Bill Kilmer

Bill Kilmer

Join host, Japhet De Oliveira, as he sits down with Bill Kilmer for a conversation about overcoming dyslexia, his dedication to empathy, continuous learning, and the intersections of faith and life.
Libsyn Podcast
"Well if I could change one thing in this world, I think we all fall short in understanding what the true character of a person is and their motivations so I would try to give everyone full insight into empathy across the board."

Narrator: Welcome friends to another episode of the Story and Experience podcast. Join your host, Japhet De Oliveira, with his guest today and discover the moments that shape us, our families and communities.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey. Welcome friends to another episode of the Story and Experience podcast. I am here in our studio at Roseville, California and I'm sitting opposite a really good friend. I'm very delighted to be able to have this guest. If you're a first time listening to this podcast, we have 100 questions. They progressively become more vulnerable and more open the closer we get to 100, and they're about stories and experiences that shape you into the leader that you are today. So let's begin straight away, and I'm going to ask the first 10, and I'm going to hand it over to you, my friend, to choose between 11 and 100 where you want to go. Question number one. Could you tell us your name and does anybody ever mispronounce it?

Bill Kilmer: My name is William Kilmer. Go by Bill. And no, no one ever mispronounces it. Bill's pretty easy.

Japhet De Oliveira: Bill is pretty easy. Bill is pretty easy. That's great. Bill, what do you do for work?

Bill Kilmer: I work at Adventist Health as the HR Executive for Workforce Planning and Leadership.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. Do you want to unpack that a little bit for us? Workforce planning and leadership? Okay.

Bill Kilmer: Yes, I do. In HR, it has four components. It has the market HR teams, like the HR directors at the sites, it has associate wellbeing, employee health and labor management.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh. All right. Lots of stuff. I hear you. You're pretty good at this space. This is fun for you?

Bill Kilmer: Love it.

Japhet De Oliveira: Love it. Now, what did you do before that? You're like, how much do I share?

Bill Kilmer: I'm going back in my chronicles. Do we have a 27 minute time cap per question? No. Before that I worked as the system director of HR and then previous to that I worked at Advent Health for about nine years in different roles. Rev cycle, government relations, public policy, informatics, and HR.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. You love data.

Bill Kilmer: I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you love people.

Bill Kilmer: I do. Well ... No. Yes I do.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know you do. All right. Hey, this morning when you woke up, what was your drink of the day? What did you start off with? Coffee, tea, liquid green smoothie, water?

Bill Kilmer: I started off with a pre-workout energy drink.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh my goodness. Okay. All right. Describe this drink to us. What is this pre ... It's like protein and whey or-

Bill Kilmer: Well, it's probably just straight caffeine with a little bit of niacin, leucine, stuff to wake you up and help your blood flow.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay. And then you do this crazy workout?

Bill Kilmer: Not a crazy workout, but that's my dedicated time with my wife. So every morning we have 6:00 to 7:30 where we work out, get a bite and just hang out before the day starts.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. An hour and a half.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's magical, man.

Bill Kilmer: It was my commitment knowing the nights would be blocked off indefinitely.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. That's fantastic. Now, where were you born, Bill?

Bill Kilmer: Ooh. Scranton, Pennsylvania.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, really? Wow.

Bill Kilmer: Yes. Northeast.

Japhet De Oliveira: Now, hang on a second. Isn't Scranton part of some TV show?

Bill Kilmer: Yes. The Office.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, but isn't that implying that it's not the best place?

Bill Kilmer: Oh, I can tell you The Electric City. It probably doesn't have too many claims to fame left.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Now, when you were a child growing up in Scranton, what did you imagine you would grow up to be? Paper mill, right?

Bill Kilmer: No. I had no aspirations of what I wanted to be until I got well into college. So I grew up in a family that mined stone so the assumption was do something else, but this something else-

Japhet De Oliveira: Mined stone?

Bill Kilmer: Mm-hmm.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow.

Bill Kilmer: So breaking flagstone apart with a hammer and a wedge in a stone mine.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you said you're going to wait until you're in college?

Bill Kilmer: Well, yes. I had a very smart father who told me I could be a partner in the business if I got a college degree. And then got even smarter because I came back after my four year degree and he goes, "I really thought you'd be smart enough not to do this now." So he teed it up really well.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's fantastic. That's really cool. All right. Personality. Bill, if they were to describe you as an introvert or an extrovert and ... You're laughing. And would you agree with their conclusion?

