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The ‘superpowers’ pharma leaders should cultivate

Rashmi Gupta, senior director, sales, global pharmaceutical, and life sciences, Microsoft, one of this year’s HBA Luminary honorees. Permission granted by Rashmi Gupta Microsoft

Successful leaders often have a “superpower” that gives them an edge to create impact and deliver on the mission of their organization. They could be laser-focused on problem solving, an excellent listener or demonstrate flexibility in response to unexpected challenges. Whatever the case, all of these superpowers lead to one ultimate goal — inspiring teams to take flight and perform at their potential.

Each year, the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association (HBA) meets to honor exemplary leaders who are having a notable impact across the life sciences. In addition to naming a Woman of the Year, the nonprofit recognizes a wide array of female healthcare leaders with two other honors: The HBA Luminary Award and the HBA Rising Star Award.

This year, 78 senior-level women were identified as Luminaries for serving as role models and mentors in their respective companies and helping to advance the careers of other women.

For this first installment of a two-part series, we asked some of these influential leaders to reveal how they supercharge their teams to create opportunities, overcome challenges and achieve success.

Curating talent

“My ability to attract great and diverse talent and, inspire and empower them to leverage their strengths thereby achieving their full potential is my superpower. This empathetic leadership style leads to collective success — the team, organization and customers.”

Rashmi Gupta, senior director, sales, global pharmaceutical, and life sciences, Microsoft

Making the leap

Ayana Champagne Novo Nordisk
Permission granted by Novo Nordisk


“Risk-taking is my superpower. I put people first in every decision I make, which sometimes makes it challenging for me to want to take risks. However, I also think about what happens if I don’t take risks — I try to focus less on personal outcomes and more on the potential outcomes for others.”

Ayana Champagne, corporate vice president, human resources, Novo Nordisk

Leading the way

Sandra Sykes Cardinal Health
Permission granted by Cardinal Health


“My three leadership superpowers are courageous innovator, relentless corroborator and radiant light. Courageous innovator: fearlessly creates what has not been done. Relentless corroborator: genuine, unwavering team advocate. Radiant light: delivers clear compelling vision with the team.”

Sandra Sykes, global director, medical safety, Cardinal Health

Removing barriers

Alisa Wilson Accenture
Permission granted by Accenture


“I truly believe we all have superpowers we bring to our work and lives every day. My leadership superpower is asking, why not? At times we, individually or within organizations, can put barriers on the art of the possible. Removing barriers and striving to be limitless is something I try to bring to my teams and clients every day.”

Alisa Wilson, managing director, West Life Sciences Lead, Accenture




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