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Life, Leadership, and Long-Distance Running | Angie Gould

In this episode, Angie Gould shares the life and leadership lessons she has learned through a lifetime of hard work and a passion for long-distance running. She talks about the importance of mindset and the grit and persistence required to keep putting one step in front of the other. She shares priceless wisdom about earning your stripes as a manager and leader and the importance of the relationships that get you through the difficult times.

Transcript

Introduction

Angie Gould: I've stayed true to myself. I haven't taken any shortcuts. I've worked and earned everything that I have and that I am and I also have done it with integrity. I haven't tried to be anything other than who I am. I am a hard worker and I learned that through an example of watching my mother who was a single parent for years.

So I think being true to yourself and again not taking any shortcuts, that's probably what I'm most proud of.

Anderson Williams: Welcome to Everyday Heroes, a podcast from Shore Capital Partners that highlights the people who are building our companies from the inside, every day, often out of the spotlight. With this series, we want to pull those heroes out of the shadows.

We want to hear their stories. We want to share their stories. We want to understand what drives them. Why they do what they do. How they might inspire and support \others to become everyday heroes too. In this episode, I talk with Angie Gould, a Regional Operations Manager with OMS 360. Before we get started, will you just tell us a little bit about who you are, things that we can't find on LinkedIn, interests outside of work, family, friends, hobbies, anything that we should know about you before we dive in?

Angie Gould: Prior to professional in anything about me that probably a lot of people don't know if you don't know me because you're not going to find this on LinkedIn is that in years past I was an avid long distance runner. I paced for the Birmingham Track Club. It's where I met my husband. And so I used to show up every Saturday morning at 4 30 in the morning, like I did every single day.

But on Saturdays in particular, I would pace a group that would train to either run for a half marathon or full. And so I've run Boston, which is not a marathon you can just sign up for. You have to qualify. Very proud of that accomplishment. The day that I was there, it was a hot day, and not only did I run well, I PR'd, and it was effortless.

So it's a passion of mine for sure.

Breaking Barriers

Anderson Williams: To what do you attribute that it was effortless that day for you?

Angie Gould: So most marathons, I would look at my watch often. How am I doing? Am I on pace? And that day I decided this is an iconic event. I might not ever get back here, so I'm going to enjoy it. So I just dug my heels in and ran and my husband was at the top of Heartbreak Hill and I would go over to the side and I'm like, I'm really tired.

And he said, everyone's tired. Get up the hill. I'll see you at the finish line. And so, I'm about to turn on the iconic, I think it's Boyston Street, and I look down at my watch and I'm like, Oh my gosh, I'm about to PR this race and I'm going to qualify again. And so, it was very special.

Anderson Williams: Would you call it focus? Is it presence? That you weren't paying attention to your watch? I'm just curious because there's a certain level of flow or something that was different for all the times you had run in that race. You were just in a different zone.

Angie Gould: Well, so when you run Boston, everyone is there, there are a lot of elite people there, and so you start in a group at a designated time.

At my time, I have to go to the village, and I'm sitting around for an hour or so waiting for my time to start, and when I get to the start line, I'm at the start line. Like, there's a rope, and there's the course. And I'm at the very beginning. So I didn't have to plow through all these people who were slower, having struggles.

And so I think that was part of it, is that when I first started, it was wide open. But I was also very focused on absorbing and enjoying because the people that are there cheering you on aren't as educated about what a marathon is and what it took for you to grit to get there. That's not like that in Boston.

Those people come and support and cheer that marathon year after year after year, right? And it was the 50th running for women the day I showed up. And so the people that were on the sidelines cheering were not your average people. They knew what to say, what not to say. Literally, I had my name on my chest and they were screaming my name.

And so it was very unique, very special.

Anderson Williams: Yeah, it's extraordinary. I'm curious how you think about, and I'm not a runner, but how you think about the difference between that experience where you're running that marathon and what you were describing before as being sort of a pace setter for others. What's the difference in mindset as you think about those two?

Angie Gould: I'm an encourager. They all have a goal. I can run faster than I'm pacing. And so that makes it a little bit easier for you as a pacer. But there are a lot of people who it's their first marathon, or they're trying to get to the next big thing, like they're trying to break a three hour mark or a two hour mark if they're running a half marathon.

And I've been there and I've tried to break through those barriers. And so I use my own experiences to help them. And I'm a cheerleader. I get to be there and just cheer and encourage people. And oftentimes when we would be training, I would hear, especially from first timers, Oh my gosh, I just ran 17 miles.

