Juli Geske-Peer is the founder and president of Peer Performance Solutions, a company focused on leveraging human potential for epic results. Her particular expertise is on facilitating exceptional leadership, clarity and communication skills. With a Master of Arts in Organizational Leadership and over 20 years of successful consulting and management experience, Juli works with companies ranging from local nonprofits to multinational organizations. She is also the author of the award-winning book 5 Senses for Success: Strategies to Thrive in Any Arena.
What were your initial years of growing up like? Tell us about your life before starting your corporate journey/venture/initiative.
Coming out of a somewhat dysfunctional family of origin, I think of myself as having a slow launch into adulthood. I quit high school during my first senior year, moved out, struggled. I went back to school to finish high school and later earned two degrees as an adult, working learner. I had to learn some lessons via the long, hard road, and because of that, I hope to share with others my lessons learned the hard way, hoping to shorten anyone else’s road to success, as defined by them.
Every industry that is now a large-scale, top-notch business once started as a small idea in the minds of entrepreneurs. What was that idea or motivation that made you start your business /initiative? What motivated you within to say YES, go for it!”
I love delighting clients and had done so through organizations for years prior, and I dreamed of starting my own business. I started my own gig on the side of full-time employment elsewhere initially. Then there was a period of time where personal and professional dynamics aligned to make it the right time to leap into my own business full-time. When I put in my notice, I was prepared with a list of reasons I wanted to be in my own business full-time, along with a list of quotes about making the leap and being brave, so that I wouldn’t be convinced to stay. I’m so grateful I made the leap!
Tell us something about your initiative or current role. What is it about, and what impact are you trying to make?
What I loved as a leader in organizations previously, and still love now as a consultant/coach/trainer, is helping others to grow, evolve and reach their goals. I value the milestone moments such as when someone has an “aha moment” when provided a new way to think about something, when they’ve practiced a different approach and gotten a far better result, or when they’ve earned a promotion. I am grateful to be a part of others’ journey in reaching the success they define and target. My particular love is about helping anyone to display leadership, whether or not they are directly managing others. It is my belief that through displaying leadership anywhere/everywhere, we are provided opportunities and success, while positively impacting those around us.
Your journey and your vision are very inspiring, but are there any achievements or accomplishments you would like to mention?
I was thrilled and grateful to recently publish my book, 5 Senses for Success: Strategies to Thrive in Any Arena, which became an International Book Awards award-winning book.
Would you like to share with our young budding women entrepreneurs the change you would like to see in the world if given an opportunity?
I’d love to see the entire world working from a Purposeful Leadership (TM) perspective, which I define as being leadership that is both intentional and aiming for positive impact. Each of us, no matter who we are, has an opportunity to impact those around us, whether few or many. If we work from a sense of purpose or values, believing that we are here to better, not worsen, our world, and become a leader influencing others, the benefits can spread like a ripple effect outward. If we all did this, what a wonderful place the world would be.
Women are a growing force in the workplaces worldwide, standing shoulder to shoulder with their male counterparts. There are cracks in glass ceilings everywhere, with many women breaking through to carve out a space right at the top of the pyramid. What are your thoughts about women leadership today?
Women are extremely talented and capable in leadership roles. However, we often have lacked socialization that built self-confidence in our leadership. While active learning and observing and being mentored can help us build leadership skills, nothing builds leadership confidence as well as practiced ACTION. If we find ourselves lacking confidence, we can take baby steps–make small actions–to practice leadership and gain confidence in our abilities. (e.g., share an idea when you would typically be silent, volunteer to lead a project or give a presentation, invite a colleague with whom you have a difficult relationship to lunch). There is no way to lose in this experimenting–we either learn from mistakes we make and adapt or we learn from the successes and continue to hone those practices! Over time, the more we practice, the more we gain confidence and proficiency, and the greater positive impact we can have.
What would you want to say to our young women leaders/audience reading this?
First: Understand your own values. What is critical to you that you need and what is it you won’t accept. Refuse to work with organizations or supervisors that don’t match your values.
Second: Be bold. Don’t wait for or aim for perfection; instead take imperfect action. Experiment like a scientist, trying different approaches. Learn what works, what doesn’t. Try again. Learn some more. The more you experiment early on, the more advanced you will become in your careers, while inspiring others to be bold along the way, as well.