interview

Episode 179: Why Preparation for Success Is Key to Meeting Goals
Episode 179: Why Preparation for Success Is Key to Meeting Goals 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the axe.” –Abraham Lincoln

As 2022 has already taken us by storm, there’s no better time than now to evaluate our strategies for the year. Just like chef’s use “mise en place” to gather all their ingredients and set themselves up for success before hitting the stove cooking, leaders should take inventory and get themselves organized in order to start working toward their yearly goals. Preparation is half the battle.

Faye Davis and Carla Sones dive into the deep end of how they’re getting themselves ready for the year. Between knowing your goals, realigning with the organizational (or personal) mission, understanding your habits and doing a strengths/weaknesses/opportunities/threats (SWOT) analysis, there is a lot of ground that’s covered. Setting big, audacious goals is scary, but when we do the work to identify as many factors feeding into what success looks like for that goal, we’re already well on our way to a momentous start.

Tune in now to hear more from Carla and Faye as they discuss what success looks like to them and how they’re hoping to get there this year. You can listen on our website, via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 178: 4 Simple Yet Non-negotiable Rules to Lead Your Team Well | Charles Wood, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce
Episode 178: 4 Simple Yet Non-negotiable Rules to Lead Your Team Well | Charles Wood, Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“For me, maximum flexibility is key. The ability to transition as things change is really important, as is the ability to relate to people that are coming from different circumstances and places.” –Charles Wood

What better way to launch into the new year than by learning from an economic developer truly moving the needle on a lot of different goals. From creativity in growing talent and workforce strategies to launching a collaborative marketing effort, from running a successful entrepreneurial incubator to leading with four simple yet non-negotiable rules, Charles Wood is not only dreaming big but truly doing things big in the greater Chattanooga region.

Join Faye Davis as she picks Charles’ brain about his leadership, his strategies, his goals and his successes. As the Vice President of Economic Development at the Chattanooga Area Chamber of Commerce, Charles has capitalized on opportunities to implement transformative projects in low-income areas and create a better quality of life for people who live in those areas. He talks about the goal of imbedding more employers and educational opportunities in growth opportunity zones, and shares concrete steps his organization and partnering stakeholders took to make these dreams reality.

Charles is a wealth of information. He shares four rules he has used to keep his leadership, his career, and his team focused in the right direction; true to his nature, these rules are simple, without fluff, and incredibly useful. We are so excited to kick off 2022 with this interview and hope you glean as much knowledge from Charles as we did. Listen now on our website, via Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Amazon Music, or wherever you get your podcasts!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 177: Are You Intentionally Taking Care of Your Body Like a Natural Resource?
Episode 177: Are You Intentionally Taking Care of Your Body Like a Natural Resource? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“There is virtue in work and there is virtue in rest. Use both and overlook neither.” –Alan Cohen

Coming out of 2020, we thought there couldn’t be a wilder year. Coming to the close of 2021, we might have been wrong! All signs point to a busy year leading to another busy year. How are you going to prepare?

On this episode, Faye Davis and Carla Sones talk about the the necessity of slowing down and resting. With the project pipeline full and promising, we can feel tempted to use the holiday downtime to get ahead on work. The real work to be done is carving out intentional time to reflect, refresh, and recharge. When we take this intentional time, we can return after the New Year full of energy ready to run.

Just because your work naturally slows down, does not mean you are resting. True to this episode, the America’s Jobs Team Podcast will be taking a short break over the holiday season. Listen to this episode today, and then give yourself space to rest!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 176: Are You Building Up the Attributes That Make You A Great Team Player?
Episode 176: Are You Building Up the Attributes That Make You A Great Team Player? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Great things in business are never done by one person. They’re done by a team of people.” –Steve Jobs

We all know that one coworker that you can count on for anything. As soon as you need help you automatically think of them. But what is it that makes that person such a team player?

Today, Faye Davis and Carla Sones talk about the importance of being a team player. How do you be a team player, though? We break down the attributes of team players and walk through practicals to improve this skill. Whether its actively listening or celebrating a team victory, we all have areas to grow and thrive in.

As we quickly approach the end of the year, have you taken time to reflect? Sometimes new years can feel like a clean slate. How are you going to walk into 2022? Listen now to hear more!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 175: Do You Use Your Tools in Non-Traditional Ways? You Might Want To! | Joe Agostinelli, Grand Rapids Area Revitalization
Episode 175: Do You Use Your Tools in Non-Traditional Ways? You Might Want To! | Joe Agostinelli, Grand Rapids Area Revitalization 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“If you can think of the project through a different lens, there is often a way you can leverage a non-traditional tool to fit the project you’re working on.” –Joe Agostinelli

The cost of materials and goods for projects is a topic we are all too familiar with right now. It often seems that incentive support is the only way to make some of our deals economically feasible. How do we creatively leverage programs to make every dollar and cent count?

On this episode, Faye Davis talks with Joe Agostinelli of the Grand Rapids Area Revitalization Task Force on creative deal structuring. Joe let’s us in on insights of looking at common tools we know about differently and how that is the key to being able to layer financial tools.We dive into the uniqueness of the Michigan Brownfield Redevelopment Financing Act compared to other states and how reimbursements play a role.

Joe can count on one hand the amount of no votes he has received from local government officials on project tools. He shares his key to success and how investing time on the front end is never a waste. Tune in today to this wisdom packed episode!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 174: How Can You Continue Leveling Up Your Leadership Skills?
Episode 174: How Can You Continue Leveling Up Your Leadership Skills? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.” –Barack Obama

As this year comes to a close and a new year looms, lots of people are thinking about new year’s resolutions, setting goals for next year, and working on strategies to become a better leader. And while “be a better leader” can feel incredibly broad, the key lies in naming what good leadership looks like to you. What feels authentic? How do you want to show up? Once you have answers there, you can build your plan.