How am I going to run 26.2? We didn't have to do that today. You had to show up and run 17. And so the day you get there, even though there's a lot of training courses or programs that only take you to 20 or maybe 22, your momentum takes you. Because you can do it. It's in your head. When people DNF, unless there's a true injury, it usually is all about grit and hard work, believing in yourself and not giving up.

It's not easy to run at 26.2 miles.

Anderson Williams: No, I have no interest or desire, nor do I think ability.

Angie Gould: Well, I would tell you that, and I tell everyone this, it's never run a marathon. The marathon doesn't start till 20. And from 20 to 26.2, you're going to figure out who you are. Your mental game kicks in.

Anderson Williams: And I'm curious, in some ways, that pace setter role, even if you're not turning around telling somebody about their form, you are kind of coaching them, if nothing else, you're modeling for them the pace. 

 

You are playing a different kind of role, because otherwise, in their own head, in their own awareness of their time, they might not be able to keep up. They know you're the target, they know you're the model, so if they keep up with you, that they're going to achieve what they're looking for.

 

Angie Gould: Hopefully.

Empowerment and Being Empowered

Anderson Williams: I'm fascinated that I'm just going to keep pulling this string as you think about your role in management, how do you draw those things together?

It seems to me that that notion of pacing and modeling and coaching, but also being the example of grit are pretty fundamental to management. 

 

Angie Gould: They are. When I was a manager and I always use myself as an example, not that I'm the ultimate example, but as a manager, I wanted to be the best in the office at every job, except for being the doctor, obviously.

But there wasn't anything within that practice that I felt were below me. I wanted to know how to do everything. And so every time I've changed roles, changed companies, I get in and I go from the front desk all the way to the very back so that wherever I am, whatever is needed, I'm the next person up.

Anderson Williams: And have you always been that way? Is that something you learned through your career or are you wired that way? What do you attribute it to?

Angie Gould: I mean, I definitely feel like I'm wired that way for sure, but there definitely have been people along the way that have believed in me. I was in retail management for years before children and I went from being the front desk to an assistant manager and when I got promoted to manager, one of the things that I told everyone around me, I need you to get ready to take on this role. 

 

Because I'm going to the next step. And so, I've always wanted to try to pull my people along with me, because the stronger the people are around you, just make you look better. And they make your job easier.

Anderson Williams: I was raised in team sports, and so the thought of developing others and having different people contribute different parts to success was sort of natural to me as I transitioned into management.

For someone who is a runner and who spent countless hours on your own, in your own head, it seems like a very solo experience. I just wonder how that notion and that perspective on team came through your experiences.

Angie Gould: Well, I can't do it by myself. And I think it's the same thing running solo. Even though I'm the only one who can put one step in front of the other to finish a marathon.

There are definitely people that you want around you to support you and it's the same in management. It can be the same thing as in training for a marathon and also managing people. If you let too much of the negativity inside your head, that can stop you in your tracks. When I was training for Boston the first time, and really trying to hit my goal, the bottom of my foot was hurting, and I never verbalized it until the very end when I was finished, and I take my shoe off, and I not only have a blister on my foot, it wrapped all the way around my toe, but I never gave life to it.

For me, as soon as I start on that negative path, it just doesn't work well with my soul. So I try to empower other people and I guess that's why I am such an encourager because I can focus on their negative, but that's not going to make my team better.

The Journey to Leadership

Anderson Williams: Wow. Where do I even begin? Marathons, pacing, managing, leading, hard work, teams, not allowing negativity in.

There was so much wisdom and perspective in that first few minutes, I felt like I needed to rethink and step up my interview game before even proceeding. So I wanted to see where and how Angie is putting all of this into action at OMS. 

Angie Gould: So I'm in a regional operations manager role. I've been doing that since April of 2023, in title only. 

Prior to that, I did that same role. I did that role at COFS before we came on board with OMS 360. So basically all it did is just gave me Texas, you know, but I was already doing that role. Um, so I implement things from new implementations into the practices, encourage new managers, hire new managers from scheduling optimization to coaching every day of what worked for me, how can it work here?

Anderson Williams: And what does OMS 360 do? Just for anybody listening who doesn't know the company, just give us a couple of lines on what OMS 360 does.

Angie Gould: They partner with oral surgery groups around the country, and it's different than a typical DSO. So, I can tell you that when I first found out that COFS was going to join with OMS 360, I definitely had some uncertainty because there are different DSOs around the country who come in, they rebrand, they take all of the processes that you used to do, and they force theirs on you.

