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Embracing the Unknown: Lessons in Leadership with Heather Goodchild (Part II)

What does it take to lead effectively in the ever-evolving world of medical device sales?

In the latest episode, the Girls of Grit explores the intricacies of leadership within the medical device sales industry. This second part of the thoughtful conversation with guest Heather Goodchild centers on navigating the uncertainties of leadership and the pivotal role of mentorship in shaping successful careers. Heather emphasizes the need to embrace the unknown and develop analytical skills while sharing her experiences of overcoming challenges in her role as vice president.

Heather emphasizes the value of teamwork as she credits her achievements to the support and collaboration of her team. Her journey from facing professional hurdles to becoming a role model in her field illustrates the significance of trusting oneself and continuously learning. She also stresses the importance of adaptability and resilience in their own careers. 

The Girls of Grit and Heather Goodchild’s candid discussion offer a source of inspiration and practical advice for those in medical device sales or other similar industries.

Must-Hear Insights and Key Moments

  • Embrace Change: Transitioning from one career to another can be daunting, but staying open to new opportunities can lead to growth and success.
  • Persevere Through Challenges: Even when faced with obstacles, persistence, and problem-solving can help you navigate and overcome adversity.
  • Trust Your Instincts: Saying yes to opportunities even if you’re not fully prepared can lead to unexpected successes and personal development.
  • Seek Support: Surround yourself with people who believe in your abilities and can provide encouragement and guidance.
  • Stay Adaptable: Being able to pivot and adapt your approach, especially during uncertain times like the COVID-19 pandemic, is crucial for success.
  • Leverage Mentorship: Learning from mentors and leaders can offer valuable insights and help guide your career trajectory.
  • Propose New Ideas: Bringing forward innovative ideas and programs can demonstrate initiative and contribute to professional growth.
  • Build Confidence: Presenting ideas to a board or leadership requires confidence, which can be developed through experience and self-belief.
  • Learn Continuously: Continuous learning and professional development are key to staying relevant and excelling in your career.
  • Maintain Grit and Resilience: Facing setbacks with resilience and a positive attitude can propel you forward and help you achieve your goals.

Words of Wisdom: Standout Quotes from This Episode

  • “Another great leadership skill is being analytical, being able to break it down and understand where you’re good at, where your success is, and then where your failures are, and understanding to be able to pivot, then move and change.” — Anneliese Rhodes
  • “We will find a way, we are going to get there and we are going to bring all of us together in a way.” — Cynthia Ficara
  • “The people who have helped nurture me along the way unknowingly or maybe knowingly, help set me up to be able to face some of those really tough times. Tough things that you have to face.” — Heather Goodchild
  • “You have to have a team who’s equally as inspired as excited, ready to go do the hard things and have the courage to take that step forward.”  — Heather Goodchild
  • “Nothing beats the feeling of when you’re on a journey with a group of people and you’ve set out to go do something and then you accomplish it together and you’re able to recognize everybody’s role within that and you get further than you ever thought you would.”  — Heather Goodchild
  • “When I’m not listening or trusting myself, that never leads me to a great place. I think it’s healthy to question yourself, but to sit in doubt is not a great place to be.” — Heather Goodchild
  • “No matter where you are, the point that you’re at has value to the others that you’re sitting with.” — Heather Goodchild

About Heather Goodchild:

From the treatment room to the board room, for over two decades, Heather has devoted her career to helping people feel better about themselves by improving the health of their skin. In this endeavor, she has served as a senior leader for companies like SkinMedica and Colorescience, and advisor to skincare startups. Heather is known for creating and driving training, education, and strategic development programs that connect skincare to improved outcomes. Alongside her team of leaders, strategists, business development managers, and educators they are changing the experience of having advanced cosmetic treatments and services through healthy skin transformation that provides wearable multifunctional products which deliver immediate confidence and long-term visible results. 

She is a strong advocate for her fellow aestheticians as she firmly believes, Skincare IS a Service.

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Your experiences are important to us. Share how you’ve navigated catalysts for growth and personal transformation. Connect with us on social media or leave a review on your preferred podcast platform. Your feedback and stories inspire us and guide future episodes!

Blog Transcript:

Anneliese Rhodes: We just did an episode on leadership and a Harvard business review, we looked it up and talked about it, and one of the leadership qualities is being okay with the unknown, right? It’s a chance, you’re going to take a chance and it may not work or it may not be a hundred percent successful. Then what you also talked about, another great leadership skill is being analytical, being able to break it down, understand maybe where you’re good at, where your success is, and then where your failures are and understanding that, being able to pivot them and move and change.

