Stacey Brandt, Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Tampa General Hospital
Someone recently asked me, “What career advice would you give your 20-year-old self?” Turns out, there are a few important lessons and reassurances I’d share with my younger self.
One of the biggest lessons I’ve learned over my career is that it’s ok not to know all the answers. Don’t get hung up on what you still don’t know. You won’t know everything, and that’s ok. What’s important is being comfortable enough to recognize what you don’t know and then using your resources to figure it out. That’s how you grow and develop.
I think it’s essential to understand that everyone on the team is integral to achieving success. Again, you don’t know everything, so choose to surround yourself with experts – that’s the team’s purpose. No one person is greater than the team.
While engaging your team is important, it’s critical to understand that you’re not always going to be right. Failure is not easy, especially when you’re a perfectionist as many executives tend to be. But you’re human. Even when you’ve studied all the data and used all of your resources to make a decision, there will be times when you make a mistake or make the wrong decision. And that’s ok, too. That’s also how you grow and develop.
What’s important is owning the mistake, learning from it and moving on quickly. Simply put, fail fast and move on. And what’s especially hard, but really important, is not dwelling on it. Easier said than done, I know, but don’t let that one mistake diminish your collective body of good work. Remember, it’s hard to be innovative when you’re paralyzed with fear of making a mistake.
Building a strong team, relying on others to help get the job done and collaboratively meeting challenges are all critical in my role as Executive Vice President, Chief Strategy and Marketing Officer at Tampa General Hospital (TGH). Like most executives, I have a broad scope of responsibilities – running the institution’s marketing, communications, and physician business development; strategic planning; partnerships and growth strategies; and service lines. No one person can do all of that alone – that’s why it’s so important to surround yourself with a strong and reliable team .. That’s not a weakness – it’s a strength. I know that if my team shines, I shine – and ultimately, the organization shines. There’s no other way to accomplish everything on my ‘to do’ list. It takes focus, trust, and collaboration.
Right now, my days are filled working with my teams to tackle a number of initiatives. We are working to implement a service line structure (similar to product lines in other industries). Here, we are working to break down silos and organize around the patient’s journey of care. We are fulfilling our patient’s needs in the outpatient environment and keeping them healthy and well to meet their inpatient and recovery needs. I’m also working on building community partnerships, filling in any service gaps, expanding our geographic footprint by adding new outpatient sites throughout the region and making sure our community knows how lucky they are to have TGH in the neighborhood.
The TGH team is amazing, and the work they do every day is something to be celebrated. I love being able to tell the stories of our patients and team members. But none of this can be achieved alone – there are strong, talented teams behind each one of these initiatives working alongside me, and I’m so thankful to have them.
My day is never boring, it never goes exactly according to plan, and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I have become a pretty proficient juggler. I’m a mother of three young kids, so I’m constantly putting my skills of multi-tasking, prioritizing, and switching gears into practice. In parenting, and at work, I know I’ll only be able to succeed with the help of a village. Building a great team whom you trust is priority number one.
I joined TGH because it’s a great organization with great people whose sole purpose is to heal, teach, and innovate, every day. The team here works so hard and at every level. Whether at the bedside or in the conference room, the team strives to provide the highest level of care to this community.
What I love most about my role here is that our work is continuously evolving, while staying true to its mission to be the safest and most innovative academic health system in America.
There are challenging days – when balls get dropped and when I certainly do not know all the answers. Simply put, I fail. I remind myself that it’s ok – I work together with my team to address the issue and move forward. Most importantly, I get up quick.