Transformational Leadership Lessons From a Pro Athlete with Chris Redhage at ProviderTrust

Every business must execute if they want to stay in business. I also believe that companies must develop their people. One way to look at this is transformational leadership. It is an essential set of strategies and approaches to get people to shift from the inside out. Today’s guest is Christopher Redhage, Co-Founder and Partner at ProviderTrust. Inc Magazine ranked his company #3715 on the 2021 Inc 5000 list. ProviderTrust is a healthcare software resource providing a simple solution for storing, managing, and monitoring required healthcare credentials. Christopher shares his insights on transformational leadership and why it matters. We talk about the everyday management oversights that get in the way of leading your people. Discover more about transformational leadership so you can lead powerfully.

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Chris Redhage: The Transcript

About: Christopher Redhage is a Co-founder at ProviderTrust. ProviderTrust automates monthly healthcare exclusion monitoring as required by HHS/CMS by monitoring the OIG exclusion list and state exclusion lists continuously for healthcare employees and vendors. The ProviderTrust monitor system also provides healthcare organizations with a way to continuously monitor healthcare professionals’ Federal & State disciplinary actions and license status at the primary source.

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Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.

Christopher Redhage: For me, good leadership is it’s more than just achieving your goals. It’s more than just a paycheck at the end of the day or a good, good exit for the entrepreneur. It’s actually asking how am I impacting our team? How am I setting them up to be successful? Not only while when they’re at provider trust, but after provider trust. And then also asking like, how are we helping her? Are our. How are we helping our local city and really beginning to think about like, not only is provider trust or our businesses here to do paychecks, but we’re also here to like make our companies that make our communities better. So that, that’s what I would say. Good leadership is. Leadership can achieve both. Good leader. The ship is transformative and transforming to both the individual, the business.

[00:00:55] Gene Hammett: Welcome to growth think tank. This is the one and only place where you will get [00:01:00] insight from the founders and the CEOs, the fastest-growing privately held companies.

[00:01:04] I am the host. My name is Gene Hammett. I hope leaders and their teams navigate the defining moments of their growth. Are you ready to grow today? We look at good leadership. We’re going to go a little bit further than just good leadership. We’re going to look at transformational leadership. When I think about this inside of organizations, when someone tells me they’ve embraced the aspects of transformational leadership, I get excited.

[00:01:27] Also get a little curious about what is included in their perspective of transformational leadership. Well, today we have a very special guest. His name is Chris. Redditch and he is the co-founder of provider trust. They were on the Inc list this past year. In fact, they’ve been on it five. That’s kind of some of the impact they’ve made because of this transformational leadership and their focus on people and culture.

[00:01:49] But he’s also a professional athlete. He comes from many different organizations, but he’s currently the co-owner of Nashville, SC one of the MLS teams. And they’re doing pretty well [00:02:00] this year, but he talks about some of the things he learned on the field through professional sports and how that applies to transformational.

[00:02:07] And in leadership in general, what we talk about today will help you be a better, stronger leader, more effective. One of the things I like most is he talks about the importance of people and about really what that means inside of our organizations and how we got to make them feel a sense of caring and love across the organization.

[00:02:26] And that is a big part of transformational leadership. He shares you one of his favorite moments of leadership. I think you’ll learn from, and it’ll be quite different than what you’re used to. All this is inside today’s episode. What a pause here for a second, because if you’re a leader who wants to know what their next step is, I think you should know exactly where you’re going and what is next. And you’ve got to have someone on your team that can help you support you and challenge you where you need it. And many people don’t have that sounding board. Well, I’m here for you. I’d love to get to know you and what you’re doing. I’d love to help you specifically on what your next step is. Help you see [00:03:00] the blind spots or you’re not even.

[00:03:02] They’re keeping you from being the transformational leader that you want or being just extraordinary at leadership. All you have to do is go to Jean and say, schedule your call. I’d love to get to know you what’s going on and help you see what you can’t see right in front of you. Just go to Jean and schedule your call today.

[00:03:20] Now here’s the interview with Chris, Chris, how are you excited to have you on the podcast to talk about leadership?

[00:03:27] Christopher Redhage: Absolutely. Thanks for having me. I’m excited to be here.

[00:03:31] Gene Hammett: Well, I’ve let our audience know a little bit about you and our conversation today. I want you to tell us about the company what is, and who his provider trust.

