Seth Bogner of HeartPoint Global: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During…

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Seth Bogner of HeartPoint Global: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Uncertain & Turbulent Times

The best way to deal with uncertainty is ensuring that your team knows they can trust you and that you understand and are dealing with the challenges that the company is facing.

As part of our series about the “Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During Turbulent Times”, we had the pleasure of interviewing Seth Bogner, Chairman and CEO of HeartPoint Global.

With more than three decades of experience in principal investing, structured finance, restructurings, and merchant banking across numerous industries, Seth Bogner is a visionary entrepreneur who has served as the CEO and president of many funded and/or financed entities. To date, he has closed over 200 investments as well as merger and acquisition transactions during his career.

Bogner currently serves as Chairman and CEO of HeartPoint Global Inc., where he merges his exceptional leadership abilities with his long-time goal of creating a business that is both profitable and socially responsible. At HeartPoint Global, he and his team provide global, breakthrough medical solutions for cutting-edge cardiac care that are affordable, safe, and minimally invasive.

Bogner began his career at Loeb Partners Realty, where he played a key role in securing many multi-million-dollar financing deals. He later served as the Chairman of Hearthstone Management Group Ltd., where he invested in and managed a portfolio of over 14,000 apartments and was a pioneer in commercial mortgage-backed securities (CMBS).

Prior to joining HeartPoint Global, Bogner was the managing partner of Union Square Partners Ltd., which operated as a principal partner with institutional investors in various fields. He also founded Ohr Partners in 2007, where he managed and was a director of two licensed regulated mutual funds that operated globally.

Thank you so much for your time! I know that you are a very busy person. Our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

I have always wanted to integrate my business acumen and success with a business endeavor that benefits others while creating a successful business. A few years ago, I met with an interventional cardiologist at his office, who had a cardiac guidewire on a wall behind his desk. When I asked why he had a guidewire on the wall, he said it had been used for surgery over 200 times in Myanmar, demonstrating a critical shortage of supplies and expertise in most of the developing world. Typically, one would use a guidewire once and dispose of it after it is used. The cardiologist was so blown away by the fact that they used the guidewire 200 times, and he had to memorialize it. I was inspired and motivated by my desire to bring easy-to-use technology to the developing world for people who often cannot afford or do not have access to surgery that we take for granted in western countries.

Fast forward to the development of HeartPoint Global and the INFLUUNTI — the first and only patented non-surgical structural heart system that addresses a variety of life-threatening cardiovascular diseases in pediatric and adult patients. INFLUUNTI allows for the adjustment of blood flow during and after placement in the main pulmonary artery and its branches to restore the structure of the heart-lung system. Once approved for public use, this life-saving device will be distributed in both the developing and developed worlds, with an immediate focus on patients who do not have access to cardiac care.

It has been said that our mistakes can be our greatest teachers. Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

I was chairman of a company that was in the real estate management business. We had just lost a major client and had to fire many employees. We divided the people to be fired among the CFO, the president, and me. The young man they wanted me to fire was so eager to have the job that I could not fire him. We ended up keeping him, and he did a great job.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

As an entrepreneur, many people draw inspiration and have taught me about business. Lawyers usually get a bad rap, but I was surrounded by lawyers who are practical people who taught me how to operate in a legal and proper way within the system and had a particular understanding of the way the world worked which I, as a young person, did not have. The collective advice that I received from these lawyers has led me to encourage young people who come to me for advice and want to go into business to study law, whether or not they practice. Some of the best businesspeople I know started as lawyers.

Extensive research suggests that “purpose-driven businesses” are more successful in many areas. When your organization started, what was its vision, what was its purpose?

In the United States, an artificial heart device costs one million dollars, and our device costs four thousand dollars. When we started, we were driven by blue babies, kids with congenital heart disease and holes in their hearts. We wanted to increase the chances of survival for these kids. Our vision is to train general surgeons and cardiologists to use a minimally invasive approach. We want to treat kids in underprivileged parts of the world who cannot receive proper treatment for these conditions.

Thank you for all that. Let’s now turn to the main focus of our discussion. Can you share with our readers a story from your own experience about how you lead your team during uncertain or difficult times?

Our company had an incredibly challenging time in the past three years. We had to postpone some trials due to the COVID-19 lockdown. We also had plans to complete all of our clinical trials in Ukraine when, unfortunately, the war started. Harvard Business Review says that when facing huge shocks, such as the war in Ukraine, the COVID-19 pandemic, and global supply chain shortages, it is vital to have a contingency plan that allows you to act fast and reduce risk. Our company was easily able to move towards a fully remote method of working, and we plan to move forward with our trials in other locations.

Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the motivation to continue through your challenges? What sustains your drive?

No. We have used the time delays caused by COVID-19, the war in the Ukraine and global supply chain shortages to substantially de-risk our product and prove with certainty that we are moving something forward that is needed by humanity and will also be very profitable for investors or people who invest with us. Our doctors never really had much doubt about the efficacy of what we were doing because it has been done surgically for many years. It is just a safer, more efficient way of bringing this to many more people and in essence, democratizing cardiac care. I am motivated by our mission to help underprivileged kids have access to life with a healthy heart. The chance to get this device into as many hospitals and countries as possible sustains my drive through the most troubling periods. My motivation also comes from my team. At Heartpoint Global, we all share the same mission to help change people’s lives with cardiovascular disease. This shared goal inspires me to continue our mission to bring a safe and affordable solution to those who are suffering. I am always excited to collaborate with them because they are an amazing group of people who got involved for the same reason, which is to help sick children.

