Director of Operations & Business Management of J&G Associates
“Leading with Extensive Knowledge”
Jo Mosenson, Director of Operations & Business Management at J&G Associates, brings along a unique set of skills that she obtained through her tenure working with various for-profit and not-for-profit organizations in both the U.S. and Australia. She began her stint with J&G Associates, a comprehensive life insurance and estate planning firm, as a business consultant. After only 2.5 months she proved her knowledge and management ability was something unparalleled to what the firm had ever had before, and she was hired in her current role. Since her start with the company, she has taken the organization to new heights, especially in the technological and operational aspects. “Covid-19 completely flipped the way we did business like so many others. We went from a company where advisors were constantly traveling hours every day to meet face to face with clients, to a completely remote business model. I, therefore, made the decision to take on the challenging task of migrating our company to cloud based systems for ease of access for employees. This required extensive research, creating new procedures for how business would run while working from home, and then training staff on how to use the new technologies,” explains Jo. “It was not an easy feat. Some of the staff had used the same systems for almost 40 years, and typically, I would never initiate so much change in such a short amount of time, but it was a necessary transition that needed to happen. Covid-19 just sped up the process. Going completely remote is now the new way our company plans to stay.” The changes Jo implemented have proven to work, and allow the company to be even more efficient and successful, thus enabling them to serve clients even better than before.
It’s no secret that being a woman in business often has some challenges in comparison to male counterparts. Considering most of the companies Jo worked with were nonprofit organizations and the nature of that business tends to be female dominated, she probably did not experience as many barriers as many other women have in their careers. With that being said, all of those companies, despite having a majority of women staff, were all run by men. “While I didn’t experience it frequently, I have definitely experienced crude statements or have been held to different dress code standards. What I do get now, as a female leader in a male dominated industry, is when I meet people for the first time, let’s say at networking events, they will often say things like ‘go back and talk to the decision makers and let me know.’ It frustrates me that they automatically assume that I am not the one in charge. I do get a little chuckle when I see the expression on their faces when I reply bluntly ‘That’s me! I make the decisions.’” Armed with this unique ideology, she has been taking the company to new heights.
According to Jo, the most significant pain point right now is when doing business in the state of New York. They have put many limitations/regulations on how the industry does business and products that can be sold. From a tax mitigation standpoint, Jo and her team think outside the box to circumvent the laws to serve their clients better. For instance, J&G Associates' extensive knowledge on the matter allows them to work with clients and advise them to set up trusts in particular states; that way, they have access to products that are not typically available to NY residents.
Jo is of adventurous nature and is a creative thinker, which has helped her to lead her teams successfully. “I believe that to succeed above the rest, rather than focusing on why something won’t work, you should figure out the different ways on how it could work. Even if others think it’s unrealistic. It’s the ridiculously optimistic person in me,” she says. “With that being said, it’s important to have teammates that trust you enough to voice their opposing viewpoints that challenge your way of thinking and keep you grounded. I think that’s why J&G Associates works so well. We have different types of people with different personalities and always encourage open dialogue. Everyone, no matter what their role is in the company, from a first-day intern to the president, has the same right to their opinions and is encouraged to put their two cents into discussions.”
When asked what Jo’s secret weapon is for successful leadership she stated, “There is no secret. I lead with a human-centric structure, focusing on empathy and trust. A company is only as good as the people who work within it. If you don’t lead with your staff’s professional and personal happiness at the forefront, how can you expect them to give your company their best work.” She says that encouraging a work/life balance, taking lunch breaks, allotted vacation time, and especially mental health days when needed are all part of that structure. She emphasizes that gone are the days of killing yourself for a job. “I learned that the hard way”, she exclaimed. “Working in Australia showed me that a company can be just as successful without its employees working long nights and weekends despite having become such a normalized culture in America. It’s part of why my mantra is, ‘work smarter, not harder.’” IEWL
Director of Operations & Business Management of
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