Noetic’s Women in Leadership series highlights strong women leaders across industries who inspire us personally and professionally – as leaders, collaborators, and humans. They are recognized and influential in their respective fields and they leverage their positions of leadership to uplift, encourage, and support other women.
This month we are proud to feature Andrea Kalina, SVP & CHRO at St. Clair Health.
Of your achievements, what makes you most proud?
When I think about the opportunity to influence, to educate, to mentor…I’ve had an incredibly rewarding professional career, but the work itself is not the most important thing that any of us does. What I’m most proud of are the deep personal connections created over the years with my family, friends, and peers.
What is your rule of thumb when it comes to leadership?
Every organization has goals, and, as a leader you’re going to have plenty of opportunities to chase results. The work has to get done, we all want to do well and achieve a high level of success, and it can be easy to just focus on the bottom line. My north star has always been to do the right thing—and do it for the right reasons. As important: never lose sight of the contributions that the people around you make to your success. We’re all in this together.
How do you strike an optimal work/life balance?
Seeking balance is tremendously important—perhaps now more than ever with how easy technology makes it to operate in an always-on mindset. Achieving balance is really about prioritization—understanding that not everything is urgent in every moment. If everyone has to compartmentalize to a certain degree, then the key becomes understanding the compartments of your life and which ones demand and deserve urgency at any given time.
What’s your advice to young females beginning their career?
I have three daughters and I speak to them in these terms all the time: Be brave—because you’re intelligent and you know what you want and what it’s going to take to get there. Be creative—because you’re talented and resilient and you’re the only one who can get in your own way. Maybe it’s a little cliché but I really believe that there’s nothing we can’t do. Part of being brave is being willing to be told no, that an idea you have is off the mark, or that what you’re striving for just won’t work. And then you put all that in the rearview and trust your own instincts.
If you had to do anything over, what would it be and why?
Absolutely nothing—I have no regrets professionally or personally. And there are many reasons for that. I’ve been fortunate, and maybe even lucky in some instances. But I’ve also been deliberate. I’ve set lofty goals, some of which I have yet to achieve. I’ve held myself to high performance standards, and sought out mentors who could help me understand what I needed to do to get to the next level. I haven’t done everything perfectly throughout my career. I’ve learned that often we learn more from failing than we ever could by succeeding. And I’ve come to think of it like this: why spend energy on thinking about changing something that’s already happened? It’s far more beneficial to channel that same energy into doing something that can help others going forward.