CEO Interview – Keith Gordon

Keith Gordon
CEO/Owner, Legacy Healthcare

As an owner and Chief Executive Officer of Legacy Healthcare, Keith Gordon oversees a Northern Utah based hospice and home health care company that strives to meet the physical, emotional, social and spiritual needs of terminally ill patients as well as those seeking rehabilitation. He founded the company in 2004 with his current partners. Keith has been involved in this industry since 1995. After earning his undergraduate degree in behavioral science and health and his graduate in gerontology from the University of Utah, he brings a rich background and insight in healthcare administration. Legacy Healthcare has continued to be recognized as a top agency one can depend on for their medical care at home.

Be Prepared

Keith’s advice to budding entrepreneurs is to find something you like to do and to be prepared for the rigors of being a leader. He suggests that you: Be prepared through formal education. Keith suggests finding a college and major that will give you training in what you want to do. He decided to study hospital administration after taking a career quiz in college, which suggested that he would excel in healthcare or hospital administration. That appealed to him, so he found the UofU and a course of study that would support his career plans. His degree offered him not only the business insight, but the patient and clinical insight as well. His career counselor told him that the future of healthcare would be primarily focused on Senior Care; he then focused his post graduate classes to Gerontology (the study of aging) which has provided the right formal education training for where healthcare is in fact trending today, on elderly care. Be prepared to know the numbers. Whether you learn through formal schooling or work experience, Keith knows that being successful means knowing the numbers. “If you lose track of your money, you lose track of your company,” he says. While Keith didn’t major in accounting, he worked as a banker throughout college, to gain experience in spreadsheets, profit-and-loss statements, and more, thus helping him to be better equipped as a business owner. Be prepared to lead in tough times. Keith has found that being a leader means making tough choices, choices that many staff may not approve of, because they do not have all the information you have. Honesty is always best, even if it stings at times. Not being honest leads to mistrust and revolt. Always, always have a positive attitude no matter what. You are the barometer of success! It can be lonely at times as the leader, and sometimes your weaknesses are exploited, but if you remain true to yourself and your integrity, you will be prepared to be successful. “Trust is the most valuable thing you can earn.”

Three Strong Values

Keith holds to three guidelines that have keep Legacy Healthcare successful.

1- Offer the best care possible. We take care of people; our job is to provide quality care to patients and families. We should wake up each day thinking I will do my best.
2- Hire, recognize and support the staff. If you value your staff and recognize them for their efforts, they will feel acknowledged and strive to give the best care possible. No one likes to work in an environment where they feel unappreciated!
3- Always communicate openly and effectively at all times. The number one problem in any organization is communication. So why not make it your top priority?

Keith’s mentor once told him that you should always hire people smarter than you are. Too many leaders believe they should know everything and be above everyone. The successful leaders that are most successful are those who are smart enough and secure enough to hire those that could eventually take their job. In that, you do in fact become the wisest one in the company.

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