President & Co-Founder of Tiesta Tea Company (J1)
"I just became a better fiance, friend, and leader. The thing about Junto is, it’s so much more than just helping you with business, it makes you a greater person."
What is your strength when it comes to emotional intelligence?
Empathy. I didn’t realize it was a skill that I had. I can feel the way someone else feels. It’s helping me with every relationship in my life, and that is underlooked. Emotional intelligence for me is for life, not just business. Of all the things you can master, I want to master emotional intelligence.
What is your superpower?
The most underutilized thing that we all have that can make a difference is a smile.
What are 1-2 leadership virtues you've observed or learned in your career?
Empathy and positivity.
How would you describe your areas of expertise based on industry, market, and/or function?
My expertise is in three things - sales, marketing, and culture. When it comes to sales, I have an ability to understand what the customer is looking for. In marketing, I’m good at putting myself in the customer’s shoes and then tailoring everything to that. And finally, I’ve become people-focused and have been taking a lead on enforcing the company’s culture.
What was your most memorable Junto moment?
When I resolved a very difficult conflict with one of my employees. I was so nervous before it, and didn’t know what to do, so I used my Junto notes and followed them step-by-step. We solved it very amicably. This was early on in the program, I was like holy s**t, this guy and I have been butting heads for years, and I made it comfortable, shared some appreciations, agreed on the issue, and just like that we resolved it. Beyond that, I just became a better fiance, friend, and leader. The thing about Junto is, it’s so much more than just helping you with business, it makes you a greater person.
What are you working on right now?
Developing new channels of the business to take us to the next level. Getting to $5 million is one thing, and getting from $5 to $10 million is another thing, so now we’re figuring out how to get from $10 to $20 million.
What is one book, blog, or podcast you recommend widely?
How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie. I read a few chapters whenever I get the chance, and it brings me back to my core belief of just treating people right.
What have you learned about yourself through participating in Junto?
I learned that I can have difficult conversations with the techniques we learned. I wasn’t good at those before.
Finish the following sentence, "In my experience, ______________."
Anything is possible. You don’t have to be the smartest person to win or to make the biggest impact. You can do whatever you want to do. A lot of people say they want to change the world...you can. I wasn’t supposed to run an $8 million company, and I did it.
What's something that's not on your LinkedIn profile that you wish was?