Dr. Jan Jones Leads with Empower
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Dr. Jan Jones Leads with Empower

Dr. Jones is the Coordinator and Lecturer for Hospitality and Tourism Management at the University of New Haven and a great friend of Empower Leadership. Jan brings a wealth of valuable leadership insight to our conversation; applicable to the hospitality and tourism industry and far beyond. Jan is extremely passionate about exploring and learning, health/wellness, and providing her students with valuable experiences that will impact them far beyond their time at the University of New Haven. Here are the notes and highlights from our conversation:

00:00 - Episode opening, Dr. Jones introduction, and challenges faced in the tourism and hospitality industry

  • Jan discusses the impact COVID-19 has had on the industry and shares strategies implemented to mitigate those challenges.
  • "Tourism is a system. When there is a piece of the system that is not working, it effects the whole system."

11:36 - Jan and I discuss the end of the 2019/2020 academic year, the leadership challenges faced, and the tactics implemented to overcome those challenges; highlighting the importance of being prepared for the unexpected and ready to adapt and adjust to those situations.

  • "We have a tendency to overwhelm people with new stuff. It is important that we focus on what we want the students to walk away with and focus on the very basic things we are comfortable doing to make that happen. Focus on a couple things, do them well, and then build upon that foundation."

25:11 - Dr. Jones shares insight into the first semester of the 2020/2021 academic year; focusing on the preparation by the faculty and staff as well as the students wellbeing.

  • "I went from showing up to class, turning on the computer, and immediately engaging with students. Now there is a big checklist to complete before we can do any of that."

33:28 - Jan shares thoughts on how her students have managed the impact COVID-19 has had on their education. Discussing noticeable changes in their behaviors between the Spring and Fall semesters.

  • Jan highlights the importance of focus on the wellbeing of her students as well as her own personal wellbeing - health always comes first!
  • Jan also shares the importance of adapting and overcoming - "After some of the early Zoom classes, I would turn off the computer and cry - saying this is not what I signed up for. I would feel sorry for myself for about a minute, and then would say, OK, how can I make this better?"

38:55 - Dr. Jones is a Blackbelt in Karate, Red Belt in Taekwondo, and has trained in Muay Thai Boxing!!! Jan discuss the role recreation and exercise have played in her life and also shares some health/wellness initiatives she has been a part of since the onset of the pandemic; including:

60:20 - We learn about Jan's collegiate and professional journey. Dr. Jones shares how a study abroad trip to Cuba changed her life!

69:55 - Episode Closure - Jan shares:

  • What she hopes her students take away from their experiences in 2020
  • Who her childhood inspirations were and why
  • Her music choice for her runs and workouts
  • What currently inspires and motivates her
  • Her thoughts on who she is as a leader

Musical Credit to Matt Jaskot ttps://soundcloud.com/matt-jaskot

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