Q&A with Jenna Woolven
1. What’s your favourite way to answer the question ‘what do you do?’
I go for a different one each time! But normally something along the lines of…”I work for a management consultancy that have a background in elite sport and performance. We help to develop people and teams in a variety of ways, and seek to improve their working lives”.
2. What is your approach to finding a work-life balance?
This is a fundamental for me. If I don’t feel balanced and content in my life outside of work, I can’t bring my best self to work. Keeping fit is a very important part of achieving this balance because for me it serves as both a physical and mental release. It also helps that I love what I do, so I don’t often feel like it’s a drain on my energy. It’s true what they say “find what you love and you’ll never work another day in your life.” My wish is that more people could find what it is they love to do, I think the world would be a much less stressful place if this were true!
3. Describe in three words what makes a good leader
Authentic, supportive and self-aware
4. If you could remote-work from any country in the world, where would it be?
Canada. I’ve never been but I've always wanted to go and I think the scenery looks absolutely amazing!
5. Which culture, philosophy, or way of life - that is different to yours - do you most admire?
Having recently spent time in India, I have to say there. The culture is completely different to anything I’ve experienced, but what I loved most about it was the sense of community and care for fellow humans. Everyone looks out for their neighbours and there is so much support and positive spirit, despite living in extreme poverty and having very little by way of material goods.
6. Who was your favourite teacher, role model or mentor when growing-up?
Catherine Grainger has always been a great inspiration of mine. I was lucky enough to meet her when I was 16 and since then I’ve followed her life and achievements with great interest. I admire her mentality to strive for gold again and again, not letting setbacks get in the way, but also maintaining a healthy outlook on life and pursuing other interests and career goals.
7. What, or who, was your biggest inspiration when choosing your career route?
My dad was always interested in the mentality of sports players and teams, and would often cut out newspaper clippings for me to read about a new strategy or way of doing something that led to high performance. He would also often talk to me after I had played a hockey game about how I felt, what the turning point in the game was or he would comment on something he noticed in me that helped my performance. I guess from that my interest for psychology grew and whilst looking for a way to develop this interest I found Lane4! I have a lot to thank my dad for but his inquisitive nature and tendency to explore alternative ways of doing things certainly influenced the mentality I have today and the career path I have chosen.
8. Which area of your consulting work do you find the most interesting, and why?
I love being in the room and working with people on day-to-day challenges, helping to explore together ways through them. Observing first hand a shift in mindset is the best part of this job I’d say.
9. What are the top 3 personal skills that leaders need to possess, or develop, to lead their organisation into the future?
Ability to listen to others and humility to act on this, build strong relationships with those around you, and role model the behaviours you want to see in others.
10. If you could go back in time and give your 16-year-old self advice, what would it be?
Don’t worry too much about the future. No matter how much you plan or try to control things, there is so much change that happens in life, it’s much better to focus on the here and now and make the most of the present situation.
11. If you were stranded on a desert island and were only allowed three items, what would they be and why?
My kindle as I love reading and could spend many many days engrossed in all kinds of books, my trainers so I can go running and keep fit, and a photobook as I love looking back at cherished memories.
12. What’s the number one thing you want to accomplish during your time on Earth?
My life motto is ‘live life to the full.’ I want to live a happy and fulfilled life where I am able to bring joy to those around me and support as many people as I can to fulfil their own life and achieve what they want to.