The finalists for WashingtonExec’s Pinnacle Awards were announced Oct. 11, and we’ll be highlighting some of them until the event takes place live, in-person Nov. 30.
Next is HR Executive of the Year (Public Company) finalist Tammy Brown, who’s human capital leadership at Optum. Here, she talks success in her current role, proud career moments, career advice and more.
What has made you successful in your current role?
For many human resources professionals, it is easy to focus solely on human resource programs and processes while losing sight of the bigger picture. I pride myself on always thinking through the important business mission and vision, as well as the people aspect, in my consultation, recommendations and decisions. Remaining focused on the business priorities, compassion in every interaction and enabling an empowered team are critical to success.
What was a turning point or inflection point in your career?
My turning point was when I let go of perfection. It’s not possible to be perfect all of the time and this can then open the door for developing effective problem-solving skills. It’s important to always focus on doing what is right and not compromising for good enough. You need to also ask the silly questions; stay curious and look for the opportunities to lean in and say yes within your organization.
Looking back at your career, what are you most proud of?
Simply, the impact I have made in helping colleagues develop and grow. This extends to not only HR colleagues, but also business colleagues. I love seeing others succeed, grow and learn.
What’s your best career advice for those who want to follow in your footsteps?
Take chances early and often, but never compromise your values. When you make calculated risks, you understand how to learn from mistakes, which is the best lesson there is. When you learn that mistakes can usually be fixed, it empowers you to push yourself harder and further and grow through the process.