For More Episodes Visit: www.podcast.scottdclary.com
Jennifer Colosimo serves as president of FranklinCovey’s enterprise division. Previously, Jennifer was senior vice president of sales and operations in the United States and Canada. She has also led teams in IT, learning and development, and corporate social responsibility while with Accenture, DaVita, FranklinCovey, and several private equity-backed organizations. She coauthored the book Great Work, Great Career with Dr. Stephen R. Covey.
She has been a featured speaker and panelist at numerous conferences speaking on business acumen, strategy execution, culture change, employee engagement, and women in leadership. Jennifer has delivered on-site training and keynotes to over 50,000 people across 45 states and 12 countries. Her career has included executive team development, global operations, operations and finance for a Training Top 125 and Learning Elite recognized corporate university, system implementations and process improvement, and managing the CSR and sustainability functions of a Fortune 200 organization.
Jennifer received her undergraduate degree from the University of Utah and her graduate degree from Purdue University. Her volunteer interests focus on character-based leadership development for women and girls. She serves as a trustee for the Women’s Foundation of Colorado and was a board member of the Girl Scouts of Colorado for 10 years. She lives with her husband Will and beloved dog Rex and receives occasional texts from her grown daughters.
SUCCESS STORY PODCAST
Stories worth telling.
On the Success Story podcast, Scott has candid interviews with execs, celebrities, notable figures and politicians. All who have achieved success through both wins and losses, to learn more about their life, their ideas and insights.
He sits down with leaders and mentors and unpacks their story to help pass those lessons onto others through both experiences and tactical strategy for business professionals, entrepreneurs and everyone in between.
Machine Generated Transcript
organization, people, habits, covey, thinking, franklin covey, leadership, book, career, behavior, lead, component, influence, critical, sales, important, implemented, approach, leader, business
Jennifer Colosimo, Scott, Scott D Clary
Scott D Clary 00:05
Thanks again for joining me today I’m sitting down with Jennifer Colosimo who is a senior vice president of sales at Franklin Covey, a global performance improvement firm. She’s lead teams and operations, HR it sales, learning and development, corporate social responsibility. She’s worked for Accenture De Vita Franklin Covey several private equity backed organizations. She’s ran the entire gamut of executive CC positions. Right now, of course, she’s working with a leadership training organization, Franklin Covey, the organization that was birthed by Dr. Steven Covey responsible for Seven Habits of Highly Effective individuals, Highly Effective People, excuse me, and this is the 30th anniversary of that book. So that’s a big deal. I’m pretty sure everyone listening knows the book, or if they don’t, they have to know the book. It’s almost a required reading at this point for self growth, even if it’s not professional, personal growth. So very excited to just you know, unpack your story, Jennifer, unpack your career, what’s happening at Franklin Covey, all of that good stuff. So thank you.
Jennifer Colosimo 01:14
Thanks for having me. We are really excited about the 30 year anniversary. I mean, The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People is in over 50 languages. We’ve sold 40 million copies, it might be a little bit more now. We are excited about number one, the ongoing timeless excessiveness but also the fact that the principles that it’s based on are timeless and really applicable to super challenging environments, which I think we find ourselves in right now. So excited to have the opportunity to talk about stuff.
Scott D Clary 01:47
Yeah, no, I’m excited as well. And like you mentioned, we’ll get into that a little bit later, but super relevant during challenging times. And I don’t think for many of us, we’ve lived through a more challenging time than what we’re going through right now and what we’ve gone through over the past six months, but to tee up your origin story. So how did you get involved with Franklin Covey, what’s your background, you’ve been there for a while. But you’ve also done a ton of other stuff. So So walk me through that?
Jennifer Colosimo 02:15
Well, when I the first real job that I had out of graduate school was with Accenture, the consulting company, and I was lucky enough to find an opportunity to work what was then called the covey Leadership Center. It was a small privately held organization, as you mentioned, started by Dr. Covey around the seven habits and getting that into organizations. And we then went through a merger with a company called Franklin quest. And my skill set with Accenture was very applicable to managing merger related tasks. So I primarily helped with due diligence, merging the sales forces. And since then, I’ve had multiple roles at Franklin Covey, I’ve been one of our delivery consultants I’ve sold, I’ve led operations. And then there was a moment in time after being here for quite a while that I left and worked with a fortune 200 healthcare company, was there five years, and then went with some private equity backed organizations in the healthcare space. It was just a point in my career where I thought I want to try not publicly held, I’d only done public went private for a while that was wonderful experience to see the difference in kind of the goals and how you approach it to Franklin Covey, four and a half years ago, and I lead our sales operations finance for the US and Canada, which is our biggest operation in the enterprise business unit. We also have a business unit that works primarily with K through 12. Education separate from us. And we have 100 global offices, some of them directly held some of them partner offices, I lead, the US and Canada components.
Scott D Clary 04:00
So walk me through what as as a sales leader. Yeah, if everybody only knows the book, what does your team or teams, what do they sell to people and companies?