I’m an author and I believe that books have the power to change lives. Do you have a book in your life that impacted you and inspired you to be an effective leader?

I am a prolific reader, and I cannot share just one, but book significantly inspire me.

What would you say is the most critical role of a leader during challenging times?

A leader must prioritize communication and compassion with their team during challenging times. It is critical for a leader not to be tied to their business plan, which may not consider the challenges they may be facing. We saw this a lot during the unprecedented challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic and the global supply chain shortages. A leader needs to be flexible so that they can not only react to the challenges they are facing but can change some of those challenges into strengths. It is also important that the team understands how the CEO is thinking and listens very carefully to the ideas coming from the senior staff. Effective communication and empathy will bring your team closer and show them that you are aware of any issues and taking the necessary steps to address them.

When the future seems so uncertain, what is the best way to boost morale? What can a leader do to inspire, motivate and engage their team?

The best way to deal with uncertainty is ensuring that your team knows they can trust you and that you understand and are dealing with the challenges that the company is facing. When the future seems uncertain, the best way to boost morale is by showing your team that you have no intentions of quitting. You can convey this by planning for the future. Your confidence will motivate your team to envision a future beyond current uncertainties. A leader’s investment in the future will boost the team’s trust in their leader and inspire them to work harder to advance the company’s mission. A leader must also increase their presence around the team and encourage more cooperation. Presence and teamwork allow leaders to understand the mindset of their team through open communication. This dialogue will help improve congruity and promote discussion, further increasing their trust in your leadership.

What is the best way to communicate difficult news to one’s team and customers?

It’s very simple, telling the truth. Complete honesty will give clarity on the difficulties at hand and avoid the omission of any information. Leaving customers and employees out of the loop will cause further confusion in the future and can result in a mistrust in your leadership. By demonstrating emotional intelligence and compassion with your team and customers, you communicate to them that their feelings matter to you. It also allows them to process any negative emotions.

How can a leader make plans when the future is so unpredictable?

Leaders must adjust their expectations when making plans when the future is unpredictable. Leaders must consider the challenging times they are facing and change their roadmap. With new goals in mind, you can divest from your original operating system and take a more fluid approach. This means that you will lead with more flexibility. When you have to make big decisions through ambiguity, it is best to be creative and allow for innovative solutions that might lead to a better outcome than you planned. One needs to expect the unexpected and remain flexible to adjust to the new challenges that will arise to keep their business moving forward.

Is there a “number one principle” that can help guide a company through the ups and downs of turbulent times?

You have to look at things through 360 degrees and see all the opportunities and ways to meet the challenges you are facing by having a clear vision and not being wedded to your preconceived notions. It is important to constantly move your business forward, even if it is slower than you might have liked, because of the challenges you are facing. One principle is to stay true to the company’s mission and values. The company’s missions and values represent its purpose and encourage your team’s progression, long-term. They serve as a guide for the company and should be used to remind your team that even through tough times, there is an end goal that serves a greater purpose for everyone their work will impact.

Can you share 3 or 4 of the most common mistakes you have seen other businesses make during difficult times? What should one keep in mind to avoid that?

Sticking too much to the original business plan and not adjusting to new market conditions can constrict options and strategic thinking. Another mistake is overpromising and underdelivering. This will make potential investors and customers believe that you cannot meet your target and, subsequently, their own. Entrepreneurs must tell the truth and what they think will happen to the best of their knowledge and give the best estimate of what will happen with any new unforeseen challenge. It is essential to remember that you should spend a lot of time planning your business and assessing your choices to avoid making any rash, harmful decisions. It is crucial to think through what is happening to see in context where your company lands in relation to the market.

Here is the primary question of our discussion. Based on your experience and success, what are the most important things a business leader should do to lead effectively during uncertain and turbulent times? Please share a story or an example for each.

I have found the application of the following principles, as noted in Harvard Business Review, to be true to my own experience.

  1. Embracing the discomfort of not knowing
  2. Distinguishing between the complicated and complex
  3. Resisting oversimplification and quick conclusions

I was among the group of leaders that created the mortgage-backed securities market, and we did this in answer to a need that was created, where the primary drivers of liquidity were banks that could not make real estate mortgage loans. This became something that investment banks could do because they were able to securitize the debt and bring more investors to existing opportunities. The same was true when I was a money manager. There was an opportunity created when the market had many anomalies and inefficiencies. My experience is in building businesses that were good businesses but were structurally not working. The underlying business was good, but the companies just needed to be recapitalized, which is another way of taking advantage of times like these.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

A favorite life lesson quote is that there is no such thing as coincidences. I have found that everything has a purpose.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can follow our work on our website, If you want more details on the advantages of our device and the dangers of cardiovascular disease, that information is also on our site. You can also find us on LinkedIn, and Twitter @sethbogner

Thank you so much for sharing these important insights. We wish you continued success and good health!

Seth Bogner of HeartPoint Global: Five Things You Need To Be A Highly Effective Leader During… was originally published in Authority Magazine on Medium, where people are continuing the conversation by highlighting and responding to this story.