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Q&A 4Her – Joelle K. Jay, Author Of “The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices for Personal Leadership”

Joelle K. Jay, Ph. D., is a Principal at Leadership Research Institute (LRI) where she provides leadership development and executive education services to Fortune 500 companies. She brings to this role more than 10 years of experience advising business leaders as an executive coach, speaker and author.

She is also the author of “The Inner Edge: The 10 Practices of Personal Leadership.” In her book, Joelle shares her philosophy of “leading and living well” through the development of personal and professional leadership. She believes professional achievement and quality of life enjoy a synergistic relationship that leads to overall well-being and sustainable success.

Joelle spoke with MyCity4Her about what she’s learned in business, how she defines success and more in our Q&A 4Her interview.

Did you ever imagine yourself achieving what you have?

I sure did! It’s one of the secrets that helps women be successful – to envision in as much detail as possible what we want to create. I stay open to twists and turns in the road, and sometimes the experience of actually being here surprises me compared to what I expected to find! However, having that constant sense of vision motivates and inspires me to keep moving to the next big win.

What in hindsight would you say you underestimated about your industry or business and why?

I suppose I underestimated the creativity and strategy required to build a successful business. I started out just doing interesting work with people I enjoyed, but along the way I learned that a real business, a successful business, means designing the end result and going after it – not just watching new business come through the door. It’s nice to receive business when it comes along, but it’s much more powerful to create it on purpose.

What is the best business related advice you have ever been given?

It’s simple: be the best at what you do. You don’t necessarily have to be the best in the world, but you do want to be your best for the world. When you’re good at what you do and are committed to constantly learning to be even better, the rest falls into place.

What do you love most about what you do and why?

I am fortunate to work with extremely bright, motivated people who make a difference with their leadership everyday. They know they make an impact, and they’re thoughtful about being a positive influence for the people around them. That’s inspiring!

What if you knew then what you know now – would you do differently and why?

I would learn more about marketing up front. This is an area in which I muddled along for many years, secretly pleased and (dare I say) proud of the fact that I didn’t need to “do marketing” to succeed. It turns out that the more you know about marketing, the easier it is to help your business find its way to the next level.

When you’re not working how do you like to spend your time?

I have two little boys, a husband I love, and all kinds of fun things to do with them any chance we get! The busy life of a working mom is a juggling act, and juggling is meant to be fun!

How do you define success?

To me, success is the perfect balance of good work done well – highly rewarded – along with plenty of time for the things I love to do and that keep me at my best.

If you had to share one final thought with our audience of thousands of women in business – what would it be?

You don’t have to do it alone. What I love about women in business is the fun we have figuring it out, together! There’s so much to learn and so many opportunities to go after! Business becomes one giant party when you do it with your friends – and women in business have a wonderful way of forging friendships to get the work done. Find other women who inspire you, get together, and help each other out!

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