Tampa Bay Business Women Awards 2023: Teddi Rae Barber

As executive vice president and chief operating officer, Teddi Rae Barber is directly responsible for the continued growth in patient access points across the state of Florida, developing collaborative alignment strategies to further the mission and care-delivery model of the group and to ensure the continued success of the daily operations across the nearly 20 locations throughout the region.

She is a former board member of Dress for Success Tampa Bay and the Centre for Women. In addition, she provides pro bono mentorship and business advisory services to a select number of entrepreneurs each year (most recent includes, but is not yet limited to, EmSite Solutions and Accel-EQ).

HOW DO YOU CONTINUE TO EVOLVE AND GROW AS A LEADER?

My personal leadership philosophy centers around empathy and understanding how to inspire those to become the best versions of themselves. It is my goal to create an environment where my team sees themselves through the lens through which I see them, versus any limiting lens through which they may see themselves.

In practice, my growth as a leader is a direct result of active time spent across all layers of the organization that I have direct, or peripheral, oversight of. In understanding the depths of unit-level challenges, and drivers for success, and consistent introspection of my own limiting lens as a leader and focusing, acutely, on areas that may require refinement.

WHAT HAS BEEN THE GREATEST LESSON IN YOUR PROFESSIONAL JOURNEY?

To be flexible.

If we examine our life’s journey, separate from our professional journey, it would be unrealistic to view this in a linear and smooth path forward. We would expect to see major twists and turns along the way as life tends to provide, solicited or not. I was naive to think my professional life was immune to such twists.

As a young professional, starting out in my career, I had unreasonable expectations that my “career plan” would be deployed uninterrupted, or even that during my career plan, my experiences within each career segment would unfold as forecasted. Thus, early in my career, my leadership style, and even non-leadership working style, was rigid and inflexible, which led to many missed opportunities for value creation, looking back, retrospectively.

As leaders, our ability to be flexible in ideologies, methodologies, and approaches to talent management and growing our teams, is imperative for success, especially during times of instability such as the pandemic. Often, it is not perfection that gets us to the finish line, but the ability to act with purpose and conviction on gut instinct.

 

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