Today’s guest brings over 20 years of strategic leadership experience to companies focused on improving people’s lives. When this podcast was recorded he was the Chief Communications and Advocacy Officer at GLSEN, the nation's leading education organization focused on ensuring safe and affirming schools for all students. He recently founded JMart Strategies were he works with clients using his experience as a strategist, change agent, and turnaround specialist.

Prior to GLSEN, he was the Vice President of Strategic Communications at Sesame Workshop, was a Senior Consultant for Teach for America, and a Senior Program Officer for Policy and Advocacy at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

My guest also had the honor of working for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, first as the Communications Director for the Executive Office of Health and Human Services, and then as the Governor’s Press Secretary.

We connected because he and I were both accepted into LeadBoston, he is an alum from the class of 2004. LeadBoston is an 11-month experiential executive education program, that focuses on the inner workings of Boston and socially responsible leadership.

Please join me in welcoming Juan Martinez.

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In this episode we explore:

  • What leadership means to him – “…how you help an organization get better at its work, how you help people grow themselves as individuals, grow their skill set, giving them opportunities to really excel in ways perhaps they didn’t even think they could…”,
  • how he was influenced by his father who was an active leader in the Puerto Rican community in New York City when he was growing up,
  • how he handled being thrust into a leadership role in college whether he was ready for it or not,
  • how managing through the economic downturn while working for Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick was “…by far the most gratifying part of my career for sure, but also the most challenging.”,
  • how being aware of his own weaknesses helps him build a strong team.

Stay tuned until the end of the episode to hear what I thought were the key take-aways you could put into practice this week and benefit from for years to come.


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Podcast guest suggestions welcomed. Email me your ideas.