The Manifista Podcast with Portia Mount

Choices and tradeoffs in leadership with Jane Geraghty

May 21, 2021 Season 2 Episode 5
The Manifista Podcast with Portia Mount
Choices and tradeoffs in leadership with Jane Geraghty
Show Notes Transcript

If you are really going to be the best version of yourself, you have to be present” - Jane Geraghty

In this week’s episode host Portia Mount sits down with Jane Geraghty, group global CEO of branding powerhouse Landor & Fitch. They talk about the beginnings of her extraordinary career in advertising, dig into her philosophy on leadership and the choices and tradeoffs she's made to lead one of the world’s most renowned branding firms. And they explore the habits and routines she has adopted to help her manage her energy and her busy life not only as a CEO but as a mother. The future is female. Let’s get started. 

Have a question or comment? Email us at [email protected].

Resources Mentioned 

Landor & Fitch
A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving 




Transcript Jane Geraghty 

Portia Mount  0:40  

So Jane, I know our listeners want to know, how did she get to where she is? And you know, so my first question is, did you follow a specific career path? Did you just take opportunities along the way? What was that path to group global CEO?

Jane Geraghty  1:05  

I think really, the path was mostly the latter of your two options, I think that really what I did is follow the path of doing the things that I love. So I can't claim to have started out my career with any great career plan. I wasn't really at all sure what I wanted to do when I was at university. I studied politics, and became quite fascinated by the impact that advertising could have on people's perceptions, and ultimately, their behavior. So I got quite interested in advertising. So that really was my kind of my first love. I came out of university, I started in advertising in London, I loved the breadth, the pace, the creativity of it all. And I love the fact but ultimately, it got me to New York, where I spent a number of years in my 30s, one of the most incredible experiences of my life. So I think advertising was really my first love. And New York my second. And when I came back to the UK, in my sort of late 30s. Returning back to the UK, I was pregnant for the second time. And I had my first and so far my only career break. And during that time, I started considering what I wanted to do next, still driven by the notion of doing the things that I love. But I added a kind of new element, which was about working with people that I really enjoy and learn from. So they became the two criteria that I kind of had to meet something that I love with people that I find amazing and can learn from. And I think that's pretty much been the guiding principles about how I've made any career decisions really.

Portia Mount  3:19  

I think that's so interesting, because when my co-author Jennifer Martino, and I were interviewing women for Kick Some Glass, that was a pretty consistent thing that we heard from women leaders. I wanted to work with people that I liked and respected so I could learn from them. So I wanted to be able to enjoy coming to work and do things where I had an impact. And so I think it's remarkable, I am fascinated how consistent that is among really successful women. I just want to ask a kind of a follow up question because you said something I think was really interesting. You, did you take a break between having children? Did you stop working?

Jane Geraghty  4:04  

No, no, I mean, when I had my first child while we were living in New York, so I took American style maternity.

Portia Mount  4:13  

Which is basically no maternity leave! 

Jane Geraghty  4:15  

Which is really not a lot of maternity.  

Portia Mount  4:18  

It's nothing!

Jane Geraghty  4:21  

For a Brit, it was quite like oh my god seriously, 

Portia Mount 

Shock to the system.

Jane Geraghty

Absolutely, And then the break I had I became pregnant with my second child while I was out in the US. And obviously, you know, the lack of career planning. At that point, I was working for a local advertising agency. So there was no opportunity to simply transfer back to the UK. So I made the decision, you know, we’ll relocate, get back into the UK and I'll take a bit of time off to have my second child, so, so that's what I did. 

Portia Mount  5:12  

Okay, that's so that makes sense. And we could probably have a whole other conversation about how terrible family leave is in the United States, I hope it's going to get better because of progressive leaders like yourself, but it's pretty...

Jane Geraghty  5:28  

It has to get better. 

Portia Mount  5:29  

It has to get better, right? So I'm curious, I'm curious about your definition of success. And one, whether you had a definition earlier in your career, you talked about the criteria you were choosing to, you know, move from company to company, but I'm wondering if you had a definition of success, and how that's evolved for you as a leader?

Jane Geraghty  5:57  

Well, I mean, when I tell you what my definition of success was when I started, you will be delighted to hear that it has evolved. I mean, honestly, when I first started, I have to admit, my kind of definition of success was dreadfully superficial, you know, titles mattered to me greatly. Money mattered. I remember vividly the very first pair of designer shoes I ever bought. I couldn't walk in them. In fact, I don't think I ever wore them outside of the house. But that felt like such a great sense of achievement for me. It's dreadful, isn't it? 

