Taking Risks to Become a High-Level Leader with Jan Johnson
Seasons leadership podcast
The women in leadership podcast

Taking Risks to Become a High-Level Leader with Jan Johnson

Season
3
| Episode
11
6/15/2022
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Learn from Jan Johnson, President and CEO of Jordan Johnson, Inc., a Baldrige-based consulting and training firm specializing in working with executive leadership to effect significant sustainable improvement in their organizations through the use of proven tools and processes. Join Seasons Leadership Co-Founders Debbie Collard and Susan Ireland as they talk to Jan about Baldrige, taking risks, beating imposter syndrome, high-level leaders and living an unexpected life.

Show notes
Jan starts the conversation talking about what leadership means to her (2:04) and her two careers (2:40). Jan shares that her first leadership role was a stretch (3:34) and it provides a great example to someone starting out in leadership.

Not being afraid to take risks
(6:50) Susan asks Jan about how to "jump in." The leaders talk about how difficult it is to not let your personal fears get in your way (7:10). Jan shares her own struggle with doubts (8:15) but how she never let them stop her. Jan reflects on where she is today (8:30), how she sought collaboration and always viewed her clients as partners. The discussion comes back to taking advantage of the opportunities that present themselves. Jan shares her key learning (12:00) to be open to the possibilities of what could be.
 
Learn from your mistakes
Jan shares “the absolute gospel truth” that there is no mistake a younger leader could make that she has not already made herself (12:54). Jan talks about having the strength to learn from every single one and how that helps her help others (13:41). The leaders talk about the importance of grace (14:20) and how not to beat yourself up, but to move forward after a mistake. (15:20) Jane shares a painful leadership moment and what she learned from the experience.

(17:44) Show Break – Learn about Reflection Circles with Seasons Leadership 

Success is helping others succeed
(21:34) The show continues with Jan talking about taking chances and the importance of continuously learning. Jan shares (23:00) that she plans to work until she “can’t make a difference anymore.” She describes what makes her most proud – seeing others she helped succeed (23:20). She shares how she celebrates success (24:56) and gives an amazing example she learned from a client on how to celebrate with your team (25:48).

Live your true, whole self
(27:46) Jan explains how living her true, whole self is something she really believes in. She shares how important it is to her to always be genuine and honest. She encourages, “never be afraid to lose a job.” The leaders talk about “imposter syndrome” and how to push back on those feelings (29:48). Jan shares her story of supporting the “third most influential leader in the world,” according to Forbes Magazine, and how that experience gave her a case of imposter syndrome. She recalls how she overcame the fear (31:18) to work effectively with this high-level leader, “he had the confidence to hire me, so I need to have as much confidence in myself as he had in me.” 
 
The leaders discuss confidence (33:34) and trying things you think are impossible. Susan pushes (34:39) on how someone can feel empowered to take risks – sometimes you need to keep the job so this can be really difficult. Jan shares the real risk she took (36:20) when she started her own business and how the adversity (38:04) helped push her forward. The leaders affirm the importance of having a support system (38:34). 

Final thoughts 
(40:04) Jan shares how Jane Pope, a true Servant Leader, inspired her and why. She shares a final piece of advice (42:23) for someone in a leadership role - grow your people - and her final thought (44:38) – have fun. (46:46) Debbie and Susan recap their discussion with Jan.

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