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7 Questions with Jessica Pantages
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7 Questions with Jessica Pantages
Name: Jessica Pantages
Current title: Chief Communications Officer
Current organisation: NSF International
Jessica has held two c-suite roles during her more than 20-year career and is an experienced independent board director. She currently serves as the Chief Communications Officer of the global public health and safety leader, NSF
International, and previously was Chief Marketing Officer at privately held Layton Construction and Lockheed Martin’s (NYSE: LMT) Information Systems and Global Solutions business. She has counseled numerous board of directors and c-suites across aerospace, agriculture, automotive, energy, financial services, pharmaceutical, technology and consumer industries.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
I think one of the biggest challenges for senior leadership teams today is making tough decisions that disappoint team members. With the rise of employee activism, I expect more teams will have to face the consequences of their decisions more than in the past.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
I idolized Jane Pauley growing up and wanted to be a reporter. After some experiences in journalism, I decided to help companies better define their story and educate the public. From there, I entered into the agency world and then ultimately into companies. I look for positions that will challenge me and organizations that value Communications.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
I live in Salt Lake, but work for a global organization with headquarters on the East Coast. So I wake around 4:45 AM to make sure I am catching my team in Europe and work a few hours. I take a break around 9 AM MT to go to the gym, then return to work more. Around 3 PM I typically take a few hours off and will either read or get my house in order. In the evening, I am often on calls again to catch APAC and my team there. I spend time with my family, usually watch some TV show on Hulu or Netflix and I try to get to sleep by 9 PM.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
Something I continue to work on is concentrating on the moment. With so many different things going on at work, I am often going from meeting to meeting and it's easy to be distracted thinking of other things. I try very hard to be present in the moment and focus on the item at hand.
5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?
I really enjoyed Rewire Your Brain. It's about calming your anxious mind and focusing more on positive impacts on your life. With so much negativity going on in the world, it's important to take care of your mental health and remember the positives.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
Learn to recognize potential within your organization and identify your team members talents. Everyone has a talent in some area and making sure they are in the right role and are provided stretch assignments is crucial for the enterprise overall.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
One of the most meaningful experiences I was able to lead was creating new values for an organization. We engaged our team members through a culture jam first to identify what we as an entire organization felt were the values, then worked them as a senior leadership team to narrow down to a few. Then we launched them to the company. The project provided team members with real meaningful values that they could easily relate to and identify with.