What it means to be a Spartan

Jan 27, 2022

Q&A with Eric Morrow, Director of Operations

When and how did you start working at Spartan Medical®?

I started with Spartan Medical® in September 2013, right after I retired from the US Air Force.  I had been planning to remain in government service with a civilian intelligence agency after retirement, but in late May 2013 I decided to explore the non-government sector and see what kind of opportunities were available.  

As you can probably imagine, writing an unclassified resume was a daunting task after nearly 20 years as an intelligence officer.  Vince Proffitt and I had been stationed together in Texas from 2002-2004, right before he left the Air Force and entered the medical device sales profession, and I knew he had been quite successful in his post-Air Force career.  So, I looked him up and asked if I could get some advice on how to market myself in the civilian sector.  We met up for a happy hour later that week, and spent about two hours catching up.  He filled me in on Spartan Medical’s activities and, at the end of our time he looked at me and said, “I can offer you advice or I can offer you a job… which one would you prefer?”  I started with Spartan about 3.5 months later and haven’t looked back

 

How do you think Spartan Medical® is different than other companies?

Spartan has really carried over the best qualities of the units I served in while in the military — we’re not just a business and a place to come to work, we’re a “family” in the best sense of the word. 

 

What is your favorite thing about working at Spartan Medical®?

It’s probably cliché to say it, but it really is the people.  We have an amazing team that comes in every day ready to do their very best.  Working with people who are passionate about what they do makes me excited, and that excitement makes me want to pour extra energy into my work.

Why do you think Spartan Medical’s employee engagement and retention rates are so high?

I think a large part of our employee retention is due to our corporate culture.  We support each other and allow for honest mistakes.  In most cases, we send our junior people out with an experienced Spartans to help teach them the ropes and set them up for success. Also, when someone needs help, we’re all willing to pitch in and do our part to assist, whether it’s because someone needs a vacation, is double-booked for multiple cases/events on the same day, or if someone has a medical issue that necessitates time off from work. Our employees know that their fellow Spartans will help take care of them when they need help.

Do you believe Spartan Medical’s mission motivates its workforce, and if so, why?

It certainly motivates me!  One of things that caught my attention during that first conversation with Vince was Spartan’s commitment to serve our nation’s VA medical centers and DoD military treatment facilities.  That resonated with me and was a big part of why I decided to join Spartan Medical®.  As we’ve grown, that commitment to service has expanded to include communities and states across the nation, especially areas that are traditionally underserved and lack easy access to healthcare.

 

Do you think the company’s leadership supports professional development and personal growth, and if so, how?

I know we support professional development and growth, though we’ve certainly been challenged to provide as many opportunities as we’d like during COVID.  Everyone can be a leader, regardless of their position or time in the company.  In many cases, leadership is simply looking around, seeing what needs to be done, and then encouraging others to follow you as you do those things that need to be done. And, as people demonstrate leadership and drive to do outstanding work, the management team recognizes that effort and rewards it with additional opportunities.

 

What is the most common trait(s) among Spartan’s team members?

The best way I can explain the trait that’s most common among our Spartan team (and it’s the trait that makes us most successful), is to say: “Anything worth doing is worth doing well.”  Spartans are not satisfied with mediocrity.  We try to screen for that drive to excel during recruitment and are usually successful at finding it.  In the rare instances when we get it wrong, the individuals that aren’t interested in excelling usually don’t last too long.

Spartan Medical® has a diverse workforce with a variety of people and backgrounds. How do you think that has helped Spartan Medical® succeed?

We’re a diverse country, so it’s essential that we have an equally diverse workforce.  Each and every one of us is an ambassador for the Spartan brand, and it’s important that our customers understand that we come from all across the country and that we share some common ground with them.

How does a military mindset shape how Spartan Medical® operates?

The military focuses on two primary areas:  Mission and people.  When I was a young officer, most of my commanders really modeled the concept of servant leadership:  The idea that the leader’s job was to take care of the people in the unit, so that the people could take care of the mission.  I think that concept has also been instilled at Spartan Medical®.  As leaders, our job is to help the people at the pointy end of the spear — all of our sales representatives, project managers, clinical staff — everyone who’s actually performing the mission.  Leadership’s job is to help identify and remove roadblocks, as well as allocating resources as needed (and available) to improve operations.

What has been your proudest memory at Spartan Medical®?

I’ve had lots of amazing experiences while at Spartan, but one of the best was a surgery I supported back in 2017.  I was called at 2am on a Sunday and informed that there was a paralyzed patient in the Emergency Department.  She’d fallen down a flight of stairs and dislocated her cervical spine at the C6-C7 facet junction.  I drove to the hospital and helped the night shift nurse team — none of whom had ever worked a spine surgery before — through the nearly six-hour case.  A few weeks later, I checked back with the doctor on the patient’s status and learned she’d regained use of her upper body function!

 

What does it mean to you to be a Spartan?

Going the extra mile for our customers — whether it’s a surgeon, a hospital, or a state’s department of health.  As Spartans, we’re committed to accomplishing the mission, and we’ll do everything in our power to achieve that goal.  That customer-first commitment to “Excellence in all we do” is part of the Spartan DNA.