‘Be Yourself. Take Stretch Assignments. Be Willing to Take Risks.’ — Leadership Advice From a VP

Sponsored by Alight Solutions

Allison Bassiouni

Photo courtesy of Alight Solutions.

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April 12, 2024 at 8:3PM UTC

“Be yourself. Take stretch assignments. Be willing to take risks. Make sure your boss knows the results you’ve delivered for the company or organization. Ask for what you want.”

That’s Allison Bassiouni, senior vice president of Health Solutions Delivery at Alight Solutions, best piece of advice for women who want to move into leadership roles. 

Bassiouni has been in her current leadership role since January this year. In this position, she leads the global team responsible for the health benefits administration that the company provides to clients.

“I am accountable for client satisfaction for more than 700 clients, operational and delivery quality, P&L, and colleague retention and performance for our more than 2,000 colleagues,” she tells Fairygodboss of her responsibilities. 

While growing her impressive career, Bassiouni has developed a direct, transparent, caring and people-focused leadership style. 

We caught up with Bassiouni to learn more about her advice for women who are moving into leadership roles of their own, as well as to hear more about her experiences and the lessons she has learned from being a leader. Here’s what she had to say.

What’s been your most valuable career mistake?

Losing a client about 10 years into my career. I learned when to admit that I might not be the best fit for a particular client and that it’s ok to ask for help.  

What’s one strategy you’ve used when managing an individual (or team) that you think has been particularly effective? 

Set very clear expectations about the results you expect and if there are certain ways you want the team to achieve those results. Check in to make sure the team is progressing. Help them remove barriers if they hit them, teach (don’t scold) when mistakes are made, and reward good results and behaviors.

What’s the No. 1 thing you hope your direct reports are getting out of working with you?

That they feel supported to be successful in their role. I also hope they learn from me and that I can remove barriers for them. I would also say that in this stage of my career, it’s more important for me to elevate other women in the workforce than for me to get ahead.

How do you think about making sure your direct reports feel well-supported in their lives both in and out of the office?

I ask about their personal lives. I have a genuine interest in the people that are part of my team, and I want them to know that. I also don’t bother them when they’re out of the office. Everyone deserves time away.

While building your team, what did you learn that surprised you most? 

Throughout my career, I’ve watched many people achieve more than others expected them to. If you set high expectations and help the team achieve them, people are capable of more than you expect. I’ve also learned how important it is to have people around you that think differently than you.

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