Leading by example isn’t easy. It requires commitment and passion — words frequently associated with Excellence in Leadership Award winner Tammy Moore, PhD, RN.
“Tammy faces challenges head-on from beginning to end,” says Tracy Huffman, a nurse manager at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center Neurological Institute. “Tammy is an advocate for staff and patients and does not hesitate to communicate her thoughts with passion and confidence, even when they are not conventional or similar to the consensus of the room.
“Tammy meets with the managers monthly to discuss ongoing projects and new ideas and never finishes a meeting without asking, ‘How can I support you?’ and ‘What do you need from me?’
“Her dedication and sincerity are evident through her consistent commitment.”
Tell us a little about yourself.
I have been in nursing for 30-plus years with a progressive track record in nursing leadership. I received my diploma in nursing from Mount Carmel School of Nursing and my master’s and doctorate from The Ohio State University College of Nursing. My career has allowed me to have varied experiences in critical care, emergency department, inpatient psych, inpatient rehab and acute neuro care.
Where are you from originally and what led you to Ohio State?
I have lived in Columbus my entire life. I graduated from Pickerington High School and spent most of my career in the Mount Carmel Health Systems. I eventually came to Ohio State to explore opportunities outside of my comfort zone and to obtain my doctorate.
Where do you work and what type of work do you do?
I am currently the associate chief nursing officer for the Neurological Institute. I have the opportunity to work with some awesome leaders who ensure patients receive excellent care every day! I spend most of my days listening and guiding our team to provide differentiating experiences for our patients and families while ensuring that the managers and staff feel gratitude from their roles and what they accomplish every day.
What drew you to the field and the role you play at the medical center?
I became a nurse because I wanted to make a difference in people’s lives during the most difficult situations that they may face. Being able to lead has always been a passion and one that I feel honored to do every day.
What’s the most important aspect of your job?
The most important aspect I find in my job is to always do the right thing — not the easiest thing, not the crowd-favorite thing, but rather, ask the challenging questions and hold myself to a high level of accountability.
What motivates you to be a leader?
I enjoy watching the young leaders take off and grow, watching them get some “wins,” watching them make mistakes and bounce right back, and laughter in meetings.
What’s your secret to working with others and getting people involved?
I only seek opinions from individuals when their ideas or thoughts can impact the ultimate decision. If the decision has already been made, then I tell them that. But if there is latitude for them to help build the plan, then I ask for their help.
One of the worst mistakes leaders make is asking people for their opinion or their thoughts and doing nothing with the information. Getting staff involved sets the tone that their opinion does matter and builds ownership into what they commit to.
How can others apply your winning skills or strategies?
- Live your passion: If you don’t love what you are doing, it will make it very hard to lead every day. This work is hard!
- Take care of yourself first: We need to be role models for healthy, responsible living to be the best we can. Those 5 a.m. workouts really do make a difference. Get up and get going!
- Listen to your team: Foster a safe spirit where they can disagree and it makes the product even better.
- Laugh often.
What else should we know about you?
I am very blessed to have an amazing family and really cool friends who support me every day. I love to travel, exercise, cook and share great walks with my two dogs, Carmen and Chloe.
Thank you, Tammy, for Improving People's Lives!