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Jennifer McCollum, CEO of Linkage - Cultivating Your Leadership Network
Episode 4518th May 2021 • The CEO Sessions • Ben Fanning
00:00:00 00:48:38

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Jennifer McCollum is the CEO at Linkage, which is a Boston based leadership development firm that focuses on improving leadership effectiveness and gender equity in organizations globally.

Jennifer's relentless commitment to changing the face of leadership has led to a complete revolution of how this 30+ year old firm is serving leaders.

Most recently she co-created an innovative approach to developing inclusive leaders in organizations that is sure to revolutionize the conversation we’re having around this important topic today.

She’s also served in senior executive roles at Korn Ferry Hay and CEB, which is now part of Gartner.

Jennifer’s Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jenniferscherermccollum/

WHAT YOU WILL DISCOVER FROM THIS EPISODE:

  • Growing up in Europe and where Jennifer developed her scrappiness for business.
  • The amazing story of her first job at Coca-Cola during the 1996 Olympics in Barcelona that positively impacted the next 20 years of her career.  
  • How to turn a big opportunity into an even BIGGER one.
  • Career advice for those in their 20’s.   
  • Why just working hard doesn’t mean people will notice.
  • The productivity hack that Jennifer uses to cultivate her network.
  • What you need to understand about Linkage, and it's inspired mission.
  • Career advice for those from underrepresented groups in the C-Suite.
  • The importance of modeling the behavior you want to see in others.
  • How Alan Mulally (former CEO, Boeing Commercial Aircraft and Ford) impacted her CEO career during the global Pandemic. 
  • Why, as the leader, you must talk the least.
  • The one trait she wishes she could instill in every employee… self-awareness.
  • The importance of getting honest feedback and how it helps you grow as a leader.
  • Interesting findings from Linkage’s recent research. 
  • Jennifer’s personal story of how bias and engagement impact all levels of the organization.
  • A time when a career twist led to her growth down the road.

HIGHLIGHTS:

Advice for a young aspiring leader:

  • Experience everything you can.
  • Try a lot of things.
  • Figure out what you like and what your passion is.
  • Start to formulate your purpose.
  • Cultivate a network.

In the Purposeful Leadership model, Leaders need to:

  • Inspire
  • Engage
  • Innovate
  • Achieve
  • Become

QUOTES:

“It’s not enough to work hard; others must notice.” 

“Instead of focusing on creating a network; focus on cultivating it.”

“Serve first.”

“We want leaders who are modeling inclusion, creating an inclusive culture. and are investing in their people.”

“As a leader, you must talk the least.”

“Self-awareness leads to self-discovery which leads to impact.”

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