I first became aware of the HBA when a former colleague received the Rising Star award. Out of curiosity, I carried out some research and quickly discovered that it is a network offering experiential leadership and professional development opportunities for all career levels. It was a perfect match for someone in the early stages of their career, full of energy and eager to learn more.
In 2014, I joined the HBA as a marketing volunteer, the only youngster at that time among a group of very experienced leaders. I have since held a number of different leadership positions with the most recent one chapter president for the Frankfurt area for the past two years. When I was approached to take on that challenge, the chapter was in a quite difficult situation. I had to start from scratch. But thanks to senior leaders like Kathrin Schoenborn, I was able to build the‚ next generation of volunteers for the HBA in the Frankfurt region. I learned what elements a high performing team needs and that in a volunteering world not everything is perfect, which is absolutely fine.
Sometimes, the role of chapter president felt like a second job, on top of my real, job but I loved it. I loved spending my Sunday mornings with energetic and passionate people who want to make a difference in the healthcare industry, by strongly believing and acting on gender parity.
The three takeaways, I want to share as a leader of teams in a volunteering world are:
- focus on relationship building instead of simple networking
- connections based on shared interest, goals and trust are the most powerful.
- have the courage to let things go
- providing the stage for someone else lets you shine even brighter.
- believe in the power of diversity
- the more, the merrier and better the outcome.
The three takeaways on how my role at the HBA influenced…
- my approach to new opportunities
- I learned not to hesitate too much and say yes to new opportunities, even though timing might not be perfect.
- my leadership style
- I was able to gain initial leadership experience, by leading a team of 12 volunteers. I learned to delegate more and never forget about the power of motivation.
- my career
- I met so many inspiring leaders along my way, expanded my professional network and built trustful relationships. All in all, I was able to boost my professional career at the same time I advanced in my HBA career.
After almost five years of volunteering, I am happy that we have found a successor Julia Speicher - my partner in crime for the past years. Julia, enjoy the ride on the HBA career rollercoaster, one which enabled me to grow beyond my horizon. A big thank you to my whole team – each one of them with a great personality and high potential to make a difference in the healthcare industry and also to the whole HBA Europe team – inspiring leaders all of them.