Portia Mount  6:42  

It’s not that dreadful. I think that every young woman thinks about, like the time when they buy that first designer handbag, or that, you know, it is sort of a coming of age of like I can afford, I can afford this all by myself. So I actually don't, I don't think it's superficial at all, because it means I, you know, it's not a boyfriend giving me the money. It's not a husband, am I making this money myself and spending, you know, ungodly told amounts on a pair of shoes or a handbag.

Jane Geraghty  7:12  

Yeah, I mean, it was a symbol of independence. That is true. I mean, my mother never worked and wasn't allowed to work. So, you know, that's a whole other story. But I do think that sense of independence mattered greatly. So that is, you know, it is superficial, but it is also symbolic of a degree of independence. But sort of moving forward, I suppose. Once I got over the first pair of designer shoes, and I've now got a title with director in and all that stuff, then I think my definition changed quite significantly in terms of what constituted a successful week. And it was much more about doing really interesting things with interesting people, that at the weekend, I could talk about with people that I didn't work with. So it really started to become about doing interesting stuff. And then I think it evolved once more, once family came into play, because I think success then looks very different. And it becomes much more about feeling like you've made good choices about your priorities. And then in the choices that you've made, you've made a positive difference in the right areas of your life, either at home or at work, because it sort of moves into that phase where success is, is making a difference and being really present in the moments that matter. So it certainly evolved. And I think if I think about it now, my definition of success is still about making a difference. It's still about being present. But I think how I measure success now is much more really, about the achievements of other people, other people around me. My job, so much of my job is really about supporting others to achieve their goals, removing barriers for them, inspiring and giving confidence and really supporting other people to succeed. And so in a sense now, success, the way I measure it is really much more about other people than it is about me, so it's sort of almost gone full circle. I started off being me, me me. And now I think I measure it really quite differently.

Portia Mount  9:47  

Oh, I love that. And it's actually a perfect segway for you know, I'd love to maybe dig into that a little bit more around your leadership philosophy. You know, so empowering others doing work through others, helping others be successful. I'm hearing a bit of that. And there's so much discussion right now about how women are. And I don't know if this is true or not, but that women are uniquely suited to lead in this sort of quasi-post pandemic, it's because the pandemic is actually not over yet. Time. And I just, I wonder if you've thought about or have a, you know, a philosophy around your leadership style that's important to you that you're, you know, that you're trying to share with others in your tenure as global CEO?

Jane Geraghty  10:41  

I do think that empathy, openness, honesty, adaptability, I think they are the qualities, the leadership qualities that have really come to the fore, as a result of the pandemic. So I suppose those qualities, or many of them are more commonly associated with women, although in my experience, they're not exclusive to women. But I think that's why we are beginning to hear this theme about women being very well suited to leadership during this crisis. And I think they've all been, you know, I work hard to try and deliver on all of those. I mean, as we've navigated through the crisis, I've done my best to be very open with the whole team, about the things that we know. And importantly, the things that we don't. So I think I've communicated more in the last year than I probably had in the previous two put together. 

Portia Mount  11:45  

Oh, interesting. 

Jane Geraghty  11:46  

So I think being open and confident, even communicating what you don't know, has been an interesting development, I think, in the pandemic. And I do think that that, you know, I'm lucky because I've been surrounded by smarter people than me ever since I started in my career. So I've never been afraid of saying that I don't know things. But I think the need to be transparent and honest, has certainly been challenging for people that are more used to, you know, appearing to be totally in charge and on top of everything. I suppose for me, I've tried to keep us all focused on the things that matter throughout this, this phase, using our purpose as a guide for decisions for actions, because there's been no precedent. So at my company, we're all about making a positive difference for our clients, our people, the world around us. And I think the trick to sort of navigating through these very uncertain times, is really kind of staying true to that purpose as much as you can. Because you've got no precedent to inform the decisions that you make.

Portia Mount  13:10  

That is, I think that's so, that's so true. I mean, I wondered as a leader, because there hasn't been a precedent for what's happened, right? None of us could have ever predicted that a pandemic would happen, that would kill here in the United States, now, almost 600,000 people, that would shut down business. And I wonder, Jane, you're like, how did you personally as a leader process that because you talked about communication and communicating what you know, communicating what you don't know. But I'm curious, you know, because I think a lot of times, you know, associates and a company are wondering, like, what is, what are they thinking like, how are they managing? You know, you've got a board you have to answer to, you've got shareholders, you have to answer to, how did you process what was happening for yourself as a leader so that you could stand up in front of your people to say, here's what I know. Here's what I don't know. Here's the direction that we're headed. Rough seas ahead.

