Hi! Jillian here.
I get excited about helping women leaders excel in their roles, especially right now when women are getting more opportunities than they have previously. I want them to succeed in their roles — new or established — so that we can bolster the leadership pipeline for women.
My coaching practice is dedicated to preparing women with the right skills to set them up for greater success today and down the road.
Having worked in male-dominated fields my entire career, I have first-hand experience of the challenges women face as leaders, particularly in smaller-sized businesses. After starting out as one of the few women beating the streets in office equipment sales, I landed in the ski business. It was the epitome of the Boy’s Club mentality where women really only had opportunity in the clothing part of the business called ‘softgoods’ or as an administrative assistant.
While it was a pretty tough place for a young gal to make her way, it was at this job that I met my long-time mentor who helped guide my career and believed in me at every turn. For example, I have him to thank for encouraging me to apply to one of the top business schools for my MBA. I used this job as a stepping stone to the more women-friendly outdoor sports business.
The small outdoor footwear brand that I helped build was run by a small group of supportive men who gave me opportunity to grow. But even so, I think these men would be shocked to hear that they were my inspiration to go to business school. I knew I needed to learn how to present myself differently because I didn’t feel that my ideas were taken seriously. I felt dismissed and talked over. Thankfully, it worked and my experience at Columbia Business School was the boost I needed to move on in my career.
After a few stops and starts during the recession, I led Marketing and Customer Service for five years at a Chinese-owned footwear company.
The owner was quoted as saying that he didn’t think I could do the job as VP because “women can’t lead”.
You can imagine that I didn’t get much support from him or the other executives who followed his lead. Even so, I was able to build support from other people and we made great gains for the brand; achieving the record company sales two years in a row and the most successful product launch. I learned that many small wins can add up to significant gains.
While I never changed the owner’s viewpoint, I did achieve much success for myself and my team. I credit much of it to learning how to be a ‘coaching manager’ because my teams performed better than they ever had in that organization. They were more engaged and had high job satisfaction. This resulted in more dedicated, resourceful and creative employees. It was gratifying to watch my staff grow and step beyond what they thought they could do.
Throughout my career I have studied psychology and brain science, as a pastime really. I love to understand what makes people tick and act the way they do, especially in times of pressure or stress. It turns out that I was preparing to be a coach all along. Now, I help others to rise up through the ranks and have a more powerful impact on their teams and organizations.
For more information about my background, see my Bio