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embracing a holistic approach to leadership and growth

In an era where balancing professional aspirations with personal well-being is a hot topic, Simone Scheffer, Managing Director for the dealerships Porsche

Zell am See and Porsche Saalfelden which are part of Porsche Holding Salzburg, embodies a leadership style that harmonizes career success with life’s other priorities. Her journey from an HR trainee to leading two dealerships exemplifies a modern approach to leadership—where flexibility, continuous learning, and a deep understanding of one’s values drive success.

work life balance as a parent
Simone Scheffer about a supporting company culture at Porsche Holding
"Making a career step after maternity leave was a significant decision. I am thankful for the chance to show that having a family doesn't hinder career development" - Simone Scheffer, Managing Director at Porsche Inter Auto

from trainee to leadership

Simone's journey from a trainee in HR to leading two dealerships is a testament to Porsche's commitment to fostering growth beyond parenthood. "Making a career step after maternity leave was a significant decision. I am thankful for the chance to show that having a family doesn't hinder career development," Simone shares.

As one of the few female leaders in the automotive industry and a mother, Simone has navigated her path with resilience, vision, and a commitment to fostering an inclusive and supportive work environment. She shares her experiences and insights, offering a blueprint for others looking to forge their path in leadership.

pioneering work life integration

Porsche Holding Salzburg champions innovative models like part-time and shared leadership positions, highlighting the company's commitment to a progressive workplace culture. These initiatives reflect a broader recognition of the importance of creating work environments that support employees’ diverse needs.

"Leadership is about striking the right balance between having a forward-looking vision and being pragmatic in the present," Simone notes, emphasising the role of self-reflection in her leadership approach. This perspective has guided her through various challenges and milestones, shaping her into a leader who values adaptability and empathy.

5 key steps to embracing a holistic approach to leadership

In the following sections, we'll explore five key steps to embracing a holistic approach to leadership and growth, drawing insights and lessons from Simone Scheffer's rich leadership journey.

1. prioritising and being efficient:

Simone shares how balancing work with family life necessitated a shift towards prioritising tasks and working more efficiently. "This not only led to greater job satisfaction but also allowed for quality family time."

2. patience and consistency are key:

Understanding that change requires time and persistence was a crucial realisation for Simone. "Communicating goals and fostering a shared understanding of values are essential for aligning team efforts and facilitating sustainable change," she advises.

3. cultivating a supportive culture:

Simone believes in the transformative power of a healthy organisational culture—one that encourages open communication and mutual respect. "Creating an environment where mistakes are learning opportunities builds a strong, trust-based team dynamic," she states.

4. valuing feedback:

Open to learning from feedback, Simone views it as essential for personal and professional growth. "Constructive criticism, though challenging to hear, is a gift that enables leaders to refine their approach and better serve their teams," she advises.

5. leveraging support networks:

Simone emphasises the importance of informal networks and the support they provide in navigating leadership while managing family responsibilities. "While I didn't utilise formal company initiatives, the informal network of young pregnant women around me became an invaluable resource," she reflects. This network offered a platform for sharing feelings, fears, wishes, and career aspirations, fostering a sense of community and mutual support.

looking ahead: empowering future leaders

Simone Scheffer's narrative underscores that leadership transcends professional achievements; it's about making an impact, fostering growth, and enabling others to find their paths. "My ambition is to inspire positive change and encourage others to pursue their passions while defining their own success," Simone reflects.

Her story serves as an inspiration for current and future leaders to integrate their personal values with their professional goals, demonstrating that leadership is about more than just the bottom line—it's about shaping a better future for ourselves and those we lead.

about Simone:

Simone Scheffer is a dedicated professional with a successful career at Porsche Holding Salzburg. She has held various positions within the company, showcasing her commitment to personal and professional growth. Simone's journey from a trainee in HR to a leadership role reflects her dedication to advocating for career progression while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. As a parent herself, Simone is passionate about promoting compatibility and is known for her role as a motivating figure, inspiring others, especially women and young talents, to explore diverse career paths while effectively managing childcare responsibilities. Her story serves as a testimony to the possibility of excelling in one's career while fulfilling family obligations, and she continues to be a role model for women in the workplace.

about Porsche Holding Salzburg:

Porsche Holding Salzburg is the largest and most successful automotive distributor in Europe. The Salzburg-based company was founded in 1949 and has been a 100 % subsidiary of Volkswagen AG since March 1, 2011. Porsche Holding Salzburg is active in wholesale, retail, financial services and IT system development sectors. Today it operates in 29 countries in Austria, Western and South-Eastern Europe as well as in Colombia, Chile, China, Malaysia, Singapore and Japan. At the end of 2022, the company employed around 34,900 people, selling more than 656,200 new cars and generating a turnover of 25.8 billion euros.

Porsche Holding Salzburg fosters an innovative approach towards ways-of-work and compatibility, particularly through innovative childcare initiatives and family-friendly policies. The company values and promotes a culture that supports career growth beyond parenthood, making it an exemplary organization for those seeking for balance between their fulfilling career while managing family responsibilities.


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