Bill Kilmer: Yes. Everyone would describe me as an extrovert.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you would say yes?

Bill Kilmer: Yes I would. I get energy from people as opposed to being depleted by interactions with people.

Japhet De Oliveira: Now, are you an early riser or late night owl?

Bill Kilmer: I'm both. I just don't sleep a lot. I'm usually a four hour a night person.

Japhet De Oliveira: Really?

Bill Kilmer: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. That's been all your entire life or-

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really? How interesting.

Bill Kilmer: I mean, this morning I was up at 5:15 and I think went to bed at 1:00 last night.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. That's fantastic. This morning when you woke up, first thought that went through your mind at 5:15?

Bill Kilmer: I really didn't have one. I rolled out of bed and hoped I didn't trip. It's hard when the little ones leave stuff around.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, sure. Lego?

Bill Kilmer: No. If you hit a Lego, it's pretty catastrophic. You're going to be in trouble for a while.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Hey, that's good. Now here's a leadership question for you, obviously. Are you a backseat driver? Want to see what the HR response is to this.

Bill Kilmer: I don't know if I'm a backseat driver or a Monday morning quarterback critiquing, but I do like having independent leaders who have the ability and are empowered to execute.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you've built a whole new structure here as well?

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: A new model?

Bill Kilmer: Yes. And we've transitioned from having everyone roll up to one HR executive at a site level to having pods of leadership to match our network organization.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Great. Well, those are the first 10.

Bill Kilmer: That was easy.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know. It's great. So now the floor is yours. You get to pick a number. We'll go wherever we go and we'll see where it is. So where do you want to go, Bill?

Bill Kilmer: And our question limits 10, right?

Japhet De Oliveira: No. It's actually as much as the time allows.

Bill Kilmer: Oh, well then-

Japhet De Oliveira: As long as your answers are not yes, no.

Bill Kilmer: I'm going to leave it dealer's choice for you, but I want to reserve the last question as 100.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, okay. All right. I will let you know when we get to that point.

Bill Kilmer: Understood.

Japhet De Oliveira: Where would you like to go? Oh, I see what you mean by dealer's choice. If I knew how to gamble, I would understand what that meant.

Bill Kilmer: Fair. Fair.

Japhet De Oliveira: But-

Bill Kilmer: If you need me to select, let's start-

Japhet De Oliveira: I need you to select the numbers. Yeah.

Bill Kilmer: Let's start at round numbers. We'll work up from 20, 30, 40, 50, 60, 70 until we get close enough on time that we'll pull 100.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right then. All right. 20 is where you want to go first then?

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. Tell us something that you would rate 10 out of 10.

Bill Kilmer: In life, in work, in leadership?

Japhet De Oliveira: You get to pick.

Bill Kilmer: Wow.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Bill Kilmer: Well, I'll break it down then. In life, I would definitely say my family. 10 out of 10 across the board even on the bad days. There's nothing more rewarding than having that relationship and that support and that connection. For work, definitely Lodi's cafeteria. If you don't-

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really?

Bill Kilmer: Yeah. The Mongolian there.

Japhet De Oliveira: Lodi Memorial's cafeteria. Okay.

Bill Kilmer: Yes. I will say, I'll put a big plug in there. That's some good food.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's excellent. Chef's going to like that.

Bill Kilmer: They should. They have about a nine foot wide wok in the center of their cafeteria. Very good stuff.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. All right. That was 20 then. So you want to go to 30s?

Bill Kilmer: Oh yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Tell us about something that you're really looking forward to.

Bill Kilmer: Probably the holiday season right now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah?

Bill Kilmer: Yeah. I'm looking forward to the Christmas season. That's always the big family holiday for me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Is that your favorite season of the year?

Bill Kilmer: Oh yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. You gave me this like, duh. Of course.

Bill Kilmer: I mean, Arbor Day doesn't come close. No, I always loved Christmas. I like the idea that we can have snow here too. I spent a lot of years in Florida where I'd have to travel back home for it. So getting that dose last year, having a little time in Truckee, in Tahoe was really cool.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's fantastic. Hey, that's good. Snow is beautiful. I do like the four seasons. Yeah. That's good. All right, that was 30. So 40. Bill, tell us about a time that you failed.

