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Columbia Business Monthly

2019 SC 25 Fastest Growing Companies: No. 12 Equiscript LLC

Nov 19, 2019 02:06PM

LEADERSHIP Michael B. Burkhold Jr. | CEO

INDUSTRY Pharmacy management

LOCATION North Charleston

FOUNDED 2009

How important is finding good talent in your company?

As a growing company, finding and hiring the right employees is one of our most important objectives. We say that we are intentional about our growth strategy, meaning that we have plans for building the team, and part of this is that we will only hire candidates that are a good fit for the company—both in terms of job skills, but probably more importantly in terms of cultural fit. Taking care of patients and improving access to healthcare are core tenets for our organization, and we look for employees who have a passion for service and for caring for others. 

What lessons did you learn the hard way? If you could go back five or 10 years, what advice would you tell yourself?

When I think back to that point 10 years ago, I was really starting a business on my own, and handling everything from prospecting and finding clients to data analysis. It was me, with the help of my wife and a few early employees. As Equiscript has grown, it has afforded me the ability to focus on the parts of the business that are my strengths, and build a team that is strong in the areas that aren't my favorite. One of the best decisions I have ever made was bringing on my business partner Steven Kerr. Steven is an equal owner of the company with me. He is a brilliant financial manager, a really excellent operator, and his leadership in finance and operations has helped us grow into the strong, well-positioned company we are today. If I could go back and give 10-year-ago myself one piece of advice, it would be to stick with it, and then find a good team that will help you grow in ways you wouldn't have imagined.  

Do you have a mentor or life coach? What books would you recommend reading?

I try to surround myself with men and women of strong character from whom I can consistently learn. Having friends that tell you the truth about yourself is vital for personal growth. Proverbs 27:3 reads: "Faithful are the wounds of a friend, profuse are the kisses of an enemy" (ESV). Having friends who are willing to tell you the truth about your weaknesses is irreplaceable for growth. Once you have a growing, successful company, flattery is abundant. But there is not anything to be learned from flattery, and it can lead one down the wrong path.  

I do my best to read my Bible daily. Even if it's just a little bit. "The Brothers Karamazov" is the best novel I've ever read. It enters deeply into the debates about God, free will and mortality, all three of which I think every person should deeply consider. Also, there is a book called "A Framework for Understanding Poverty" that has really helped me and our team better address the needs of many of the patients we serve.