Jane Geraghty  14:19  

Well, I'd be lying if I said that there wasn't quite a lot of wine involved.

Portia Mount  14:25  

There has been lots of wine for all of us, believe me.

Jane Geraghty  14:30  

And I think I mean, I'm very, very lucky because I have some incredible support around me. I have an incredibly level headed smart, calm chief people officer, Caroline White. She and I spent many, many hours in the, you know, the first stages of the pandemic, trying to process what was happening, trying to work out, you know, what choice says what decisions we needed to make and what we needed to communicate. So I certainly had a lot of support from my own team. I'm, I'm very lucky in so far as you know, we're part of WPP, the WPP team, throughout this have been incredible, absolutely incredible really stepped up, really giving us you know, continuous guidance and support and information. And, you know, just sort of really helping us get through. So it's been a real team effort, I think, to kind of help get through it. So yes, I think just on a personal level, it was knowing that I had support around me, both with my own team and with WPP a little bit of wine. And by the time we got to the mid stages, you know, exercise. I know that sounds crazy, just getting outside, stepping away from the screen, giving myself time to process and try and make better decisions.

Portia Mount  16:12  

Yeah, thank you for sharing that too. Because I think it's really important. Our, you know, our listeners are super ambitious women, and I think it's important that they hear from women like you who say, look, I have other people I rely on, you know. I think sometimes we will often take the world on our shoulders and think that I've got to be, I personally have to be the one to figure everything out. And the reality is that's just not grounded in reality. And I also love what you say about getting outside and getting exercise, I used to kind of scoff at the term self care at the beginning. At the beginning, I would just cringe and I would just, I just hated the word at the top, at the beginning of the pandemic. And I think as the pandemic wore on, and the wine was not enough. There just wasn't enough.

Jane Geraghty  17:00  

Or it was too much. One or the other. 

Portia Mount  17:01  

Or it was too much, there wasn't enough wine to drown all, all the sorrows. And I realized I had to find some other coping mechanisms. And so I wonder if you could talk more about the exercise piece. You know, as a, you know, as a global CEO, I don't know how much sleep you do get. But I would love to just hear more about how you take care of yourself? And what did you also encourage your team to do as well to sort of be mentally and physically fit for this really turbulent time we're in?

Jane Geraghty  17:37  

Well, I mean, on the exercise front, I will pause on that for a second because I did a resilience test. In some leadership thing I did a number of years ago, I was in my 30s. And I did some weird psychometric tests, and it came out and they said, you know, you are incredibly mentally resilient, all is good. And then there was a pause. And there was that the fact that you don't look after yourself physically at all means that this resilience will erode over time. And I thought, what nonsense, I was not somebody that prioritized my own health at all, I'm in the reverse. You know, I was very kind of, you know, do it all intensely, living life to the full, all the stuff. And then, about six years ago, I was on a business trip in Istanbul. I won't bore you with the details, but the long of the short of it is I broke my leg very badly.

Portia Mount  18:42  

What, was wine involved Jane?

Jane Geraghty  18:45  

You know sadly, wine wasn't and I kind of wish it had been, because it might have broken the fall. Anyway, I find myself having a very, very bad leg break in Istanbul. And, you know, the silver lining is we now have a Lander & Fitch office in Istanbul as a result of my extended stay, but that I broke my leg badly and when I came back to the UK, and you know, I didn't prioritize the rehab. And I found that my mobility was quite, you know, becoming quite impacted. So a good friend of mine intervened and forced me to go to the gym, not something I had done in my adult life. So I went very reluctantly, but did think I had to address this injury, and it is an absolutely critical part of my resilience now mentally and physically. I'm a big fan. I mean, I'm not sitting here running marathons or anything but I am religiously prioritizing, you know, three times a week a significant amount of exercise and everybody should do it. And I know we all hear that. But as you say, until there was an intervention, I didn't prioritize it. Having prioritized it, I think it was one of the most important things that got me through the really dark months of this pandemic. I really do and sleep quite right. Never used to prioritize that. Again, you know, I am quite religious about making sure that I get a significant amount of sleep each night. And then I think the final piece that, again, has been a skill that I've learned over time. And I certainly learned it, you know, even more so in the last year, is saying no, and not over committing.