Jennifer Colosimo 04:13
Great question. So Franklin Covey, and I’m sure other organizations would say this performance improvement. We really focus on what we call jobs to be done things that organizations need, that we’ve decided we’re uniquely qualified to do and require a lasting change in human behavior. You know how hard that is. If you’ve ever had to change just your own behavior, stop smoking way, do anything on your own, let alone a team or an organization that’s working towards some kind of improvements, cultural sales, customer experience, individual productivity, building trust, which is huge as a foundational leadership skill. So we work in these areas that we know we can help you move that behavior change, we don’t do all training. And probably the one that we do the most around is leadership development. We do offer one of the things that’s made us, I think, unique in this environment, everybody’s pivoting to this. But for 10 years, we’ve been doing this live online. So just like you or I are engaged, but in a more, what I would say, engaging our proprietary platforms, as well as platforms like this. So there’s like online, we do coaching. So our services includes coaching and live online, and then of course live, and we offer our content to our clients in a kind of IP subscription business approach.
Scott D Clary 05:47
Understood and and help me understand how the book turned into this.
Jennifer Colosimo 05:54
Great question. So when Dr. Covey who I’m very proud of his legacy he’s passed several years ago, many years ago, now. He started, he wrote The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People while he was a university professor. So he had been studying for years what success looks like. And he came out of that study saying The point is not success, although that is a good point. It is effectiveness, which is being able to get results now. And in the future, which has a big relationship component, not just your ability to execute on a goal. So out of that, the book became very popular, and organizations started to ask for training. In the early years, it was a lot of inbound, we want to bring this into our organization. Out of that we developed content, or actually partnered with other outside thought leadership, to bring in content that built around that effective leadership, building emotional resilience, how behaviorally you build trust, it’s one thing to say should build trust, but what are the behaviors? How you execute on goals, which is critical to that? And as I mentioned, some of those other components, how does this apply to effective selling, making yourself strikingly different in an emotionally intelligent way, and customer approach and how you execute on priorities? So it built really from that to what are the big problems we can address uniquely behavioral change that stay in alignment with who we are. Our mission is to enable greatness in people in organizations everywhere. And truly the part that motivates me about that, and I think so many of the people in the organization and our clients is there is a proposition inherent in that statement, that greatness does exist in every human being. It might be latent, it might not be unleashed, they might not ever choose to unleash it, but what can you do to create the conditions for real true human fulfillment while achieving your organizational goals? So we’ve grown over time, we actually worked with Dr. Covey son, Stephen, Mr. Covey wrote the book, The Speed of Trust. And we partnered with Harvard professors like Clayton Christensen around innovation, and how this approach to abundance and mutual collaboration leads to more innovative environments. And we’re most excited about our most recent partnership with Liz Wiseman, who is the author of multipliers, especially in our environment, right now, you can’t have lone geniuses, you need to have someone who enables genius and gross genius around the organization. So we built from that beginning into all of the different components we offer today.
Scott D Clary 08:57
So, so now you have the ability to go in and impact and influence organizations. But I would assume that as you do that, there’s, of course, a lot more nuances and just somebody who is internally motivated, wants to pick up the book and change. Now you have an organization you’re trying to you’re trying to invoke change across a business unit, because a certain leader wants that that change to happen. They respect what you do. So what are how do you best take the the works of of Dr. Coffee, as well as all the other individuals who you’ve partnered with and the years of experience? And what is the best practice to actually across a business unit, change the behaviors and habits and perhaps unlock leadership across an entire team and make sure that those changes stick and are permanent and are long lasting?
Jennifer Colosimo 09:48
And for all of your listeners who think about behavior change this, this is a field that is known. And one of the things that we say in behavior change and behavior change. Experts is, and you can just apply this to yourself, you can read about what you should do to manage your blood sugar. You, you can read about it. Now, if someone is really managing their blood sugar, they often have regular check ins, to check in holding themselves accountable maybe with in this case of physician, but as you think of behavior change in your organization, a coach, you have to learn a lot. So you learn you work on mindset, you have a reinforcement path to keep that knowing all of those components have to come together for behavior change to happen in an organization. And when you’re talking about more than one person, you also have to have that cultural support. So leaders have to bring it into their language, it has to be recognized, oh, I’ll use some seven habits language, that clearly was someone going for a win win. Right? I can see how we came together to create and collaborate, we came up with something better than any of us could have come up with our own things that come out of that. So people see this is what’s culturally acceptable. And frankly, you have to see improved results. Is it that you want more resilience to change? Is it that, frankly, with the seven habits have been used significantly lately to help people in a virtual working environment? Are you seeing improved collaboration, retention results, people have things they want to achieve, and making sure that you’ve got that measurement component in addition to the sustainability path.
