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Wisdom From The Top | Q&A with Kimberley Goode

Wisdom From The Top | Q&A with Kimberley Goode

The San Francisco Business Times is honoring two of Blue Shield of California’s leaders as the Most Influential Women in San Francisco this week, Kimberley Goode, SVP of external affairs and Hope Scott, VP and chief risk and compliance officer. Both women have a long list of accolades that earned them the honor, so we wanted to take this opportunity to get to know them on a more personal level to kick-off a new bi-monthly series featuring female leaders at Blue Shield of California.

If you aspire to rise and want to “lean-in,” but don’t know where to start, see if you can apply just one lesson from Kimberley Goode who has more than 25 years of experience at leading global companies building high performing teams that deliver outstanding results, and was named by PR Week to their “2017 Hall of Femme,” as a woman who challenges the status quo and strives for creative excellence. Kimberley is passionate about helping others and has held several leadership positions, including serving on the National Executive Board of Jack and Jill of America, Inc. She currently leads corporate communications, government relations and corporate citizenship at Blue Shield.

Who or what inspires you and why?

I am inspired by people who persevere through unexpected challenges. Twelve years ago, after retiring from a rewarding career in government my mom had a severe stroke. She had to relearn how to talk, walk and do all the daily tasks we take for granted like swallowing. While it was a scary time for her and us, my mom defied her doctors’ expectations. She worked very hard to regain functionality, eventually started driving again and enjoys a very full life. Because she lives with our family, she inspires me every day with her strength and determination.  

How did you get your “seat at the table”?

I earned a seat at the table by being a good thinker and sharing ideas that showed value to the organization. I didn’t get there by focusing on getting a seat at the table. Many people wrongly believe that title and tenure can earn you a seat at the table, and that’s not always the case. It comes from demonstrating your ability to solve problems and get what’s needed done in the right way. It’s also not always about having a permanent seat at any particular table; it’s about being able to influence from wherever you are. There are many ways to influence within an organization and that will certainly earn you the right to the proverbial “seat at the table” in the C-Suite and in other places that matter.

What was the hardest lesson that you had to learn?

The hardest lesson that I am still trying to learn is that you have to move past things emotionally, even if you’ve been wronged and the other person won’t acknowledge it. Holding on to anger and disappointment is a real drain to your happiness. I now realize that forgiveness is an important path to personal peace, so I am working on forgiving more freely, so that it doesn’t hold me back.

How do you stay motivated?

My family and the life we share are my biggest motivators. We are blessed to have four generations under the same roof. It is amazing to experience the world through the eyes of my youngest child who has a bright future ahead of her and my 92-year-old grandmother who has experienced so much. I am motivated to work hard professionally and in the community, so we can continue to enjoy the life we love and to make the world a better place for generations to come.

Do you have any daily rituals and what are they?

I start each day enjoying the sun rise and expressing gratitude for the many blessings in my life. I don’t take any day for granted and I refuse to settle for a bad one. I recently lost my dad unexpectedly, and it shocked me to my core. It reminded me that tomorrow is not promised for any of us and that we better try to use each day to do what we love, to express it to those we care about and to shake off the small stuff.

What are you reading or binge watching?

A colleague just shared with me a book called “How Women Rise.” It’s focused on breaking the 12 habits that can hold women back from their next raise, promotion or job. I am looking forward to diving into the book because it’s important to be a lifelong learner. I am sure there are some habits I need to break both professionally and personally, and I am excited about growing.

Check back next week for wisdom from Hope Scott, VP and chief risk & compliance officer at Blue Shield, and see why she is our second honoree of San Francisco Business Times Most Influential Women in SF.


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