Throughout her experience as an executive coach and working in business, Jeanette Winters has seen the value of employees willing to give their all every day.

“Your name doesn’t have to be on the side of the building for you to make a difference,” she said. “Just by doing your best, you can have a positive influence on your workplace and everyone around you every day. That’s an important message that a surprising number of people don’t understand.”

Winters, chief talent officer for Parrish Partners and an adjunct lecturer for the University of Houston-Victoria, will share that message in her presentation as part of the next virtual business event Bridge to Brilliance: Ownership Mentality from 4-5 p.m. Feb. 9 on Microsoft Teams. The event is free and open to the public.

“The Bridge to Brilliance program is a personal growth seminar series designed to support students and participants from the wider community to develop confidence and help them set priorities in their life and careers,” said Rosie McCusker, manager of student recruitment and community outreach for the UHV School of Business Administration. “We are excited to welcome Jeanette Winters to share her expertise in talent development to take the concepts from previous discussions to the next level of personal responsibility with the ‘Ownership Mentality’ seminar.”

The Bridge to Brilliance series was created by the Personal Growth and Mentorship subcommittee of the business school’s Dean’s Advisory Board. The purpose of the series is to connect the UHV and business communities and serve as a personal growth community for entrepreneurs, business students and marketers.

Winters is a human capital, change management and organizational development executive known for aligning people, strategy and opportunity. She works with people to capitalize on change opportunities for themselves and their organizations. She has led corporate human resources including talent management, diversity and inclusion, organizational development and enterprise learning functions at global Fortune 500 organizations, privately held companies and start-ups including Intel, American Express, Pitney Bowes, Amgen and Igloo Products Corp. She also has served as an interim human resources executive in several companies.

During her presentation, Winters plans to highlight the importance of doing work with purpose. Often, companies are staffed by incredible people, but because they don’t have an ownership mindset, they are not giving their all. However, if employees can be shown how taking that step to seriously invest their time and talent in their work will have a positive impact on both themselves and their company — maybe even leading to promotion in the future — they will be more likely to devote more time and talent to their jobs.

When she shares the importance of an ownership mentality, Winters remembers one specific instance that shows how failing to reach out and be accountable caused problems for both a company and its employees.

Earlier in her career, Winters was working for a plastics manufacturer in Texas. The company’s plant was open to the outside air and would get very hot during the summer, so the company invested hundreds of thousands of dollars to install large, industrial fans to help make the working environment more comfortable for employees.

A few months after the fans were put in place, the company was still getting complaints about the heat, so Winters went to the plant to talk with the site manager. When she got there, she discovered that the fans were not turned on, and the manager said they had never worked to begin with. After some investigating, a solution was found, and the fans were turned on, making the plant more comfortable for the employees.

“It was such a clear instance of how just taking a step forward and communicating could make everyone’s lives easier,” she said. “If the manager or anyone else at the plant had just made a phone call and said the fans weren’t working, this could have been addressed much earlier. Making the choice to be accountable could make a big difference.”

Far too many people treat their careers like a rental car, Winters said. Just as an individual can rent a car, drive it around and return it without having to really take care of it, people tend to see their careers as something temporary or not worth interest. But to be successful, people should see a career as something they treasure and want to maintain.

“It’s so important for people to realize that their careers are theirs, and they decide how they will move forward every day,” she said. “That’s why it’s important for individuals to find work that matters to them and gives them joy.”

For more information, contact McCusker at mccuskerr@uhv.edu. To register for the event, go to uhv.edu/bridge-brilliance.

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