Scott D Clary 11:41
And I think that all those lessons, like you mentioned, even like the especially the measurability and accountability and culture, it there’s probably a similar word that can be used to describe something that is encapsulating your your own life. But all those things that you use for success at a at an organizational level. That’s I think that’s what psychologically goes through somebody who actually doesn’t implement positive change on themselves, they sort of go through these steps just in a different in a different at a different scale, of course, different scale. Yeah. Agreed. But I want to and I, and the reason why I bring that up, every time I speak to somebody who, who I feel is a strong, strong leader, the word you mentioned was I think, professional, I can’t remember what it was professional. Will you will you describe what you do as an organization? It was there was a word,
Jennifer Colosimo 12:31
Oh,we we do behavior change, personal and professional development?
Scott D Clary 12:36
I think it was, yeah, that that is what it is, there was a you, I thought you had a really good word for it. But it doesn’t really matter. I think the point I’m trying to get across is when organizations hire somebody to come in for a day, and they do like, like an eight hour day and they try and fix the entire organization, they try and fix the entire thing. And I just come from like a sales background. And I remember the amount of times, both as an individual contributor or higher up as director, or VP, when you’d have like a CEO coming in and saying I want to hire a sales coach for a day or something like that. And you know it, it’s a waste of money. It’s 100% a waste of money. Because there’s psychological drivers, there’s cultural drivers, there’s all these things you have to have in line for that effective long term behavioral change, positive behavioral change,
Jennifer Colosimo 13:23
positively, I mean, you’re so right, we, when you think of Franklin Covey clients, folks that work with us organizations, we really know that there are three kinds of buyers that will come and approaches. One is an event. And if I’m clear, and you were saying, I want you, Jen to speak at this keynote, I would just want to manage expectations to the conversation we’re having What do you want them to know, feel anything you might want them to do out of this 90 minute speech, then there’s some that capability. You know, we’ve we’ve promoted all of these highly technical people into a first level leader role. And I just need a few days. So they even have a picture of what that looks like. And then there are some that if you truly want to behavior change, there has to be some level of sustainability. Even if it’s, we invest some time with you live online or live. They have some on demand elements that they take. They have coaching, they have manager accountability, there’s lots of ways that behavior change can be implemented, but you and sometimes, you know this, I bet you are one of these people. You can find people who will see and speech and think, Okay, I’m gonna do that. Right. You know, it’s like someone hearing a runner and their plan for how they got to be able to do a half marathon and you’re thinking, I’m going to do that. I’m gonna figure it out. I’m going to do that. But that is just so that is not going to move an organization you’ll get individual
Scott D Clary 14:59
I want too, I want to also understand, I also do want to speak a little bit about seven habits that we can, because it’s not like going deeper into the book itself is going to be anything outside of what I really want to cover in the interview anyways, but just in terms of, you know, you’ve, you’ve worked with a whole bunch of organizations. There’s a lot of leadership lessons that you’ve implemented over the years, what is an organizational issue? And I think, you know, if anyone’s listening to this, it’s going to be quite obvious.
Scott D Clary 15:30
But COVID Work From Home remote, what are some things that you’re seeing with organizations, things that they’re struggling with? How are you solving those through these habits, or other lessons that you teach them? That’s relevant right now.
Jennifer Colosimo 15:47
You know, there’s a couple of things if you think about adapting to our current environment, let’s put aside the virtual work, which is a big piece and just start with where people are in the challenging environment. And of course, we’ve had a minute to adjust. But now we have, maybe your children are going back to school, maybe they’re not, maybe you think they’re going to go and there’ll be home in a couple of weeks, there’s this constant flux of change, huge. And unfortunately, and I know some on my own, in fact, my husband’s uncle passed from COVID. It’s even life threatening, right? There is real life challenges. And then day to day, I’m only living day to day because I have to adapt. The key key there that that comes out of the seven habits or other content that we utilize, is having an it’s a skill set. But it’s also a mindset, none of our skills matter if you don’t have the right mindset is do you have empathy. And when I’m when I say empathy, of course, if you work in an organization, things have to get done. But can you stop the train that says these three tasks need to be done, and this is what actually listen to people in a way that you’ve taken off. I mean, the best way to say you take off your head, and you put on there, so you’re not trying to respond. You’re not trying to solve, you’re not trying to judge, but you’re truly getting this feeling that they are feeling about what, because I think our deepest human need is to be understood. And right now, people are really stressed out, I think some of the reactions that we’re seeing are normal reactions to an abnormal situation. So that balance, especially if you’re a leader of relationships, relationship, and empathy, and results, of course, if your organization is still, whether it’s in a pivot mode, or a thriving mode, if you’re still a viable concern, you need to get things done. But do you have empathy? Can you slow down in this situation? And then of course, it gets to the actual productivity for those of us who are lucky enough to have jobs, but doing them on a screen like this all day, every day? Yeah, there’s a whole different piece of skillsets there that are critical. I mean, from the very technical. Does your microphone work? Do you have good lighting? What’s your background? Do you have good internet, right? There’s all of those components, as well as knowing in a virtual environment. Very different, how you make a contrast between you and path possible other providers, how you’re clear and concise, selling in another environment, getting work done, holding yourself accountable. If you think of first level leaders, I personally think one on ones. And that ability to ensure that you do your one on ones are more critical than ever so people don’t get disconnected. More team communications. And and frankly, one of the things that I often say is the number one career advice I give people when they say give me career advice. Do you are you helping people build emotional resilience? And I’m not talking about, like, true clinical anxiety that’s outside of my scope of expertise, but ongoing low grade anxiety, are you helping them recognize what they can influence? When not everything is in our control or influence? Here’s what we can influence. Let’s focus on what we can do in a really abnormal situation.