Portia Mount  20:57  

How do you do that? What's, what's what's your secret? Because I think for very ambitious women, again, I think our listeners would say, I want to say no, I don't feel like I can, because I feel like I have FOMO, I feel like I'm going to miss out on something.

Jane Geraghty  21:12  

All this stuff. I mean, I totally appreciate that. But I have worked out that, you know, to be 100% present, is really, when I kind of make the most positive difference. And I just think that you have to accept that it's not possible to do everything. So it just all comes down to making choices. You know, and if somebody is asking you to do something, because they think you're fabulous, and then you turn up and disappoint them, because you've over committed, and you're attempting to do that dreadful phrase and multitasking, which I don't believe anybody can actually do. But you find yourself diluted. It's just another thing to beat yourself up about at the end of the day. So I just think ultimately you just have to start saying, you know, no, thank you. Very flattered but no, thank you. I have to prioritize those things that matter most where I can be 100% present.

Portia Mount  22:20  

So I want to pull on two threads. The first is around presence, because you've mentioned it a few times now. And so when you talk about being 100% present, so one, if you could talk a little bit about what that means for you. And two, are there things that you do? I don't know, meditation, or things that help you be more present? I think one of the things I think about is, as a CEO, you probably have a lot of incoming. People calling you, emailing you asking you to be in meetings, strategy sessions, on and on and on. And so how can you be truly present? What does that look like for you? And what have you learned about some secrets to being present?

Jane Geraghty  23:12  

I'll tell you what it means to me first. I think being present is really about properly being in the moment. Really listening to another person really, you know, keeping very open to that moment, so that you can take everything in and process it in the moment and deliver, you know, whatever it is that you might need to deliver with clarity and focus in the moment. And I've sort of learned that that requires total concentration. And in order to properly concentrate on something, you can't have a kind of feeling of anxiety or guilt about other things, you have to just put that to one side and be in the present moment. So what that moment could be with your kids, it could be in the office, it could be with a colleague or a friend. But if you are really going to, you know, be the best version of yourself, you have to be present. So that's kind of what it means to me. It's hard to achieve. But I think it comes down to prioritization and life planning, as I call it. I mean, I will look at my month and think, right, what are those big, high value moments that only I can make, you know, a difference in and organize my choices around those. So certain moments that only I can make a difference because I am the mother to my two children or the wife to my husband, or the CEO of the company, what are the moments that really I must be at my absolute best. And everything else then has to be organized around those moments.

Portia Mount  25:21  

Oh, I loved that. I think that's such a great organizing principle and one that one that others can adapt as well. So I want to pull on the thread a little bit Jane around choices, and I think choices and trade offs. So you've talked about those things that only you can do, whether it's as mother, as wife, as CEO. So clearly, choices are being made there. And then trait and then trade off. So one of the things that Jennifer, my co author and I talked a lot about with the women we interviewed was, what kinds of choices and trade offs are you like, have you made in your career or continue to make so that you can continue to live according to your values, and I'm wondering if you can share a little bit more about how you think about choices and trade offs for yourself?

Jane Geraghty  26:31  

I mean, I think that just living life, it's ultimately about choices, right? Everything we do, it isn't limited. I don't think to women or to mothers, I think everything that ultimately we all do is about the choices that we make. I think the guide to how I go about making those choices, as I mentioned before, is about, you know, determining high value moments. And things that really matter. And I've certainly made some big choices. One of them was leaving the US. I loved everything about my life in New York, I loved the job I was doing, I loved the people that I was working with. I was pregnant with my second child. My husband was a corporate lawyer in New York. And I don't know how much you know about that world. But it's a hardcore world. 

Portia Mount  27:41  

It's a hardcore world.

Jane Geraghty  27:43  

A very hardcore world. And it was just becoming an untenable situation. I was just fearful for how our life would play out if we continued to operate in that manner. I mean, there were 72 hour meetings being held over a major, I mean, it's tough to build a strong family with that kind of intensity. So I was also finding that working and, you know, looking after my one kid, pregnant with my second kid, that family support system in a different country wasn't there. You know, my family was all based in the UK. And I really sort of had to consider what I really need? What am I, what do my children deserve? What does my husband need? So we made the call to come back to the UK. So from a professional standpoint, I was deeply saddened. But from a life standpoint, it was an incredibly good decision, as I look at my kids now very connected to their cousins, as I consider my own career progression, and having, you know, my family around me to help, you know, help with the kids, help with our lives really. It was an important choice, but a tough one. A tough, tough choice to make, but I think it's paid off.