Bill Kilmer: There's so many to pick from, Japhet. This could be an entire podcast.

Japhet De Oliveira: We all have so many to pick from.

Bill Kilmer: I think professionally, right before the pandemic, we had a lot of initiatives in my prior role that we were trying to get off the ground and not knowing what the pandemic was, I don't say that this is a categorical failure, but trying to navigate through those times we should have backed off on everything and just hunkered down earlier. But you're looking and you're like, okay, that's in Wuhan, now it's in Washington state, now it's a cruise ship off of California. Well let's keep pushing our leaders to do this, this, and this. And I think that really, really didn't set the right tone and probably was a failure.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I don't recall many who did not get that kind of hindsight, foresight before so you were probably not alone.

Bill Kilmer: No. But living in a very distant state from how this progressed across the country, you held onto it longer than you should have. You're not New York. You're not the West Coast. You're not the nursing home in Seattle.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it can be that way. This is a bonus question here. It's not actually listed.

Bill Kilmer: I'm excited.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it's always good. Who in your life taught you the best way to deal with failure? Because you're right, everybody experiences it.

Bill Kilmer: That's a really great introspective question. I'm already liking the question set here. The bonus has been the best. I would say that we've all had mentors in our lives who have been at least instrumental in helping you frame the idea that those failures aren't permanent and I've been blessed to have quite a few. I would say I had a great advisor all the way back in high school who has been a mentor for me throughout my entire education and professional experience.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, wow.

Bill Kilmer: And just the investment of them and my respect for their opinion helped them frame what failure could mean and how you can use failure to build and how you can use failures to build your perspective going forward.

Japhet De Oliveira: So not everybody can speak to somebody else about their failures.

Bill Kilmer: No.

Japhet De Oliveira: It takes some kind of relationship.

Bill Kilmer: A lot of trust.

Japhet De Oliveira: A lot of trust. That's good. I like that. All right. That's awesome. All right, that was 40, 40A, and so-

Bill Kilmer: I thought that was the bonus.

Japhet De Oliveira: We're still there so we're going to 50.

Bill Kilmer: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh. This leans into it. Share about who has influenced you professionally.

Bill Kilmer: I had a great professional mentor who I still connect with now. Robin McGinnis is her name.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really?

Bill Kilmer: And she was in a different lane than me. We were encouraged at a point in my career in a prior life to find someone who does something you'll never do and approach them to be a mentee or them to be your mentor. So this was a clinical leader who just took me under their wing, meets with me regularly still, and has just really opened my eyes to other layers of healthcare I otherwise wouldn't have had experience with.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's really good.

Bill Kilmer: And I would encourage everyone to do that. Find someone who's not doing your work to be your mentor.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic. Hey, that's really good. Good. All right. 60. Would you mind sharing when in your life you felt the most alone?

Bill Kilmer: This is the yes, no question. Would I mind? No. I don't mind at all.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay, good. Good.

Bill Kilmer: No, I would say probably coming out of undergrad and trying to figure out what I thought my life would need to look like in order to be happy was a time, for me at least, where as a young man, you really don't know which direction you're going to go. You have a lot of things you think the world's going to be like. And each one of those fundamental steps, like going to law school for me, sitting in a room by myself reading for three years, it didn't feel good to be taking yourself away from your family, away from your people. So that was probably the hardest time, but also most rewarding at the end of it.

Japhet De Oliveira: You studied law?

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Law. Interesting. Interesting. You seem to have done quite a few different things then. Rev cycle.

Bill Kilmer: I have an eclectic background.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Bill Kilmer: What is it, jack of all trades, master of none, still better than a master of one?

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. That's fair. That's fair. So I've got to ask, if you studied law, you did some rev cycle, informatics, how did you end up working in human resources?

Bill Kilmer: I think the-

Japhet De Oliveira: Because I know you love this.

Bill Kilmer: I do. I think the tipping point for me is when I went to take the bar, I took a job while I was waiting for my results and I took it with Advent Health in Florida. And I turned around, I was like, "Man, it's seven years later. What has gone on?" I was blessed. I ended up passing the bar. And what happened for me is I was in an operational role and my new boss had taken HR functions for the network we were in, or region we were in. And we had a quick transition of a CHRO and he locked me in a room with all the HR teams and said, "Bill, you're going to figure this out because I don't have time to take it on right now." So it was a little baptism by fire and the more I got into it, the more things I could pull from my experience, from my education, from the work I was doing, and it just became a really natural fit.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's great. That's great.