Scott D Clary 19:34
But also I like that and to highlight that point even further to psychological security, to know what they did make them aware and be okay with what they can’t influence. That’s right, as well. Yeah,
Jennifer Colosimo 19:47
I think that skill set personally and professionally is the number one, it comes out of the seven habits. We talk about the habit of choice, and that really foundationally for someone to be be highly effective. The number one foundation is Do you recognize that you have a choice in any literally any situation to choose what you say, and how you behave? And take it to the most extreme of the challenges we’re facing right now? But do Can you say, Okay, this is the situation, and I’m going to be emotionally triggered, I’m going to be scared, sometimes, I’m going to be angry sometimes. What can I do? And you know, even Martin Seligman, the positive psychology, the father of positive psychology, says happiness itself, of course, has a genetic component has a circumstance component. But the main thing that you can influence about your own happiness is recognizing that you can influence what you can influence. And then not investing mental physical energy in things you can influence. It’s logical, but sometimes our emotions take over, the more time you invest in things that you can’t do anything about, the less influence you actually have on your organization, your team’s your own happiness, and the more time you spend on okay, but here’s what I can do, the more impact you have in your influence grows, Team organization personally. So it’s a key skill. And I think more than ever critical gear
Scott D Clary 21:33
that actually you that really dovetails into what I want to get into now, which is a little bit more topical and focused on the seven habits out of the seven habits, what do you think is is that the one that’s the most relevant? Right now choice?
Jennifer Colosimo 21:48
I would say? There’s two that come to mind. And I have colleagues who answer this question quite a bit. And you only hear two answers. One is choice, which I’m going to stick with as mine, but I think would only be fair to share my colleagues. The other one, especially those in leadership roles, is empathy is a mindset skill set can be developed and worked on, and having choice and empathy. All of the others are critical. But in this environment, I would say those are the two that stand out.
Scott D Clary 22:24
And as you I appreciate that, as you as you teach these habits, as you teach these habits out over your career, speak about the impact that implementing these at a personal level, or at an organizational level. Like if you didn’t have stories, that would be great. I love stories. How did these change accompany for the better, maybe somebody is not sold on investing in leadership, I hope not. But maybe somebody’s not sold on investing in leadership training. Maybe somebody says, you know, that’s a whole bunch of, you know, self help, you know, Bull, like, I can figure it out myself, like, walk me through some actual use cases of how these have impacted people over your career.
Jennifer Colosimo 23:05
Perfect One, that we actually have an on our website, we have case studies and videos, but one that always strikes me, because I think these habits are more important, the more difficult the situation. So while there’s a lot of great business impact, the one that really strikes me is our work with Mississippi Power. Mississippi Power we worked with for years. So think of the people who actually are working on your power lines, all the way to those that are procuring the electricity, the bold power people, the people in the office, they had implemented the seven habits as part of their cultural language. So making choice, having a vision for the future, really, you know, personal and team management, and then that empathy, thinking of how to solve things and collaborative cooperation. And then there’s a habit on keeping yourself sharp, but that really implemented this in their organization. And Katrina hit, right. Katrina, the hurricane hit, and you may recall, all power went out. And truly Mississippi Power attributes, the seven habits as the driver to how they were so quickly able to interact in an emergency situation to get the power back up. Those kinds of things are most inspirational to me, as well as improving emergency room errors. So think how critical that is, if you or a loved one has been in hospital, right? That having that team have the language and the ability to work through things eliminated silos, has got gone more medicine in teams, even looking at like the pit crew metaphor of using the pit crew How that uses the seven habits and trust behaviors in order to be more effective. It’s things that the impact that I’ve seen that matters the most is when I think, life and death and, and frankly, beyond life and death, we have several organizations and continuing into today. And I know they’re doing some work today that use the seven habits as part of their onboarding solutions for new, whatever job category, because what we’re finding is, in many cases, people have the technical skills, you know, totally trained in cybersecurity, great web development, think of an org supply chain. And what they need is resiliency, emotional, social management, having self awareness, ability to self manage social awareness, social manage, and to be able to innovate and grow at a different speed. And so we have organizations who use this as their primary onboarding approach, others come in at the merger level. And they’re saying we’re so different. We’d like to use this to have a common culture, and also to help us integrate more effectively, as we’ve grown through merger, so many, many business cases, from onboarding to life and death.
Scott D Clary 26:22
And and that begs the question, how do you, at a business level, say somebody does want to adopt seven habits? I think you did touch on this a little bit. But I want to highlight this again, how do you see a business successfully adopt something like seven habits into their culture so that it is more than just a plaque on a wall or a page on their website?
