Episode 47

Enduring Leadership: The Legacy of the Tuskegee Airmen

with Quentin P. Smith, Jr.

February 3, 2022

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Quentin P. Smith, Jr.
Chairman of the Board, Banner Health

Quentin P. Smith, Jr., chairman of the Banner Health Board of Directors, is president of Cadre Business Advisors, LLC, a professional management-consulting firm with an emphasis on strategic planning, business performance improvement and crisis management. Smith has 40 years of experience providing management services to publicly and privately held businesses and government agencies of virtually every size and scope. To effectively execute business strategies, he often assumes the role of board chairman or interim CEO, taking responsibility for corporate governance, capital formation, setting the company’s operating strategy, and guiding it to profitability.

In addition to Banner Health, Smith’s past and present board service includes Store Capital, Orion Group Holdings, Arizona Public Service, Rodel, Inc., iCrossing, Arizona MultiBank, Greater Phoenix Leadership, and the Morrison Institute for Public Policy at Arizona State University. 

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in industrial management and computer science from the Krannert School of Business at Purdue University and a master’s in business administration from Pepperdine University in Malibu, California.


If you want to join a board, work on your network. Over time, your network will expand. You need an evangelist and advocate to bring you along and get you in a position.



[00:00:47] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Leadership is timeless. Qualities like courage and resilience are recognized as the underpinnings of notable leaders. Today, we feature a discussion with Quentin Smith, Jr., Chairman of the Banner Health board. By design, we expanded our conversation to include his father, Quentin P. Smith, who served this country as an original Tuskegee Airman. The Tuskegee Airmen joined the army to fly planes in World War Two and prove that the prevailing belief that African Americans could not fly airplanes was false. They succeeded famously by flying 1500 combat missions, receiving over 1000 air metals and 96 distinguished flying crosses. They faced challenges along the way, of course, due to the racism and segregation that existed in the military in the early 1940s. Incidents, such as an early reluctance to assign the Tuskegee Airmen to combat and the now infamous Freeman Field Mutiny, dotted their careers. Quentin’s stories about his father remind us of how far we’ve come as a country in the last 80 years. Quentin learned patience and a practical approach to life from his father. After our conversation, I regret never having the opportunity to meet him. We wrapped up with a discussion of his role as Chairman of Banner Health, his priorities, and how the board handled the COVID crisis. For young leaders, Quentin advises don’t underestimate yourself. Assume you have capacity for leadership.

Well, good morning, Quentin and welcome.

[00:02:25] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Thank you. Good to be here, Gary, thank you.

[00:02:27] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: We’re pleased to have you at this microphone. As you know this show is about leadership and you’ve been a leader throughout your career. in terms of healthcare in particular. of course you’re a founding director and chairman of the banner health board. And we’d like to explore with you leadership from a board seat in a bit. But we’re expanding the show to discuss your father, Quentin P. Smith, who served his country as a Tuskegee Airman. And we’re excited to have that discussion with you and. we Appreciate, the fact that you came on to share your recollections of your father and his experiences as an original, I should say, as an original Tuskegee Airman. So why don’t we kick it off Quentin? And I think the first question is what was life like growing up for you?

[00:03:19] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Well, I was born and raised in Gary, Indiana and I was born in 1951. So from that time through the time that I went to start into high school, Gary, it was kind of a Leave it to Beaver kind of city. It was very prosperous. The steel mills were there. Everybody had jobs, owned homes, had cars. It was great. And then, when I got to eighth grade, busing came into play. So instead of going to the high school that was probably six blocks from my house, I walked that six blocks to get on a bus to go across town, to be part of the integration of the Gary school system, to a high school called Emerson High School, where by the way, Hank Stram graduated from.

[00:04:02] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Ah Okay. Very good.

[00:04:04] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: So it was an all white school on the other side of town and about a hundred kids from my junior high school got bused over there. So that’s when the transition started from away from Leave it to Beaver, to a little more tense sixties kind of racial angst point of view.

[00:04:22] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: What about your parents and what kind of influence did they have on your view of leadership?

