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Leadership calendar    Jul 05, 2022

Electrifying Growth Episode 3: Making It Look Easy with Amanda Eisel

CEO of Zelis Healthcare Amanda Eisel sits down with Managing Partner & Host Chris Sugden for Episode 3: Making It Look Easy.


Amanda Eisel, CEO of Zelis, balances being a great mom and a great business leader. Her secret to balancing work, life, and everything in between?

Do it, but have boundaries.

As a successful business leader and a mom of three, Amanda has had to make tough choices and face her fears, but this mantra has kept her grounded. Today, she's sitting down with Managing Partner and Host Chris Sugden to share her perspective on managing conflicting priorities, making tough decisions, and leveraging coaches and mentors… all while making it look easy.

Making Fearless Decisions

"What’s the worst that can happen?" might feel like a question that has the power to send you on an immediate downward spiral. But when you stop to answer it, you’ll find that the stakes are often lower than you think.

This is the reality Amanda recognized in the midst of a daunting career decision. She recalled, “I kept going back and forth and my husband asked me, ‘What’s the worst that could happen?’ I realized maybe I would go one direction and later wish I hadn’t, but then I could just do something else.”

If you’re finding yourself paralyzed by a decision, face your fears head-on. Ask, “What’s the worst that could happen?” You may be pleasantly surprised by what you find.

Balancing Priorities with Excellence

You can’t do it all. But you can do what matters to you. The key is setting appropriate boundaries.

Boundaries are enabling constraints. They may feel like restrictions, but they actually free you to be present in the places you’ve chosen to be. Both your life and your career are marathons, not sprints. Setting boundaries helps you pace yourself to avoid burnout while remaining committed to excellence.

In practice, this may look like setting time boundaries. You might decide work ends by 5:00pm, which means you’ll turn off notifications, close your laptop, and be fully present with your family in the evenings.

You can also set “yes” and “no” boundaries to prepare for requests you’ll get for your time and energy. Your family may decide that any extracurriculars with activities on Sundays are an automatic “no,” while offers to carpool with other families are always a “yes.” 

Whatever it looks like for you, get clear on your boundaries to remain present in the things you’ve given your “yes” to.

Bring People In

You’ve probably heard the phrase, “It’s lonely at the top.” Amanda has experienced that for sure, but the solution is surprisingly simple. She shares, “Leadership can be a lonely job. But the minute you start to talk to people, it feels a lot easier and the answer of where to go becomes pretty clear.”

Being a great leader requires more than just yourself. The support and wisdom of others is what takes you from good to great. For Amanda, this means viewing your board as your partners and fostering a transparent relationship with each member. She even encourages her team to reach out to board members directly for advice. 

Bringing people in also means finding peers you can process challenges with. Amanda has found support from current teammates, former teammates, and college friends who can relate to her struggles and act as a sound board when she needs to think things through.

Whatever challenge you’re faced with, go easy on yourself with Amanda’s advice: Choose your “yes”es and set boundaries, confront your fears in making decisions, and find the people who will navigate it all with you.

For more of Amanda Eisel's advice on balancing all the roles you play, leading well, and confronting your fears, subscribe to Electrifying Growth!

Chris is Managing Partner and Chairman of the firm's investment committee. He has been on both sides of the table as a successful entrepreneur. His experience includes leading sales, product, finance, business strategy and capital formation.