Embracing Challenges, Leading with Purpose, and Redefining Success
Living by the motto of, “Don’t look back in anger on decisions you made in your life, if you have taken them, with all information you could have on hand, and thought it was the right decision at that point of time. It does not make it wrong with retrospect.” Claudia Wolffgardt is a woman of substance who likes to take any challenge thrown at her with a positive attitude and a great aptitude.
She is a true leader who has taken the road less travelled and emerged victoriously. Her brilliant personality, coupled with determination and diligence, has proved that she derives learning from her surroundings and amalgamates them into creating new experiences.
Claudia has always followed mostly her heart when it came to making decisions in life, which has made her take over positions that she felt could make a difference with her personality and professional ability. She says, “I personally like challenges, clients who are perceived to be hard to handle, testing and unknown territory, interesting and forward-thinking, trend-setting tasks, things that seem to be impossible.”
This began when she started her career, after accomplishing a Master Degree in Marketing at Northumbria University (Newcastle upon Tyne, UK), and willingly chose a lousy- Paid job over a well-paid one as she fell in love with it since it piqued her curiosity. Due to this, she opened the possibility to work with the most intelligent people in her industry, nationally and globally. During her career, her enthusiasm towards work and never give up attitude made her build up client units, create departments and support two mergers as a lead of client teams.
Claudia was given an opportunity to work with incredibly talented individuals in her direct and wider teams. They always trusted her and went with her the extra mile. This is why she feels hard work and luck were the key ingredients that made her see her great potential.
She recalls a turning point in her career by stating, “In the first couple of days of my career, I had an unpleasant interaction with a leader who was trying to degrade me.
That was the moment when I decided: I want to make a difference! Taking people on the journey and making them exceed their own set boundaries.” She feels that her goal is to make a real difference in her industry based on her know-how and her fervent drive for new developments. She feels that the competitive advantage of today is the standard of tomorrow, and that is why one needs to be open to the new normal.
When it comes to the question of believing in being in the rat race or being a tiger, she feels that sometimes it feels like a rat race and sometimes like one is the tiger. For her, it boils down to the fact how one deals with it at the right time. She says it is important to question, “How do you treat people, how do you take care of your team, to eventually reach business goals. So ultimately, how do you cope with challenging situations as a leader and, therefore, as a role model?” To this, she says that no matter how one feels, it is essential to stay calm, be fair and observe the situation and never exploit your position to degrade others. During non-inspiring times, staying open for inspiration and the power of endurance is one major key to excellence.
With the thought process of a leader, she remarks, “I love leading teams, seeing how people are growing, learning, supporting them where needed and letting them try out things, even if they sometimes fail. I love the sparkle in the eye of a team member who is proud of having succeeded on something they were scared off. I love the international connectivity and interesting POVs thereof. This gets me going.”
She shares her innate thoughts with the readers by stating, “Being a woman in a leading position, and on top of being a mom, is still not overly common and not always welcome. But it is absolutely possible if you just believe in yourself and your abilities. No matter your background, follow your heart, whatever that means to you, and push boundaries to be happy. That is really important in private as well as professional life!”
Claudia’s major achievement, which served as a significant base for her career, was her education at Northumbria University, where she was honoured with a commendation award for her master’s studies. Since her professional accomplishments are mostly within confidentiality, one of her highlight was an internal award for the work on one of her biggest clients at a global conference in NYC.
Her latest international award Claudia proudly received in June 2023 for outstanding Leadership at the Marketing 2.0 Conference in Dubai. Besides this, she happily resides with her loving family consisting of a loving, very supportive husband and two children near Frankfurt.