Mali Phonpadith interviews Julie Jakopic of iLead Strategies.

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In high school Julie Jakopic was an actor, president of the world affairs club, and a nationally ranked synchronized swimmer. She’s never fit neatly in anyone’s box. Not because she didn’t fit in one, but because she couldn’t or wouldn’t pick just one box. As a kid, that often meant she didn’t feel like she belonged anywhere. As an adult, that desired to explore more than one box, has been a gift. She has lead organizations in the nonprofit, public, and corporate sectors, dealing in everything from cosmetics to energy efficiency to human services. She gets to bring the best of one sector to bear in another, and she understands the crazy things that are pervasive across them all.

Over her career, she has been led by, and even been, the overwhelmed frantic executive; the controlling, people-pleasing, diva-martyr. It may get stuff done, but it is soul-killing for the team and the leader. For her, it created the need and the opportunity to look back at leadership journey that started at a swimming pool, often under water where no one can speak or hear you. Ultimately, she has learned that leadership is less about what you say and more about what you do. 

If you lead from a place of deep mission-driven commitment, a place of joy and service, not only will your life be happier but you will be more productive. This is the understanding that drives her to help leaders lead better – in their careers and in the rest of their lives, too. Julie created iLead Strategies to share that knowledge broadly, to help leaders create workplaces that work for their workers, deliver outstanding results for their customers, and make a real and positive impact in the world.

Twitter: @ileadstrat



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