Portia Mount  29:24  

I was going to say, but it's what I'm hearing is it sounds like as tough, as tough as that decision was, it was well worth worth it for the health, overall health of your family, and even maybe just the health of you as professionals just and I think anyone who's listening who's worked whether in consulting, or law or any kind of professional services, it's a 1,000% commitment right? it's a tough choice to walk away. But I also think our listeners will appreciate hearing how, how you talked about family support as well, I don't, I don't think we talk enough about what it takes to run to be in a in the role that you're in, or very successful women are enrolled, and we often don't see the infrastructure behind them.

Portia Mount  30:31  

I don't know that we talk enough about it so that when we get into these roles, it doesn't feel like you don't know what to expect. And I wonder, you've talked a little bit about going back to the UK, so you can be around family who can help. That is huge. I think we underestimate that until we have kids. But I wonder if you could talk more about what kind of infrastructure has helped you and your husband, you know, have the kind of careers you have, but also have really healthy well adjusted children?

Jane Geraghty  31:16  

Yeah, I mean, look, it does, I totally agree with you by the way, I don't think that we do talk enough about the importance of a kind of support system, whatever that support system may look like. But I think that we're so busy trying to portray that we can keep everything under control. And that we're you know, that we've somehow lost sight of the fact that really the most successful way to achieve, you know, a full and kind of balanced life, I suppose it takes a village, it really takes a village. So, you know, I'm lucky because I have a very supportive husband who's, you know, very proud of me. And, you know, that's wonderful. And we have a very open line of communication. We both have busy jobs. It is about life planning. We do talk a lot about what our upcoming priorities are. And we are like a team, we're like okay, so, you know, there are moments where I have missed parent's evening, but he's been there, you know, or I've done sports day, he can't be so so we do have a sort of partnership. And we do as I say we've got an incredible family around us. I've certainly got help around the house and help with childcare. And I have the most amazing PA, Joe, who I'm sure will listen to this. Joe, who has been with me on and off since I was 24.

Portia Mount  33:00  

Oh, wow. That's incredibly rare. But it's that's, that speaks to you as a leader. 

Jane Geraghty  33:06  

Well, we've been through it all.

Portia Mount  33:07  

And her as a professional.

Jane Geraghty  33:09  

We've literally gone through the ranks from you know, a 100 years ago, when I was a London new business director. We've done it all. She is incredible. And I think, I mean, we laugh, I don't think I could really define her job. I mean, there's certainly a lot of practical stuff to do with work, but she is as much kind of mental support as anything else. So for me, it really doesn't matter what the shape of it is. But I think that you have to accept that you need support, and you need to be very open about it. And you need to keep the lines of communication open. And you need to forgive yourself when occasionally the support system breaks down because nothing's perfect.

Portia Mount  33:58  

Nothing's, nothing's perfect. I was joking with somebody the other day that I pride myself on being organized. But there was a day where I took my kids to school on a day there was no school. And so I was sitting in the drop off line. And my son said, Mommy, I told you, there was no school and I thought, that's impossible. It's on my calendar. And I realized there was a date I had left off of my calendar, because I tried to sync those dates up with my work calendar. And so you're right, there are days that you just dropped the ball and you have to forgive yourself and move on.

Jane Geraghty  34:33  

You do. You do. I mean, I think one of the things that I'm happiest about now my kids are a tad bit older, you know, they are 14 and 17 now. They have become part of the support system too.

Portia Mount  34:37  

I'm looking forward to that!

Jane Geraghty  34:50  

I mean, for anybody who might be listening, who is struggling when they're very small and thinking that you're never going to get through it, you know you do and actually you find yourself coming out the other side with, in my case, two more helpers.

Portia Mount  35:06  

Well, we have lots of women with very young children. And so they're going to cling with hope to, to your words Jane, they're going to cling on to those words. 

JINGLE 

Portia Mount 

So I want to pivot a little bit and talk about just sort of what's happening for women in this pandemic. I know I don't need to tell you that women have been disproportionately impacted, record job losses, whether being downsized and or having to leave, being pushed out of the workforce because of school closures here. And I know the UK has also had some school closures as well. And I'm wondering if you have a perspective on what it will take for women to get back to work and fully participate in the economy? And I guess the second part of that that I'd love to hear about is sort of what is Landor & Fitch and or WPP doing in terms of thinking about accelerating women returning to the workforce? 

