MEET JANNA BROWN
New View with Janna Brown
TDR: What issues are you most passionate about in your community?
Janna: The issues I am most passionate about in my community are increasing the self-worth of our youth, especially young girls, and women. Everything stems from our self-worth. How we operate in life and business is impacted by what we believe about ourselves and what we have been through. Many times the biggest obstacle we have that keeps us from achieving our success are the lies we tell ourselves based on past hurt and disappointments. We believe the negative more than the positive of what others think and say about us and our future. If I can help someone realize their fullest potential and to discover who they truly are, who they were created to be, to understand and change their mindset, their belief about themselves, then I would have accomplished what God has created me to do and be. Nothing brings a smile to my face more than to see someone accomplish their goals when they didn't think they could because they were thinking and living beneath their fullest potential.
TDR: What are most of your philanthropy efforts typically directed towards serving?
Janna: Most of my philanthropy efforts are typically directed towards serving youth and women. I know firsthand the impact you can have on a youth when you take the time to pour into them. I have seen the lives of youth changed because they were involved in a positive outlet where their voice was heard. I love helping women see the best in themselves and accomplish their goals. I currently work with a non-profit organization that builds character through the performing art in youth and have been doing so for the past 10+ years. I get so much joy out of serving.
TDR: How do you define leadership?
Janna: Leadership is being able to place others before yourself for the greater good of the cause. It is also being able to inspire others to become passionate ambassadors about the cause and who they are serving because they know you genuinely care about them and their success. I always say that if you take care of your people, they will take care of you.
TDR: How would you define your leadership style?
Janna: I would describe my leadership style as servant because I am always looking for ways to uplift and grow my team. To pull out the best in them and provide opportunities that pulls on their passion and develops their interest. I always ask how we can make this a win-win situation. I also know that this helps to foster a healthy, productive and trusting environment and relationship because my team understands I am concerned about them. Therefore, they are passionate about executing the project and going above and beyond. In the process, I realized that this leadership style also helped to produce successors who can teach others and phenomenal individuals who move on to birth amazing businesses.
TDR: What would be the most painful lesson that you've learned in life that has helped you become who you are today?
Janna: The most painful lesson I have learned in life that has helped me become who I am today is to take responsibility for your actions even when you are afraid of failing. I have made mistakes and I had to learn how to own up to those mistakes and become more of a problem solver to rectify the mess I had made. This was challenging for me because I never wanted to let anyone down or feel as if I had failed them or wasted the company’s money. The first time it happened I was devastated and wrought because I didn't know what to do, however, after a few of those experiences, it caused me to become more of a problem-solver and to take more risks because I knew failure was a part of the process.
TDR: What would people be surprised to know that you had to overcome?
Janna: People would be surprised to know that I had to overcome, and at times still overcoming, low self-esteem, fear and self-worth. I am a natural born leader and have come to understand my gifting, however, people never knew the struggle of what I was going through while I was operating in my gifts because I seemed so confident even though I was uncertain.
TDR: Name 3 leaders that you look up to.
Janna: Three leaders I look up to are my uncle Maynard Jackson, my husband Darrell Brown and Theresa Spralling. I look up to my uncle Maynard because of all that he did for the community and to help shape Atlanta into what it is today. He faced difficulties and fear but he still continued to press forward. But what was even more remarkable to me was his passion for the people and their love and passion for him. They called him the peoples Mayor and he NEVER forgot a name. A remarkable legacy was left behind. I look up to my husband because of his dedication and fearlessness. He inspires me so much as an entrepreneur. He jumps out there to take risk, he is always expanding himself, creating new opportunities, implementing his multiple gifts, dedicated to his family and the community and he doesn't let fear of the unknown prevent him from exploring a path. He really helped to shape me into the person I am today. But don't tell him I told you that lol. I look up to Theresa Spralling because of the work she is accomplishing with women at AT&T. She has grown their women's organization tremendously and has such an open heart to help others and young adults. From the moment I met her I admired her work and what she has accomplished.
TDR: Name 3 of your favorite books.
Janna: Three of my favorite books are Who Moved My Cheese, The Art of Client Service and BOSS Women Pray.
TDR: What is your advice for emerging leaders?
Janna: My advice for emerging leaders is to find your leadership style and yourself because when you are genuine you will attract genuine people to work with and serve. Really cultivate a relationship with your team. Of course keep it professional but really get to know them and let them know you. When they see who you truly are they will be willing to go to battle with you.
TDR: Complete this sentence…5 years ago I was…
Janna: 5 years ago I was working at a marketing agency called GTM and I had just wrapped up working on the truth Campaign, a national and successful campaign, for 10 years. It was a weird place because I had to reposition and transition to a new space in my life and within the company. Saying goodbye to something you were committed to for so long was extremely difficult because I loved what I did. I also didn't realize how I had allowed that campaign to define who I was, therefore, when it ended I felt lost until I found a new purpose again.
TDR: Complete this sentence…5 years from now I hope to be…
Janna: 5 years from now I hope to be serving women and young girls in a way that truly impacts and transforms their lives. I hope to do this by traveling as a professional speaker, hosting conferences, producing workshops and various products for my business. I want to be able to make an impact on their self-worth, who they believe they are and help them to manifest the visions that God has given them to birth.
TDR: If you could describe yourself in one word, what would it be and why?
Janna: Passionate. Passionate because it encompasses a lot of who I am (love, joy, happiness), it shows commitment to getting the job done, it is contagious, it brings an internal fire that has to be quenched, and it is about serving others.
TDR: What are some of your current initiatives people can help you with?
Janna: The K.I.D.D.S. Dance Project - We build character through the performing arts in youth ages 4-17 and we are always looking for volunteers to help with marketing for our annual spring recital Resurrection. This is our 20th year of the production, and every year is free to the community. It is a dramatic dance interpretation of the crucifixion of Christ. You can go to www.kiddsdanceproject.com to find out more details or donate.
The other organization I work with is called the Show Me Shoes Foundation. They assist young girls who have experienced unexpected hardships. Their mission is to encourage and inspire young girls to become successful young women giving them the gift of opportunities, networking, and leadership by "Building confidence from the "SOLE". Each year they collect dresses and shoes to give away at the Prom Project event in Atlanta, Kansas and LA. To find out how to volunteer or to donate some items go to www.showmeshoes.org
Connect with Janna:
E-mail - firstname.lastname@example.org
Twitter, Instagram, and Periscope @jannabspeaks
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