In each episode of Net Effects Podcast, co-hosts Les Ottolenghi and Mark Bavisotto start with a segment called “Unmasking the Executive.” This ice breaker often illuminates a facet of the episode guest’s life experience that played a pivotal role in their transformation over the years. For executive coach Jennifer Pitts, her story is about the lessons learned working “Italian construction in New York City in the 80s.” As a summer laborer, she worked on the World Financial Center and carved out her niche in the organization (and rescued some palm trees in the Winter Garden, too!).
Today she is an accomplished executive coach and business advisor. In this episode, Jennifer talks about pursuing the work that offers professional, financial, and purposeful sustenance. And because it is her field of expertise, she also shares the critical importance of finding coaches and mentors as well as building effective networking skills.
- You can learn something different and bring something to the table everywhere you go (even if it’s just a different perspective).
- Networking demonstrates the power of relationships. Throughout Jennifer’s career, she has witnessed fortuitous timing from connecting or reconnecting with someone. Building a network is about reaching out to people and offering a two-way relationship with them. In turn, this creates a web-like sphere of influence that continues to grow as those in your network connect you with others. Digital tools have enabled networking ease and speed, but interpersonal communications will always play a part.
- A mentor connects with you in a professional realm (e.g., a professor or boss). A mentor helps you open doors and build out a career ladder. A coach is a personal mentor that enables you to focus and make progress on a specific issue or address what’s holding you back. Having both in your life can be extraordinarily valuable.
- In a maelstrom of social change, leadership qualities of the past may not be as effective in the future. To be a good leader, you have to be professional yet warm with a focus on DE&I and employee engagement and development.
- Advice for women professionals who want to advance as leaders: Look for mentors and find people who are exceptionally good at what you want to be good at (e.g., leadership, technical skills). Don’t be afraid to seek informal mentors as well.
Listen to the full episode now.
About Jennifer Pitts, MBA, SPHR: Jennifer brings a background in Big 4 management and strategy consulting, human resources, various operational roles, and C-suite coaching to connect with clients to help them realize their goals and objectives. Jenn has a deep passion for and expertise in the healthcare industry but has also been very engaged with technology companies and executives throughout her career.
Jenn is a proud alum of Columbia Business School, where she received her MBA with majors in Finance and Marketing. Jenn enjoys various outdoor activities, including hiking, skiing, and golf. She is also a mom to two college students.