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David Rogers

Emerging Leaders 1-3
EL - David Rogers
 
Name:   David Rogers
 
Title:    Project Manager
 
Organization:    BJC HealthCare
 
Sector:   Healthcare Supply Chain
 

1)     How did you get started in Project Management? 

I got started in project management before I knew what it was called. It was a part of my responsibilities to manage small-scale initiatives, and out of necessity I began adopting and building tools. Then came a wonderful “ah-ha” moment as I found that the tools I used most frequently were all project management tools. That realization was a big relief for me to feel that I was among a community of people with standards, protocol, and tools that I could employ in my work. That structure was a very helpful for me, both at improving my projects and helping me to see a defined career path forward with the formal title of project manager.
Because of this, I’m especially passionate about helping others to effectively learn and use project management tools and techniques, even if they’ll never hold the title of project manager. 
 
I’m continually grateful for focusing on the profession because it is so widely applicable, particularly for leadership development.  I received training in leadership from various sources, but I continually felt discouraged that the content was too heavily theory-based.  The concepts seldom contained that important bridge between concept and execution.  This is the value of project management concepts for me.  Learning project management and mastering the concepts for the PMP certification provided me with the capabilities to be a more effective leader.
 
I look back on my “ah-ha” moment with gratitude that I found both a strong career path and a model for professional development in project management.
 

2)      What is your favorite project that you worked on or would like to work on?

My current projects are focused largely within the BJC hospitals.  These have been the most rewarding projects of my career.  My work focuses on improving the efficiency and accuracy of our processes to get medical supplies to our clinical teams.  The work takes me all throughout the hospitals, from the loading dock and warehouses to the patient floors.  This has been incredibly meaningful for me, seeing the tangible impact of this project work on ensuring our patients’ safety. 
 

3)      What is the most rewarding aspect of your job?

I was drawn to BJC and I continue to enjoy the work because I see in each of my colleagues the recognition that they’re contributing to something significant in their jobs.  Project management in healthcare is especially rewarding because I don’t just manage scope, cost, and time, I’m also ensuring that our work takes care of the patients.  This higher purpose is very fulfilling for me.  It creates a mindset on our projects that our work matters, and there are people counting on us to get it right.
 
4)      Where do you see yourself professionally in the next 3-5 years?
Project management is an incredible career that I plan to continue to pursue in the future.  It is an especially great fit for both for my personality and for my schedule.  I have balanced two careers for the last 13 years, because I’m also currently serving in the Air Force Reserve.  This dual experience has been beneficial in countless ways because of the training and experience that I am able to continually carry over between these two roles. 
 
However, it’s certainly not without challenges.  My career choice of project management is a perfect fit for the complexities of balancing two careers with competing priorities, particularly when the Air Force requires me to deploy overseas regularly.  When I have been pulled away from BJC, my projects have stayed strong because I could hand off all of my detailed documentation. 
 
Project management is a great career path, and it’s my honor to continue to grow within the field.
 
 

5)    Who is a leader you admire? 

The most important lesson that about leadership that great leaders have imparted on me was how to fail.  That, surprisingly, became the key to helping me to learn the foundation of learning leadership from others.
 
Early in my career, I hoped to find one leader who I could model.  Instead, I kept finding myself frustrated after I thought I had a perfect model for leadership.  Eventually though, I would see a shortcoming that I didn’t want to emulate.  So, I’d move on in my search for a new leader to mirror.
 
As people, we do this all the time, in many different ways.  We hope to find one model to be the epitome of leadership, or project management, or life in general.  This is why we tend to select larger-than-life people as our models, who in most cases we will never know personally.  So, I found myself in this situation, where I felt like I couldn’t relate to a model of leadership that I could only read about in a biography.  I also couldn’t commit to emulating leaders around me who I thought had some part of them that I didn’t want to copy.
 
 

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