You may know by now that the Weaving Influence team is spread out over several states and – on occasion – a couple of continents. But did you know that in addition to the virtual team, there is also a core group in the Michigan office? And that main office team also includes today’s featured individual.
Although you’ve seen us highlight several of our Team Buzz Builders, it’s been a while since I’ve featured a #WITeam member on Friday, and it’s high time you met…
Hey Jessica, thanks so much for doing this! Can you tell us a little bit about your personal life?
I’m married to the love of my life with three crazy, fun kids, living in a sweet rural-ish spot in Southeast Michigan. I was a stay-at-home mom for nine years before accidentally starting working full-time last year for Weaving Influence. I’m loving the change of pace and sense of fulfillment I get from my out-of-the-home work!
Tell us something unusual about yourself.
I’ve got lots of quirks, for sure, but probably one of the most stand-out things about myself and my family is that we adopted my son, who happens to have Down syndrome, from Russia four years ago. You wouldn’t know me and my life without knowing the twists and turns I fall into! Though we had talked about adoption for years, my husband and I started this journey the day after Christmas five years ago while hearing Diane Sawyer tell about the plight of special needs orphans. We found Jonas that night, and signed our commitment papers immediately. It was one of the craziest, and best decisions we’ve ever made!
What’s your favorite pastime?
Beyond my family and my work, I tend to fill up my free time with volunteers opportunities. I spend most of my free space of time and mental energy serving as the President of the Board of Grace Community Center, a local nonprofit that serves an underprivileged neighborhood in Toledo. Most of our resources are spent on after school and summer programs to help kids sharpen their academic, leadership, and life skills.
Tell me your favorite part of the job with Weaving Influence…
There are so many things I enjoy about my work with Weaving Influence, so it’s hard to pick a “favorite.” I enjoy the flexible environment that allows me to serve my family with minimal disruption, the team is awesome, and we have strong core values that we are all working to live into. Probably the piece that brings me the most personal satisfaction is that I get to learn so many new things each and every day, and I am entrusted to meet challenges in my work that allow me to grow as a member of the team.
What is your “stand out” thing that you’ve learned from working with the #WITeam so far?
Yikes! That’s a really, really hard question. I would say what I’m learning that will have the biggest impact on my work and personal life is leadership skills. Not only am I surrounded by so many amazing resources through our clients in terms of books, conversations, blog posts, etc., but I am surrounded by a team of people with the same exposure. I believe our ability to serve as individuals on the team, regardless of title, in a meaningful way, and to demonstrate our leadership skills, will continually develop in a supportive environment. I am working hard (and I’m sure failing daily!) to live up to the values of “servant leadership,” which is something many of our clients teach. I am learning that the “failing daily” part is part of the process of learning and growing, and I appreciate the grace of both our clients and our team.
What’s the last book you read and really enjoyed?
I suppose one of my other quirks is that I read nonfiction for fun! Books on nutrition and how the body works are often my favorites, but I’ve spent a lot of time lately digging into our client books. David Burkus’ Under New Management is giving me a lot of food for thought, and I’ve challenged myself to digest Mastering Leadership by Bob Anderson and Bill Adams.
Connect with Jessica Online
Make a connection with her on LinkedIn.
Carrie Koens joined the Weaving Influence team in May 2012 and has held a number of roles, including three years as the Book Launch Director (a title she stepped away from in June 2016 in order to focus on the needs of her growing family), and she currently serves the team as a Writer and Consultant. An INTJ with a penchant for culture, book stores, Parisian cafés, Indian curry, British mystery shows, and her passport, you can find her on Twitter @CGKoens.