And all of that makes you such a great leader, Heather. You really embody a great leader. Everything that you’ve talked about so far has been right up the alley for great leadership skills. 

Heather Goodchild: I’ve had great leaders who’ve modeled it for me, and I think that’s been key for me as I’ve been able to see it and have people who’ve cared enough to instill some of those things or cared enough to push me to go learn them.

And so I said, I’d follow Mary Fisher anywhere. There’s a reason for that, right? There’s a reason why I’d follow her company to company. And it’s because she has been such a role model of what great female leadership looks like for me to learn from. And then my parents, my dad, right?

He had two girls, no sons, but his two girls were going to grow up as forces never needing to depend on a man for anything but to find a partner, and I think those have been some of the things that have really helped model along the way now that I’m at the point we talked about, I’m now at level 44 in my life.

I have to be able to go back and have some perspective of reflection back to go. These are the things that we’re setting you up to prepare you to reach hard times. I mean, in my career, my role as vice president of professional business, I’ve hit things that I never would have thought I would have to be challenged with.

Never would have thought COVID cut half your team and remodel it. And by the way, you’re going to lose one of your top, there’s just so many adversity things that I never thought I would face because of COVID. You hadn’t heard about them before, right? With others, but the people who have helped nurture me along the way unknowingly, or maybe knowingly help set me up to be able to face some of those really tough times. Tough things that you have to face.

Cynthia Ficara: It seems you still believed in everything that you were doing. We had done a previous podcast. We’re talking about always knowing why you do something and having a North Star based on what you were saying. All of these things are happening, but you still were looking at that North Star.

Like we will find a way we are going to get there. We are going to bring all of us together in a way. And to be doing even more than you ever imagined is very commendable. So I’m really happy for you. I think that’s very exciting. Something to celebrate because it certainly wasn’t easy.

It’s just great to hear that, there’s everybody out there struggling at times within their jobs and just hearing your story. I find it extremely inspiring. I do.

Heather Goodchild: Thank you. I think what’s inspiring is also the people that I get to work around, right? So you can have a thought, you can have even like the path forward, very well laid out and everybody’s bought in that the end of the day, you have to have a team who’s equally as inspired, as excited, ready to go do the hard things and take the courage to take that step forward. 

And where we are, we would not be without our sales leadership team. So our area directors led that transformation. And so, I think when you’re in a role like vice president or an executive there are accolades, like you guys will give me the credit for that.

But really it’s not mine. It’s the teams who executed it and it’s exciting to see them. Like, they would all be phenomenal guests on this podcast because each one of them is just a force on their own.

Anneliese Rhodes: Cindy and I were just on a podcast actually, not that long ago. And we were asked one of the questions, which is why do women feel like they need to do it all?

Why do you feel like you need to be the sole provider, the sole winner, and I’m going to go get 10 accounts all by myself? And you were very quick to give credit to other people who helped raise you to get to where you are today. 

That’s why I’m going to ask you this, I mean, was that always something you always embodied, being able to lean on others and know and trust and find those good mentors or did that take time for you to understand that maybe I can’t do it all myself, but that if I build an amazing team, they’ll be there to support me?

Heather Goodchild: It’s such a great question because, in full transparency, I am one of those people who has a hard time asking for help. Yet I grew up playing team sports and I think that really helped me learn. You win together and when you win together, that feels so much better than just when you’re the star.

And I had the opportunity to be the most athletic and I had the opportunity to be president’s club and all those things, and they don’t get me wrong. They feel amazing, but nothing beats the feeling of when you’re on a journey with a group of people and you’ve set out to go do something and then you accomplish it together and you’re able to recognize everybody’s role within that and you get further than you ever thought you would.

That is a better feeling than any single accolade. So I think team sports helped me see that. Maybe those awards fueled the competitive drive a little bit more which is important to this whole recipe too, but I am still working on learning how to ask for help every time I need it.

I’m still not there, and again, I’m a mom. I’m all these things where I should be able to just very easily ask for help when I need it, but there are times that I still struggle to do that.

Anneliese Rhodes: Think as young girls, a lot of us are taught, you should be able to do this on your own, or you’re at that age, you should be able to do that, Anneliese. You know, I think a lot of that and I know for me, anyhow, struggle with asking for help, but every great leader, Cindy, that you and I have talked to and we’ve interviewed every single one of them talks about their team, talks about the people that have either led them or they now lead or both. And it just brings home that it’s okay to ask for help, it’s okay to lean on people and it’s okay to learn from them because honestly, that’s where we learn all of our experiences, right?