And OMS 360 doesn't do that. They come alongside you, they partner with you, and they help you make decisions and make you a better person. I came from a background where my mother and my grandfather were self starters. They didn't go to college, but they built themselves around small businesses. And so, that was my biggest fear, is that I didn't want to leave the small mama papa feel for this big corporate thing.

But, OMS 360 doesn't feel like that. It just feels like we just have partners and different people around us to elevate us.

Anderson Williams: So, how did you end up in the oral surgery space? Tell us a little bit about how you got to that space. 

 

Angie Gould: I found myself after five years working for a general dentist and they didn't value me. 

And so, after five years, I had not had an increase and everything was so much better than the position it was in when I first came on board and they didn't care. And so, I decided from there that I loved being in the dental world. But I knew that I wanted to go a step better in the dental world. So now I work for surgeons.

And so I met with Dr. Everts and Dr. Livingston the first time, and of course, Dr. Everts introduced himself on the phone as Josh Everts. And so I didn't know who he was. And so I show up for an interview and he walks in and he sticks his hand out and, "Hi, I'm Josh Everts." I'm like, "Hey, how are you doing?" So I sit down and all of a sudden I realize these are the doctors interviewing me.

You're not Josh, you're Dr. Everts. I can't call you Josh. So I came on board with them and haven't looked back. It's been a great experience.

Another Perspective 

Anderson Williams: I loved hearing Angie talk about Dr. Everts approach to her introduction and interview. So I asked him to give us a little background and insight on Angie from his perspective and what he was looking for when he hired her.

Dr. Josh Everts: Prior to Angie, our organization operated with a few, and I'll put air quotes, managers, mainly because people really were looking for a title as opposed to a responsibility. And so we had a lot of people who wanted a leadership role, but didn't maybe fully understand what being a leader looked like inside of our organization.

So we spent the first five to seven years kind of fumbling through that. And you and I have talked about this before, Anderson, it really Limits the doctor's ability to let go and step back and delegate when we don't have somebody in the clinic who understands the vision and knows where we're going and can really put that into the hands and feet of the people that are working on the front lines.

And so we really struggled until Angie got there. And Angie was very diligent in the way that she prepared for what she knew she had to do. And one of the things I always love about Angie, and I knew very early that her and I were going to get along, is she made a decision that her primary focus was to watch and learn, observe, and understand.

And so before she had any preconceived ideas about how to handle what was happening in our clinic, or how to lead the clinic, or how to be a quote unquote manager, she took a lot of time to gather the information she needed to develop relationships. To honor what has already been there and understand the process and then in a way that's very logical and relational, gave us a chance to develop how she would put herself inside of that so that I could step back and step away from that role.

And she has continued to do that with every new leadership role that she sets herself into. She's very logical, very diligent, very relational and puts one step in front of the other before she jumps to what I think a lot of leaders like to do, not just managers, but a lot of leaders like to do in that they would like to apply previous learnings to new situations, and it's tempting, especially with experience that we get further and further along that we think we know what we're doing.

And again, she's very respectful of what's happening to understand that every situation is new and requires a new solution to it. So she gathered that understanding very quickly and the support of those around her. And we could tell within the first six months of her being there that this was going to be different.

And she really hasn't looked back since then.

Anderson Williams: It's interesting that you use the metaphor of one step in front of the other, because she talked about being a long distance runner. And interestingly, she talked about both being the runner and her time where she is pacing runners. Which I think is a fascinating metaphor and combination of roles from being that individual who's trying to seek a goal to being the person who is working in service of other people's goals.

And I'm just curious, one of the things she mentioned in doing that is that she'll never accept listening to the pain or the what ifs. She just focuses and grinds through. And I'm curious how that resonates with your experience with her. And if there are any examples of where you have seen her just be able to focus on what she needs to focus on, get the team focused and grind through like she's running that marathon.

Dr. Josh Everts: Yeah, I mean, I couldn't have said it better, she really exemplifies persistence, endurance and just a relentless pursuit of what she knows needs to get done.

Accepting Change

Anderson Williams: It's clear Angie has been an invaluable partner for Dr. Everts as he's built his practices and now as they help build OMS 360. Here Angie shares more about her experience with Dr. Everts at Community Oral Facial Surgery or COFS and her experience as they partnered with Shore Capital and OMS 360.

