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From scrubs to strategies: 5 career tips from Paul Bean, VP and GM at Stryker’s Sage Business

Updated: Apr 9

Twenty-some years ago, Paul Bean was working in the hospital trenches as a cardiac registered nurse (RN) in the United Kingdom focused on patient care. His fascination with innovative MedTech and the impact of new products on healthcare delivery prompted a transition into the industry. Today, he’s still focused on providing best-in-class patient care, but as the Vice President and General Manager at Stryker’s Sage Business in Cary, Illinois.   


What inspired the change, and how did he make it happen?  In his own words, "I thought, with my background, I could be well suited to working in the industry to drive forward new products and deliver better outcomes." Paul’s Stryker journey has taken him from Sales and Marketing to European Business Development and Franchise Country Director. Along the way, Paul has worn many hats that highlight his dedication to healthcare and passion for continued growth.  As we dive into his career insights, discover the transformative lessons that shaped him and how you can leverage them for your own professional growth. 


Career tips from Paul Bean: 

 

1. Leverage your transferable skills 

Without his background in nursing, who knows where Paul’s journey would have taken him. His ability to draw from his diverse career has helped Paul understand the value of transferable skills. “I spent five years working clinically as a cardiac registered nurse, and the skills I developed in patient care, adaptability and strategic thinking have been invaluable in my leadership roles in the MedTech industry.” While your career experience may not exactly match the job you’re looking for, the skills and knowledge you’ve collected along the way can be used to set you up for success. "From nursing to sales to leadership – every skill adds value. Identify and leverage your transferable skills to stand out in diverse roles." 


2.  Lead with passion 

Paul’s enthusiasm for our mission – making healthcare better- fuels his leadership. Paul encourages his teams and leaders to find what drives them. "Stryker is an organization full of opportunities, focused on individual development and growth. The Stryker culture is one of passion, drive and commitment.” In Paul’s experience, passionate leaders inspire their teams, leading to more collaboration and further innovation.  


3. Foster a diverse and inclusive workplace 

Paul’s passion for creating a more diverse and equitable workplace is engrained in who he is as a leader.  “I believe that as a leader you need to advocate for all elements of diversity across the organization. My role is to advocate or drive equality and create psychological safe spaces for all of our employees to be able to speak up. I believe that all elements of diversity make us stronger. Our customers are all diverse, so we must embrace DE&I across the organization.”  By setting this tone from the top, Paul has helped shape a more welcoming and inclusive team where all employees are encouraged to come to work as their authentic selves. Paul reminds us: "Be true to who you are. Authenticity breeds innovation. Your unique perspective contributes to a more inclusive and creative workplace." 


This commitment to inclusivity was further amplified during Paul’s time as the as Stryker’s Allies for Equality (SAFE) employee resource group’s Executive Steering Committee President. In this role, he helped SAFE champion a workplace where LGBTQIA+ employees are embraced as innovative, dedicated, collaborative, and equal contributors to Stryker’s core mission and values.  


4. Make connections with those around you  

In a senior leadership position, it can be easy to have tunnel vision and focus on the job that needs to be done and forget to prioritize personal relationships. However, Paul has found that building meaningful connections with employees creates a more enjoyable and innovative workplace. "Collaboration is the heart of success. Connect with colleagues, share experiences, and foster a collaborative approach to business." He makes a point of working to foster relationships across all levels of the organization., reminding those around him; “It doesn’t matter what job you do; we’re all aligned to the mission statement of making healthcare better.”  


5. Create a strategic plan to drive growth  

Strategic planning has been a cornerstone of Paul’s career. Whether growing a business unit or driving regional collaboration, Paul notes “having a strategic plan drives the growth journey for the organization.” In Paul’s experience, having a strategic plan extends to personal careers as well – “Strategic planning is key. Map out your growth journey, set clear goals, and align them with your organization’s mission.” By continuing to develop a strategy for professional and company growth, you’re able to create a road map to help you achieve your goals.  


Whether you’re a seasoned professional, or just starting out on your career journey, Paul's tips remind us that every skill is a steppingstone, and every role contributes to your success story.


Now, it's your turn to write your own #StrykerStory, check out our careers site to get started.  


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