[00:03:38] Christopher Redhage: Yeah, so we always say a lot, you know, no one wakes up. You know is born saying they want to be in healthcare compliance. If you ask people, they’re going to be like, I want to be a pro sports player or rock star, or, you know, something else besides healthcare compliance. So really 10 and a half years ago, almost 11 years ago [00:04:00] started this company. And it really focuses on health care compliance. So if you think about in terms of what we do, we’re a big data company. We help our clients. Make sure that they’re not employing or doing business. With excluded individuals in healthcare.

[00:04:15] Gene Hammett: Well, I appreciate that the work you’ve done, you you’ve had a background before you got into business and the professional sports. Give us a little bit of rundown about that, cause that’s going to link to our conversation today.

[00:04:27] Christopher Redhage: So I grew up in Nebraska. I was one of three boys. Sports was kind of our. To college we didn’t come from a lot of means but we all played different sports. So I played soccer collegially at the University of Richmond. My two old, my older brother played college football at Kansas. And then my younger brother played basketball at Arizona State. So we all, two of us went on to play professionally. I played professionally after college in Atlanta, Charlotte Greenville come around the east coast for two to three.

[00:04:57] Gene Hammett: You had thought there’s a lot of [00:05:00] lessons you learned in being a professional athlete, probably being a college athlete as well around leadership that is applied to your success at provider trust. Where do you want to start this conversation?

[00:05:10] Christopher Redhage: I think a lot of the lessons that I learned from being a collegiate and professional athlete is that to be good and just compete. You had to be really good at a face. The fundamentals, you know, Michael Jordan, he could do all that crazy stuff on the basketball court because he could pass and dribble the ball better than anyone else. And so some of the things that I’ve taken from my days of both playing and coaching into the business arena is what are the things that you want to be doing? Like, do you want to have a good culture? Well, then you actually have to focus on doing things on a daily basis to have a good culture you want to grow.

[00:05:47] If you want to be innovative, you have to put some processes in place that call you back to your mission on any given day. I love this

[00:05:56] Gene Hammett: concept of fundamental. You know, in, in basketball, since you [00:06:00] brought Jordan, that’s really just like being able to do the, the basics, not those fancy dunks that he does.

[00:06:06] And, and all that. I think I was reading something. He, the reason he’s been able to do those fancy dunks is that he has such a grasp of the fundamentals and that’s really all we want.

[00:06:15] Christopher Redhage: Absolutely. And, and, and, and the confidence to do the fundamentals allows you to do the really creative things. And that’s where your natural talent begins to take over.

[00:06:26] So my mission in life is to create an irresistible environment. That allows others to use their gifts and talents to do good work. And so what is good work? Well, they can only do good work when they’re using their gifts and talents. But my job as a leader is to put them in an environment that allows them to do that.

[00:06:47] And then they could come up with. I’ve got to ask you,

[00:06:49] Gene Hammett: what are the core elements of an irresistible environment?

[00:06:53] Christopher Redhage: We have, we have a saying at provider trust. If you’ve seen one healthcare organization, you’ve seen one healthcare [00:07:00] organization, I think cultures are different because they’re serving different purposes and organizations are different.

[00:07:06] They’re living, breathing, organism. And so for us, you know, a good culture is having good core value, right? But not just core values that you put up on the wall, core values actually believe it. All right. That fit your team that your top 20% or top 30% of the company, that’s actually what makes them great.

[00:07:26] And so we’ve really focused on not only aligning our core values to what we want, but also making sure that they’re incorporated corporated into our daily practices.

[00:07:37] Gene Hammett: No, that’s been a common theme throughout many of the episodes here. Fast-growth companies understand the importance of values. We won’t go into much of that today, but give us one reason why values are such an important piece to live out in a day.

[00:07:52] Yeah.

[00:07:52] Christopher Redhage: So I’m a real big believer in conflict. Not that I like to go around and have conflict all over the place, but I believe that it [00:08:00] actually is if you’re not having conflict, you’re not in a relationship. So we have a value, to tell the truth, and to do what’s good, right? Not what do what’s right. Do what’s good.

[00:08:11] And there was a lot of discussion around what’s good at provocative trusts, but along with that, we have. Conflict resolution policy, where we talk about how do you actually have conflict? How do you do it in a healthy way? And then what’s the timeframe and the mechanism to get it done. And so I think for us, we realized that you know, a lot of, a lot of the listeners have probably you know, read the lean startup.

[00:08:34] Well it talks about a feedback loop. Well, conflict is a feedback loop for culture. If you’re not having. Like, it’s going to happen some way. You’re going to have a conflict somewhere. And so we’ve just set up a process, feel to have it, and have these micro conflicts on an ongoing basis

[00:08:50] Gene Hammett: before we hit the recorder on, you had mentioned some of the challenges inside of remote and working a hundred.

