Growth, priorities, commitment: Leadership advice from 6 supply chain executives

Many people aspire to be leaders in their field, but only a few make it to the executive level.

Becker's asked six supply chain executives from the country's top hospitals for their best leadership advice. 

Amanda Chawla. Chief Supply Chain Officer at Stanford Health Care (Palo Alto, Calif.): Be your authentic self and lean in while being transparent, honest and having strong ethics. These will never fail you. And when you fall, get up again and incorporate your learnings. If you don't try, you will fail; if you get up, you just might succeed. 

Carlos Maceda. Chief Supply Chain Officer for Mount Sinai Health System (New York City): Not everyone is as committed as you, and that's OK. When I was younger, I used to get frustrated when people didn't work as hard as me. I haven't taken a real vacation in 25 years. Even if I'm on the beach, I'm checking my phone and emails. Not saying that that's healthy, but that's me. And I would say 95 percent of all leadership are probably the same way because you're paranoid and you just want to stay connected and make sure everything's working right. But not everybody's that committed. You have generational differences. You have different ways of looking at work. And instead of judging that, it's OK to work with people where they are. Work with the people that you have that are committed and the ones that just want to work their 9 to 5 — that's still OK. They're still doing a function. They're still helping, so treat them the same way.

Jacquelyn Marcus. Vice President for Supply Chain Management at NYU Langone Health (New York City): One of my mentors once advised me: "Build the best team you can with people that have a wide range of skills that complement each other." I've always applied this advice to ensure that I have a dynamic team of strong, diverse players. Everyone has different strengths and it's important to build a team with diversity of thought and experiences in order to achieve the best outcomes.

Lisa Scannell. Vice President of Supply Chain Management at Mass General Brigham (Boston): I have been fortunate to work with strong leaders throughout my career, and the most effective leaders demonstrated that a title doesn’t make a great leader, actions do.

Jeremy Strong. Vice President for Supply Chain Operations at Rush University System for Health (Chicago): Growth and change is uncomfortable, but critical, and requires you to stretch and expand yourself to become something better.

Calvin Wright. Senior Vice President of Supply Chain at Houston Methodist: A mentor told me once that in order to be an effective leader, you have to learn how to manage polarities. Everyone has different perspectives, backgrounds and approaches to solving problems. More often than not, approaches will clash and you will have gridlock. He always encouraged me to work toward a solution of "both and" rather than "either or." 

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