Today we will discuss how to successfully transition between different verticals while continuing to move up the executive ladder. Jean Landsverk shares her best advice on writing for the job you want and planning out a future of pivots without getting dizzy!
ABOUT OUR GUEST
Jean is enjoying a remarkable career that began with a hospitality services company and transitioned industries multiple times while ascending to the C-suite. Jean graduated from Iowa State University and holds an MBA from the University of Denver. She started her career at Aramark having sold for their healthcare division, then Coca Cola, returned back to Aramark and after six years, left as the VP of Sales for the first of several industry pivots. As the VP of Sales for C2 Media, she cultivated her five accounts to 72 million dollars and then joined Western Union. While at First Data, Jean served as SVP and she joined Affiliated Computer Services for the Federal and State sector followed by healthcare-focused TriZetto Group. In 2016, Jean became the CRO of Connecture and at the time of this interview, she is the CRO for Zelis Payments.
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[1:52] Michael introduces Jean Landsverk and asks her to share an interesting tidbit about herself — She grew up on a farm!
FIRST POST-COLLEGE JOB [3:30] Jean graduated in December after the market crash of 1987 and took a job in an organization that would invest in her.
BECOMING A VP [7:10] Jean details her own journey to her first VP title and both the work and the luck that played a role in getting her there.
WAIT OR VOLUNTEER? [9:32] Jean speaks to the importance of participating on special projects and gives tips on who to seek out to find them — the busiest person!
LEAVING AN INDUSTRY [11:03] Jean explains why her division being sold at Aramark led to her looking for a new opportunity. She touches on how she went about finding this new opportunity and what her first steps in a brand new industry were like— from quick growth and acquisition at C2 to a well-established brand like Western Union.
SPEED BUMPS [18:09] Building a team, hiring the right people, and growing a business come with a set of learning experiences; Jean shares her journey at Western Union growing from 20 to over 100 million.
MENTORS AND SPONSORS [20:04] Jean speaks to the important role that great mentors played in her career path. She shares some of the great advice she’s received over the years.
SVP AND CRO PREP [21:43] Jean touches on how her previous experiences prepared for her coming roles and what about going higher up attracted her. She also shares the story of what happened when Western Union was acquired by First Data.
CHALLENGES AND PERKS [29:00] Jean touches on how leaving may have been her biggest challenge! She shares what experience from First Data she now shares as a mentor.
PIVOTAL MOMENTS [30:12] Jean shares a story on finding balance that was absolutely critical in her CRO career. She explains what her role was as a CRO and what all of those responsibilities entailed and who the people were that best guided her in her capacity as Chief Revenue Officer.
FINDING ASSETS [34:08] Looking for managers and VPs as a CRO is all about finding balance.
WRITING OUT YOUR GOALS [35:34] Jean explains how she planned out her path for the future after First Data, how she formatted her CV to fit the role she was looking for and where it took her — the pivots are almost dizzying!
FROM SVP TO CRO [39:12] Jean tells the story of how she grew her health company division for acquisition from 115 to over 350 million in five years, which prompted Connecture to headhunt her for their needs. She shares what questions she should have asked and what deeper studies you should do on a company before accepting a C-level role.
ADVICE FOR ACCEPTING A JOB [41:15] Jeane shares her tips on moving into a new company:
- Study the organization
- Understand trends
- Talk to some customers
- Interview more than two to three times
PRIDE AND CHANGES [42:23] TriZetto is a point of pride for Jean; she talks about what her most notable accomplishments were in that company. She shares the story of what happened to profoundly change her life both personally and professionally — get ready for the most unlikely bucket list item you’ve ever heard!
ASPIRING CRO [49:40] Jean breaks down the important to-dos for someone aiming at a CRO position.
BEST WORST JOB JEAN EVER HAD [50:58] Jean worked in a factory in high school and it inspired her to keep aiming for more. She shares her final thoughts.
[52:33] Michael thanks Jean for coming on the podcast to share his insight and closes out the podcast with his favorite takeaways.
We hope you learned something today and enjoyed the conversation. Please give us 5 stars on iTunes and share your comments so we can improve and ask the questions you want to hear.
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