[00:08:57] And I know that some people still have [00:09:00] are on the fence and what they’re doing, but how do you manage this kind of conflict in a virtual world?

[00:09:07] Christopher Redhage: Really, really hard. And we’ve messed up a lot. You know, we’ve had, we’ve had to have a lot of conflicts because, you know, within a culture and growing, I mean, we’ve grown.

[00:09:16] 40% across the pandemic. And so we just crossed over a hundred team members. We’re adding, you know, millions and millions of dollars of, of, of, you know, recurring revenue a year. And to get that, like, there’s going to be mess-ups. You’re gonna, you’re gonna mess up. And I think, you know, Being remote and doing everything virtually, you just, it’s just harder.

[00:09:39] And get, you don’t have that relationship to fall back on for a lot, for a lot of the teams that work that

[00:09:45] Gene Hammett: Chris just said, something that virtual is harder and I will tend to. You know, having a culture through this virtual world in a hybrid work environment, is a little bit harder as a leader.

[00:09:56] That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be trying to address some of the [00:10:00] issues and improve it and really be intentional about it because I want to help you be the leader that you need to be for your team. And one thing I would love to tell you to do, and this is really free. You may think it’s a waste of time, but I want you to really listen in to this add a little bit of personality.

[00:10:16] Before the meeting has started, what happens typically in an in-person environment, people get in and they talk about what’s going on. Maybe it’s the kids who are in sports. Maybe it’s what aging, parent, whatever they’re going through. They talk about these things before the meeting. Now great companies know that that’s should be actually a part of the regular meeting.

[00:10:36] And they’ll spend a few minutes going around the table, sharing what they did for the weekend or what sports their kids are into or what they’re doing or not doing anymore. And what’s going on in their home life. They take just these micro-moments to share a little bit about themselves. Now, the benefit behind this is it’s it allows them to understand and see.

[00:10:55] It’s hard to disagree with someone when you understand kind of what you’re dealing with. And if you understood that [00:11:00] they’re dealing with an aging parent and they’re kind of confused about what’s next and how do they move forward. And you’re able to have a little bit more compassion for them. And I think that helps in all aspects of culture.

[00:11:09] I shared this tip with you because I want you to be the best leader you can be. If you want to get a few more tips to improve remote working that I’m going to ask that you go to And let me give you a few more tips along with this one and a little bit more depth that will help you be the best leader you can be for your remote teams and hybrid teams.

[00:11:30] Just go to Now, back to Chris. I want to go back to the fundamentals of leadership. You, you, and my team have done this research. We’ve been trying to figure out what this is, is good leadership. What are some of the other fundamentals of good leadership?

[00:11:50] Christopher Redhage: A lot of times people talk about the triple bottom line for business.

[00:11:54] You know, we, obviously we have our financials, we have individual people, and then we also have that [00:12:00] have the community for me. Good leadership is more than just achieving your goals. It’s more than just a paycheck at the end of the day or a good, good exit for the entrepreneur. It’s actually asking, how am I impacting our team?

[00:12:15] How am I setting them up to be successful? Not only. Well, when they’re at provider trust, but after provider trust, and then also asking like, how are we helping our, our, our, our culture, how are we helping our local city? And really beginning to think about like, not only is provider trust or our businesses here to do paychecks, but we’re also here to like, make our companies that make our country.

[00:12:42] Better. So that, that’s what I would say. Good leadership is leadership that can achieve goals. Good leader. The ship is transformative and transforming to both the individual, the business, and the.

[00:12:54] Gene Hammett: Did you learn these transformational leadership lessons from the pro world?

[00:12:59] Christopher Redhage: [00:13:00] So I was a leadership study major at the University of Richmond, which has the only undergraduate leadership school is the very first leadership school in the country where he can get a major.

[00:13:10] And it was really good for me because it was more like consultative, creative. I was never, a student. I was your B, C plus student. So I love talking. I love group work. I love like creating things. And so a lot of this is, is you know, part of my story of professional sports, recognizing or college.

[00:13:32] Good teams, what good teams have. And then the theoretical leadership studies that I did at the University of Richmond. And then another company that’s been very influential is a company called talent. Plus they do human resource consulting, kind of a boutique consulting firm out of Lincoln, Nebraska.

[00:13:51] And they really focused on human performance and And so kind of the combination of my sports, my schooling and talent [00:14:00] plus has really kind of helped me hone in on how do you create a great culture in a fast-growing startup.

[00:14:05] Gene Hammett: Chris, when you think about leadership moving forward in this business, how are you developing the next stage of leaders across.