[00:04:29] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: My mother installed in me a level of compassion for people. My father was very strict, kind of a hard line guy. And she was the ying to his yang in terms of, how you deal with people. So there’s a compassionate side of me that is rooted in her influence of me, but my father’s influence, he was a very principled, tough, determined man. And you combine that attitude with being 6’3 and about 240, it’s quite a presence. And he was not only my father, but he was Mr. Smith, Big Q, to everybody else in town because he either had them in elementary school, junior high school, or high school as students. And they all knew him. And they knew him as I knew him. So I had to share him with the rest of the community in Gary, but he was a strict disciplinarian, kept me on the straight and narrow. And that’s embedded in me as well.

[00:05:35] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Well, at what point did you start thinking about leadership and perhaps participate in leadership? What was kind of your early reflections about leadership for yourself, Quentin?

[00:05:46] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: When I started my freshman year in high school, when I was bused, my father decided that I needed to get out of that situation and he’s a Boy Named Sue kind of guy. He wanted to immerse me into an even more state of the world environment. Plus I had a few friends that were, in those days, what we’d call juvenile delinquents. And he didn’t want that influence. So, at the end of my freshman year, he shipped me off to Howe Military School. So in the military school, he thought either I would just fold my tent because I couldn’t handle it or I would emerge a different person and become on my way to being a man. And that worked because leadership for me started when I realized it was a school of about 500 kids. There were roughly 80 kids in my senior class. I was the only black. But I was elected senior class president and was promoted to commander of my company, which was a bunch of kids in a barracks, which was about 80 kids. And as a result of that, the competitions during the year, we won every one of them. So I saw that I could lead people even at that level and gave me a level of self-confidence that took me into my beginning of my adult years and into my career

[00:07:14] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Well, let’s turn to your father. In particular, what do you remember about him and his view of being a Tuskegee Airman, the original group of Tuskegee Airmen?

[00:07:26] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: It really didn’t come up until he really thought I was in a position mentally to understand what he wanted to communicate. Much like the movies that are out, some of them are very pollyannaish. But the truth of the Tuskegee Airmen, he didn’t discuss with me at all until I was probably in college. And I didn’t know what they did or how they did it or what happened, but he took out his scrapbook and he showed me all the memorabilia, starting with the document that incarcerated him. And if it were not for President Truman, we would not be having this conversation because I would never have been born because my father would have been in prison for 20 years along with his compatriots. So that’s when he first told me about it. And once he did, and I understood what it meant, beyond just the flying and the Air Force stuff, that it was a sentinel moment in race relations in the United States, gave me a certain perspective about not only what he and his guys went through, but what America unfortunately was like, and to armor myself accordingly, as I became more and more of an adult and went out on my own.

[00:08:43] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Yeah, you’re referring to what the literature calls the Freeman Field, which was an airfield, the Freeman Field Mutiny. Can you describe how this Freeman field mutiny came about and how it was resolved?

[00:08:57] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: First off, it’s important to understand that Freeman Field is not in Alabama. It’s in Indiana. Much like a lot of people don’t realize that the Ku Klux Klan has its roots in Indiana, not in the south. So Freeman Field was where a lot of the guys were training. They finished their training and they were awarded their Second Lieutenant bars. When that occurred, the first thing on their mind was, we’re going to go to the officer’s club because we’re officers. And they were met at the door by the MPs and they said, you cannot come in because it’s segregated. So imagine Chappie James, my father, his size, a bunch of guys his size, and 99 other big black guys, and they pushed her way past the MPs and went in. So keeping in mind, they disregarded a direct order during war time, which by definition is treason, they were all, sequestered, asked or forced, or tried to force, them to sign a document that said they were wrong. And the ones that refused were sentenced and sent to jail. And that’s what happened at Freeman Field.

[00:10:12] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: And the original Tuskegee Airmen were 101, was that first kind of original class. And actually the literature reports at 120 arrests took place because several of them were arrested more than once, unfortunately. So, that was, in a way, a turning point, I think, for the Army Air Force. And as you point out, President Truman actually got involved a couple of different ways, but I think in 1948, he signed an executive order banning any kind of segregation in the military. But, of course that wasn’t signed at that point. Well, let’s go back to your father and how did he become interested in flying?