Jennifer Colosimo 26:48
Number one, and this I actually think with any change to an organization, you need to have, and of course, it can be done at the team level. But the most ideal is what I’ll start with, you need to have executive support, it can’t be this one off in the organization. But then once you get any higher, nobody supports that. It’s much more if you want a whole organization to move, of course, a team or function can do that as well. But the most ideal, frankly, even we have CEOs getting on events like this saying, this is why this is important. This is how we’ll be looking at it. This is how it integrates with our talent management process or aligns with our values or our mission, really having a good support structure, then, I think one of the things that and many do this, but one of the things that’s really unique about the seven habits is it starts with mindset. So you can’t just teach people the skill of empathic listening. And if they don’t have the mindset of actually caring about other people, and wanting to do this with the right intent is manipulative, you know, immediately you would know right now, if I was trying to manipulate you for some empathic listening skill, it has to start with, here’s the less effective mindset here is the more effective. And now let us teach you how to do that. And once you’ve done that, it’s having ongoing practice built into our solutions, our, you know, seven habits over the next seven weeks, or here’s a five to 10 minutes element where your managers can show a video and then have a discussion about how this works on their team. Here’s a coaching process you can follow that we can do, there has to be more simply because we’re all busy, we’re busy. And unless I am that one self motivated person, and you always have those that says, I’m gonna do that, if you’re really trying to drive this change, there has to be a sustainable communication. In fact, in many cases, people use assessment. So we’ll do a 360 degree assessment, your boss, your peers, the people who report to you previous to the seven habits around all the behaviors that drive it. And then let’s do a post. After three months of implementation, let’s look at just even how that individual is viewed and also be tied to your key business results. That’s really how you drive it. You have to have you don’t give up. I don’t know you’ve been in so many roles, think about changes. You’ve tried to drive that were maybe just a process. Yeah, selling process.
Scott D Clary 29:40
It’ll be difficult to do the job. That’s that’s the toughest thing, right to get the executive level to buy into what you want to do what you want to change.
Jennifer Colosimo 29:50
Yeah, and not everybody can. I mean, we work with organizations where you may have a manager of a team who’s going to make a significant difference in that team and It may not be organization wide, right? You don’t always get that. But the ideal would be, there is executive support for these behaviors to drive these results. And in the implementation process that they’re behind. It is it’s difficult to talk about the principle of abundance, and how you and I can approach things in a way where we were trying for Win Win, what people sometimes forget is that habit is think, Win Win, it isn’t so naive to think people always get there. You might have compromise, you might not get to it, but we’re going to approach it, can we come up with something better than either of us would have thought of on our own? And we’re really going to try, here’s what you think here’s what I think. What are all the possibilities that would get to some of those same things? Can we come up with something? And of course, you always have influence over yourself. And you do influence others by your behavior. But having I know this from personal experience, when you’re really trying and I’m saying Scott, are you at least willing to try to come up to something better with me? You can, frankly run across people that say, No, I’m gonna win this argument. I mean, and so
Scott D Clary 31:25
there is a lot of power in the word no to because then it moves the conversation forward, which is not always a bad thing, either.
Jennifer Colosimo 31:30
No, I’d rather know it I would rather have you say, No, Jen, I am not going to try. One of us is going to win this one. Because then I think, Okay, so now I know where I am. Yeah. I just think from a values from an integrity standpoint, even though I’ve experienced that, of course, myself in this length of a career. I’m never not going to try.
Scott D Clary 31:57
That. That’s so that’s, that is a that is a I think that’s an internal internal mode, internally driven decision that some people don’t don’t have that right. Some people, I think, you know, what, actually, that’s a lie. I think some people haven’t been enabled to feel that way. That’s really what I believe.
Jennifer Colosimo 32:14
I agree with you totally, if you even I mean, the seven, the thing about the seven habits is the concepts in them are not unique. i They are very, and this is not in any way to minimize the work of Dr. Covey. They’re organized in a way that’s really unique, because they start with what we call private victory. So you building emotional resilience, you knowing who you are, and what you’re trying to achieve, really having a future view. What do I want people to say about me when I retire? What do I want my family to say at my 80th birthday, you know, having a future view, thought about their values, making choice, then moving to relationship skills. Because if you think about it, it requires a tremendous amount of self confidence. To be humble. It requires a tremendous amount of self confidence for me to not be threatened, that in the end, your idea might have been better. You know, because it’s not threatening me personally, if you’ve ever been in an argument where you’re thinking this person wants to win because they need to win. Not even about this topic.
Scott D Clary 33:28
Yeah. We all have.
Jennifer Colosimo 33:31
I mean, I have been that person, believe me, it’s, I’m going to put myself out there as as perfect. I have been that person being like, oh, no, I’m going to win this one. And then you go back to wait. That’s not what I believe that’s not who I want to be. It’s all about working toward being highly effective.
Scott D Clary 33:53
Very, very well said. You went deep there. I appreciate that. I I didn’t even need you to go that deep, but like I just let you go because it’s like, oh, this is this. This is great gold.
Jennifer Colosimo 34:02
Thank you, sir. I apologize. I ramble.
