Meet Our Vice President, Recruitment Solutions: Interview with Harmony Healthcare’s Taylor Kolligs
Tell us about yourself. Where did you grow up?
I was originally born in Frankfurt, Germany. My Mom is American, and my Dad is German. She was a model and my father a fashion photographer. I only share that because I always get asked if I am from a military family since I was born overseas. I grew up in a small German village outside of the city with my older brother, Jason. Our household was bilingual; we spoke English in the house and German when we went out. We relocated to the States when I was five, settling on the Treasure Coast of Florida in Jupiter where I grew up. I was always very mindful of how fortunate I was growing up in such a beautiful place—the endless summer, the constant roar of the ocean, the Caribbean blue waters—no matter where I went, I was always just a short distance from a dip in the water. Days were spent surfing, wakeboarding and finding anything to do where I was outside soaking up the sun. Oh yeah, school too.
How did you get to Tampa?
I spent most of my life on the Treasure Coast before moving to Tampa to attend University of Tampa where I majored in marketing at the Sykes College of Business. It’s also where I met my wife. When I came to visit South Tampa for the first time, I really felt a connection to the area. From Bayshore Boulevard to Soho to Downtown to Bayshore to Ybor City to St. Pete and plenty of others, there is always something fun to do and cool places to go within a short distance. It’s an awesome city, I just miss the east coast waves.
What do you do at Harmony?
I am our Vice President of Recruitment Solutions. My focus is on developing our staff and helping to build our next generation of leaders, no matter where their journey takes them. I love the saying: leaders don’t create followers, they create more leaders. My goal is to inspire new levels of greatness in all our teammates by challenging and inspiring them, leading by example and identifying solutions in the face of adversity. My leadership style revolves around the “why” behind things, teaching people how to fish, and individual accountability. Although it takes more time, the importance of building teams with the tools to work through challenges on their own, regardless of what they are, is paramount.
I’ve always gravitated toward the human element. I like to understand what drives people, why we do what we do and help them achieve their goals. At the end of my freshman year, I really needed to focus on finding a position to pay the bills when I came across an ad posted in the Sykes building for a Recruiting Intern to work part time making cold calls with the potential for commission. I was pumped! I interviewed and got the job. I felt early on that I had found what I was meant to do, little did I know how far I would actually take it after college and beyond. Over 15 years later in the industry, and here I am.
You love to cook. What’s your favorite dish to prepare?
Pan seared filet mignon seasoned with the classic salt and pepper combo, fresh steamed broccoli topped with salted butter and Gruyere mac and cheese baked in a cast iron pan topped with panko. I’m hungry.
Favorite TV show of all time.
I have two as every yin needs a yang. Criminal Minds: intense, intellectual, engaging and Psych: funny, witty, easy going.
Mastery by Robert Greene. One of the things that intrigues me most is reading about some of the greatest minds of all time and how they used a combination of mastered skills to reach a new level of achievement that transcends the sum of its parts. It’s utterly fascinating to me to read the stories of how people got where they are; how much is fate; how much is decision making based on paths presented along the way; and how much is hard work. The simple reality is that there is little replacement for hard work, if you put in enough honest effort combined with intensity for a sustained period of time, you can achieve anything. It’s going to be required reading for my boys when they turn 13.
Of all the countries you’ve been to, which is your favorite? Why?
The South Pacific Islands; Tahiti. Growing up, it was tradition in our house that when you turned 16, you didn’t get a car or things, instead we got to choose where we wanted to go anywhere in the world. I chose the Tahitian Islands. It was an incredible experience—just breathtaking beauty. I had the opportunity to see most of the islands, wakeboard in Moorea Bay, dive the atolls—I saw a manta ray!—and surf with the locals. It almost felt like an out of body experience the whole time I was there, it was just that surreal.
If you were stranded on a deserted tropical island, what three items would you take with you?
A spear for fishing and hunting, seeds to plant fruits and vegetables (I’m betting heavily on this tropical island having a fresh water source) and dental floss. Since I’m not sure how long I’m stuck on this proverbial island, I need to know I can take care of my teeth. I mean, have you seen Castaway? Wilson!