[00:14:13] Christopher Redhage: We’re trying to be more intentional about that. We just got back from a two-day offsite where we’re talking about, you know, our top leaders at ad provider trusts and how do we build into them? How do we, how do we care about them? In a way, we watched. This interview is with Simon Sinek, where he was talking about love and also leadership.

[00:14:35] And he asked the question like, do you love your wives? And then he goes, well, can you quantify that? Like, when did you, when did you, when did you, you know, when does love become real? And then he gets into leadership and leadership is more it’s, it’s more of an ongoing process. It’s not an. And so just this idea of where we’ve set up our culture to help people, not only be great leaders at [00:15:00] provider trust but also be great leaders at home and great leaders in the community.

[00:15:04] And so we’re trying to be very intentional about that as we scale, we’re 10 years old, we haven’t done it the best in terms of, you know, being intentional. But we’re now at a point we just crossed a hundred team members where we’re starting to think about like, how do we leave this legacy?

[00:15:20] Gene Hammett: Chris, you said something in there.

[00:15:21] I want to make sure we don’t skip over. You are focused on providing this irresistible environment for your employees to do their best work, to do to, to really focus on their talents and strengths. Would you also say this? Do you want them to be a great leader at home? I know the reason behind that, but I want to make sure that the audience.

[00:15:40] Tunes into what reason? Why you care about them being great leaders at home matters to the performance of

[00:15:46] Christopher Redhage: yeah, well I always say people ask, like, how do you be successful as an entrepreneur? And how do you be successful in business? And I say, get a good therapist and like, what are you talking about?

[00:15:59] And I’m like, [00:16:00] it really is like, you have to do the work of your own story to be able to then help people discover their story. And gene I’ll tell you. One of my proudest moments as at provider trust and we’ve had you know, we won Inc 5,000 awards and done all this stuff, the best place to work. I had a team member that came up to me and said, because of your, our conflict resolution policy, I now know how to have a conflict with my husband.

[00:16:26] I now know how I have conflict in my family. You know, I tell the truth. I do. That’s good. I follow the process that we’ve laid out. Okay. We’re doing good work because if I, if they can learn how to do conflict at provider trust and in a safe environment where they can stumble like a draft on ice and they could go home and, and, and be better at that with their husband or their wife or their kids or their moms.

[00:16:54] That is a success. So that was probably one of my top five moments as a leader [00:17:00] in my professional career when someone shares

[00:17:02] Gene Hammett: the whole Don Christie has said something really incredible that we must do the work to understand our own story. Now understanding your own story is necessary because we all have different levels of trauma and different things that we bring with us.

[00:17:16] Maybe it’s blind spots that we have to learn to look at and address. As a friend once said to me, we all have shadows. Many times we put things into the shadows that we don’t want. And looking at your own stories, looking at those shadows, even if it’s uncomfortable, I encourage you to do this as an individual, but also to do it with your employees to really create space for them to grow too.

[00:17:41] Now, back to Chris, appreciate your sharing and the story, and I could see how that warms your heart. It’s much like I’m working with clients all the time about some of their issues and helping them figure out their own stories. And you’ve done that for your employees. That true to me truly is an example of transformational leadership.

[00:17:58] Chris, you’ve been talking [00:18:00] about a lot of things that a lot of people probably have an idea of how it impacts the growth of the company. You guys were five times on the Inc list. Many times they’re are the best company to work for. What have we missed in this conversation that we need to make sure that we understood?

[00:18:13] Christopher Redhage: Probably just the dream that you can achieve fast growth, you can be an overachiever in the market and still care about your team and still care about your club. You know, we all, we all have had a tragedy. We all have to overcome, you know, bad events in our life. And a lot of times those are, those are the galvanized points in our story and our lives that help us to create meaning out of the next chapter in our story.

[00:18:44] And so, you know, for me, it came from a tough situation where I had an individual who, who embezzled some money from a company. I knew that. To build companies. I knew how to grow companies. I also wanted to do it with people I trust and had fun with. [00:19:00] And so I think for me like my encouragement is you can have both like, It’s not an or question.

[00:19:06] It’s an Anne question. It takes a lot

[00:19:09] Gene Hammett: more work though. I would probably look at that a little bit differently. I think that we, a lot of companies grow because they have a great culture. It’s very much a long-term play than the short-term of let’s just get the, let’s just meet these goals. Let’s get this quarter, right?

[00:19:23] Let’s get this one project done. And they’re not thinking about the people that’s when people get burned out. That’s when people get truly short-term thinking about, well, maybe I could go somewhere else because I don’t normally have questions that go on like this, but I’m just sharing back with you. My reflection of putting the focus on the culture is the reason why you guys have been successful over the last 10 years.