Scott D Clary 34:06
No, don’t don’t apologize. My god. Okay. What’s new, okay, I want to I want to bring this up, because it’s important. Okay. So why, why? What’s the 30th anniversary edition? What’s new in this? That’s different from like, this is this is golden. And everyone’s read this book, I’m pretty sure. At some point in their career, what’s different about 30th Anniversary Edition? What adds on to it?
Jennifer Colosimo 34:31
Great question. So of course, we didn’t change one word that Stephen Covey wrote those principles are timeless and the practices have changed, right? Practices adapt, adjust to as our world changes, I really don’t think the principles will ever change. Here’s what’s new. Dr. Covey son, Sean Covey, who is a colleague of mine, he leads our education division, so K through 12 and how Higher Education. By the way, there are 5000 schools in 50 countries implementing how to build leadership within students. Effectively. He wrote for each habit, some updated stories and ways that this habit was applied in terms of practices that basically bolted on either to the front or to the end of that particular habit. The interesting thing is, you know, we wanted Shawn to do that, because we know how, how relevant this is, and what great examples he had. He resisted for quite a while, I was involved in conversations where he said, No, I don’t want to interfere with my father’s legacy. And it’s his work. Yeah. And, yeah, but Shan Shan, by the way, is a very successful published author, he did seven habits of highly effective teams. He’s done seven habits of happy kids. He’s the co author on our execution book, definitely a thought leader. And he didn’t want to touch this one.
Scott D Clary 36:03
This is not like, like, oh, you know, just take on a project. You’ve never written a word in your life. This is. Yeah, I know. You’re saying Right. Like, just to put some context around it. So okay. I appreciate that. Yeah,
Jennifer Colosimo 36:14
he, I’m glad he did. The stories are. And the practices in the application are very compelling, great additions. And we’ve gotten significant feedback on that addition. I’m glad he finally agreed to do it. And I also understand his initial reluctance.
Scott D Clary 36:32
I understand the reluctance. I’m happy he did it. And the reason why I’m happy he did it is because there’s not a single lesson that leaders learn anybody learned today, that has not been taught over at one point in history going back 1000s of years, context and relevancy and timeliness is, is as important in teaching it and probably not to the same set as the actual lesson. But it’s it’s almost there. Right? It’s almost there and getting somebody to buy into that and to understand it and to deliver value in context into the world that they live in.
Jennifer Colosimo 37:09
Right. So Right. And I think that’s a very exciting, very exciting addition, I’m, we’re really pleased, it’s also provided the opportunity for us to have more to discuss with, you know, because sometimes if you’ve been through a lot of training, you think to yourself, yeah, I did that training. But to really bring it into today, and how this addresses your growth, mindset, innovation, the emotional maturity and resilience, you need to deal with change. It’s just given us a whole new audience. That may be you know, especially think of leaders dependent on their age. They didn’t hear of it unless it was covered in their college class or their high school reading.
Scott D Clary 37:53
Yeah. Or they’ve gone out on their own and found it, but yeah, on their own. Yeah. And what do you think, what, what advice would Dr. Covey give today to everyone who’s dealing with all this stress and anxiety in their life?
Jennifer Colosimo 38:09
You know, I’m really, I’m very proud of being able to carry on the legacy. And I’m also as reluctant as Sean to put words into it really tough question. And, you know, I had the opportunity to work with him. Very closely. For several years, we co authored a small book called great work and great career, and I’m one of the very few people whose co authored with him. So I was able to invest some time with him. And so I’ll venture a guess, knowing that that’s a difficult question. I really, there were two things that always really stuck with me. And I think now more than ever, we need people to lead us forward. And I don’t mean formal. Of course, we need the people with titles. But we also need people who will work to bring a people group of people together to achieve a meaningful goal, right? They’ll build the trust, they’ll work whether that’s informal or formal. And one of the things that always really struck me is he would say leadership is a choice, not a position. And I think he would advocate for more of us to look how within what we can influence leading us forward. As we’re facing difficult times, what can you influence and how can you help lead a group forward to achieve a meaningful goal? leadership’s a choice, not a position.
Scott D Clary 39:34
I like that a lot. That’s good. And even if it’s coming from you, it’s still good advice. It’s fine.
Jennifer Colosimo 39:39
He said it. He said it but like I said, I’m always reluctant.
Scott D Clary 39:44
Yes, no, that’s I appreciate that. Okay, I want to ask a couple rapid fire questions just based on your career, your insight, before I switch off from what we’ve just been going through, it’s all incredible stuff. Was there anything that I didn’t ask that’s relevant? to your role versus leadership or seven habits right now 30th anniversary that you wanted to bring up.