Bill Kilmer: God's hands moving.

Japhet De Oliveira: It is. It is. And I think it's really encouraging for those who look into a career path and the turns that take place. Right?

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Surprises.

Bill Kilmer: I would say the thing that's humbled me the most is thinking I know the path.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Yeah. We do like to think we know the path. Or we are directing the path.

Bill Kilmer: And we learn quickly God has a sense of humor.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's very true. That's very true. All right. Question 70 then. Tell us about one thing that you are determined to accomplish.

Bill Kilmer: I'm determined to make everything our teams touch in HR easy for them. Every time I hear that this thing is complicated or I can't do this function, it's taking them away from what, and we'll use a clinical example, a nurse is really supposed to do here or a nurse leader is supposed to do here. And I want to make that as easy as possible for them to access and get what they need to be supported from our systems.

Japhet De Oliveira: Simplify it.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. I was going to say Semper Fi because it sounded like simplify, but-

Bill Kilmer: Well, we take a military turn.

Japhet De Oliveira: It did not match entirely there. All right. Here's 80 then. How would you like to change in the future?

Bill Kilmer: Personally, professionally?

Japhet De Oliveira: Again, you get to choose. This is the beauty of the stories and experiences that shape you. Yeah.

Bill Kilmer: I think for me in both lanes, I want to be constantly evolving. My goal is to continue to have an appetite to learn, to change, to harness empathy, learn from others, learn how to interact better. And I just don't want to be caught in a place where it's not ... I'll put it simpler. I want to constantly be evolving to make myself better and attacking that as opposed to being stagnant, saying, "Okay, I've made it." Or, "Okay, this is good now." And good is not going to be good enough.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. So give me an example of either a personal or a work one where you felt like, hey, this change took place.

Bill Kilmer: I think for me, in the work lane, we've done a lot of things and you alluded to it with data and trying to show HR and people information can be data driven and the complexity of that has to take many iterations. And I think our team's going to attest to it. 15 slides on one given topic that actually answer the question are as impactful as a top line, okay, we're going to attack these three things, we're not going to move more than three balls at once, and we're going to make them as simple as possible for people to understand and tie into.

Japhet De Oliveira: I remember this specifically because you had all this data that you were analyzing. I remember recently where you showed us our retention was just like it had improved so much, you were able to drill down to a specific figure which made that entire deck and presentation so much better. Right?

Bill Kilmer: Yeah. And I think that's a good example. I remember that conversation because a lot of what we do, and I know working with communications is what is the hook here? What are we actually trying to convey? Are we going to hit our lead on this or not? And burying people in how the sausage is made isn't always helpful, even for the teams who own the product.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's good. That's good. All right. Number 90. Tell us about how you overcame a seemingly insurmountable obstacle.

Bill Kilmer: Man. Aren't all obstacles insurmountable?

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, seemingly.

Bill Kilmer: For me, from an education standpoint, I very early on was diagnosed as dyslexic, severely, and with some other eye disabilities as well, to the point where I was told that I should find a shovel-ready job at one point.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Oh my. By a teacher at school or-

Bill Kilmer: Oh yes. Yes. And an advisor.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Bill Kilmer: For me, I had to learn skills to combat that. So for the next 15 years of my educational career, if I couldn't memorize or learn something, I was going to fail. So I had to attack that body of work in a different manner because I wasn't going to learn the same as any other human. Well, that's not true. It's same as any normal human. So for me it was like, can you read in fourth grade? No. And then what can you do? And it was insurmountable for me, but I had support from others.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's really great. Hey, that's really encouraging for those who are struggling with school or education and not sure what actually is a possibility for their future.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Right. You're a living testimony. An example of-

Bill Kilmer: Probably too stubborn. I went all the way through law school and the bar without accepting accommodations, without accepting extra time, even though that was all afforded to me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Wow. Hey, well done, Bill. Well done.

Bill Kilmer: Like I said, it was others supporting me that made that possible.

Japhet De Oliveira: Now unpack your family. You have kids, right?

