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Q&A - Joanne Juliff, Empower Wellbeing

We caught up with recent ION Leadership graduate Joanne Juliff, founder of Empower Wellbeing, to discuss her ION experience.

Jo took part in our Leading Growth programme in Neath Port Talbot and has spoken at various ION leadership events on our behalf, including our 10-year celebration Big ION Business Bash in 2020. Jo is also a regular attendee at our ION Open Doors virtual networking session.

What did you hope to achieve from joining the ION leadership programme?

I came on the course with my employer, almost as a ‘safety blanket’ for her, but also so we could use the course to help develop the business from a one-person business to grow and continue its success. Personally I had been out of the workforce for some time whilst raising my family and looked forward to using my brain again. But I had no idea what to expect – the world of business was a mystery to me.

Jo_3.JPGHow did you benefit personally from the programme?

From the very first day, I was encouraged to focus on my strengths rather than emphasise my weaknesses. I felt like a fish out of water amongst business owners – but learning from the outset that ‘People buy from people’ I recognised early on that I had skills which I hadn’t utilised for years which would work well in business. It wasn’t long before I realised that my natural strengths could be put to use in running my own business.

The assignments helped me to focus on the practical uses of business strategies, and I used my family ‘Juliff HQ’ as a case study. I realised that my skills from teaching and being a parent could be explored further as I had a real philosophy which was, and still is, my USP. After attending the course, I believed people would pay for it. The idea of Empower was established after an action learning presentation in September 2018 where I outlined to fellow delegates what I felt I could offer. Taking on board their feedback, the business started in November 2018.

How has the business benefited from the programme?

There is no doubt that without the ION course, Empower simply wouldn’t exist – can’t get a better endorsement than that!

Have you become a better leader?

Definitely. The work on DISC profiling was incredibly useful, again in picking up those attributes/skills that I wasn’t particularly aware of – but also in teaching me how best to deal with other people’s skills and personalities. I especially enjoyed the masterclass from Linda Campbell from British Gas discussing how to recognise and acknowledge other people’s strengths and work with them rather than against them.

Would you recommend the ION leadership programme?

100%. The way the modules are delivered requires you to constantly reflect on the actions we take as individuals, and what motivates our behaviour and I found that incredibly useful. I also felt very supported in the early days of establishing the business and felt I could call on the staff (and did, a lot) as sounding boards.

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