Jennifer Colosimo 40:10
We, we really covered the topics that I think are so critical today choice and empathy. The one that I would just add personally, and I wrote some articles around this is that if you do lead people, their anxiety is a natural reaction to what’s happening. So are you viewing your role not just to achieve the results, which of course, you’ve got to do, but in a way that continues to build relationship and help people through change? We’re in a different time, right? You can’t just be in my perspective, which is what I’m offering, you can’t just be okay, we have to hit that number, we have to hit that number, we have to hit that number. I’m over sales for the largest component of this particular organization, which is a public company, I get hitting the number and flowing to the bottom. I am not naive. And are you thinking about how this is truly differential in my lifetime anyway? And so are you thinking about the challenges they may be facing virtually? And how to help manage through those? Are you thinking about relationships and results? All because truly effective gets results now and in the future?
Scott D Clary 41:34
Very well, I think that’s a very, very smart thing to say. And I think that if business leaders haven’t adapted yet, say they just have to hit that number no matter what, and it doesn’t matter come hell or high water. Right? You carry a bad you got to hit that number. Yeah. And if that’s the case, I can tell you who which one of your employees is going to go remote work somewhere else. The second the job market turns around.
Jennifer Colosimo 41:58
I completely agree with you, right. And of course, we’re all making very difficult decisions. I have colleagues, peers, peers that are today, preparing very bad news about because the organization can’t simply can’t support it. I’m not saying when you’re in a leadership role, you don’t make difficult decisions. And as you do that, are you doing that with respect and building empathy? And can you balance results and the relationship, especially if that’s not your forte, right? If that’s not your forte, what are you working on to be able to lead effective in this environment? Because, you know, our fiscal year runs September through August. So my q2 ended in February. q3 was March, April, May. So I completely get the the immense amount of stress, those who lead you know, Chief Revenue officers, those who are responsible both for revenue sales. That is something any one wants to talk about it, I get. So it’s an incredible pressure on you. But what are you going to do? So as you mentioned, Scott, the minute the job market turns, they don’t leave? Let’s assume you have the runway to keep them?
Scott D Clary 43:18
Yeah. Yeah. Very good. Okay, let’s go into some rapid fire insights from from your career. How do you continue to learn and stay on top of things in your role?
Jennifer Colosimo 43:34
I, well, I have a colleague, you’ve met him who’s extremely well read. And to go on your podcast? Yeah. Let’s go to Scott. Scott. He runs an on leadership series for us. That is our kind of podcast and Leadership Series. I am doing an immense amount of learning based on him curating I have my own personal curation, right. In addition to that, typically when I listened to those or buy their books and read them sale recommend, so I’m kind of following Of course, I follow on LinkedIn as well, when things come up, and I’m thinking I should read that. And to be really clear, where I’ve been going very deep, and maybe I’m behind and how deep I should be going. Is I’ve been looking for recommendations around better understanding structural systemic racism, and what my part is in adapting to that. My most recent book that’s been very good for me challenging, you know, debating with myself what I think is how to be an anti racist by Abraham Kennedy.
Scott D Clary 44:46
Yes. Very good book. That’s been that’s actually been recommended a few times.
Jennifer Colosimo 44:51
It’s, it’s amazing. And then of course, I go, I go through my curated and I have a bunch of folks that recommend to me as well. So I usually invest a big chunk of time on the weekends. Because I am a very curious person. I’m always thinking, Oh, I don’t know anything about that, I need to know something about that I want to learn. So that’s how I do it.
Scott D Clary 45:16
So that chews up the next question. You didn’t even do this on purpose. But this is actually what I was going to ask, what are you most curious about in the world of business or leadership that you’re investigating right now.
Jennifer Colosimo 45:30
And I do think this is a critical leadership component, and always has been I, I currently serve on a board where I live a Women’s Foundation. And we know that women of color are disproportionately impacted by the pandemic. And we also at least have research because we also worked on research and public policy about some of the structural systemic things. So what I’ve really been looking for, is, what I don’t understand about it, and what I can do to go back to the theme of this, I have influence as a leader within my organization, I have some influence as a leader within my community, what is the highest and best use of where I can impact something that I think is so critical, of course, in our recent environment, with Black Lives Matter as a focus. And I’m also focused, of course, on LGBTQ plus on gender on how veterans can be disproportionately impacted with of course, my overriding right now being focused on racism.
