Most Admired CEOs
Arthur Cooksey is CEO of Let’s Talk Interactive.
Describe your leadership style and how you put it into action within your organization.
I believe in hiring brilliant passionate leaders who are supportive of our company’s vision — which is to make health care accessible for all people. Then, I get out of their way so they can go make great things happen.
Team empowerment is also so important — identifying the unique strengths of team members along with opportunities to support their growth. So many times we see people in the wrong role or spending time and energy to learn something they may never excel at. Instead, I find it beneficial to focus on the strengths and passions of each team member, which supports a high rate of productivity.
Lastly, I value work-life integration. LTI is a growing company, which often results in our leaders asking a lot of our team members. As a completely virtual team, we give the flexibility to integrate work into your life and have found that it has increased productivity while enabling our team to have a personal life.
What role should a CEO have in the community?
A CEO has so many responsibilities when it comes to employees, partners/customers, business growth, and more. The impact is really driven by the mission of the company, the board of directors, and the investment from the company to drive public and civic good. For example, as CEO at Let’s Talk Interactive, I am responsible for keeping us hyper-focused on not only the communities we are in but on driving a global humanitarian mission.
Companies today are able to move faster and more efficiently than governments. We have seen this with Starlink making the Internet available in Ukraine. Companies came in and made an immediate impact on those in need.
The civic role of a CEO has evolved in a world where companies can make an impact on the community and be nimble enough to deploy resources to support the local, national and global community in many ways. It takes a village and CEOs have a major influence on their organization’s path of impact.
Describe the hardest decision you made as the leader of your company over the past year and how it impacted the business.
The decision to embrace change and drive global growth. Change is always a challenge, but it’s exciting and it has taken us to new levels. As a team that boot-strapped a telehealth company pre-Covid, over the last year we found ourselves in a place that required us to grow in order to survive. We had to evolve as a company to meet the global opportunity.
Today, we’re transitioning to a global corporation. We’ve hired key leaders with different backgrounds and unique skill sets to support growth and innovation. We’ve clarified responsibilities and created specialty teams that have driven results. For example, we launched an additive manufacturing brand called IOFX, and expanded our services to the enterprise health-care market. And we’ve established global partnerships that support continued growth, including Kathy Ireland Worldwide, Amazon Web Services — we are a certified Public Sector partner, Ingram Health, Zoom, with new big announcements coming soon.
Describe your top accomplishment of the past year.
Our team has achieved amazing accomplishments that not only drive business but help to change lives every day by making telehealth easy, fast and safe. A major accomplishment was landing at No. 9 on Inc. Magazine’s third annual Inc. 5000 Regionals: Mid-Atlantic list, a ranking of the fastest-growing private companies based in Washington, D.C., Delaware, Maryland, North Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia. Our position made LTI the fastest-growing North Carolina firm on the prestigious list.
This growth has supported our ability to close out our seed round of funding and solidified our trajectory for 2022 with an expected 15x revenue growth. We are supporting major university health systems across the U.S. and driving global telehealth expansion throughout nine Latin American countries.
What is your best advice for young executives?
Maintain faith and don’t give up. Leave your ego at the door. Surround yourself with people who believe in your mission, and have unique experiences and points of view. And then empower and believe in them.
One of the best books you’ve read recently, and why?
Limitless: Upgrade Your Brain, Learn Anything Faster, and Unlock Your Exceptional Life by Jim Kwick. I believe people do have limitless potential and we all have the right to have the life we want to have for ourselves and our families. The book encourages you to be open to limitless opportunities in all things and the formula for how to maximize your potential. Have you reached your full potential? I challenge you to.
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