4 CEOs share their best advice

The Corner Office series asks healthcare executives to answer seven questions about their life in and outside the C-suite.

In each interview, CEOs share the piece of advice they remember most clearly. Here are a few answers collected by Becker's Hospital Review in the last four months, in alphabetical order.

Roxanna Gapstur, PhD, RN, president and CEO of WellSpan Health (York, Pa.)

Since this is the year of the nurse and midwife, one of the things which has stuck with me over the years is attributed to the pioneer of hand hygiene, Florence Nightingale, whose 200th birthday was just celebrated: "Wash your hands." As we've seen with the pandemic, it's never been more important. By washing our hands, we can save lives and improve the health of our families and our communities.

Philip Ozuah, MD, PhD, president and CEO of Montefiore Medicine (New York City)

In Lewis Carroll's Alice's Adventures in Wonderland, Alice asks the Cheshire Cat for directions. The cat responds, "That depends a good deal on where you want to go." When Alice says she doesn't care much, the cat tells her, "Then it doesn't matter which way you go." The lesson is you need to have absolute clarity about your goal, your mission, your destination. This is true in every realm of life, whether you're a leader or just starting out. If you don't know where you're going, any road will take you there. 

Cliff Robertson, MD, CEO of CHI Health and senior vice president of operations for Chicago-based CommonSpirit Health's Midwest division (Omaha, Neb.)

I tape weekly video blogs for CHI Health's front-line staff. A sticky note taped to my computer reads, "Where are we going?" and "What does it mean to me?"

Someone along the way in my career shared this advice with me, and it's what I remember most clearly: When you're communicating with any other human being, whether it's your spouse, your co-worker or caregivers that make up your organizations, those are the two things they care about. So, when I tape the videos, I try to frame the information I'm sharing so it might answer those two questions.

Daryl Tol, president and CEO of Altamonte Springs, Fla.-based AdventHealth's Central Florida division

Put your heart and soul into the job you have. Don't continually scan the horizon for your next opportunity. Let the future develop naturally. 

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