Scott D Clary 46:41
Those are good things to be focused on. Very good things to be focused on right now. And that forever, to be honest, not just right now. It’s great. Right. I think that’s also that’s the caveat, right? Forever, not just reference right now. That’s what that is
Jennifer Colosimo 46:54
what’s most important, and I’m a bit sheepish that I didn’t I wasn’t, I felt pretty informed. But I bet felt sheepish that I hadn’t I needed this impetus to be really,
Scott D Clary 47:06
I that’s how a lot of people felt. And I think that better late than never does apply. It’s unfortunate, but at the same time, don’t lose that drive, don’t lose that passion for understanding you things. And I think that’s, you know, maybe there is Neva T and a lot of individuals previous to global social unrest. Right. But don’t let that die out. Right. Don’t let this have to happen again, and 20 years. Right, right. What advice would you give to somebody pursuing? I want to say a career similar to yours. But you’ve said you’ve done so many damn things over your career, maybe just just general career advice? I don’t know. That’s a better
Jennifer Colosimo 47:49
yeah, I am an interesting one in career. Because I, I look at and I think this is good career advice. So here’s this, even though I’ve done so many different things, is when you’re looking at doing something, you have your unique talents, passions, those don’t always overlap, you might be really good at something that you don’t like doing. Or you might really like something that’s going to take you a lot more work to be good at than someone with that natural talent, but your talent, passions, your values, how you want to contribute. If you’re a hiring manager, you have a need. So how do you as someone who’s looking at something you want to do? Bring your talents, power, passions, your values, and apply it to that need? I think that’s what’s really unique about some people that I’ve that I’ve hired that I’ve been interested in, is, it’s one thing for me to go out in the world and say, hey, I want this. It’s another thing for me to really understand what you need got, and apply who I am and what I can do to solving that problem. That’s why we have work, there’s something to be done. Someone will pay you for it. And I think the biggest career skill is really looking at, okay, based on that job description based on that conversation. Here’s what they need, can I take who I am and show how I can solve that challenge? And I’ve done that fairly well. There have been things that I mean, people sometimes get surprised, I have wanted to do and people did not choose me. Their prerogative, I think people get this idea that like, Oh, she’s just been able to No, no, but do you look for ways to match you with what something is needed? Or if you’re an entrepreneur, I know you have listeners that are entrepreneurs, to create a need. Do you have something unique that will create a need in the world that doesn’t exist yet, but really thinking about it tomorrow? have lenses yours, and something, what you’re going to create the world or something the world needs is the best way to move and not just be like, Why did I? Why haven’t I been promoted?
Scott D Clary 50:11
But that’s also a point on self awareness, right? So don’t just think that because you’re good at something, you deserve a promotion, because you have to be aware of that need, don’t just take a product to market because you like the product, because you may not be fixing anybody’s paying. Right?
Jennifer Colosimo 50:27
Right. You may not be fixing anybody paying or, you know, having the best entrepreneurs creating something none of us knew we needed
Scott D Clary 50:33
or that without No, no, I guess that’s what I mean. That’s that’s the good thing. That’s when you can show people they need it. But just don’t. Don’t assume that people need something just because through your lens, you feel they should need it. Right? Yeah, you have to you have to tap into what their drivers are. That’s what I meant.
Jennifer Colosimo 50:50
Exactly. You’re exactly right. And it’s both for intrapreneurs. And entrepreneurs.
Scott D Clary 50:54
Yeah, yeah. Exactly. Very good. What would be one lesson that you would tell your younger self?
Jennifer Colosimo 51:06
So hopefully, I have built my effectiveness and my maturity level. What I would tell myself when I say, think younger, 2021. It isn’t, don’t take everything. So personally. I know it isn’t, in many cases, personal rejection. Not getting everything in the alignment that you want. It’s a long life, have a long view. And really, it’s primarily a worst waste of time to take decisions that don’t go in your favor as personal move on. Get your have your vision, look at a long view of how to achieve what you want to do not, I think, at least when I was young, I don’t know if this applies to anyone else, I was discouraged more easily. And it would throw me off track.
Scott D Clary 52:04
Good advice as well. What does success mean for you?
Jennifer Colosimo 52:11
It’s also a bit of a long view. And it’s evolved. It’s nice that you’re talking to me at this age, and not 30 years ago, 30 years ago, I was like, oh, I want to be a partner. Right? It was that easy. I’m going to get the partnership. For me success is not necessarily balanced, but an integrated life. That if you talked success to me would be if you talk to the people that are around me, whether they work with me, my children who have grown, my spouse, my best friends, if you’ve talked, you would get the same picture of this person, that I’m an integrated whole person and that I’m the same sort of in any such situation that you can trust me. And they wouldn’t, especially when you go to the inner circle, none of them would they would feel like they got the best of me in that role. So it’s really I’m not trying to be everything to everyone. But what are the most important things based on the the people and the results that are most important to me? And am I developing an integrated approach to that? I would hate it if you talk to my husband, and he was like, she’s really good at work. She’s horrible at home. Or the other way around? Yeah. It’s and that require setting expectations and so on. But to me success is how am I contributing in a meaningful way that my legacy would have been positive on people. You know, Dr. Covey used to say his whole mission was to unleash human potential. I may not be that lofty, but did my presence. Do I leave a legacy that’s positive across the roles that are most important to me?
Scott D Clary 53:59
I like that. I like that answer a lot. I like that. Thank you. Very good. And the most important question, Where can people go to find more about you, your socials, websites for the book for Franklin Covey, all of that.
Jennifer Colosimo 54:15
So let’s start with Franklin Covey. We’re at Franklin Covey, calm and there is currently a page up around the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People, as well as some of the other behavior change topics that we address effectively. So I would say Franklin covey.com, I’m on Twitter at at Jen policy Mo. J N co ello. Si Mo. And I’m also LinkedIn at Jennifer Colosimo on LinkedIn. So there’s we can find out about me about my organization. And obviously our books are across all kinds of sellers that you would choose to buy physical or Audio Books Wherever you go, whether that’s local or the large, large Your present places