Hello SOTGC community,
Today I have the pleasure of introducing you to Jane, whom I was introduced to by my new mentor. Jane has been with Medtronic, Inc for three years and has a background in leadership development and marketing from Ameriprise Financial and American Express. I had reached out to her because I’ve heard that there is a shift happening in terms of the way talent is acquired and cultivated since the inception of our current CEO’s vision.
Through our conversation a couple things stood out to me about Jane.
- She calls it like it is and is results focused and direct. (Qualities I like because it lets you know exactly where you stand with someone).
- She has a vision about what a future brand for Medtronic leaders and the need to focus on emotional competency, global agility, and the need to cultivate leadership development and learning culture. She is all about reaching beyond the previous status quo developing talent.
Jane has found herself in the “male dominated world” her whole life. From playing coronet at a young age, to becoming an engineer she has never made excuses as to why she couldn’t make it through the “glass ceiling.” Instead, she decided to find the advantages she had because of her “differences” and see them as gifts to be leveraged into opportunities.
When I asked how she maintained her femininity in such situations and industries she said early on she had a mentor that taught her that all she had to do was be herself, and never deny her femininity because as a woman, if you do, you lose yourself.
When I asked what her views on feminisms were, and if she even considered herself a “feminist” she relied that she didn’t. Instead she believes in many ways, we are all “different,” our own sample size of one. The opportunity for each of us individuals is to see differences as gifts and opportunities to be leveraged regardless of age/generation ethnicity, gender, and backgrounds.
When asked: “What are some things a young leader struggles with?”
Jane replied: “Many people go into a leadership situation thinking they have no biases, or are not willing to admit them. And that affects their judgment. Instead, if people took a step back and understand we all biases (it is our reality, not good or bad, it just is). Another thing that young leaders struggle with is emotional intelligence,” everyone must invest in their own emotional competency, that is #1.
When asked: “What are some things young leaders should work on?”
Jane replied: “Young leaders tend to be very judgmental of themselves. Their “self-talk” can be negative. The funny thing is for women especially, they will give a harsher review on themselves than their peers and bosses. One of the ways to overcome this is raise your emotional competence and in particular, self awareness, know yourself – that is key! Emotional competence: your self-confidence, how you deal with adversity, authenticity, and self-awareness.
When asked: “How do you spot a young leader and when you do, what measures do you take to cultivate, challenge, and build on their leadership qualities?”
Jane replied: “You spot them through their self-confidence, work ethic, ability and desire to try anything, and optimism. For me, I prefer raw talent, purely from a psychological viewpoint. When a candidate has all these characteristics and the ability to continuously raise their emotional intelligence, that’s when you know you’re onto something! Another key characteristic for a great leader is if they’re willing to take risks regardless of failing, and then get up and try again.”
I’ll leave this conversation teaser with you, as something to ponder. When we got into the conversation of what holds young leaders back in themselves she said: “a narrow focus on promotions and titles. This is something I myself have struggled with and when I finally had an epiphany that a title isn’t the most important words on a card, I had a mini breakthrough. Jane feels that when young leaders stop focusing so heavily on the next title they’ll take, and more on the type of roles and responsibilities their strengths lead to, that’s when they’ll see an upward trajectory in their leadership skills. It’s most important to know yourself, your strengths and passions; that way you can make career choices in a way that leads to success and happiness in a very authentic way.
When asked: “What is your mantra regarding talent for Medtronic?”
Jane replied: Enterprise wide optimization: Making sure we’re leveraging the size and scale of Medtronic globally.