Q&A With Julie Fasone Holder Of JFH Insights
Julie Fasone Holder is a retired Senior Vice President of The Dow Chemical Co. She is currently leveraging 35 years of C-Suite experience and a commitment to diversity as an independent board member and founder of JFH Insights, a management advising company.
Julie consults with corporations and organizations on diversity and inclusion strategies and coaches senior women executives. She has developed and delivers executive education programs for the Michigan State University Eli Broad College of Management.
In her recent Twitter chat she talked about her path to the C-Suite amnd what drove her to start her company.
How did you define your professional mission?
I am passionate about helping women be successful in their careers and in corporate America. I use my knowledge, current gender research and my experiences to help them learn what gets rewarded.
What has been your biggest career challenge to date?
Being a C-suite executive. The rules at the top are different and hard to discern.
What do you think is the most important trait in being a leader?
Remembering that your primary role is to make your employees successful so that the organization is successful.
What is the most important strength that women bring to business?
We each have different strengths, but stereotypically we are good collaborators and we notice things – said and unsaid.
Who has been the biggest influence in your career journey to date?
My mom was an incredibly strong woman. She started her career at 55 due to misfortune and retired at 72 incredibly successful.
What are your thoughts on mentorship and reverse mentorship?
Mentorship is critical but sponsorship is even more important. Good listeners will learn from all that they interact with.
What’s the best piece of advice you ever received?
You shouldn’t say no because you’re scared or unsure. Try it!
What role do your values play in your every day work?
Values must drive your behavior and decisions. They are your North Star.
What did your path to the C-Suite look like?
I started in an entry-level sales role right out of college and had 13 roles in my 34-year career. I just kept performing. I had the opportunity to grow into larger and larger roles and finally a C-suite role. There was no plan.
Did you have a moment of clarity when it came to your career vision?
As the first or one of the first women in every role, I always felt responsible to help women and companies be successful.
Do you have a role model?
My mom. She reinvented herself at 55 and worked until she was 72
What advice would you give your 20-year-old self?
Enjoy the journey. Find something you love to do and don’t try to predict the future too far out.
What is your favorite success story in your line of work?
Watching women try something new and bold and experiencing success! It’s empowering.
What daily habits do you have that contribute to your success?
I am very organized and disciplined and I truly believe in the 80% rule
How important has networking been in your career journey?
Probably the most important factor. It truly is who you know that will help you achieve your dreams.
What advice do you have about creating a personal brand?
Your reputation is your most important asset. Decide what you want it to be and be thoughtful about building it.
Who inspires you?
Other women who are doing amazing things. I want to be around them and with them.
How do you stay resilient when things get tough?
My husband is my best supporter. He picks me up, dusts me off, and sends me back into battle. We all need perspective.
How do you keep evolving at work?
Continually learning. Being curious. Trying things you’ve never tried before. Take risks.
What is the most important thing about building a good team?
Building their trust. Helping them work together. Caring about them as individuals.
What motivates you daily?
I love this phase of my life. I get to do what I am passionate about.
What has your work experience taught you about life?
There will be bumps in the road but have an optimistic attitude and work through the tough spots. Resilience is key.
Why is it important to invest in women?
Because we are all unique and talented and we’re 50% of the population!
Why are you so passionate about diversity and inclusion?
I believe corporations are missing a huge chunk of talent because we don’t all feel valued and valuable.
How did you transition to JFH Insights after retirement?
I knew I wanted to help women succeed but I wasn’t sure how. JFH Insights has grown and evolved along the way.
What drove you to start your company?
My passion to help women succeed in corporate America.
What advice do you have about reinvention?
Embrace it. Follow your passion and feel your purpose.