By Craig Ey and Kennedy Rose – Philadelphia Business Journal
In her new position, Dixieanne James oversees Einstein’s medicine and surgery departments, and the cancer, heart and vascular and digestive disease and transplantation service lines. She sits on Philabundance’s board of directors to help lead one of the city’s largest hunger relief nonprofits.
What makes you excited to come to work?
The programs at Einstein meet very critical needs for our patients and our community. Knowing that what I do ultimately helps those most in need and those who are often overlooked, fills me with a tremendous amount of purpose and passion. I am also blessed with an incredibly smart, funny and supportive work family who help make even the most trying days and difficult decisions manageable and worth it all.
What would you say has been your life’s biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge in life has been learning to get comfortable with being uncomfortable because while discomfort never feels great it doesn’t kill you and in fact it can make you stronger. Also, I’ve learned that so many great things in life sit on the other side of where we are most comfortable. So it’s important to embrace a lifestyle that expects to be uncomfortable from time to time in order to grow and make meaningful change in the world and the lives of others. Personally, if thinking about my goals and ambitions don’t make me slightly nauseated at the level of discomfort it would cause then I know I’m not really stretching myself enough.
Who has been your most valuable mentor and why?
My most valuable mentor was also my first professional mentor who, 15 years ago when I met her, held the role I aspired to have one day (and have now held for the past five years) Her name is Diane and she taught me the art of being thoughtful and intentional about the experience I garnered, the career decisions I made and the relationships I built. She also modeled a standard of professional excellence and work ethic that I work every day to emulate. Her advice, intervention, and guidance were invaluable and helped shape the trajectory of my career. It also taught me the value of paying it forward, which is why I enjoy serving as a mentor to others today. Helping others continues to be one of the most important and valued roles I hold.
What advice would you give a younger version of yourself just starting out in your career?
I would tell my younger self to take time to enjoy every day and celebrate current successes both small and large. Not to let her focus on the next goal rob her of precious moments, to reflect and pat herself on the back from time to time. I’d also tell her to really believe in her heart that the plans the Lord has for her are for good – to give her a future and a hope. So, worry less and trust God more. And lastly, I would tell her to buy a lot of stock in Netflix because we could seriously been close to retirement by now.
What should be done to increase the number of minority-owned businesses in Greater Philadelphia?
To increase the number of minority owned businesses in Philadelphia I think more business incubators are needed so that minority business owners can access expert feedback and support on their business model, marketing plan, financial and investment plans etc. Many minority business owners are first generation business owners and don’t have proven models or an extensive network to draw from.