Bill Kilmer: I have two daughters.

Japhet De Oliveira: Two daughters. All right.

Bill Kilmer: 15 and 11.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. So what if one of them one day comes to you and says, "Hey, I need some accommodation."?

Bill Kilmer: I'm going to support them.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. You're not going to say, "Hey, I did it."?

Bill Kilmer: No, no. I was stubborn to a fault. That was one of the things I had to learn out of it. That there's nothing wrong with accepting things and are accepting help from others.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh, that's great. That's great. Wow. Fantastic. All right, so that was 90.

Bill Kilmer: That was an easier one.

Japhet De Oliveira: It was.

Bill Kilmer: 48 was much tougher.

Japhet De Oliveira: So before we get to the final two where we'll end up with question 100, where would you like to go next?

Bill Kilmer: So we have two questions, then 100?

Japhet De Oliveira: Well, eventually I'm going to come to the point where, hey, we only have two left, but we have plenty of time.

Bill Kilmer: Oh. Well, we'll start in the 90s.

Japhet De Oliveira: 90s. All right, so where would you like to go?

Bill Kilmer: Right at the bottom. We'll work our way up.

Japhet De Oliveira: 91. All right. Describe a time in your life when you learned about forgiveness.

Bill Kilmer: I think for me, with children and anyone who interacts with my daughters in a negative way, I struggle with forgiveness. I will fully admit I have fallen short on forgiving things. And for me it's the silly stuff. As a man, it's always hard when you're raising young girls to understand fully their world, which my wife's amazing at helping. But I think the first couple of weeks of moving out here when my daughter came home and said, "I think the girls won't taunt to me because some boy likes me and I don't know who it is." And I'm like, "All right. Well which girl? You know what you should do? You should ..." And my wife's like, "No, no, no." But no, I hold onto that when I watch their interactions more than anything. For me, I honestly forget if something offends me or irks me probably 20 minutes later.

Japhet De Oliveira: Isn't that one of the most difficult things parenting though, is that it's the reality that you can't take on and they have to go through and that's really difficult.

Bill Kilmer: And the worst part is you know some of what they're going to go through and the pain they're going to feel and you've got to let it go. But that doesn't mean you don't hate those other kids though.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. You should not coach. I'm kidding. I'm kidding.

Bill Kilmer: No, that's a good point. Especially not around the children.

Japhet De Oliveira: All right. 92 then. How would you like to be remembered?

Bill Kilmer: Just as a good person who cared. For me, I'm a history major and studied a lot of history and I'm always impressed with the things people did, but it's those little anecdotes of things that weren't big in their life but showed their personality, their character, and the things that you can tie back to someone who is just a good person.

Japhet De Oliveira: The bonus question here. Studying history, is there a character that you in the past that you would love to have had dinner with?

Bill Kilmer: Oh, many.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh yeah.

Bill Kilmer: Yeah. Absolutely many.

Japhet De Oliveira: So who would be that one and why?

Bill Kilmer: Probably Winston Churchill.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really? Okay.

Bill Kilmer: But not after he was Prime Minister. Before.

Japhet De Oliveira: Oh really? Right at that moment? The very first time?

Bill Kilmer: No. He went through this whole transition where he had made a couple of bad calls in World War I where he was ostracized from government. At that point when he was in what they call the wilderness, it would've been interesting to talk to him about did he think it was done? Because he wasn't even at the point where he was going to accomplish his greatest things.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah. That would be a great dinner. That would've been a great dinner.

Bill Kilmer: Well with him, any dinner would be great, but I don't know if I could handle it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's true. Right. That is good. 93. Paint us a picture of success.

Bill Kilmer: Oh, I thought I was literally-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, you're going to ... The extrovert's coming out. All right.

Bill Kilmer: Fair. For me personally, it's just having a healthy and supported life with your family. I love that what I do gives me meaning and I tie to our mission here and it focuses me and motivates me. But when I go home and having a family that is supported and healthy and we get to spend time together, that is for me that picture.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. That is good. It's the grounding, right?

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. And it gives you the purpose back. Yeah. I often wondered whether people need some greater purpose in their life.

Bill Kilmer: They need their why.