Jane Geraghty  36:15  

Well, look, I mean, it's incredibly depressing, and shocking how the pandemic has set us back. I mean, as you say, record job losses. I mean, you know, so many mothers are forced out of the workforce, you know, unable to balance the demands of remote working, homeschooling, not able to make, you know, the financial equation add up. I mean, it's incredibly depressing. And I think it's also really heightened the need for us to actually address the inequality in pay across many sectors. And I think we all have an obligation to do better, and we're doing a lot of work in that area at WPP. But on the more optimistic side of things, I'm really hoping that, you know, the pandemic has really been the catalyst for the biggest working from home experiment that the world has ever seen. Right.

Portia Mount  37:17  

I know. It's unbelievable.

Jane Geraghty  37:18  

Unbelievable. And we had a kinds of, you know, corporate trust issue, I think, across multiple businesses, about allowing people to work from home or giving them the flexibility to work from home, we have this kind of dreadful corporate culture of clocking in and clocking out and being visible, and you know, what times you call this and all that kind of stuff. But if there's anything good to have come out of the pandemic, you know, we have all had to trust our people, as quite frankly, we should have done before, but trust our people to get things done remotely, in their own time, in their own way. And I think, you know, certainly from my perspective, we have been richly rewarded, and people have been incredible, really taken, you know, great personal responsibility. So what I'm hoping is that for anybody who still had doubts, those doubts have been dispelled by what we've witnessed during this last year. So my hope is that, although it's been a terrible thing for women in this moment, as we start, you know, coming back into the workplace, probably embracing a much more hybrid way of working, that, you know, we can welcome more women back in to a more flexible way of doing things where, you know, you are more able to balance the needs of caregiving with work. So whilst it's had a terrible impact, the learnings from it all, I'm hoping will actually be the catalyst to bring more women back in more varied ways, more flexible ways. And if we all keep doing our bit on addressing, you know, the pay inequality, which certainly as I say we are committed to doing at WPP then brighter in the not too distant future.

Portia Mount  39:38  

I'm curious Jane, a lot of companies are coming out with official positions on hybrid remote, the financial institutions like Goldman Sachs have said no, we want everybody back in the office. Our culture relies on, you know, having everyone in the office, and then you're sort of seeing tech on the high, you know, on the far opposite end saying, we are shutting down office locations, we're going to be 100% remote, with the exception of you know, you know, XYZ cities are these, you know, these number of buildings. And there's everything in between. So I'm wondering if Landor and or WPP has a policy that you're working on? Or that you've rolled out? What's your, what's the, what's the feeling there?

Jane Geraghty  40:34  

I think the feeling is that, I mean, if we, we've all learned the hard and fast rules during this period of uncertainty. I mean, you know, it's all a little pointless. I think the other thing that we've learned at Landor & Fitch and across WPP is the need for creativity and ingenuity, and adaptability and recognition that things are, you know, perpetually changing. So I think kind of against that backdrop, what we are beginning to do is really rethink the role of workspace as an example, you know, work used to be a place that we went to, now, it is a thing that we do. So therefore, what is the role of collective workspaces? And, you know, I mean, we at Landor & Fitch we do a lot of work designing workspaces for our clients that are manifestations of their purpose, what is the role of the office now, in a world where we anticipate, our view is that it will be a mixed hybrid way of doing things for, you know, certainly the foreseeable future. So I suppose our position is we need to take this moment as another opportunity to be creative and innovate around how we do things. And just really be open minded about what works, what works for our clients, what works for our people. And what could work in what we anticipate to be quite a different looking future.

Portia Mount  42:25  

It seems like a very pragmatic approach, I've talked to a lot of colleagues, and it's hard for us to imagine being 100% remote. It seems like a hybrid model, particularly coming together around certain kinds of work. Like there's, there, I mean, as much as I have loved being remote, because I was commuting 500 miles a week, I miss being in the room with my colleagues around problem solving.

Jane Geraghty  42:57  

Absolutely. 

Portia Mount  42:57  

And brainstorming. And so I know when I talk with my own team, we say, listen, remote has worked for us on the whole, and there will be times that we will come together because we know we are better. We think better. We come up with better ideas when we're in the room together. And we can get more accomplished frankly, as opposed to, you know, a six hour Zoom meeting.

