Best of Women in Leadership 2018
Throughout this past year, we featured accomplished women leaders within our company. Each feature gave these women a chance to share lessons learned through their successes and failures, as well as offer advice to other women looking to grow in their careers.
We’ve gathered the best advice from each woman below, demonstrating our company’s powerhouse of female leadership.
Don’t miss the list of books and podcasts at the end – all recommended by this group of accomplished women as providing coveted, insightful leadership advice!
Is there a life motto you live by that has influenced your leadership style?
“JUMP! The saying goes ‘life begins outside your comfort zone.’ Life is all about taking chances, grabbing opportunities – even if you think you’re not ready for it – and giving yourself the opportunity to fail. If you’re not screwing something up, you’re probably not learning. How many stories do you hear about the failure of famous people? Staying in your comfort zone all the time is not a place for growth, and I have always believed you should be looking for and thinking about what you can try next.”
Pamela Maxwell, SVP, Field Sales
What are the qualities you promote to inspire greatness?
"At the cornerstone of everything I do is integrity. Accessibility, accountability, respect and humility are also essential in the way we approach our work as well as how we treat our colleagues. Creating an environment of frankness, where questions and discussions are encouraged – especially related to data integrity and accuracy – is vital. There has to be a willingness to learn from each other.”
Bernadette Kelleher, President, High Line Health, a One Call Company
What strategies would you offer the next generation of female leaders?
“The qualities that we as women possess are very different from men. As women, we have to find our voice. It is very easy to be at the table with men and just sit back and listen; you have to find your ability to assert yourself, understand your value and stand up for what you believe in. These principles will also be instrumental in achieving the position you want, the compensation you deserve and the awards you should be recognized for.”
Linda Lane, President, Harbor Health, a One Call Company
As a career driven woman, how did you find the courage to pause and step out of the workforce?
“Many people believe that pressing the pause button and taking time to stay at home with your children is a sign of weakness. The decision to delay my career ambitions did not come easy. I learned it’s okay to pursue family ambitions, take care of aging parents, or take a sabbatical for personal reasons.
I made a choice to slow down and put my career on pause for five years. At the time, I had four young boys and both my husband’s career and mine were very demanding. I questioned my decision – everything from “’What does this mean for my long-term career?’ to ’What if no one wants to hire someone who’s taken time off?’ Despite these thoughts, I knew deep down it was the right choice for me and my family.”
Alina Schreiber, SVP, Product Finance
How do you use your leadership values to help your team connect with our customers?
“One of the things I have learned is that to be successful in account management you have to check your ego at the door. You can’t walk into a room and assume you know what the customer needs. I try to show that to my team members too. Our customers have to trust that they have an open space to talk freely about their needs and experiences. Creating this type of reciprocal relationship allows us to not only connect with each other but also with our customers and that is essential for an account manager.”
Anita Breedlove, SVP, Enterprise Account Management
Why is it important to build a culture of diversity?
“Diversity is inviting people to the party, inclusion is asking them to dance. As a company, we can’t just check a box to say we are diverse. We must foster inclusion by giving everyone a respected voice at the table. This brings on a whole new level of creativity, ideas and skillsets that can deliver extraordinary results. As leaders, we must remove any assumptions or biases we may have upfront and recognize the advantage of tapping into talent.”
Aquanda Lewis, SVP, Business Strategy and Technology Transformation
What does authenticity mean to you, and how do you become an authentic leader?
“Being authentic isn’t just about being yourself and saying, ‘Everyone must accept me for who I am.’ Being a successful authentic leader means being honest with yourself about who you are and figuring out how to translate that into the type of leader you want to be.”
Kim Radcliffe, SVP, Clinical Operations
What is one piece of advice you wish you could have given yourself early on in your career?
“Pick your battles wisely and strategize. Our organization is ever moving and there are SO many tasks we all wish we could do. I teach my team to focus on the solutions and figure out the right time to present them. Come up with a plan, have it peer-reviewed, walk through all of the possibilities and then approach your leader with an educated plan you have thought through from all angles. This will get you so much further in your approach, and you will receive a higher amount of respect in your career.”
Jill Lawson, SVP, Enterprise Implementation Solutions
Was there a pivotal role or experience that significantly launched your career forward?
“A pivotal event in my career came when I was 39-years-old. I had just been promoted to a national senior manager when I learned that a group of field managers asked the CEO to fire me. Receiving this news was brutal. Fortunately, the CEO supported me and said, ‘What you are doing is right, but your approach is wrong.’
At that point, I learned not to get discouraged with failure but to embrace it and learn from it. Taking a risky assignment and changing my approach taught me that just because I did not initially achieve the desired result; it doesn’t mean I should put it out of reach. I just needed to step back and find a different way to solve the problem.”
Pat Rowland, EVP, Group Health and Chief Strategy Officer
Can you reference a podcast series or a book that has benefited you the most?
Sinek’s TED Talk: “How Great Leaders Inspire Action”
Power of Positive Leadership
Make Room for Her by Rebecca Shambrah
‘Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor’ by Sylvia Ann Hewlett