[00:10:55] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: I think it was more by accident. What the being part of the “Tuskegee Experiment” meant for him was a way to demonstrate to white America that blacks were not inferior. It was just coincidental that the mechanism to be able to do that or the vehicle to do that was flying. What a lot of people really don’t know about my father, and maybe some other guys too, but my father, he, wasn’t really excited about flying. It’s just like up in the air? So, he steeled himself to be able to deal with it. And his cousin, Chappie, who was two years younger than he, always wanted to be a flyer and he calmed down and got him to the point that he could deal with it. But his motivation was using that as a vehicle to prove what he knew to be true to everyone,

[00:11:50] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: So you’re referring to Chappie James, Daniel Chappie James. And he was the first African-American four star general and I think received that appointment in 1975. Your father, he was a big guy, so he probably didn’t fit into a fighter airplane easily. I would think he probably was more suitable for a bomber. Is that true?

[00:12:12] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Yeah. I mean, he was, a slender big guy. I mean, he was muscular, no fat, that kind of thing, but still just his frame didn’t lend to being in a small cockpit that the P-51 was. And if you look at most of the guys, that were the real P-51 guys, they’re more my size, 5’9, 5’10, maybe, at that time, maybe 160, 175 pounds. But the bomber compartments were huge. But, but he was able to squeeze himself in, but it didn’t give him a lot of maneuverability. But his main thing was he wanted to make sure that he taught the guys that were in the program well because that was his background. He was a teacher, started off as an English and Latin teacher. But he was a very, very good instructor in general and he used those skills to help guys get through the program because the toughest part wasn’t the physicality of flying. It was the physics of flying, all the science and the math they had to do. And he was a very good mathematician.

[00:13:14] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: We should go back because you mentioned that your dad felt a commitment.In the twenties and thirties, the Army War College put out some studies, or at least opinions, that said that blacks weren’t capable of flying an airplane, basically, is what it said. And so that caused a lot of pushback, obviously, and lobbying, and President Roosevelt got involved, and so on. And so in 1939, they created the civilian pilot training program. And part of that was a clause that said that, basically, you can’t discriminate against African-Americans. And so part of that, then, was to create, in colleges around the country, a number of flying programs. And so that was the entree for certain of the African-Americans to become trained and Tuskegee Institute was kind of a centerpiece of all that. Was your dad, did he go through the civilian pilot training program?

[00:14:19] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: I’m pretty sure he did, but Chappie went to school at Tuskegee. So it was easy for him. But my father went to college at Indiana State and Indiana University, so he used the program, I’m pretty certain, at the Freeman Field location and didn’t spend a lot of time outside of Indiana, to my recollection. I may be wrong, but that’s my recollection.

[00:14:43] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: At the end of the day, you were older in college when your father began to discuss this with you, but what was his general feeling about being one of the original Tuskegee Airmen?

[00:14:54] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Again, I didn’t know this until my twenties, but he is, he was extremely proud of what those guys accomplished, specifically back to what I said before, to be able to prove the antithesis of what you said earlier about the Generals thinking blacks are not capable of learning how to fly because it’s an intricate exercise and blacks don’t have the mental capacity to do so. And to be able to disprove that in spades was the victory. Having the gold bars was just a collateral result. But for America to see that the inverse was true was what he was extremely proud of. And he shared that same sentiment with the guys that he went through the program with.

[00:15:42] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Obviously there had to have been some, both frustration and just hard feelings about what he had to endure, not the least of which is to be arrested during this time when he was in the service of the military. Did he express that to you, Quentin? I mean, did you pick up some of that feeling?

[00:16:02] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Not so much frustration, but he was a realist. He knew what America was and he knew that you, as a black man in the forties, fifties, sixties, you had basically one of two choices. You could succumb to what was going on or you could rise above it. And he was a rise above it kind of guy. And the experience, all it did was embolden him to not succumb to it. And as a result of his mental adjustment to that, he embodied that in me as well because he told me, he said, son, in Gary, when I was growing up, you really needed to kind of go out of your way to find somebody not of color in our neighborhood. But in the world, you can’t avoid it. Okay? And he knew that that’s where I was going to have to live. And he wanted me to understand what the history was, what you’re up against, and what those two choices were. And it strengthened me to the point that, when I was confronted with some of this negativism around race, that it wouldn’t crush me, I would be able to deal with and be armored against it.

[00:17:25] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Well, the progression in Washington, of course, was again, Truman signed an executive order in ’48. The civil rights act was passed in 1964 and then, probably, President Obama being elected in the 2000 timeframe, 2008, that probably, I would think for your father, was kind of a, hey, we finally made it sort of thing. Is that the way he looked at it or not?

