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7 Questions with Dr CJ Mitchell
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7 Questions with Dr CJ Mitchell
Name: Dr. CJ Mitchell
Current title: Senior Human Resources Manager
Current Organisation: Amazon
Dr. Mitchell is the former 15th Force Master Chief of the US Navy Reserve and experienced adjunct professor of Leadership and Management. He is a Senior Human Resources Manager for Amazon Fulfillment in the Birmingham, AL area and is a leadership development consultant. He previously was the Southeast Regional HR Director for Comcast Spotlight, the Advertising Sales Division for Comcast/NBCUniversal. CJ is a certified Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR) and has earned a PhD in Organizational Leadership from Northcentral University. His dissertation focused on developing transformational leadership behaviors. He currently lives in Irving, TX where he enjoys movies, cooking, sporting events, and travel.
1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?
Communication and change management continue to be a challenge for most large organizations. Extending vision and influencing culture throughout any large organization is significant undertaking that requires strategic and intentional communications over time to make a difference.
2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?
My story is simple: blessed to be the right person at the right time while rising through the ranks. I am dumb enough to need good advice and just smart of enough to take that good advice. I have worked hard with a combination of dedication and care for those around me. I responded to the call and here I am.
3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?
Too often from waking to sleeping is a full work day. For me, it is better to start at the end of a day where I prepare for the next day, I pull reports, files, correspondence and schedule for the day ahead so that when I wake, I am ready. Throughout the day, I try to stick to my routine and schedule which always includes time to pray, think and strategize. I always include quality time with family, take time to be healthy and make healthy decisions. I do break from computer or mobile to be healthy and be present. Rest is good for the body and the soul.
4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?
First hold yourself accountable to high standards before holding others accountable to any standard.
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?
There are many - so it is hard to pick one. And there are several that I go back to review. I always come back to Lincoln on leadership. This book shows me that leadership is intentional decision-making. People matter, they always have and they always will. And tough decisions, tough situations, require tough people that have a plan and thought process with people they trust.
6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?
First, slowly. Second, there must be instruction, teaching and guidance. Third, expectation setting should also occur and ideally there should be leaders that model the expected behaviors and qualities of leadership.
7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?
My most meaningful story revolves around transitioning from one organization to another. I really focused on being intentional on learning the culture, the people and the personalities of the new organization and learning the vocabulary. This took time and consideration in both 1:1 meetings and group settings to earn trust of my peers and organization. I find this meaningful because we do not talk about it enough. Managing change within oneself and understanding the environment before becoming a high functioning team member and team leader. This has forced me to exercise more self-awareness and situational awareness.