Anton J. Gunn, MSW, CDM

Chief Diversity Officer & Executive Director of Community Health Innovation
Medical Univ. of South Carolina Health
Keynote Speaker/Author/Leadership Coach
Charleston, SC

Shifting Career Focus from Tactical to Strategic

I like to think that I have never been tactical. I try to have a clear exit strategy before I go into anything. When I say exit strategy, I start from the end and work my way backwards. At 23-years-old, I asked and answered the question “What do I want to be doing a 50 years old?” This is a very difficult question for early careerists to think through given the fact they may have just started their first employment opportunity. However, I think it’s the most fundamental question to effectively navigate a career road map. You only get the insight of what 50-years-old looks like when you find role models who are that age doing what you want to be doing. Then study their biography to see what they did over the last 25 years to end up in the C-suite at 50. To obtain these insights, it might require you to network more, ask for informational interviews and conduct extensive research of the top healthcare leaders in America. See where they started and how they got to the executive ranks. It’s easier to develop a strategic plan when you know what a successful strategic plan looks like.