[00:17:52] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Yeah, but let me go back. There’s one other date that’s important. All of those guys, although they were discharged favorably, their records still had the arrest But in 1992, 50 years later, Bill Clinton expunged their record. That’s an important thing to understand. It took that long for a president to deal with this completely. My father has always been the rock in our family and I’ve only experienced him get emotional to the point of crying twice. Once, when he had to bury his brother. And the second one was when Obama got elected because, in his mind, and I’m sure his compatriots mind, that was an impossibility. A lot of things have changed, but that was not even possible. So for that to happen before he passed was probably equal to, if not greater than, the accomplishment that they made debunking their ability to be able to fly a plane, to see that occur. So I’m glad that that happened in his lifetime.

[00:19:01] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: So the original Tuskegee Airmen, that original group, were 101 of them. And ultimately there are almost a thousand African-Americans that went through the program. Nearly 400 were actually deployed and flew the missions. There were something like a thousand citations of one kind or another. They were very successful pilots and had records that would show that. And one of the things that they ended up doing with, it’s called the 99th Fighter Squadron, is that group. They painted the tails of their planes red. You see in the literature a lot of pictures of these P-51s and P whatever that had red tails. And so that was kind of one of the things that captured the fancy. When you think about just the compression of time, that original work that came out of the Army War College as a hundred years ago. The Civil Rights Act was, what, 65 or 70 years ago. President Obama was 20 years ago. So, I mean, there’s been a lot of evolution through this last 100 years, but boy, the patience said it has taken, Quentin, for somebody like your dad or really any African-American is hard to imagine.

[00:20:22] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Yeah. And it’s one of these things where you either understand the game you’re in and you learn to play it well, and I don’t mean that life is a game and I’m just using this as a kind of a euphemism. Or you don’t understand the game and you get crushed. So chipping away at some of the things that you’ve talked about were very, very important. There’s still a lot of things that need to be done, not only for black Americans, but Hispanic Americans and anybody else that’s not of the majority, the historic majority. But there’s been some advances. But there’s been some retreating over the last eight years or so. And that needs to be reset. But for my father and his guys to be one of the pillars of starting that change, or one of the dominoes in that change, I think is extremely important and I’m very proud of him and his guys.

[00:21:18] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Yeah, for sure. I mean, most of the literature says that that whole Freeman Field incident, really was a turning point in basically eliminating segregation in the military. It didn’t take place right away, but that was the turning point for it. So good for your father. And thank you for sharing that with us. Why don’t we turn to you and the Banner Health board if we could. You talked about a kind of retrenchment in the last eight years or so, but one of the things that’s happened of course, with COVID, it’s pointed out that there is major gaps in health equity, is the term, in this country. So when did you become interested in healthcare and why did you become interested in the Banner board as a founding director of Banner Health?

[00:22:07] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Well, a little background first. My business was in Los Angeles, but in the mid-eighties, the Phoenix power base decided that they couldn’t rely on real estate and hospitality industries to survive economically. So they wanted to get more tech companies into the greater Phoenix area. And I was in the technology business. So they formed a group to recruit businesses there that were in technology and mine got recruited there in 1989. So, I got to know the community very well. We sold our company in 1992. My wife and son and I moved here in 1992 and because of the way I was recruited and who was on the recruiting team, governors, mayors, all the top business people, I had a certain prominence at that time, generally speaking, and as a black businessman, even moreso in Arizona I had a lot of visibility. So, the Samaritan Health Systems, which had been there for years and through from the forties, they were looking to add some new people to the board and they wanted certain expertise.

They needed technology expertise. And they offered me to come on to that board. And that was 1995. Fast forward to 1999. We decided, as Samaritan that maybe the best thing to do is to get stronger by getting bigger. So we merged Samaritan with Lutheran Health Systems out of the Dakotas and that’s how Banner was formed. So they took seven board members from Samaritan, seven from Lutheran, and one guy that had no relationship prior, formed Banner, and we were off and running. And healthcare, unlike building computers or providing some kind of service or whatever, it’s the only thing that I’ve ever been able to work with where you literally can affect a person’s life. And to be able to help people be healthy, stay healthy, and fix them when they’re not healthy, it doesn’t get any better than that. So that was my attraction. I’ve been on and off a lot of different boards, but I’ve been affiliated with healthcare since 1995.