Angie Gould: So, when I first started with COFS, I was the manager of just Alabaster. And when I said that I was doing this same role, but kind of on a smaller scale, there were four offices with COFS, and so I helped manage all of those. So when OMS 360 elevated me to the regional role, Texas came on board. The difference is that COFS, we all had the same vision and we were already going in a direction and I was just helping facilitate that the operations were the same because those doctors can't be in those four practices.

But going to Texas, I was trying to take best practices that we were doing at COFS and implementing them in Texas. But you can't just come in with an initiative and start driving that, right? You've got to get people on board. And so there were challenges there. And the biggest challenges are that people don't like change.

And so, for me, when I come into a practice, no matter if it was COFS, because I did have people that didn't want to change, I also had that in Texas. I told Trevor and I also told Jeff, when I step into this role in Texas, I'm not going to make changes very fast. I've got to get people on board first, gain some camaraderie with these people so that they trust me, doctors included.

And so it's been gradual, but we're almost a year in and we're already seeing some great changes, great improvements, and I'm excited.

Anderson Williams: So I'd love to hear you say more about that because in our portfolio companies are growing and changing. We're integrating new companies. We're bringing on people. Change is the word of the day.

Everybody is experiencing it. And so when you talk about that year and that commitment to say, I'm not going in here fast, I'm going to go in here deliberate. What are some of the things that you go in and do or don't do that you know work when it comes to going in and trying to maybe change a process or change a brand or change a team or just being a new face?

Like for anybody who's listening, who's living that world? What are some of your tips?

Angie Gould: I usually try to gravitate toward the people who are accepting of the change that I'm trying to bring. I don't focus on the negativity, I focus on the positive, and I just try to build relationships. And so that's what I've done for months before I started doing anything.

And I've told the Texas group this, just because it works for COFS doesn't mean it's going to work exactly the same in Texas. We're going to tweak it. We're going to change it. And that's what we've done at COFS and because where we are today at COFS is not where we were when I first started. I can give you example of things that we've changed along the way, but then we will look at each other and say, this is not working.

Let's tweak it a little bit better, just a little more to the right, a little more to the left. And the people that are trying to come on board and work with you, those are the people that I focus on initially. And I try to encourage the people who are resisting the change. But you and I both know this.

Change happens. It's never going to stop. And so for the people who resist that change, they're just going to get left behind.

Personal Persistence

Anderson Williams: Angie is persistent. She keeps the negativity out. She gets stuff done, but she's not doing it for the sake of getting it done or for herself. She's not burning through people.

She's building trust. She's building teams. She's building people in a way she knows you grow and scale a business. What advice based on what you know today would you give that version of you that was on the front end of her career and her life and life and career together? What advice would you give that version of yourself?

Angie Gould: To believe in yourself and not allow the imposter syndrome voice to speak too loudly. Because that's real and I can tell you that as I've gone through my career, I've felt like I've looked over my shoulder at times and thought, "Do they know the responsibility they're giving me? Do they trust me to do this?"

Can I do this? And Izzy is my husband and he and I talk a lot about work. He also loves his job. I love my job. It doesn't feel like a job at all. And anytime that I've had those feelings and I've talked to him about it, he said, you got to where you are because of what you did, not because of what anyone else did, because of what you did.

People see what is inside of you and how hard you work and your passion for things.

Anderson Williams: Angie Gould is an everyday hero whose superpower is her persistence. Angie knows how to put one foot in front of the other, to run the marathon, to shut out the negative voices. But perhaps more importantly, she knows how to pace others, to help them put one foot in front of the other, to shut down their negative voices.

Whether as a marathoner or as a manager, Angie seems to understand the moment and to know there's no crossing the finish line without taking your best next step.

If you enjoyed this episode, please visit www.shorecp.university/podcasts. There you will find our other Everyday Heroes episodes. As well as our Microcap Moments and Bigger, Stronger, Faster. series, each highlighting the people and stories that make the microcap space unique. This podcast was produced by Shore Capital Partners with story and narration by Anderson Williams, recording and editing by Andrew Malone, editing by Reel Audiobooks, Sound Design, Mixing, and Mastering by Mark Galup of Reel Audiobooks.

Special thanks to Angie Gould and Dr. Josh Everts. This podcast is the property of Shore Capital Partners, LLC. None of the content herein is investment advice, an offer of investment advisory services, nor a recommendation or offer relating to any security. See the Terms of Use page on the Shore Capital website for other important information.

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