Japhet De Oliveira: And maybe understanding that you actually have so much around you already, whether it's your parents or your kids or your family. Yeah. It's kind of interesting. All right, 94. If you could change one thing in the world, one thing in the world, Bill, I know you want to do more, what would it be?

Bill Kilmer: Man, I'm trying not to be self-serving with this question. Well if I could change one thing in this world, I think we all fall short in understanding what the true character of a person is and their motivations so I would try to give everyone full insight into empathy across the board. I don't know if I could change original sin off the bat. I think that's more of a big guy's call, but I think that might go a long way.

Japhet De Oliveira: You've mentioned this a few times now in our conversation. The incredible need of empathy.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: I've got to know where has this desire for empathy come from? What's birthed that in you? Not everybody is this way attuned, right? So I'm curious.

Bill Kilmer: Well, I think it's one of those things, the more you try to understand where someone's coming from or what they're living or what's going on in their world, you're always surprised and humbled at what you've done in interactions that were overreacting or under reacting to a cry for help. And it's just something that can keep us constantly grounded.

Japhet De Oliveira: It's one of the things I like about you, Bill, when we've met outside of this microphone in front of us here and just talked as well is that you ask really good questions. You're very concerned and interested in people. So where did that interest come from? You're laughing. Where did that curiosity in others come from?

Bill Kilmer: I would say I'm always curious, one, but I think it goes back to what I was just saying on empathy. For me, those times I have been curious, I've gotten to that next layer or understood someone better and it's just benefited our relationships.

Japhet De Oliveira: Hey, that's good. All right. Tell us about ... Oh, this is fantastic. 95. Tell us about how you see your faith and life intersecting.

Bill Kilmer: Well, I think they're completely entangled for me.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, they are.

Bill Kilmer: I've just-

Japhet De Oliveira: Entangled's an interesting word.

Bill Kilmer: Well, what did our former colleague call it? They're completely integrated. And for me it's a blessing. I work in an organization that shares my faith. And for me, I've never had to think of flipping a switch to go to work or to go home. My life and my faith has always been integrated. I walk down the hallways and I'll see someone I went to school with and that's a really surreal thing, but there's also comfort when, oh yeah, we have shared experiences, shared culture, shared faith. So I've never had to really question anything other than living both lives the same.

Japhet De Oliveira: How do you help people who don't have faith experience like you have feel as integrated and warm as you do?

Bill Kilmer: Do our best to make them feel comfortable and respect them. For me, it's fairly easy, especially in the people function. You don't run into this as much in non-faith based work, but when we do here, it's always a blessing if I hear about someone else's faith or what they're doing. It gives me an insight into them as a person and this environment's one that's inclusive of everyone.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, it's very true. That's very true. Brilliant. All right, 96 then. Tell us about the last time that you cried.

Bill Kilmer: It was a couple weeks ago. I had some family news come in that wasn't a good news to come in, but a family member fighting the cancer battle now and that was the most recent time.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm sorry. Yeah. It is very hard when you can't do anything.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: And you want to.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Not easy. Not easy. So what advice ... I mean you're living in this right now. What advice would you give someone who has to go meet someone or hears about this? What would you say?

Bill Kilmer: Listen, for me at least, in that interaction, it wasn't about what I needed or I wanted, it was what can I do and what do you need?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. That's brilliant. Thank you. 97. Tell us about a time when you did the right thing.

Bill Kilmer: I hope it's a lot. I'm trying to think of all the times. I've never had a problem doing the right thing even to my own detriment. I would be the type when I played golf competitively in high school and college where I'd call a penalty on myself when no one was even on the course. It would eat my soul to know that I got one over on anyone.

Japhet De Oliveira: Integrity is very important for you.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: I can tell. I can tell.

Bill Kilmer: So I've never had a thought of, oh, can I sneak this by? I've always tried to at least do the right thing. And when I've messed up, I've always tried to atone to it if it's had some unintended consequence.

Japhet De Oliveira: We're developing here at Adventist Health, a just culture. I know you gave the floor just recently to your entire team system-wide to be able to talk to everybody about that. But you live into that space already.

Bill Kilmer: Yes, and it's been a great tool. And to that point, you can have a great process and a bad outcome or you can have a bad process which yields a bad outcome. For me, in the work we do, it's a little nuanced. We play in the gray area a lot in the interpersonal, and sometimes when things come up, it's just best to attempt to do the right thing and if something gets crossed, go back and atone for it and own it.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's fantastic.

