IWF UK Leadership Stories: Pam Garside

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This month Pam Garside shares her Leadership Story, giving us insights into the challenges of working internationally and the courage required to ‘move on’ when facing a ‘wrong decision. She shares the inspiration she has found in teaching and mentoring young people in the Health Sector.

What does being a leader mean to you?

Focusing on the future vision for the organisation, hiring the best talent, helping and developing others to follow and to grow, and paying attention to the detail.

What have been the one or two biggest challenges in your life and how have you overcome them?

Leaving two countries to work overseas on my own - UK to USA and USA to Chile, were tough but amazing experiences.

Second was taking a job with a company I ended up loathing, so I left! But it was a challenge to come to terms with the wrong decision and to muster the courage to leave.

What do you regard as your greatest successes, and why?

Teaching at Cambridge - MBA students and Executive Education delegates and mentoring them. Also mentoring other young people in the health sector in the UK and US and internationally. The best thing being most of them keep in touch - they are my successes. Also, I am proud of setting up Cambridge Health Network in 2004 with a friend from McKinsey. It has been successful in connecting the private and public sectors in health in the UK, and it’s fun.

How has your leadership style changed over time, and why?

I listen more…that had to be learnt as I am an extravert!

Also with experience comes confidence, I think I am better able to help younger women to think things through and solve problems. I am slightly more careful when giving advice as people tend to listen when you’re older and that is quite a responsibility.

What advice do you have for younger women aspiring to leadership roles?

Do an operational job, don’t get side-lined into strategy or a staff role too early, run something, take responsibility for a Profit and Loss unit or the equivalent. It gives you more options for advancement to executive ranks. Get a couple of good mentors, get the best childcare you can afford if you have a family, apply for jobs even if you think you have a less than 50% chance of getting them, men do!

With experience comes confidence, I think I am now better able to help younger women to think things through and solve problems

Pam Garside
Pam Garside

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