Carla Sones and Faye Davis dive into some tried-and-true (and research-backed) ways for people to level up their leadership. From advice regarding time management and delegating to closing the door on the rumor mill, the topics addressed during their conversation are very broad. Constant learning, empowering critical thinking skills in others, and leadership coaching; these all come up and play their own part in bringing a person’s leadership skills to the next level.

A lot of people struggle to find a leadership style that not only works for them but also resonates with their team. If you’re trying to figure out how to be the best you while leading your community, today’s episode is chockful of great questions to ask yourself in order to start bridging your gap between who you currently are and who you strive to be. Listen in now!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 173: Why You Need to Identify What Makes Your Leadership Tick | Heather Ennis, Northwest Indiana Forum
Episode 173: Why You Need to Identify What Makes Your Leadership Tick | Heather Ennis, Northwest Indiana Forum 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“The biggest part of learning anything is taking your ego out of it. Nobody has all of the answers.” –Heather Ennis

Gathering knowledge and building expertise are cornerstones of the work economic developers do. We have to be lifelong learners, always keeping abreast of new developments and trends within industries. So how can you continue to build that vast library of information in your leadership? What is it that makes knowledge stick and how do you stay current with the proverbial slang of our profession?

Faye Davis had the chance to catch up with Northwest Indiana Forum President and CEO Heather Ennis and had a great conversation about how Heather spun out of the manufacturing and sales industry into economic development, what lessons she took with her along the way, and how she continues to build and expand her expertise to serve her region best. She shares the one phrase she’s never afraid to say to people, and dives into how that phrase has helped her build strong relationships in every corner of her region.

One of the keys to impactful leadership in economic development is humility; today, Heather shares a lot of insight how her focus on being transparent, authentic and humble has served her well, and her advice to new leaders in the economic development industry is enlightening. Hit “play” now to soak up Heather’s wisdoms!

 

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 172: How Can You Employ Professional Vulnerability to Build a More Effective Team?
Episode 172: How Can You Employ Professional Vulnerability to Build a More Effective Team? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“What we know matters but who we are matters more.” –Brené Brown

Before you click away, stick with us for just a minute; we know that the word “vulnerability” can alienate people quickly. When we are talking about needing to be more vulnerable in our professional lives, we don’t mean sitting around in a circle and sharing our deepest, toughest secrets and traumas. Professional vulnerability shows up differently, and it is a vital part of healthy leadership which builds trust and effectiveness.

On today’s episode, Carla Sones and Faye Davis dive into the research backing vulnerable leadership. The two of them dissect what vulnerability is and, perhaps more importantly, is not. As Brené Brown aptly puts it, “letting it all hang out” is not an appropriate iteration of the behavior. Employing vulnerability in an appropriate fashion will help you foster an environment to grow an agile and engaged organization.

If you’re looking for ways to show up more authentically and build more trust with your team, today’s episode will provide you with concrete actions to implement in your leadership journey. Listen in now to hear more!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 171: Creating an Entrepreneurial Support System Will Pay Dividends in Talent | Kim Grant, Invest Buffalo Niagara
Episode 171: Creating an Entrepreneurial Support System Will Pay Dividends in Talent | Kim Grant, Invest Buffalo Niagara 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Buffalo, as a whole, has been involved in supporting the entrepreneurial ecosystem and its innovation for a long time.” –Kim Grant

Why should economic development organizations implement a strategy for supporting entrepreneurs? Can these efforts make a difference in attracting talent? And if so, what elements should be part of the support network for start-ups?

Kim Grant, Vice President of Business Development at Invest Buffalo Niagara, joins Faye Davis to talk about the Buffalo region’s focus on entrepreneurialism and start-ups. She talks through the last decade or so of building their supportive climate, and why it has proven so fruitful. Kim candidly notes that there is no silver bullet, and immediately dives into the different components of the regional culture that make it possible for new business ventures to thrive.

Kim collaborated with the Consultant Connect team on an article for FDI Alliance International Magazine called “Why Magnetic Communities’ Emphasis on Start-ups and Small Business Creates Fertile Soil for Big Business Too” and on today’s podcast she again shines as she shares insight and advice into an area she is clearly extremely passionate about. Invest Buffalo Niagara has a great program and website for incoming residents called Be In Buffalo. Check out their website for inspiration, and to hear more about their strategy, tune in now!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai

Episode 170: What Role Does Trust Play in Balancing Transparency and Confidentiality?
Episode 170: What Role Does Trust Play in Balancing Transparency and Confidentiality? 150 150 America's Jobs Team

“Confidentiality and transparency are not mutually exclusive, but rather they are two sides of the same coin.” –Thomas de Maiziere

In business these days, there is an ever-increasing amount of conversation around transparent relationships. And for good reason; employees working for companies with high levels of transparency report higher engagement and commitment, as well as talk about being part of a business with high ethical standards. What doesn’t always get its fair share of airtime is how to balance this increasing transparency with an ever-present need for confidentiality, especially in the economic development industry. Treading the charged space between these two potential polarizations is not easy and can only be done through the lens of trust.

On today’s episode, Carla Sones and Faye Davis dive into what transparency really means in a business culture, and hash out why it’s often misunderstood by employees. They talk about how too much transparency creates chaos, and share tips on how to create a culture of productive information sharing.

If you have ever wondered how you can create a transparent culture that respects confidentiality, you’ll enjoy today’s conversation. Carla and Faye answer questions like what the job of a leader is in filtering information, how to decide what information is helpful to share and what is harmful, how leaders can share the information needed without looking like they’re purposely withholding, how to scale communication efforts as a team grows, and more. Tune in now!

America’s Jobs Team is sponsored by Research on Investment / Gazelle.ai