Hey there, Shareable listeners!
We hope you enjoyed public speaking week and all of the wisdom that our guests brought to your ears!
This week, we’re bringing another boss-ass lady your way! It’s Jennifer Iannolo, pronounced (Ya-know-low)!
As a featured speaker for the U.S. State Department, Jennifer travels the world igniting women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship through talks and workshops, where she encourages young women to examine “How to Have It All.”
In 2015, she launched The Concordia Project™ to start a global conversation of inclusive empowerment, as well as programs to guide young women through their key decision-making moments in life. And she recently shared those insights at UN Headquarters during the 61st Commission on the Status of Women.
AND on top of all that. She’s the co-creator of Culinary Media Network® — the world’s first all-food podcast channel. She’s been featured on tv, in Bloomberg Businessweek, the New York Times bestseller list, and the documentary Eat. Cook. Love.
In this episode, she teaches us how to ignite empowerment in our employees. We get in to the differences between how men and women approach this topic and where those differences come from in the first place. This conversation is for everyone, offering a fuller picture of what motivates us in the workplace and how we can empower each other to get shit done.
- Running time: 51:32
- Subscribe on iTunes and leave us a review
(5:39) – What’s one mistake that people tend to make when starting out?
We think we need to empower people, I think the best way to have your company succeed, is to find out why people come to work every day and why they’re there, and then deliver on that. I ask people on my team what they want to learn when they’re working on a project with me, and then try to think of ways in how I can make that happen for them. This creates a different kind of commitment, it becomes “you are going to win, personally, out of this.”
(7:20) – How do you express that to them?
It’s about creating their KPI’s. When I sit down with them, I ask them how will we know that they’re winning? When you have your staff create their own measurements, it has them look at what are the things I need to develop and how do I know? Otherwise, it’s all vague. Make sure your milestone’s are measurable.
(8:50) – Talk to me about some of the other things that you do outside of the goals and KPI’s, how do you get people to see what they have going for them or what their challenges are, how does all of that strategy come together?
If we’ve set some goals for them, and they haven’t met them, we ask what had gotten in the way. We ask what is getting in the way of how they see themselves; we ignite what is already in them.
(10:50) – I’m sure there are some men who you’ve worked with who haven’t wanted to talk about their feelings. How do you deal with this for both men and women?
I don’t talk about feelings at all. I talk about performance. Men can hear me because they know that language. It’s more technique driven. Women have a very interesting script though. They’re brutally hard on themselves an constantly struggling with “are we doing enough?” This is way less common with men. Male founders are more about “What’s not working in the formula?” Where as women are more like “What’s not working with me?”
(12:03) – Do you ever have situations where you’re dealing with a leadership team thats mixed, and how to deliver a message that resonates with both?
It’s a very different set of conversations, an internal team can work brilliantly, but if there’s a female and a male founder, the male founder is the one who will more likely be addressed. So I usually try to train the male founder to be open to throwing that question to his female partner; we already have this unconscious bias.
About ten years ago I was the founder of the culinary food network; my partner was a male chef. We would travel and eat out a lot, and every single time we were out in a restaurant, the bill would always get put in front of him. And every time, he would say “Well she’s the CEO with the corporate card so you might want to put that in front of her.” There’s nothing right or wrong about it but it shows you the mindset of a human.
(15:07) – How do you break down those complex power structures and default ways of thinking, without offending people who believe in those existing structures?
There’s a correction that needs to happen at a molecular level. It’s about training everyone on the team to set up the scenario. Women can get really frustrated about this, but I try to tell them that this is just where we are and we have to move forward. Every time I walk into a room and I don’t make the men wrong, then they participate, and we then have a dialect.
Things either work or they don’t. There is an objective way to look at it when you take the feelings out of it. I say to CEO’s all the time, “Does it really work that you micromanage your entire team?”
(20:56) – How do you push past that? How do you get them to come around?
Sometimes that happens on a stealth level, they comply when I’m not looking…if I have done my job with setting up what the trajectory looks like, they’ll trust me. If they trust me and let go of their ego, sometimes I’ll find out later that they’ve implemented what I said.
(22:01) – Is there a difference in the way that this sort of a conversation plays out, or the way that you have these conversations, are you more focused on the outcomes of men and the barriers of women? Are there any rules that you’ve come up with that could help us, as leaders, better communicate with our staff better or our clients?
The biggest one and my favorite catch phrase, “no one is coming.” I think a lot of us think someone is going to save us, and what I try to tell these people is that there’s no one coming to do that, so who do you need to be to do that? People then see that empowerment is not this gift; if I can give you empowerment then I can also take it away and it’s only temporary. Empowerment is something we ignite in people, then it’s theirs forever.
(27:01) – Tell us about the Concordia Project and what that’s all about, and if you’re running an organization what are some things you need to check yourself on?
When I was looking at the state of women and what was going on; the whole thing with the feminist movement never resonated with me, so I tried to wonder why…I realized it was because my parents were European, my mother never had that feminist mindset because she already always did what she wanted. My grandmother, every morning in Scotland would wake up and go weld bombs, during the war. My Italian grandmother had an arranged marriage and got a divorce in the 1940s, so I came from this line of women who were fierce and didn’t ask for permission because of this I always did what I wanted. I wondered how we could create a space for women to do this and for men to talk as well.
When working on this concept, I thought I needed a goddess name. Concordia was one of the only goddesses to have a temple in the Roman forum. And when the senate couldn’t agree, they would go to her temple to figure it out; she was this bringer of harmony. Then I found out she was the daughter of Mars and Venus, which are traditionally the male and female signs. I looked at how we could create this virtual temple where we could have this conversation? Now we have this global think tank, where we gather and talk about what needs to be done and are developing a six month leadership program, where we have young women lead a coed team, where they’ll discover who they are as leaders. Our vision is to create conversations around the world about how we can do this better.
(33:36) – How do I, being a leader of a team of mostly women, create an environment where they don’t feel like they need to ask for permission?
We have a cultural conversation as little girls, where we really wanna get that gold star and do a good job and be acknowledged, and unfortunately that sets up the whole idea that someone is coming to give you permission. The permission thing is engrained in women, and we don’t overtly have that conversation in our country.
(43:58) – How will some of these leaders know they are making progress? Is there any way they can know they’re empowering their people in the right way?
Make sure you ask where they want to be developed and then deliver on it.
CONNECT WITH JENNIFER
- Email Jennifer
- Her website
- @foodphilosophy on Twitter
- Jennifer on Linkedin
- Jennifer on Facebook
- Jennifer on Instagram
CONNECT WITH JEFF
- Email Jeff
- @JGibbard on Twitter
- Jeff on Facebook
- Jeff on Linkedin (make sure to introduce yourself)
- Jeff on Instagram
- Jeff on Snapchat
CONNECT WITH CAROLINE
SPECIAL THANKS TO
Caroline, our Producer.
Thanks for everything you do to make this show happen.
Ray, our Audio Engineer.
Thanks for cleaning up our voices and adding all that sexy production value.
Thank you for your seasonal deliciousness.