Next is Healthcare Executive of the Year finalist in the Private Company category Cara Klansek, who is a partner at Guidehouse. Here, she shares success in her current role, breaking industry rules and more.
What has made you successful in your current role?
Throughout my career, a key factor to my success has been putting the mantra “clear is kind” into practice. Adopting this philosophy enhances productivity, accelerates client service, and strengthens interpersonal relationships.
Embracing the idea that “clear is kind” means that communication is clear and concise when possible. This minimizes misunderstandings, reduces unnecessary back-and-forth, and allows me to focus on the task at hand, rather than clarifying information.
This efficiency has enabled me to consistently meet deadlines and exceed expectations. My public health clients appreciate transparency and straightforwardness, so I always provide a strong data-driven underpinning for any recommendations.
I have also prioritized clarity and honesty in my mentorship and coaching. As a leader, embodying this principle has led to successful client delivery, strong team cohesion, and improved career progression. When I consistently communicate clearly and honestly, it builds trust among my team members and sets the tone for our supportive and positive work culture at Guidehouse.
Which rules do you think you should break more as a government/industry leader?
Failure avoidance! The fear of failure can be a significant barrier to growth and innovation in an organization or team. I have had many mentors who have instilled this “rule-breaking” in me by encouraging me to take risks and importantly creating a supportive environment where I felt safe to do so. In creating a culture that values learning, resilience, and adaptability, leaders can inspire their teams to reach new heights.
What are your primary focus areas going forward, and why are those so important to the future of the nation?
Knowing our collective genetic, social, and environmental conditions result in health outcomes, I have spent my career focused on measurably improving and protecting the public’s well-being.
Going forward, I am focused on helping our clients take the learnings from the COVID-19 pandemic, natural disasters, and environmental health emergencies, and put them into practice through connecting government and private industry. Private industry can effectively partner with government to enhance the public health data ecosystem, enable capacity building, increase equity, and expand mitigation efforts in the face of emerging public health threats.
These cross-sector partnerships can drive innovation and combine the strengths of industry and government to address the nation’s increasingly complex health environment.