1. What is your morning motivation to do great things?
Coffee. I love waking up really, really early and enjoying as much quiet time before the next person (usually small child) wakes up. I try to squeeze in a page in my journal. Some days I meditate and most days I exercise. Coffee.
2. What is one thing you do to work towards a work/life balance?
I’ve worked hard to have a position that allows flexibility. I give myself permission to “shut-off” work when I’m at home (sometimes).
3. Name one person who has inspired you in your career.
My mom. When my dad left her with three young daughters her reaction was to go to nursing school. After a couple of years she pivoted into medical sales and has had a very successful career (still going strong). She inspired me to change what I can when I can and be open to take advantage of opportunities to do what interests me.
4. Tell us about your business or profession and how you chose your path.
I studied art and engineering in college and waited tables for years. It wasn’t until I worked with engineers that I realized I needed to be on the strategic side of things using my drive, goal setting and ideas to solve business problems (much more like waitressing than engineering).
5. What is one technological device or app you use that you could not live without?
I started taking my physical health seriously about two years ago. I think I’ve been successful maintaining regular exercise because I track EVERYTHING using the Runkeeper app. Most of what I track isn’t running, but every time I see the 300+ activities I’ve tracked it motivates me to keeps me going and drive the tally up.
6. What is your greatest strength as a leader?
I’ve learned to communicate my crazy ideas and vision for the future to my colleagues, superiors and teams.
7. What has been your biggest failure and how have you overcome it?
A recent failure (not my biggest) was resigning from a volunteer position too late. I learned that I need to set my own boundaries and ensure that my commitments align with my personal and professional goals at the outset. As soon as they don’t align I need to act. It’s OK to walk away and it’s OK say no thanks.
8. What is success?
Success is setting meaningful, exciting, big goals and achieving them.
9. Name one person who is a successful leader.
Recently, I’ve been focused on self-discovery and evaluating my goals. I’ve found encouragement and reassurance in the blog posts from Penelope Trunk. I love her sometimes absurd insights.
10. What is the one thing you do over and over and recommend to others?
Set goals. I put them in writing. When I don’t have clear goals I’m unfocused and way less productive, energized and satisfied with the work I’m doing.
Julia Steele Rodriguez
Vice President Marketing and Operations at Advanced Sleep Medicine Services, Inc.