February message from the HBA Northern Chicago board

Hello HBA Northern Chicago,

I hope everyone had a wonderful holiday and had some time to recharge and get ready to achieve new goals this year. I am so excited to have the privilege of writing to you again, especially after our first event on 18 January, which did not disappoint.

The moment I walked into Baxter, who hosted our “Leadership Lessons from the C-Suite” event, I could feel the energy and excitement as people networked and looked forward to the panel of extraordinary executive women who would share their experiences with us, which included Sue Buettner (president, QualMed), Karen Quirk (DSVP and chief litigation officer, HCSC), Kelly Jo Golson (SVP, CMO, Advocate Healthcare) and Wendy White (past HBA chair, principal consultant, Wendy White Consulting).

As noted in the marketing for this event, “Leadership is a journey, not a destination”, and these women were so open and honest about their journey. They all had different personalities and backgrounds, but each one of them pulled you in with their story, leading you to discover there were striking similarities. The audience asked very pointed questions and you never felt like anyone was holding back. It was like having a conversation with close friends who would give you advice in everyday situations. The questions could have gone on for hours, and when the night ended, it felt like everyone got more than what they expected.

As I took some time to think about my takeaways from this event, as well as thoughts from other attendees, these points are what truly resonated with everyone:

  • Find the company and the job that’s right for you. It’s not always about the money or the title, it’s what you need to make you feel happy and valued.
  • Wendy White stressed how critical it is to job satisfaction that you “find your purpose”.
  • “Leadership is not a title. Lead in different ways; do the job to get the job.”
  • Kelly Jo shared an important reminder to “be intentional on how you show up; prepare for and contribute to every meeting you’re in”.
  • Respect the role you are in and do your very best with where you are.
  • Take on informal roles to get visibility and build experience.
  • Sometimes you need to make a lateral move or a step back to stay on the right career path. Get the experience you want and need to get you to a better place moving forward.
  • Take more risk; be ok with failing and learning.
  • Engage with the right people and ask for help when you need to. You can’t do it all and that’s OK.
  • Embrace the ability to be opportunistic, but also pay attention to those moments when taking on something isn’t going to have the impact you think is necessary or warranted, and be okay moving on. Embrace the opportunities to take on new responsibilities, volunteer, but also balance your choices. Sue reminded us that sometimes you have to say no.
  • “Work life harmony” is more accurate and achievable; give yourself permission that there won’t be balance.
  • Understand your strengths, be your true and authentic self and never let anyone try to change who you are. As our panel moderator, Stacey Eisen, quoted from her father, “Never change who you are for what you do.”  Such great words of wisdom.

I have spoken with several HBA members and non-members who attended this event, and got great feedback from every one of them. They left this event feeling educated and inspired, and are looking forward to what our chapter has in store for them in the upcoming months.

In February, we are hosting HB8 Supper Club events with two of our board members on 26 February (Gender Parity - Why Men Matter) and 28 February (Mentoring vs Sponsors – Why You Need Both). These events are a great opportunity to meet your chapter’s board members and talk about relevant topics in a small, intimate setting.

We also are hosting the “From Drama to Empowerment, Creating Opportunities and Positive Engagement” event, where you will learn how to adopt an ownership mindset as a way to create positive outcomes for yourself and for others. While it may be counter to our intent and uncomfortable at times, we will explore the drama we sometimes bring to various personal and professional situations. In addition to self-reflection on the roles we often play, we will identify techniques that empower, thereby enabling more productive exchanges and meaningful experiences between ourselves and others. If you are looking to feel inspired and empowered, you will love this event.

Here is the link to the website to these upcoming events, so don’t forget to register asap and share with your networks.

As I close out this letter, I hope you will take the time to join other members at the wonderful HBA events to come this year and focus on your personal development and networking opportunities. You never know who you might meet and what great opportunities await you on your journey.

Thank you for reading and I look forward to seeing you at the next HBA Northern Chicago event.

With sincere gratitude,

Julie Ciric
2018 HBA Northern Chicago director at large, new initiatives