Bill Kilmer: But we need to have room to make decisions and make mistakes and be supported.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah. Well, you now have time for the last two.

Bill Kilmer: Okay.

Japhet De Oliveira: I know where your last one's going to be. 100. Which number would you like to-

Bill Kilmer: So we're at 96.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, we're at 97 actually.

Bill Kilmer: Oh. 99 and 100.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay. All right. 99. What is the most difficult truth that you've ever told?

Bill Kilmer: I think for me, with my daughters, explaining to them the world doesn't care about them in the way they think it does. And seeing that the safety that they were provided in their environment kind of shatter as they get out there further and have to reinforce that is reality. That this is a scary place we live in if you're not vigilant about where you are, who you're with, and that no one's going to be safeguarding your emotional safety anywhere else other than really with a select number of people. So it's a big scary world and telling young, impressionable teens that and trying to prepare them to be in there has been that really people don't care like Mimi and Pop Pop. It is very tough for me at least to shatter that or always decision point, do you let it go a little longer? Do we not tell them this is out there? But hitting that wall a couple of times now has been tough.

Japhet De Oliveira: Very wise. Very wise. And necessary and painful and hard to do, but very wise indeed. All right. Question number 100. Bill-

Bill Kilmer: Been dying to hear this one.

Japhet De Oliveira: Tell us about one question that you just don't want to answer.

Bill Kilmer: I think I would answer every question you have.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah.

Bill Kilmer: I mean, if we go down the road of what is your deepest, darkest secret, I'd probably run away from that one. That's a good one.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's the question.

Bill Kilmer: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's the question. It's a question that probably everybody has. Yeah. Yeah. No, that's fair. That's fair. And I think that what it speaks to more than anything is that transparency and honesty requires intimacy and trust that you alluded to earlier and spoke about and how those things connect as well. So yeah. Yeah. Very true. Very true.

Bill Kilmer: Do I get one question? I want to flip the table now.

Japhet De Oliveira: Never done that before. Why not? I guess.

Bill Kilmer: So one?

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, sure.

Bill Kilmer: Okay. I've been dying to try this. I would like to ask you question number 76.

Japhet De Oliveira: 76. Okay. I've got to look up 76. I should have these hundred memorized, right? Oh. Tell us about how you feel the safest. Tell us about where you feel the safest and why. That's for me?

Bill Kilmer: Oh yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: Okay.

Bill Kilmer: Bonus question on bonus.

Japhet De Oliveira: Wow. Where do I feel the safest? I felt the safest with my wife. Yeah. In all honesty. And I don't have that now, so that's actually ... Yeah. I have thought about that recently. Not about safety, but so much about she was a phenomenal confidant and advisor and wise. And so yeah. So I'm thinking about that now, but that's where I did feel the safest.

Bill Kilmer: My answer is the same.

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah?

Bill Kilmer: Yeah.

Japhet De Oliveira: That's good. That's good. It is actually a real privilege, right? To have a life partner that you could do that. I had 30 years, so ... How many years have you guys been married?

Bill Kilmer: 15 this year.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm glad you know. No. Hey, 15. So halfway.

Bill Kilmer: Yes.

Japhet De Oliveira: I'm telling you, it's incredible. So that's good for you. And I was very privileged to be able to have 30 years as well, so that's true. Well-

Bill Kilmer: Thank you for indulging me.

Japhet De Oliveira: No, no. You're the first person. That's great.

Bill Kilmer: If you ever need a guest host for you-

Japhet De Oliveira: Yeah, yeah, yeah, sure. You're ready to roll. That's great.

Well look, friends, you've listened to our conversation and I want to encourage you to do the same. Thank you, Bill for this because it really is important to sit with friends as Bill and I do at other times as well, and just talk and ask good questions of each other. Listen, through those experiences, you actually grow. You become a stronger person, a wiser person, a better person, a person of integrity and character. So I want to encourage us to continue to do so. And until we meet again on another episode, God bless everybody and Bill, thank you again.

Bill Kilmer: Thank you. Thank you for having me.

Narrator: Thank you for joining us for the Story and Experience podcast. We invite you to read, watch, and submit your story and experience at The Story and Experience podcast was brought to you by Adventist Health through the Office of Culture.