The weight of your company’s success or failure is heaviest on you. I never envisioned the immense weight that comes with this position. Sometimes this realization hits you when you least expect it. COVID-19 has shown me this.
As part of my series about the leadership lessons of accomplished business leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Alexander Cardona.
Alex is the Chief Executive Officer of OneShare Health. An accomplished industry professional with over 21 years in key leadership roles, Alex is responsible for OneShare’s corporate direction and strategy. Amassing over 12 years of experience in regulatory compliance, he and his team of experienced industry experts have created an authentic and transparent Health Care Sharing Ministry (HCSM) where the needs of Members are put first and foremost. In addition to regulatory compliance, Alex’s professional experience also spans the insurance and auditing sectors. He has a deep-rooted devotion to ministry and quickly discovered his God-given calling to become a leader in the health care industry. Utilizing his talents in compliance and sales, Alex has successfully created an exemplary Health Care Sharing Ministry at OneShare Health, where he brings together his brothers and sisters in Christ to practice brotherly love and compassionate care. Imbued with faith and his testimony, Alex continues to share his Mission and Vision on a national level, including at centers like Macon State Prison, juvenile detention centers, as well as numerous churches and nonprofits.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us the story about what brought you to this specific career path?
It’s been quite a journey to get here, and I wouldn’t be here without God. He continually guided me toward new opportunities that eventually led me to becoming the CEO of OneShare Health. He initially led me to start in the industry and He continues to lead me through. When I look back, I remember something St. Augustine once said: “Pray as though everything depended on God, work as though everything depended on you,” and I think that has set the stage for my journey. I prayed for God to show me the way, and He has delivered on His promises.
Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began your career?
Coming up with one story is difficult. It’s been quite the ride over the years. I’ve seen stories like David and Goliath play out right in front of me at times, and that’s very trying. I was put into situations that I wasn’t particularly thrilled about, but I think the most interesting thing is being able to reflect on my past and see how each step of my journey led to the next and, ultimately, landed me here.
Are you able to identify a “tipping point” in your career when you started to see success? Did you start doing anything different? Are there takeaways or lessons that others can learn from that?
Yes, my tipping point was when I finally felt the calling to OneShare Health, and I could reflect on all the situations that led me to that point. Being able to step back and look at all the doors that had been shut, and now realizing why it had to be that way, was a huge tipping point for me. Once this journey started, I was able to see the big picture. I knew success was here because I was doing what I was called to do, and all those clichés about passions, excellence, and company culture were blending with the scriptures that I held very close, like Colossians 3:23. From there, things came together, and my future became clear. Needless to say, I haven’t arrived, nor will I ever on this earth. However, I continue to grow and fall and realize that I still have a long way to go.
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?
That’s a hard one. I think most starting points are full of mistakes, some funny and some not so much. I know one of the funniest things, for my team at least, was getting to see just how OCD I can be, especially when it comes to business. I don’t know if that’s classified as a mistake, but my team definitely takes whatever chance they can to point it out to me. It’s all in good fun.
Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?
I may be biased, but I always think we have exciting things going on at OneShare Health. To be positioned as strongly as we are in the marketplace both as an organization and in infrastructure development — we are set up for a bright future. We are constantly working on creative ways to advance and break the mold in the health care industry.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Became CEO”? Please share a story or example for each.
- I wish someone had told me how much I would need God and trusted leaders to be able to fulfill the demands of this position. And, frankly, I am so glad it is this way. I can’t imagine not having that help and hope through the valleys we have faced.
- The importance of company culture. I’ve been thinking about this a lot, and I would say that a lot of OneShare Health’s success comes from the team and culture we’ve created. Culture is something we were blessed with early on. But realize that if you want to keep it, you must continue to make it a focus.
- The desire to learn and grow will never go away, nor should it. Getting to sit in the fancy CEO chair does not mean that I know everything. I’m continually learning and, given that I’m in an industry that can, and usually does, change constantly, that’s a good thing. Keeping up with the industry can be a full-time job, so not only learning within the industry itself but also learning how to keep my team motivated and working hard.
- Those challenges that everyone warned you about are very real. Whether the challenges are personnel, product, or marketplace relevance, they will come full force and usually at the least opportune time. But you must be ready to fight and overcome those challenges.
- The weight of your company’s success or failure is heaviest on you. I never envisioned the immense weight that comes with this position. Sometimes this realization hits you when you least expect it. COVID-19 has shown me this.
What advice would you give to your colleagues to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?
I cannot stress enough how important a work life balance is, mainly because I know I struggled with it for so long and still can. Find time to rest, it’s vital. You should always be working to create healthy boundaries between your professional life and your personal life.
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?
There were a lot of people who did that for me. I think of the missionary family in Venezuela who helped me during my high school years and the family in the States who took me in when I came back to the U.S. — John and Patty Jo Bach. The Bachs gave me a place to live, and Patty Jo’s father actually gave me my first car when I was about 19. I’m no stranger to help; I wouldn’t be where I am if people hadn’t helped me out. That is why I feel it’s so important to help others in need.
You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would enhance people’s lives in some way, what would it be? You never know what your idea can trigger!
That’s a great question. There is so much that needs to be done in our world. If I could start a movement today, it would involve children and helping them be seen through the eyes of a loving parent. We live in a tough world and too many children don’t have the basic life necessities. I’d want my movement to compel people to love and help these children. We all know the strength of a parent’s love for their child is immeasurable. The movement I galvanize would recognize and promote this kind of unconditional love for all children, not just their own.
How can our readers follow you on social media?
You can find me on LinkedIn or your can follow me on Twitter (ACard_2020). Our company website is also a great place to learn more about me, the OneShare Health Team, and all that we have going on.
Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.