Leadership Models: Gary Goltz, Principal, Goltz Healthcare Sales Strategies and Dave Berkus, CEO, Berkus Tech Ventures, LLC

Hosted by Chris Dyer, the CEO of PeopleG2 – TalentTalk Radio features engaging conversation with CEOs, thought leaders and HR executives.  TalentTalk connects professionals who care about talent-related issues and their own personal leadership models.

Today’s guests include Gary Goltz, Principal at Goltz Healthcare Sales Strategies; and Dave Berkus, CEO of Berkus Tech Ventures, LLC, two successful entrepreneurs who have created strong leadership models.  To hear the interview with Gary Goltz, click here.  To hear the interview with Dave Berkus, click here.

While each guest brought specific insights to the table, a common thread across both of today’s interviews is the power of leadership models to show what to do – and not to do – in business. 


Goltz has been building, managing and advising healthcare companies since the 1970s. He got his start in the industry when he applied for a competitive position that he landed because the hiring manager admired that Goltz has a black belt in judo. 

Not Always Love at First Sight

When it comes to loving what you do, “Sometimes you have to trick your mind into training yourself to love something,” explains Goltz, by turning it into something you can relate to.  For him, that meant applying the approach he learned in judo to his sales roles.  This was one of his key leadership models.

“Stick-to-it-iveness” & Other Lessons Learned

During his more than 40 years in business, Goltz has picked up key lessons that have helped to formulate his leadership models.  His favorite, however, is “stick-to-it-iveness,” a rare quality he describes as the ability to see something through despite distractions and challenges.

Another is to “make the calls” – a saying of his father’s, a former advertising professional.  To put yourself out there takes the right balance of assertiveness and tact.

Lastly, Goltz believes great leaders can find benefit from bad situations.  He recalls when his judo instructor, Mr. Kim, was pulled over by two police officers. Instead of getting a traffic ticket, Mr. Kim left with two new customers.

What are you Reading?

Goltz recommends Andrea Kates’ Find Your Next, which is about informing business strategy based on other industries’ best practices.  Southwest, for instance, achieved their on-time record by taking cues from NASCAR.

His other favorite is Strength in Numbersan autobiography by Joseph Walters who lost a leg during his Vietnam service but went on to become judo champion. 

How Can I Connect with You?  Visit www.garygoltz.com.



A super angel investor and an international speaker, Berkus has been investing in companies since 1993 – and doing it well, averaging a 97 percent rate of return each year. Currently, Berkus serves as the chairman of six boards, and advises the 180 startups in which he has invested to date.  He captures these experiences in his 13 books.

Horse or Jockey?

Since his early days in investing, Berkus has shifted his strategy from investing in the idea (the “horse”) to investing in the entrepreneurial team (“the jockey”).  After 20 years, he concludes that “it is the person behind the idea that makes every difference”.  These are leadership models that make sense.

Stepping Back So Others Can Step Up

Startup teams aren’t the only talent he fosters.  Having started his first business at the age of 15, and selling it to go on to run an hotel software company with an international employee base, Berkus had to learn how to manage at a young age.  He’s a strong believer that consensus is “the only way to get something done”. 

And he doesn’t stop there when it comes to empowering talent.  Berkus had to learn to deliberately step back and to let others jump in. Giving the team the “why” and “what” of the task at hand, but importantly not the “how”, affords them the ownership they need to give the job their best.  “No one wants to be arms and legs,” cites Berkus.

Family Matters

Berkus learned two other leadership models by watching his family in action. The first is bringing enthusiasm to the workplace can pay dividends – a lesson he absorbed while visiting his brother’s architectural firm, where laughter could often be heard.  It taught Berkus that having fun and being productive can, and should, coexist.

On the flip side, Berkus gleaned what not to do from his risk-averse father, who ran a general store and even once turned down a great opportunity with the Walt Disney Company.  In contrast, Berkus’ investment work is all about taking measured risks – and it’s paid off.

Practical Tips

Berkus shares three tips that can be applied with little time or cost.  The first is to tape your best salesperson in action and share it with your salesforce, inviting them to make it their own. 

The other is to get outside perspective.  Berkus suggests forming an advisory board of leaders, and giving them a small amount of stock in exchange for their insights.

Finally, he emphasizes the importance of ending any brainstorm session with clear goals, strategies and tactics to make sure action is taken.

What are You Reading?

The Entrepreneurial Bible to Venture Capitalby Andrew Romans is a good read for those seeking funding.  Another, You Can Negotiate Anything is “a very short, fast read” and is a go-to Berkus re-reads regularly. 

How Can I Connect with You?  His weekly blog, which you can subscribe to at www.berkus.com or www.berkonomics.com

Air Date: September 10, 2013