We’re not going to go through everything, but if we can take what we’ve learned from people and then instill that in others and ourselves, I feel like that’s a true success that helps us become those CEOs of our own career paths.

Cynthia Ficara: And that continuous learning is something we hear over and over, that all leaders are continuous learning. So let’s ask you, what do you do to continuously learn? Are there certain books you read? Are there podcasts you listen to? Anybody you are inspired by?

Heather Goodchild: I’m a researcher, like if I’m going to go learn, I’m going to go dig in and I dig in pretty hard, but regularly, I love listening to podcasts.

Part of my morning routine is one’s on while I’m in the shower and one’s on while I’m getting ready. If it’s not a podcast,  it might be an audible book. So I switched between, I like to listen to a set of different inputs. So I’ll listen to female-led podcasts. I’ll listen to male-led I love.

There’s one by Craig Rochelle that has a bit of a faith base to it. So I love listening to the Diary of a CEO. He’s a 31-year-old guy who’s just done amazing multiple businesses, right? So he’s younger than me and in a completely different industry. I guess I find time every single day where I am learning, I’m taking in other insights and different ideas related to business or leadership. 

And then, from a book standpoint, every year I reread The Alchemist. I don’t know if you’re familiar with that book. Since I first was introduced to it, maybe 12 years ago now, every year I reread it. What’s so interesting is I find myself evolving.

I’m re-reading this book each year, and each time I find something different in it, something else speaks to me through it, even though now I’ve read it 12 times. Something else speaks to me and what’s so interesting about that book, if you’ve not read it, it’s a story of someone finding themselves and finding their purpose and you follow along in that journey of them learning to trust themselves. 

And I think that’s why it speaks to me so much because that’s been for me throughout my career. I’ve doubted myself plenty, right? And usually, when I doubt myself the most, it’s when I’m not listening or trusting myself and that never leads me to a great place. I think it’s healthy to question yourself, but to sit in doubt is not a great place to be.

And so I think that book really speaks to me for that reason because it’s just this great journey of someone evolving through that and ultimately finding what they were meant to do right in life.

Anneliese Rhodes: I will now read it because I have not read it. You said something so true and you were very vulnerable with that. And that is not always did you trust yourself, not always did you give yourself the credit that you deserved. I think a lot of us do that as women because I think in our heart of hearts, we know, but then we’re like, I don’t know, am I going to be judged wrong for that?

Maybe that’s the wrong answer. especially if you’re in a sea of men like we are. Well, they wouldn’t do that. Why should I think that I can do that? and so I think you bring up a really good point that, it’s about self-discovery, but it’s also about trusting yourself. I think it’s really important to use that gut check.

Heather Goodchild: And then listen to it, actually listen to it. For me, my experience when I don’t listen,  that’s when I wind up having regrets later on. When I say like, this is here for a reason. Listen to yourself. Like, listen to that and you go the right direction.

Anneliese Rhodes: Yeah. 1000%. I had a tough decision to make a little while ago and man, I was tossing and turning over it. And I finally was like, what am I doing? This isn’t the right decision for me. I need to stick with what I feel is right in my heart. And I made that decision and I haven’t looked back since.

Cynthia Ficara: You give so much great insight to all of our listeners, but if you could leave us with just one thing as to what all of our listeners would want to hear from you, what would that be?

Heather Goodchild: One thing is to trust yourself, we just talked about. So maybe, if I was to add one more thing, it would be related to a recent experience. So again, as you move through your career, I would imagine your listening audience is diverse in age. I remember being early in my career and being invited to sit at that table and wasn’t sure why I was there.

I was just excited to be there, and now I find myself, I’m at the table, but the dynamics have changed and so I’m not the person at that table anymore. Sometimes, I’m the oldest person at that table and my purpose is now different. The role of the seat that I’m filling is now different.

I think the thing to take away is no matter where you are, like, if you’re getting asked to go, you’re there for a reason and knowing that your contributions matter, whether you’re early in your career and your new, fresh eyes are valued because it’s a fresh perspective, or maybe you’re more seasoned and you get to be a model of what could be and inspire others or provide some wisdom on like, I’ve tried a lot of different things.

Here are some things to think about. But just knowing that was such an aha moment for me recently, because I did for a moment, I got a little stuck in the man. I’m the oldest gal at this table. What am I doing here? And then a good friend of mine said, I’ll tell you what you were doing there. You were serving as inspiration for those that are going to come after you.That’s what you were doing. I thought about what a mind shift has to do because I’m at a different point. Knowing that no matter where you are, the point that you are at has value to the others that you’re sitting with.

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Embracing the Unknown: Lessons in Leadership with Heather Goodchild (Part II)