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Ep. 15: JuE Wong, President at Elizabeth Arden

By Exact Media

We interviewed JuE Wong, President at Elizabeth Arden, in our latest podcast. Wong shared important tips on managing your team, handling personal tragedy, and insight into how she handled raising a family with a fast paced, international career. Here are our top four favorite highlights:   On good management advice When asking JuE Wong what advice she wished she received when she was a first time manager, Wong mentioned that the most important lesson she learned was to actively groom a #2 that can support and grow alongside her in an organization. She reinforces this lesson today be ensuring her 8 to 10 direct reports have a #2 that they feel confident can represent them in executive meetings, and can speak on behalf of that overall function. Wong also advocates for giving your team a lot of leeway to succeed or fail on their own, but in the case of bad outcomes, always ensuring that you’ve put in place a safety net so that the entire team can fall and bounce-back together. A memorable example for her was when she was a trader at Cargill, she had a $200MM position in the market that she was very enthusiastic about. However, she was in over her head with that choice, and eventually was in a spot where she was facing massive financial losses. But unbeknownst to her, her boss had taken an opposite position to limit the overall company losses. This ensured that she still had a chance to learn and figure out stuff herself, while still not having long-term negative effects on the company. On having an owner’s mindset Regardless of your role in a company, Wong advocates that you should always think in terms of a P&L. Even if you are in PR or are an Office Assistant, you should think through what costs are you incurring for the organization and what kind of ROI are you getting on those investments. You can use budgets and a P&L this to stay disciplined in your role and to prove your value to the organization. On setting targets Wong always had great respect for sales people in her organization, and ensured that she only set targets which she herself could meet. She was proud to hold the record at Strivectin for having the most sales per hour while working the sales floor with individual customers. On dealing with personal tragedy In 2009, Wong’s husband passed away a few weeks into her first stint as a CEO, leading Astral Brands in Atlanta, Georgia. She’s become very comfortable talking about this tragedy in her life as she feels like, by sharing the story, more people can benefit from learning how she handled the situation. She reminds us all that we have choices. It’s up to us on how we view and move forward from situations -- good or bad. This time in her life ended up being very pivotal for her career. She believed the lessons she learned about how to work better with people as a result of this tragedy accelerated her career trajectory as CEO of Strivectin, and President at Elizabeth Arden.

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