Jane Geraghty  43:22  

Completely. And that's really the trick isn't it?

Portia Mount  43:24  

Which is completely soul destroying. 

Jane Geraghty  43:28  

Tell me about it.

Portia Mount  43:30  

Like, there's just there's just no, I think there's no substitute for that part of it. But I'm heartened hearing leaders like you talk about that hybrid model, which I think is more or less here to stay. I think it's hard to say what the future holds, though, because we're not really out of this yet, are we?

Jane Geraghty  43:49  

Certainly not. But I do think that, you know, if ever, we needed to keep an open mind, I think it's now, and to your point. We've certainly managed well, as a business through this. I think my team has been amazing. But to your point, there's no doubt that there are certain things that are done better together. And so once again, it's gonna come down to you know, what are those moments that are high value together moments versus those moments that we can do just as easily from, you know, the attic room that I have spent my recent eternity in.

Portia Mount  44:32  

Oh, my goodness. Oh, well, I always like to, Jane I always like to sort of finish up with a few fun questions. We've covered a lot of territory today, which I am, I can't wait to share this with our listeners. But do you have a motto or favorite saying you live by?

Jane Geraghty  44:54  

I do. And I think if you asked anybody that worked with me, they'd probably be able to just spout it out. I think my saying is never confuse activity and achievement.

Portia Mount  45:08  

It's a good one. That's a good one. I love it. What advice would you give to 20 year old Jane?

Jane Geraghty  45:15  

Don't smoke.

Portia Mount  45:18  

Were you a smoker at one point?

Jane Geraghty  45:20  

I was and it was so hard to give it up. And I do just say I don't really believe in regrets. And I think you know, I made lots of mistakes, but I don't really regret any of them. Because you wouldn't be who you were if you hadn't lived the life that you'd lived. So that one, I wish I'd never done it. I wish I'd never picked up a cigarette.

Portia Mount  45:44  

Is there, is there a book that you find yourself recommending or gifting repeatedly?

Jane Geraghty  45:53  

Probably A Prayer for Owen Meany by John Irving. And don't ask me why it's just a book that really spoke to me. And I find myself you know, reasonably regularly purchasing a copy for a new friend.

Portia Mount  46:10  

We're going to link, so we're going to link to it too. So that and it'll probably sell another 200, 200,000 copies.

Jane Geraghty  46:18  

Oh good. Everybody should read that book. It's fascinating.

Portia Mount  46:22  

I've not read it so I'm going to add it to my list. I love these recommendations because you get books that you oftentimes would never think about reading. Is there a new habit or belief that you've adapted that's made a positive impact on your life?

Jane Geraghty  46:40  

I'll go back to exercise. Regular exercise. Never thought I would embrace exercise for no, you know, competitive reason. Have done. Last five years. Changed my life completely, changed my entire outlook. So exercise, who knew?

Portia Mount  46:59  

I love it. Are you a peloton, person? Or do you...

Jane Geraghty  47:02  

No, I have a very frightening personal trainer, my husband loves her. Think she's the only person in the whole time that he's known me and bear in mind we've been together about 22 years now. He says you are truly frightened of her. And I think maybe I probably am because otherwise there would be no other explanation for why I keep doing this.

Portia Mount  47:27  

So one tip is get yourself a frightening personal trainer. I was gonna say for some people, they need that sort of. I don't want to call it negative reinforcement, but you need it, you need somebody who will push you to your edge. And finally, final question, Jane, what's the best investment of $100 you've made recently?

Jane Geraghty  47:50  

A SodaStream. Bought one at the beginning of the lockdown. Because you know you couldn't get it was very tough getting groceries in the UK at the start. It was just impossible. And I do like you know, the odd bit of fizzy water. I swear to God though, best investment. SodaStream. You know, I think everybody needs bubbles in their life all the time. And sadly, if they can't always be champagne get a SodaStream.

Portia Mount  48:17  

That's right. We, they can't always be champagne can they? My husband has a SodaStream and he completely swears by it. And you know now that you mentioned that Jane, he bought it at the beginning of the pandemic and just as turned into this whole soda connoisseur, so and I think it's healthier too right, you can, it's less sugar and all of that. Jane Garrity, thank you so much today, it has been such a delight to talk to you. 

Jane Geraghty  48:46  

Pleasure. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Thank you so much for having me.