a preparation process. Some days. It started a little bit later, some days earlier. But in all cases, I tried to make sure that before I start the business day I have walked the square with myself personally, I’m prepared mentally. And yes, I’ve been on a few zooms and people go, man, you get you to get dressed with you know, a shirt and everything every day I do. I do want to be ready to roll out today if you follow me you know.

Ryan  

Have you been that way through your whole career and have you always had a structure in the morning.

Terry  

Yeah, structure both in the morning and during the week. And my wife, I think you find partners that help you. So my wife is less, she’s more flexible from that than I am. So I think over the years, I’ve learned a little bit more about flexibility. But at the same time, I do believe that all the way from my early days on the farm, through military school, and through my early days in business, I do believe this structure is valuable. But I think if you get rigid structure and rigidity are two different things. structure to me is I have a plan, I am going to be consistent in what I do. Rigidity means that I am not able to flex off of that, you know, around, we all have to do that, right? We all have to say, you get up at 3:15 in the morning, your order, your day is gonna be a little different. And sometimes you need to take a day where you know, give yourself a break a little bit and say, Look, you know, I need to kind of relax a bit more today. But yeah, consistency to me is the most important thing consistency and intentionality. And what I do.

Ryan 

Yeah, consistency is super important. One of my favorite personal development and personal growth books is The Compound Effect where Darren Hardy really talks about, you know, small things are done consistently compound into results. And you don’t always have to swing for the fences right off the bat, you know, small, consistent daily action compounds into results. So I love the word consistency.

Terry  

They do add up, they add up, right, they add a base hits add up.

Ryan  

So you’re driven. What feeds that?

Terry

You know, I was asking, you know, I talked about this at some point. I’m driven by the fact that I like to see people succeed. So if I were to describe myself, I’d say I’m a coach and a leader of people first. And so I’m driven by seeing people succeed right now in the industry and around the industry. There are many people that have outpaced me and their jobs and their roles. Two or three of them. One of my favorite favorites is, de Bassam, who is the CEO of the logics, he was an analyst when I first met him, and then we moved into the CFO role. I just love and I’m driven by seeing people succeed and reach their potential. When I see someone do great stuff, I go, man, I am so excited. Makes me feel good that, that I didn’t do it for them, but maybe I encouraged their heart. Maybe I, you know, gave them a conduit, but to me, I’m driven by seeing other people succeed. And if other people around just succeed, teams grow, and they succeed. To me, that’s the most important aspect of what I’m driven by.

Ryan 

Let’s talk about leadership for a minute. Do you have any tried and true tips for leadership? I know it depends on who you’re leading, and all that but are there any just general tips that you could share with my audience for being a better leader?

Terry 

I’m incredibly consistent on this because there are two books that have driven that. I use Vecto Monday. Imagine as the Chief Commercial Officer on Monday, I’m talking to our account management team about communication skills and connecting with people. And the two books that are driving principles for me are the leadership challenge. And those fundamental principles around inspiring a shared vision and encouraging the heart, enabling others to challenge the process. Those kinds of things from a leadership set of principles are important to me. And I use a situational leadership model as well. I mean, I know that may be old school, but it’s pretty simple. If a person is willing, how do I help them to learn? If a person is unable? How do I educate them to be better? And to succeed? Now, I can’t, I can’t make someone want to learn more, I can’t make someone want to try. But if they do, I can find out, you know, what do I need to do as a leader to encourage them, inspire them, challenge them, and model the way for them? And then on the flip side, I can determine where they are in their ability, is its willingness or ability? And then I can help them from that standpoint. So as a leader, those are the principles, those two books have always been valuable. There are a lot of other books that talk about the same thing. So I don’t say that they’re not right. But to me, it’s the leadership principles. And there’s an understanding of the person that you’re coaching, and where they fit in the willingness and ability category. And then how do I, as a leader, help them to move down those two books?

Ryan  

Terry, just to confirm, he said it was Leadership Challenge. And then Situational Leadership.

Terry  

Right, those two.

Ryan 

I’m going to take a look at those. And we’ll share those on your show notes page as well. 

Terry

Appreciate that. 

Ryan

All right. So let’s talk about, I’m going to give you the option which way you want to go success or challenge in business, share one of those so a success you’ve had, and how you achieve that. And then takeaways, for example, or a challenge that you’ve had, and how you overcame it.

