Tim Sayler, Alumni Leading Our Community

Tim Sayler

Chief Operating Officer, Essentia Health West Region | Management

"Some of my greatest learning has been from my failures. If we don’t try new things and experience failures from time to time, we are not going to learn, grow and develop."


How well did MSUM prepare you for leadership?

MSUM was a great environment for me because of the opportunity to participate in small classes, have frequent contact with mentors, mostly professors, and other individuals who provided a very practical approach to education – people who were experienced and had worked in business, but also taught all of the concepts that have helped me greatly in my career.

What is an important skill for a good leader to develop?

Continue learning. Learning is life-long. You don't just finish your degree and move on. In education and training, you spend your life living and experiencing to gain additional skills.

What is your leadership style and what is the strength of that style?

My leadership style varies based on the situation. I tend to be very participative. I want to build a team working toward a common objective or purpose. I look at the organization as each of us having a certain role. I lead from the point of vision and strategy, and then incorporate other individuals to the team and gain their participation in that effort.

What do you see for the future of Essentia Health?

Essentia Health serves a fairly large geographic area with a significant population base. We are experiencing great change by adding new providers and services, building centers of excellence and finding different ways to serve our communities. More importantly, we are looking at how to improve the health of a population, which requires some transformation of an organization in terms of how we deliver care and add value and quality service to each and every person in the community.

What is your advice to someone aspiring to a leadership position?

Being properly prepared through a school like MSUM* is the first step to prepare for a leadership position. In addition, I coach students that they need to learn new skills like Six Sigma, Lean, and project management to differentiate themselves from others who are looking for similar positions.

* MSUM offers graduate programs in Healthcare Administration and an MBA with a Health Care Management emphasis.