Never stop learning: three words that can have an immeasurable impact on the path of any career. In order to succeed in the business world, one’s willingness to try something new can often yield positive and even surprising professional results.
Just as DaVita’s path to success followed a unique route, so did my career. More than 30 years ago, I began my career as an occupational therapist at Mayo Clinic. When I joined DaVita in 2001 as vice president of operations, the company had just recently changed its name to DaVita and was looking to turn things around after being on the brink of bankruptcy. Today DaVita is a Fortune 500 kidney care company that provides dialysis to over 128,000 patients across the country. Without having any formal background in human resources, but with a limitless desire to keep learning, my role is now the “chief people officer,” the one who heads up human resources.
In rebuilding the failing company, DaVita learned the value of creating a worthwhile culture, one that encourages people to be the best version of themselves while providing the best possible patient care. Under the leadership of our Chairman and CEO Kent Thiry, DaVita became a community first and a company second, and is a village with 36,500 teammates rather than employees. As our company began to dig its way out of debt and blossom into something great, we learned that it pays to take risks and try something new.
We also learned the power of personal and professional development. Whether a person provides daily patient care in one of our 1,600 clinics or is a senior vice president overseeing a region of operations, we believe in the value of “never stop learning.” We are committed to mentoring and building future leaders and offer unique programs for DaVita teammates and students dedicated to furthering their education and professional development. These leadership development and educational programs are built on DaVita’s core values of service excellence, integrity, team, continuous improvement, accountability, fulfillment and fun.
I believe the success of my career is because I made learning, taking risks, and professional and personal development a priority. Everything you do in your career shapes where you’re headed and it’s never too late to learn something new and valuable. You never know where the journey will take you!