Terry  

But I think success and challenges are first cousins, right? Because when I took over the role, President CEO of inventive US sales we were, our stock price was declining. We were trying to reestablish what we were, what we were about what we were doing. So that was both a challenge and opportunity, right? I mean, if you think about it, challenges, our opportunities a chance to do better. And I’ll go back to something I said two or three times, and I’ll say it again, the team around me encouraged and inspired the team around us at inventive health in the early 2000s when the stock price was low. We were trying to grow today that’s the Syneos Health Organization is evolved to that. But in those early days in 2000, I had a great team around me. If you put good you put good people around, you know, around you and you’ll succeed. I was watching another podcast around a UCLA player and I get his name wrong all the time. I think it was Nadir, maybe he was a senator at UCLA as a backup to Bill Walton. And he was encouraged to go there because Bill Walton was there and John Wooden was there. And they were great leaders and they helped to motivate and cultivate a culture at UVA and during the time. And he benefited from it. And Bill Walton once said he was the best player that he ever he was the best Senator he played against and he was in practice. So to me, what I love is when you put together a team that is so good, and so positive that they challenge you so it inventive and admission and the other places that I’ve been to grow business, the thing that I have the challenge and the opportunity are put good people and give them the opportunity and they will make you better. If you think you knew all the answers. My dad was my elementary school principal. Definitely in a lot of trouble, Ryan. But he always said this today. Today, he’s 82 years old, his old school board and South Carolina and Oconee County. And he always said to me, if you think you know everything. That’s just indigestion, it’ll go away. And I love it. Because when I look around when I think I know everything, that’s a mistake, when I encourage my team to participate in leadership. That’s when I succeed. So the challenges you have if your stock prices down if your business model is is is not perfect or working, look around the people you have around you. Make sure that they are the right people and encourage them to do their job. And that’s how I have handled both challenges. And it’s turned into opportunities.

Ryan  

What you remind me, kind of like you’re saying always be curious, you know, keep an open mind and always be curious. So that’s a TED talk thing isn’t that?

Terry  

I think that was.

Ryan 

I think I’m not remembering the episode, but I think I might be. It’s like implanted in my brain now from watching all the episodes. So maybe.

Terry  

Always be curious, not negative. Right. So I love that. I love that statement you just said.

Ryan 

So I’ve got one last question for you, Terry. And then we’ll wrap up with you sharing how people can connect with you if they want to reach out and say hello and learn more. So my last question is about habits are there any habits that you have, can be one can be any habits that you rely on every day. It can be personal or professional.

Terry  

I’ll give you three things that are important to me. One is that I do a daily devotion to what I do, I have picked up the habit of doing meditation on a daily basis. And the third is that I have a small group, I call it a growth group that I participate with every Friday. Right now we’re reading the book of joy. And that growth group, the book of joy is by the Dalai Lama and Desmond Tutu. I don’t know if you’ve read it, but it talks about joy versus happiness. So to me, those are consistent ways in which I connect both with myself and with other leaders. And then you learn things like in this book of joy, you realize that you know, happiness is eating a bowl of ice cream joy, is seeing the people around you succeed. And there’s a big difference between those. So to me, those are little habits every day, you said it earlier. And I love that the little things you do every day, add up. So if I was encouraging anybody, I would say, do the little things each day. And it’s like the Abominable Snowman. And that the one year that a Santa, whatever we said, put one foot in front of another. And soon you’re walking across the floor. And to me, a daily devotion, daily meditation, or growth group, those little things where you’re learning, or you’re engaged with things that you’re not, you wouldn’t normally do. They add that little things do matter.

Ryan 

Yep, another book to read. I’m gonna check that one. That one out as well. The Book of Joy and the Growth Group. Yeah, that’s, I belong to masterminds, too. So we talk a lot about that on the show. It’s, it really is game-changing. So everyone listening, get it, get yourself a growth group. Or retiree? Well, this was great. 15 minutes flew by. I appreciate everything you shared. If someone wants to reach out to you and say, Hello, where should we send them?

Terry  

Well, you’ve got Terry.herring@synergistics.com. That’s my job thing. I’m on LinkedIn. Look me up there. And what I would love to hear from people is things that make you successful, because hearing what things make other people successful will make me a better leader. And you know, Ryan, I appreciate the chance to be a part of this. And thanks for you know, even in preparing for this, I had to revisit the things that are important to me. And those little things do matter.

Ryan  

You’re welcome, Terry. I appreciate you being on. Thank you, sir.

Terry

Have a great day.

Ryan  

Thanks for listening to the Morning Upgrade podcast. Please subscribe and review. And don’t forget to visit us at morningupgrade.com for more content.

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