Welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview with Jodi Petersen, the innovative and passionate Founder and CEO of MentorStrat. Fueled by her mission to reimagine mentoring programs and support participants through every stage of their career journey, Jodi has built a company that offers a modern, dynamic approach to mentoring.
MentorStrat provides training and resources designed to help organizations build, scale, or revamp their mentoring programs, catering to a wide variety of mentoring tactics such as reverse mentoring, peer mentoring, and group mentoring.
Jodi’s vision for modern mentoring expands what’s possible by allowing mentors and mentees to connect in more meaningful ways, and her dedication to helping others is reflected in her philanthropic work in the mentoring community.
In this interview, Jodi shares her insights on the changing landscape of employee engagement, work-life balance, and the power of mentoring in retaining and developing talent. She also reveals her favorite book and how it has shaped her professional approach, as well as her plans for writing a book on modern mentoring in the future.
Join us as we delve into the mind of Jodi Petersen, a woman dedicated to fostering growth and development through innovative mentoring strategies, and explore the exciting world of MentorStrat!
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Table of Contents
We are thrilled to have you join us today, welcome to ValiantCEO Magazine’s exclusive interview! Let’s start off with a little introduction. Tell our readers a bit about yourself and your company.
Jodi Petersen: Hi, My name is Jodi Petersen and I’m the Founder and CEO of MentorStrat. We help organizations build, scale, or reimagine mentoring programs and we have the training to help participants succeed. Whether you are looking to strengthen and replicate your culture through a growth period or scale modern mentoring throughout your enterprise, we can help.
Modern mentoring uses different strategies to meet the needs of your employees at each stage of their career journey from hire-to-retire using traditional and non-traditional mentoring tactics such as reverse mentoring, peer mentoring, group mentoring, and more.
Our approaches allow mentors and mentees to connect in different ways, thus expanding what’s possible with professional mentoring programs.
Our online learning center contains courses, assessments, tools, and downloadable resources to guide mentors and mentees through the mentoring journey and our program manager library contains courses to help you learn how to create a mentoring strategy aligned to your top Talent and DEI objectives, design winning programs, and measure program effectiveness.
In the past year, what is the greatest business achievement you’d like to celebrate with your team? Please share the details of that success.
Jodi Petersen: In the past year we have created MentorStrat Academy, a learning platform for mentors, mentees, and mentoring program managers. With over 32 courses, it has the training participants need to learn mentoring core skills, but also tackles more advanced topics like
- Why Inclusion Means Getting Comfortable with Discomfort and
- How to Handle Negative Reactions to Feedback
We have also developed a Mentoring Program Manager Certification. This 6-month, hands-on program, teaches Mentoring Program Managers the 5 -steps to successfully creating and managing a program in their organization.
But the part I am most proud of is how we give back to the mentoring community through Encourage & Elevate mentoring group for program managers. In the group participants learn from us and from one another, build community, and get support.
Quiet quitting, The Great Resignation, are an ongoing trend causing many businesses to struggle keeping talent engaged and motivated. Most are leaving because of their boss or their company culture. 82% of people feel unheard, undervalued and misunderstood in the workplace. In your experience, what keeps employees happy? And how are adapting to the current shift we see?
Jodi Petersen: Personally, I don’t like the term Quiet Quitting.
It is a negative connotation implying that employees are doing something wrong. The bottom line is that in the United States, we have an unhealthy obsession with work. The “Going Above and Beyond” mentality only creates further racial, gender, and ethnic disparities in the workplace.
Companies with healthy cultures value encourage and promote work-life balance, helping employees prioritize their work, ensuring uninterrupted time off, and allowing opportunities for personal growth and development (which is one of the top reasons employees leave their companies).
Our whole company was built on helping organizations engage, retain, and develop employees with a personalized, cost-effective method of personal development: mentoring.
Here is a two fold question: What is the book that influenced you the most and how? Please share some life lessons you learned. Now what book have you gifted the most and why?
Jodi Petersen: The book I have gifted the most and has influenced my work the most is ‘Mentoring Programs that Work’ by Jenn Labin.
While we use a slightly different model for program development at MentorStrat, than is outlined in the booth, it does an excellent job of helping practitioners understand that successful mentoring programs are more than matching 2 people together and sending them out on their own with no guidance and support.
Christopher Hitchens, an American journalist, is quoted as saying that “everyone has a book in them” Have you written a book? If so, please share with us details about it. If you haven’t, what book would you like to write and how would you like it to benefit the readers?
Jodi Petersen: I am a voracious reader, usually reading 250-300 books a year. But, I read primarily non-fiction. It’s my escape and a way to spend time alone and center myself. I am about 25% finished with a fiction novel I am writing.
As far as professionally, I would like to write a book about modern mentoring and the shift from traditional (senior leader mentoring junior employee) to dynamic mentoring structures designed to meet employees where they are at on their development journey from hire-to-retire.
The book would follow our program manager certification course and would benefit current and aspiring mentoring program practitioners. If we are to reach our vision of making mentoring accessible for all, we need to mentor the next generation of practitioners.
In your experience, what tends to be the most underestimated part of running a company? Can you share an example?
Jodi Petersen: The biggest learning curve for me was to learn how to structure my time so that a significant part was focused on income-producing activities, and learning what those are. It’s a lot of trial and error to find out what works for your business.
Finding mentors to help me with the parts that weren’t natural for me has been business…and life changing.
On a lighter note, if you had the ability to pick any business superpower, what would it be and how would you put it into practice?
Jodi Petersen: If I had a business superpower, it would be the gift of sales through storytelling. Everyone’s time is short, so it’s a struggle to help decision-makers connect both intellectually and emotionally. With mentoring, it’s difficult.
Often times companies have programs that are doing fine but aren’t aware of the more recent strategies that could make a great program. I’m working on helping people understand why they need our services and also giving them confidence that it’s worth the investment.
Jed Morley, VIP Contributor to ValiantCEO and the host of this interview would like to thank Jodi Petersen for taking the time to do this interview and share her knowledge and experience with our readers.
If you would like to get in touch with Jodi Petersen or her company, you can do it through her – Linkedin Page
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