2 min read

Leading and Listening

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Janeen Petrisko, Director of Instructional Services, joined Lincoln Learning Solutions as an English teacher 11 years ago. She moved through the ranks, training internal teachers and external clients. In her current role, she leads Lincoln’s team of online educators. Each day, her team supports students across the country and around the world, providing engaging online learning experiences.  

Janeen_Petrisko_5x7To Janeen, leadership is the willingness to learn from others and use that knowledge to grow every single day.

“By truly listening and recognizing the needs of your team, you will be more apt to genuinely appreciate the value of those around you, which lends to more collaborative, efficient, and productive partnerships,” Janeen said.  

Janeen takes an enormous amount of pride in the work of her team, especially when her managers work collaboratively to solve problems.

“I have worked with most of them for many years, and we have become like family,” she said.  “Knowing that I played a small role in the leaders they have become makes me excited to see what the future holds for each of them.” 

Janeen’s success as a leader undoubtedly comes from her commitment to connect with those she is leading as well as her peers. She said that being a teacher has helped her to anticipate the learning styles and needs of the individuals with which she works.

“Regarding management, I learned early on that you cannot be a good leader if you do not know who you are leading. I work with a large team of unique individuals,” she said. “This strategy [of making connections] not only yields better results, but you also have the bonus of getting to know some amazing human beings and what makes them tick.”

Janeen said she has been blessed to be surrounded by many strong women throughout her life, all of whom have contributed to her leadership style. 

“Whether it was the public figure who showed me that there are endless possibilities, the teacher who helped me learn the power of knowledge, the friend who encouraged me to always be myself, the cousin who made me believe I was brave, the grandmother who provided so many life lessons, or the mother who gave me strength when I felt as though I didn’t have any, all these women left an imprint in my heart and mind that made me the person I am today,” she said.

The values she learned from the women in her life gave Janeen the strength and courage to face leadership challenges head on. 

“There will always be people who believe that women are not as strong, smart, or savvy as their male counterparts. They feel women will not dedicate the time and effort into their careers because they have other priorities, such as home or family,” Janeen said. “To that I say, ‘So what?’”

“Yes, home and family are crucial in almost anyone’s life, female or male,” she added. “Being a leader does not require you to leave your values by the wayside. If anything, knowing exactly what is most important to you, whether it is family or health or faith, is what drives you to be a great leader.” 

As younger generations of female leaders grow into their roles, Janeen wants them to understand that, to be successful, they need to stay true to their core values.

“Being bold, decisive, and competent does not mean you have to abandon compassion, creativity, and personal ideals. These characteristics are at the core of how successful female leaders deliver distinctive influence on those around them.”