[00:19:46] Christopher Redhage: And I think I, and I think the, our, our culture doesn’t our, our environment doesn’t necessarily hold that up as a six for a key to success. They say, just go hit your number [00:20:00] or go grow and get a five X return for your investors.

[00:20:03] They don’t care about the people I care about.

[00:20:06] Gene Hammett: I think you’d appreciate some of the words I use inside my coaching, because I have clients that, that have that belief that we just focus on the work like in sales are like, well, what’s the pipeline look like? What are the next milestones? When we’re going to close these deals.

[00:20:20] And those are important conversations, we have to have them, but an actual that managing the work, the difference being is they’re not taking time to actually lead the people. It sounds like you actually understand. You’ve got to lead the person to, you got to talk about things like conflict. Just as much as you talk about getting this project done, is that fair to say?

[00:20:38] Christopher Redhage: Absolutely. When it’s the whole person approach,

[00:20:44] Gene Hammett: love that. The thing I want to wrap up today’s episode where there’s less, you bring it home. You, we came here because you have a background in professional sports. You actually are a co-owner of a fresh freshened sports soccer team, your team.

[00:20:55] The Nashville essay beat Atlanta United recently. [00:21:00] What other lessons would you want to highlight here from the professional world that has made you a better leader? Know we have,

[00:21:06] Christopher Redhage: we have a captain Adacel McCarty who lives literally down the block. I live in the middle of Nashville, Tennessee Nashville, Tennessee, right off music row.

[00:21:17] I actually built a soccer field next to my house, which was pretty fun, but I was talking with Dax and he has played on the national team. He’s our captain. He just 400 appearances. And. And we were, we were talking about it was after a rough match and he came over to my house and we’re literally, this is probably three hours after the match.

[00:21:39] We’re standing out on my soccer field. We’re just hitting the ball back and forth. This is early this season and he was just talking about it. We need to have a higher energy level. We need to, you know, we need, we need to bring this energy to our team. And I just kept asking questions of him. I didn’t have the [00:22:00] answer.

[00:22:00] I didn’t know what exactly he is a brain, but the next week he’s talking about that in the media. He’s talking about what he needs to bring and how he needs to lead the team and how they need to, you know, bring. I guess what’s the word I’m looking for? They, they, they need to impact or bring their energy to the game as opposed to sitting back and, and from a, from an owner standpoint, right.

[00:22:25] Like I didn’t have the answer, but I asked some questions and then I gave him the courage to then step up and lead. And it was just really cool. I mean, we’re, we’re second or second in the Eastern Conference. We’re a second-year club in MLS. Right? The records that were breaking up. An organization all goes back to leaders.

[00:22:46] I’ll go back to people who are passionate about impacting lives. And so I think for me, it’s just like we, as we never know when we’re going to be called on the lead, so we gotta be ready to leave. But a lot of times it’s, it’s not [00:23:00] directing. It’s, but it’s just asking questions and it’s finding out like what they need in that situation.

[00:23:06] So I think for me, like that’s, what I’ve learned from sports is you don’t always have to have the answer, but you can play a part in the answer.

[00:23:14] Gene Hammett: Chris, thank you so much for being here, sharing your wisdom, and sharing your journey of entrepreneurship and leadership.

[00:23:19] Christopher Redhage: Absolutely. Thanks for having me, Gene.

[00:23:21] Gene Hammett: I want to reflect back on what we just heard here. Chris is a powerful leader. He’s got this background in the sport. He’s bringing a very different energy to his team. He is bringing the energy of transformational leadership to the whole person. It’s not just about getting the work done. It’s about them transforming the way they see the world, see themselves, and that’s what he is able to do across the company.

[00:23:45] And that’s one reason why I believe the company’s continued growth. Now you may be asking yourself, well, how do I become that kind of leader? My job is to help you figure out what’s missing. I know. It’s usually a blind spot that you don’t even aware of. [00:24:00] You know, you have this problem, you know what I’m gonna sure what’s getting in your way.

[00:24:03] Maybe it’s a belief. Maybe it’s a limiting belief that you have. I want to help you figure out what that is. All you have to do is schedule a free call with me. It’s going to You can schedule a call. What we’ll do inside that is really help you discover what your next step to transformational leadership is.

[00:24:17] I want to help you be the leader that your team deserves. Just go to gene and schedule your call today. When you think of leadership and you think of growth, think of. As always with courage. What’s the next time.

Disclaimer: This transcript was created using YouTube’s translator tool and that may mean that some of the words, grammar, and typos come from a misinterpretation of the video.




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