Tina Lai Liedtky
President, Clinical Diagnostics Division, Thermo Fisher Healthcare
“…with The Parnassus Group, you are not just going through a job search process – you are embarking on a journey of self-discovery.”
Prior to Alere, Tina graduated from Princeton and went on to get her MBA from Harvard. She worked at several multi-national medical device companies in various commercial leadership roles. She also has experience with small-cap medical device companies in the endovascular space. She joined Alere as Vice President of Global Marketing and Product Development for its largest business unit. Her team is tasked with setting long-term growth strategies for the diagnostic franchises and launching promising technology products on a global basis.
“Early in the consideration process I was a little concerned that I had never had direct experience in this particular market segment and that moving into such a senior role may present issues based on my knowledge and specific experience. The Parnassus Group did an excellent job of tailoring their search to the needs of their client company and allayed my concerns by ensuring that I was fit for the role in terms of my approach to every growth and learning situation that I had embraced in previous roles. They were careful to walk me through the expectations of the role and the particular opportunities to build clarity for me with each individual interview.”
“Looking back, I can easily confirm that making the decision to join Alere was the right decision for me and this role has already allowed me to grow tremendously as a leader in terms of the breadth of strategic thought and influence I have on an organization.”
Coming to Alere, you were going to be stepping into a market segment (in-vitro diagnostics) where you had little or no experience and with a company that had recently gone through a lot of change. What did that feel like and how did you honestly process that uncertainty while actively considering this role?
“I didn’t want to end up in the middle of a corporation having an identity crisis where there was no an improvement in culture and work/life balance. I was looking for a major cultural overhaul to work again with peers and be a part of a team market savvy leadership. It was very important that I move to a company with a culture of respect where it was expected that people treat each other with dignity and sincerity.”
The strong fit was apparent to me as soon as I interviewed and felt immediately like I wanted to be part of the team.
“Considering career change is always daunting. Due to the fact that the diagnostics space is one with customers, distribution channels, and use settings that I had never been exposed to, a learning curve quickly developed. Through The Parnassus Group and their work with me, I was able to prepare for my interviews with stakeholders at Alere, and through my conversations with the stakeholders themselves, I felt comfortable in ultimately making the decision to take on the career move.”
To the degree that you remember it, what was your number one thing that motivated you to take a call and to move into the process of investing the time, energy and emotion of contemplating change?
“After my initial discussion with The Parnassus Group, I was presented with an Opportunity Prospectus on the position at Alere that I was being considered for; it was by far the most informative and comprehensive overview of a company and its business that I have ever seen through an executive search process; I could very easily understand through the Prospectus the dynamics of the industry, the company’s situation in terms of its evolution, and the specific needs of the business, as well as get a sense for the style of leadership and culture that is present at Alere. In that vein, I could quickly determine whether the opportunity would have the elements I was looking for; John followed up with additional information on the company including recent earnings reports and press releases, supplemented with live conversations to bring to life the character of the company and answer any questions I had about the company’s background, the leadership team, the business dynamics or the demands of the position; in essence, Parnassus did the “heavy lifting” of due diligence for me, making the process one that was not only easy, but also enjoyable. The way that John and his team presented the opportunity to me from the start and throughout the whole process solidified in my mind that the opportunity was the right next step for me in my career.”
Leadership was and is a big deal to you. Remembering how important it was to truly know what your boss would be like as a mentor/amplifier in your potential success, what did you find unique about the way that The Parnassus Group and Alere curated your exposure and experience within the limited venue of an interview process?
“I’ve always known that having a manager that I respect and connect with is critical to my happiness and success in any organization, I expressed this to The Parnassus Group and was pleased to discover that John not only knew the IVD space intimately, but had a long-standing relationship with the hiring manager and my current boss, Daniella Cramp, the President of the Cardiometabolic Business Unit. In knowing deeply the culture of Alere and Daniella’s leadership style as well as the needs of the business, The Parnassus Group was able to tailor their candidate search to find a match for Alere as a client, but was also able to convey to me as a candidate the type of learning and mentorship that would be available to me. This was confirmed through my conversations with Daniella during the interview process as well as through the descriptions of Alere’s leadership team and its culture that resonated through the materials that Parnassus provided and the interviews with key stakeholders at Alere.”
You’re a mission minded person that has a clear sense of what you want to do and how. Were there any points of uncertainty that you faced in the midst of the process? If so, how did you move past that and in hindsight, what do you think that this role has done for you as a developing leader?
“While there may have been points of uncertainty during the initial phases of the decision process as is common in any case of transition, I felt that the support that The Parnassus Group provided post-acceptance and the onboarding plan that Daniella developed for me when I started at Alere allowed me to feel well-supported through the transition process; looking back, I can easily confirm that making the decision to join Alere was the right decision for me and this role has already allowed me to grow tremendously as a leader in terms of the breadth of strategic thought and influence I have on an organization.”
“My experience with The Parnassus Group has been by far the best experience I’ve ever had with any “executive search” firm; John and his team approach the process with careful consideration of both the client companies’ and potential candidates’ best interests in mind. Throughout the process, candidates are made to feel that they are special; The Parnassus Group takes the time with each candidate to delve into his or her individual needs and situation to tailor an approach that sets them on the right course – you feel that someone genuinely cares about you and your success; with The Parnassus Group, you are not just going through a job search process – you are embarking on a journey of self-discovery.”
The Parnassus Group is absolutely, 100%, truly unique. Little did I know 5 years ago that I would develop a friendship with John and the Parnassus Group. A brief call, which led to a short meeting, has turned into a meaningful relationship. I don’t think about the Parnassus team as a firm, I think of them as trusted advisors and friends. John has been a mentor to me, and someone that I think to call when I’m faced with difficult decisions, or I’m seeking an unbiased view. But it doesn’t stop with John, he’s developed a team that is bright, talented, and wants to provide a service that is unparalleled.
When I think about the time I’m with my family during the work-week, the amount of hours are precious. I’ve made a commitment (most of the time) to set my phone down when I walk in the house at the end of the day, and try not to pick it back up until the kids are in bed. While this may not sound like a lot, I’ve found it’s the little things that create the necessary boundaries.
What are some of the things that you have learned as a leader that involved your decision making process about coming to DaVita?
Over the years, I’ve heard the phrase, “life is a journey, not a destination”. This became true when I started working at Davita, and realized that the Village provided an opportunity to learn and grow, and be part of something bigger than an employee fulfilling a role in an organization.
Prior to DaVita, I spent a number of years in an organization wanting more, but unclear where I would find it, and how I would get there. When I learned about DaVita, I was intrigued by the concept of Teammates, and hearing stories about tenure and the ability to grow within the organization.
As I’ve experienced this journey first hand, I’ve found the experience to be more fulfilling than I could have imagined. Knowing that I can raise my hand to gain exposure to a project, be called on by Teammates outside my lane provides energy to continue to want to do more. This is an organization that encourages an entrepreneurial spirit, while never having to leave the organization.