Transitioning from being a team member to leading a team is one of the defining moments in many people’s careers – and it can be a hard one. The skills needed to do a fantastic job as a team member are very different than what is needed as a successful leader. Yet, it is often seen as just a natural next step. One day you’re being managed, the next day you manage others. Unfortunately, this often leads to frustration on both sides. Growing consciously into a leader can counteract this.

Transitioning from being a team member to leading a team

herCAREER: What are the 2 most important skills you need to bring into a leadership position?


  • Especially when somebody is giving you feedback or when having a discussion where you have opposing views.
  • The courage to take on true responsibility and the desire to learn from failure. It is much easier to blame others if something has gone wrong than to take on responsibility for our own decisions (the team, the customers, the environment, the too hot or too cold weather etc. etc.). Or to not take decisions and wait until all doubts are clarified, thereby often waiting too long. Both can hinder a team. If instead we take that courage to be wrong, and take responsibility in front of the team, making sure that we learn from such failure, the team can move faster and achieve better results.

herCAREER: In your opinion – can anyone become or grow into a leader?

Behrens: Yes, I believe that everyone can grow into a leader, if he or she wants to. However, it is not that we are all born with the skills needed to be a good leader. It takes a conscious decision to grow such skills, to grow into a good leader. This means going out and putting us up for criticism, it means not being scared to hear where we need to develop, but to embrace those learnings and consciously grow

herCAREER: Do you have any practical tips for aspiring leaders? How to prepare themselves for such a role for example?

Behrens: The first preparation is to acknowledge that learning doesn’t end the moment that you are leading a role. It is rather the start of a new learning journey. Make sure you put yourself into such mindset. And then find your own tools for regular reflection. Maybe for you it works best if you read books or articles about leadership and write down your thoughts, maybe you form a small group with people you trust to discuss specific situations, or you find a coach you trust. For me personally, it is a combination of those, and Philia’s peer coaching was certainly a key part of it. The tools you use don’t matter, the mindset of consciously seeking feedback and setting your own time aside for reflection does. In whichever form works for you personally.

herCAREER: At herCAREER, the focus is on professional exchanges, which is based on the personal experiences and the knowledge of the sparring partners. As an organizer, it is also in our best interest to support women beyond the exhibition and make our networks accessible. We would therefore like to ask you if you would also act as a sparring partner in addition to the trade fair participation. If so, we would ask you to name the topics for which you would act as a sparring partner in bullet points.

  • Female leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health

herCAREER: Are there topics to which you would personally like to find a sparring partner and would like to continue a professional as well as personal exchange. Then, please also name us a list of the subjects you are interested in.

  • Female leadership
  • Entrepreneurship
  • Health

herCAREER: How can interested women contact you?

Über die Person

Lina Behrens runs Flying Health’s Digital Drug section, from discovering innovative ideas, leading their development and clinical validation to building them into successful digital drugs. Lina started her career at The Boston Consulting Group in London, where she worked mainly with healthcare clients, but also got to know other industries, and thus leadership styles. Lina holds an MPA from London School of Economics, and a BA in Economics and a BA in International Affairs from University of St. Gallen.

This MeetUp was presented by Philia and was part of herCAREER 2018.