The goal is the same as you rise in the ranks

Never underestimate yourself. Experiences, challenges and opportunities will surface throughout your career that you may never have imagined. But if there’s something I’ve learned in hindsight, you’re always more prepared than expected, and every experience you’ve had feeds further success, particularly if you remain true to your guiding principles.

When I started my career as a bedside nurse, I knew my greatest accomplishment for the day was delivering excellent care to my intensive-care patients.

As time passed, I progressively became responsible for larger groups of staff, eventually leading as a hospital executive. Although I no longer provide individual bedside care, the foundation of my career has remained ever constant, even as my roles have evolved. My guiding goal was — and remains to this day — to deliver exceptional patient care. All that’s changed are my methods for achieving it.

I’ve discovered that having a defined personal goal has been an incredible advantage each time I transitioned to a new level. It has kept me focused on what I value most and helped me embrace new situations without losing the enthusiasm that launched my career initially.

What originally motivated your career journey? How did you hope to change your own little corner of the world? If you’re able to identify and articulate this, you’ll keep moving forward even when the inevitable frustrations of a job surface. It will also help you prioritize additional education, training, networking opportunities and more. In short, it will keep you on course.

As a woman in business and leadership, having overall vision for your career is vital, but there are also some other concrete ways you can ensure excellence at every level in the workplace:

Stay humble and be self-aware.

Health care is a high-tech, but high-touch space, so you need to stay connected to people.

Stay engaged with the front-line staff.

Know what’s going on with the grass roots of your organization — that’s where some of the biggest differences are made every day.

Speak up and find your voice.

Being in a male-dominated space in a hospital CEO role, I know I need to advocate appropriately for patients, staff, faculty and patients’ families.

Have a passion for what you do.

People can see if you love what you do. Show up every day as a leader.

Be persistent — change doesn’t happen overnight.

Own the culture and make it better every day.

Develop a thick skin to do what’s right.

Display generosity.

As I have grown in my career, I have realized that every time I give, I get more in return.


Marti Taylor is the CEO of The Ohio State University Hospital, the flagship hospital on the main campus of the Wexner Medical Center. She is also the executive director of the Ross Heart Hospital. In 2016, Marti was the recipient of the Heart Hope Foundation Annual Lifetime Award and was selected by Becker’s Hospital Review as one of the “130 Women Hospital and Health System Leaders to Know in 2016.” She was the first CEO for University Hospital with a nursing background.