[00:24:26] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: How has COVID affected Banner Health?

[00:24:29] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: I’ll segment into two buckets. The first one, and not the most important by any means, but the first one is, a lot of healthcare organizations didn’t do well with COVID simply because they weren’t financially sound enough to deal with it and didn’t have enough resources and enough creativity to be able to deal with it. So from a financial point of view prior to COVID, Banner had performed very well financially. So we were well heeled from a cash perspective. So we were able to deal with having elective surgeries cut off, having the normal things that you would do at a hospital that generate income cut off, and to then absorb a share of the market for helping COVID patients that was higher than our normal market share. The combination of those things for organizations that weren’t in the same position we are, that they got hurt. So we were able to manage our way through that even before the PPP money even showed up. That part was fairly easy to deal with. The part that was really tough and remains to be tough, not just for Banner, but our frontline people are accustomed to a physician doing a diagnosis, prescribing a method to get you well. You bring them into the hospital or treat them in an outpatient center. You fix them and they go home back to their families, and they’re fine. For our frontline people to be in a position where, no matter what they did, they were losing patients, it was devastating emotionally and physically because they were garbed in all this stuff. They were having trouble breathing just normally. They were watching the demise of people that they couldn’t save. That became the equivalent of PTSD in the war kind of situation. And we had to recognize that, particularly our nurses, were technically in that mental state. And we had to address it that way. But even being able to do that, and we did it from the board level all the way down. We were contributing money to our nurses that had to stay over so they could feed their families even though they couldn’t go home. We did a lot of those things. But the thing that we couldn’t do is help that distress of not being able to help their patients. And with 16,000 nurses that’s a lot of people that were on the front. And I’m just talking about the nurses, particularly. Now the docs are in the same boat, but the nurses were the key. And then on top of that, across the board, nationally, a lot of nurses since the first wave of the pandemic has subsided, it was too much for them and they’ve quit the industry of being a nurse, which now is putting additional pressure on the frontline because you don’t have enough people, just like the airlines have had the same problem, to be able to do your regular job. So there’s still a residual effect of the first part of COVID. It’s being exacerbated now because the admissions are spiking again. And we’ve come up with a lot of unique ways, we think, and impactful ways to try to minimize the impact on our frontline folks so that they can do their job that they want to do and not have them retreat from the industry.

[00:27:54] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: How did you view your role as Chairman of the Board and clearly a leadership role in terms of how Banner Health was assessing and reacting to COVID. How did you view your role as Chairman?

[00:28:07] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: First off, as chairman of any company, it’s about guiding your fellow board members to make solid, well-informed, right decisions and to support this, the CEO and management team to get their job done when they need it. So from a COVID perspective, the good thing about us being a not for profit is that our primary mission is not earnings per share. It’s not stockholder value. It’s community service and being a good fiduciary of a community asset. We take the position that Banner is owned by our communities. The CEO doesn’t own a piece. I don’t own a piece. It belongs to the community. So our first mission, as I said earlier, is to do the right thing for those constituents and don’t think about profitability as your first filter. Because, like I said, we’ve done well, we have quite a bit of cash on hand to be able to do things, to be able to absorb maybe a negative cashflow point of view. And we’ve made those kinds of decisions, and would do it again. So my job is to make sure that we stay on point, don’t lose our discipline around what our true mission is, and giving every board member an opportunity to contribute equally. No board member has more influence than the other. My job, or any Chairman’s job, is to provide that guidance toward that mission and make sure that everybody has a chance to contribute.

[00:29:38] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Quentin, other than specific COVID related decisions that the board needs to make and considerations that they are making, what priorities are you setting as Chairman for Banner Health?

[00:29:53] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: A couple. That’s a good question. The first one is, transitioning Banner from its current state to its next state. Our CEO, a lot of people don’t even believe me when I say this, when he came on board 20 years ago, he gave us a 20 year plan. And he followed it and we followed it. That 20 years is up. So now we’re in the middle of doing the next 10 years. So, I’m shepherding that process and thinking about, do we expand into different regions, do we expand more vertically integrated in terms of services, which we’re doing, like we’re getting heavy into sports medicine as an example. So there’s geographic expansion possibilities. There’s service line possibilities. And just raising the bar in terms of what the community believes is the best healthcare solution for them and where they can feel safe. That’s that. One of the things that’s personal for me, and using my bully pulpit to do, is in supplier and employment diversity. Our board has always been diverse. Number of women, blacks, Hispanics, that’s never been an issue. Our employment base is very diverse, easily quite diverse from a gender point of view. Our executive suite, we’re going to continue to work on that because there needs to be more diversity there. But one of the other ones is supplier diversity. We spend billions of dollars buying stuff and building things to make sure that a good proportion of that money is put in the hands of minority, women, and disadvantaged businesses, so that that money can go back to their communities and thus impact economics where they live, and spread the wealth.

