CCE Facilitator Interview: Jean Gasen
For the first of our new interview series, we sat down with Jean Gasen, PCC, PhD who teaches our Managing and Leading Change program. For more details about Jean or to register for her upcoming class, visit the CCE website.
Describe your own career path up to this point.
Like the proverbial cat, I have been very fortunate to have many professional working lives and opportunities. These included a wide range of experiences including receiving a PhD in Educational Psychology at University of Wisconsin and becoming Associate Director for Educational Research and Training at the Virginia Center on Aging at VCU, then earning a Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Information Systems, which transitioned me into becoming an Information Studies faculty member in the School of Business at VCU and the first director of the Information Studies Research Institute at the School of Business. This led to me doing a summer internship at Capital One in IT University and eventually to me becoming Dean of IT University at Capital One, which through consolidation led me to become director of all corporate wide training at Capital One University, including leadership development, competency development, and management training. I then earned a Graduate Certificate in Leadership Coaching from Georgetown, which pulled me back to VCU as the Director of the Center for Corporate Education, then Director for Leadership Development and Executive Coaching across all Executive Master’s Programs in the School of Business. Finally, I currently serve as President of JB Gasen and Associates, a firm that provides leadership development, facilitation and leadership coaching to a wide range of corporate, non-profit, and government clients.
Whew! So, what kind of path would this be if we tried to draw it? But I have loved every segment of it. I am certain I would have been bored staying in one role throughout my career and I am very grateful for all the opportunities that have come my way!
When did you first start partnering with the CCE?
I provided leadership training for CCE in 2008 – 2009 as I was also doing work overseeing the Information System’s Executive Master’s Program in the areas of leadership development and coaching. In 2011, I became the Director of CCE for 4 years, and then moved on to become the Director of Leadership Development and Coaching across all our academic Executive Master’s Programs.
What do you enjoy most about teaching/facilitating?
I love the art of facilitation, and am always looking for new and better ways to engage participants experientially in their learning. I love creating environments where participants can both be challenged and feel safe to learn new things. That is, I love creating an environment where participants can be on the edge of their comfort zone and yet have fun in challenging themselves to grow.
How do you contribute to “transformational change” in the workplace?
One leader at a time. Leaders need to be ready, but if they are ready, then they are willing and eager to do what is needed to enable successful change. Enabling them to see how their assumptions are holding themselves back is key, and how they can support the successful change through coaching others is also key for me.
Describe a “lightbulb” moment you’ve had on your personal career journey.
When I started in the Leadership Coaching Program at Georgetown, in that very first weekend of the program, I deeply knew that this was the culmination of all the work I had done up to that point – that this was truly the nexus of my sweet spot – where my passion for people, desire for their success, and opportunity to provide the tools and environment for their growth all came together. I knew it was where I wanted to work and I have never looked back. Leadership coaching is my passion and purpose, and enabling confidence and competence in others is where I love to spend my energies. I love working with high potential mid-career women who need that extra support to become extraordinary. I also love working with leaders who are in highly technical or analytical fields as I truly understand both the logical and emotional parts of their ways of being pretty well. I am so very fortunate to have had so many great clients, both in academia and in corporate, non-profit, and government settings.
My hero and leadership inspiration!