Thoughtful leadership: tips from everywomanClub member Jen McAleer


Jen McAleer’s approach to leadership is strikingly thoughtful: the art of listening and learning from others is a mark of her stoic style. In an open interview, the Managing Director of creative agency StartJG, tells everywoman why she rejects the concept of work/life balance, the importance of integrity at work and how she keeps focused.

On rejecting work/life balance

Jen’s refreshing attitude to juggling work and home life is that it’s ok not to want it all after hearing the words: ‘You can have a work life balance which is all about work, if you love your work.’ Her coach’s advice made Jen realise she shouldn’t harbour guilt for dedicating her life to her passion – her business.

On influencing through listening

Experience nor dominance is everything when it comes to asserting your opinion. Jen says ‘influence is not about dictating’ and that the key to effective influencing is to listen and understand others.

On pitching as yourself

‘On occasion we’ve been more formal that we’re comfortable with’ says Jen, and this is never a productive place to be. Authentic pitches breed harmonious relationships in business, so Jen’s advice is to be yourself.

On focus

When a task requires relentless focus, Jen swears by the Pomodoro Technique – 25 minutes of attention, followed by a 5 minute break – she warns ‘there’s only so long that you can keep that up until you are exhausted’ but it helps to maintain her concentration.

Watch the highlights of our interview with Jen McAleer below:


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