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Henry DePhillips, M.D., Chief Medical Officer of Teladoc
Physician – Entrepreneur/Executive – Maverick

“Listen closely to maverick entrepreneurs…and you quickly realize that they don’t sound like traditional executives.” – William C. Taylor and Polly G. Labarr, Mavericks at Work: Why the Most Original Minds in Business Win (2006)


By Mary Jo Krump, Social Media Director for The Purpose is Profit

Your first encounter with Dr. Henry DePhillips will unveil a fast-thinking, intelligent wit and an articulate style. You will quickly discern that Henry is also passionate about being an agent for change in the U.S. healthcare industry.

Henry is the Chief Medical Officer for Teladoc, a top telemedicine healthcare provider. Teladoc delivers treatment to patients by board-certified physicians for non-emergency medical conditions through video conferencing, phone call, or mobile app. The company’s treatment model is disrupting the long-entrenched provider-centric healthcare system with a consumer-centric model that gives patients access to high quality, safe, cost-effective healthcare wherever and whenever they are sick, not just during doctors’ office hours.

It is no small feat to make a dent in the $3.8 trillion healthcare industry and to charter a new path. But it’s the kind of disruption that creates a comfort zone for entrepreneurs like Dr. DePhillips, who is armed with a power-cocktail of medical expertise, business skills, and an entrepreneurial mindset.

Like most successful entrepreneurs, Henry didn’t become one of telemedicine’s greatest champions for consumer-oriented healthcare overnight. Before becoming a pioneer in delivering healthcare through communications technology, Henry lived, learned, failed, and learned again. He nurtured an entrepreneurial mindset almost all his life. I recently had the pleasure to interview him, and he shared these 9 Principles that have expedited his success.


 9 Success Principles


Watch the Trends of Your Industry

Often the best ideas on how to disrupt an industry come out of following the trends. Henry was a serial entrepreneur in the healthcare information technology field for ten years before joining Teladoc. As a student of market trends, he knew that telehealth, the delivery of health-related services, and information via telecommunications technologies, would be a growth area for his industry.

What you can do: Observe how things are changing. Use past information and present conditions to make your best guess about how things will look in the future, and then be alert for potential, disruptive breakthroughs.


Think Differently

When you look at each situation, product, or service, realize there is an undercurrent of “what-ifs” and potential breakthroughs beneath the surface.

What you can do: Asked the un-asked questions. Notice what most people don’t take the time to see. Do it at work, but also do it in life’s everyday moments. Make it a habit.


Embrace Change

The vast majority of human beings are change-averse, but the entrepreneur who embraces change doesn’t shy away from a new opportunity.

What you can do: Be the opposite of change-averse. Welcome change and realize that it could mean new opportunity around the next corner.


Ask Yourself: Should I Expand My Distinctive Competence?

As a graduate of Hahnemann Medical School and a Private Practice Physician for ten years, Henry’s distinctive competence in medicine was obvious. But he noticed that few of his colleagues had business expertise. Henry knew that business acumen would highly complement his medical knowledge and supercharge his ability to positively affect his industry. Having the right skillset can determine the difference between launching a profitable business or a potential failure.

Ask yourself: “What is your distinctive competence –the skills, knowledge and expertise that set you apart?” Is there a secondary skill that would bolster your expertise and give you a competitive edge?


Look for Self-Improvement Options

For his business training, Henry considered two choices: a traditional MBA program or one he would construct for himself. He chose the latter and started with audio business books written by CEOs like Jack Welch. During daily three-hour commutes, Henry stacked up knowledge from 170 books. He described this book-reading experience as “Automobile University,” a phrase he borrowed from renowned author and motivational speaker Zig Ziglar.

After priming himself with book knowledge, Henry sought out CEOs in Austin and Los Angeles who offered business-mentoring programs. At his own expense and time, he invested four-day weekends three or four times a year and soaked up the knowledge that comes from spending real time with successful CEOs.

Ask Yourself: Do you need more training? Is there an “Automobile University” waiting for you in your car or during your commute? Whether you choose a formal institution of training or a non-conventional training program, look for networking business opportunities beyond the classroom.


Failure is an Event, Not a Quality

Henry asserts, “Even the most abysmal failure does not describe who you are. It simply describes what you did.”

Have you failed?

Henry calls failure “a stepping stone to success.” If you take the time to learn what you did wrong, failure can be an excellent teacher.


Spend Time with People Who Have the Success You Want

Watch how the winners think. Observe how they deal with success and how they handle failure.

Ask yourself: Whom do you admire? Read about them. Get to know them. Learn their basic framework of assumptions and how they think.


Find a CEO with a Management Style that Fits Your Work Style

How do entrepreneurs like Dr. DePhillips benefit both themselves and their companies when working for others? In Henry’s own words, “Micromanagement doesn’t work with entrepreneurs who work for someone else.” If this describes you, “Be sure your CEO is a great mentor and a great leader, who gives you the latitude to accomplish the results you both want.”

Ask yourself: Can you thrive in your work environment and gain the experience you need to realize your own dreams?


You Are Running a Marathon, Not a Sprint

Some people treat entrepreneurship as a sprint and get burned out quickly. They don’t take time to nurture their business, their family, or their physical wellbeing.

Know this: Henry said, “One moment seldom defines the rest of your career.” Weigh each decision carefully, attend to your personal life, and be ready for the long, adventurous haul!


Healthcare is only one of many industries that need entrepreneurs like Henry who don’t shy away from disrupting the status quo. Can you be a catalyst of change in your industry?

Ed McLaughlin wants to help you on your entrepreneurial journey with his complimentary eCopy of the PreRelease Snapshot of The Purpose Is Profit. Download it here. The PreRelease Snapshot includes “An Entrepreneur’s Motivation” and your personal eGuide, “The Startup Roadmap: 21 Steps to Profitability.”

Would you like to share your thoughts? Email or comment here.


Ed McLaughlin is currently co-writing the book “The Purpose Is Profit” The Truth about Starting and Building Your Own Business, with Wyn Lydecker and Paul McLaughlin.

Copyright © 2015 by Ed McLaughlin All rights reserved.