[00:31:40] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: That’s admirable for sure. You mentioned that your board is very diverse. How do you go about recruiting board members, Quentin?

[00:31:48] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: We use two or three approaches. The first thing we want to do is have physically enough people to be able to effectively populate our committees. You need enough people to run the board. So you start with, how many people do you need and maintaining that level. So we have some people the term out because of our age limit. And when they term out and we are below our number to manage, the criteria that we use to bring on new board members are two or three. Number one is we always ask the CEO, are there any other skill sets that the board needs to help you and your management team that you don’t already have? And if the answer has a list, we specifically go out and try to recruit that. If you go back 15 years or so, one of the things we were getting into that we hadn’t before is very consumer oriented marketing. We had nobody on the boards that did that. So we went out and recruited the head of multi-cultural marketing from Disney, who happened to be a Hispanic businessman. That’s one way we decide. The other is, there’s some compliance areas. We always need a physician on the board, at least one, to have that perspective. So we always make sure we have that skillset on the board. And then lastly, what we call opportunistic adds, people that are just solid business folks, they can really add value, no particular need for them, but they’re available and we grab them. So we have a very sharp board, much like a public company would be, not what stereotypically you might think of a not-for-profit board to be. Very strong, very sharp in their domain, in generally, and really do a good job of helping our CEO navigate some of these tougher strategic issues.

[00:33:31] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Well, the board’s in good hands with you as Chair, I must say. And Quentin, this has been a terrific interview. We really appreciate your being with us and sharing recollections about your father. Very important discussion to have, in my opinion. I’ve got two remaining questions. First is, what advice do you give for a younger person who, perhaps, doesn’t have board experience, but is interested in being a board member of a hospital or a health system? What advice would you give them?

[00:34:04] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: I would tell them to start with some of the other not-for-profit boards where they live that aren’t, big time businesses, but just to understand how boards work, what they’re supposed to do, and get acclimated to that type of relationship with an organization. And there are a lot of community service organizations that are available, the United Way, the Urban League, Teach for America. There are a lot of those that have that ability to get you at a table with people that are your peers and learn what being a board member is about. And then work on your network, your business network, because when board members are picked, they’re either picked one way or the other. Either I know somebody and I recommend them, or we go to a professional recruiter and they have a database. So either you gotta be part of my network or part of their network to be able to be pulled in. So work on your network. And over time that network will increase and be more expansive. And if you spend some time on some of the other boards I just talked about that are the starter boards, I would classify. You’ll know how to get there, but board service is kind of chicken and the egg. You can’t get your first one sometimes because you haven’t already been on the board. So, you really need an evangelist and an advocate to bring you along and get you in a position that you might not be able to do by yourself, but at least get that preliminary experience in some of that board service that I talked about.

[00:35:39] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Last question is, for a younger, up and coming leader, what advice would you have for them, Quentin?

[00:35:47] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: I would say, first off, some people think that they don’t have what it takes to lead. Start with, don’t go there first. Assume that you do have that capacity and put yourself in a position to be able to litmus test yourself to be able to see if you really don’t have it. And that’s not a bad thing. It just is what it is. But put yourself in a position where you are called upon or forced to lead and see what you do with those situations. Most people want to be led or to follow. There aren’t a tremendous amount of people that are true leaders. And one of our number one mantras at Banner is, leadership matters. And leadership comes in a lot of different forms. But to your question, just don’t underestimate yourself. Put yourself in a position to see what you’re made of, and as a result of that experience, to decide how to incrementally increase your leadership challenges and you’ll blossom.

[00:36:50] Gary Bisbee, Ph.D.: Terrific interview. Thanks so much, Quentin. We appreciate your time and your insights today.

[00:36:56] Quentin P. Smith, Jr.: Thank you Gary for inviting me. This has been great.

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