This month, with our sixth in the series of Leader ToC™ Blog Posts for 2017, we are half way through the year and entering a time of celebration in Canada and the USA.  With Canada Day (July 1) and Independence Day (July 4) fast approaching, we thought to reach across the border and connect with the wonderful Jean Marie DiGiovanna.  I am indeed excited to have her join the conversation around leadership and character at Leader ToC™.

That being said, and before we head into that conversation, Leader ToC™ (Thoughts on Character) itself is our monthly series engaging leaders around the world on character, leadership and more.  Before we get started this month, here are:

… if you wish to catch up.  And, we encourage the reads.  This is Issue 12, with more to come.  We are thankful, and look forward to continuing the learning journey; and having you with us.  We hope you engage and enjoy.

INTRODUCING Jean Marie DiGiovanna

Jean Marie is certainly someone special.  I first met Jean Marie at the CAPS Convention 2016 in Edmonton and found her to be such a joyous and engaging spirit.  I simply had to ask her to contribute to Leader ToC™.  From her website, here is just a little of Jean Marie.

Jean Marie DiGiovanna, founder of Workshop University®, is a powerful Speaker, Trainer & Coach with a unique gift for helping people find their voice, speak their truth and get their unique message and services out to the world.

With 25 years of training, consulting and instructional design experience, Jean Marie has designed and facilitated new employee training programs and ongoing development courses in the areas of communication, leadership, productivity and team effectiveness for Fortune 500 companies to small startups. She has delivered hundreds of workshops and webinars on business and life strategies and has spoken nationally and internationally, helping thousands of entrepreneurs get their message and expertise out to the world.

Jean Marie was named a Top 10 Coach of Boston by Women’s Business Boston, and her articles have been widely published. She is co-author of Success is a State of Mind alongside Mark Victor Hansen, Les Brown and Deepak Chopra and author of Wake Up To Your Life: Powerful Monthly Workouts for the Mind, Heart & Soul (at

A resident of Boulder, Colorado, Jean Marie loves the outdoors, enjoys skiing fast, biking leisurely and dancing to live Latin music. One of Jean Marie’s core values is creativity so to help balance her love of training and development, she also enjoys painting and designing jewelry.  If you are curious and want to take a peek, you can find her art and jewelry designs at

“That which you set out, deliberately create and believe in will come to you.  With steady focus, a clear mind and an active spirit, anything is possible.”

~ Jean Marie DiGiovanna

And now, on to …

Engage the Leader ToC™



Hi Jean Marie.  Thank you so very much for agreeing to join the Leader ToC™.  I hoped to have you engage this conversation since we first met last December.  So, I am thrilled to have you weigh in.  I typically start with the question “Who are you and what is it you do?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

It is a pleasure Barry.  Actually, I am a professional speaker, coach and corporate trainer.  I help entrepreneurs package their expertise into experiential workshops, webinars and virtual programs and, in the corporate world, I deliver corporate training courses in the areas of communication, team effectiveness and productivity.



I am intrigued.  I knew a little.  Tell me and us more.  For whom do you do this work best? In other words, who is your best audience?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

My best audience for the workshops, webinars and virtual program work is service oriented entrepreneurs (Speakers, Coaches, Authors, Thought Leaders). I have delivered my corporate training for companies in high tech, bio-tech, insurance, retail and manufacturing.  It truly is industry agnostic as every leader and employee in a company can improve their soft-skills.


I love that; industry agnostic.  Brilliant.  Then, how do you best serve them in doing so? In other words, how do you offer your services?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

With entrepreneurs, speaking and referrals have been my main marketing tool. After someone hears me speak they may hire me 1-on-1, purchase my home study program or attend a webinar series or virtual training program.  In the corporate world, I deliver 1-2 day courses and I also facilitate off-site sessions…  and coach executives, leaders, managers and directors in the organization.


That makes a great deal of sense.  There is a natural synergy to it.  So, based on your work over the years… in these times, what are the challenges and opportunities of leadership… from your perspective and experience?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

I have found that the leaders who experience the most challenges are middle managers.  They not only need to manage their direct reports but also manage up and learn how to push back and request what they need.  Their challenge is finding the time to coach their staff so they think for themselves.  When leaders can coach more of their teams, they can then spend more time leading vs. doing the work.   The other challenge is time – finding the time to meet with their team, address the unique styles each team member requires to be led and dedicating time to support their team in what they need.  Often the tactical takes precedence over the strategic so the strategic activities never happen. The opportunities I see are great once leaders can learn how to effectively manage their time, push back gracefully and delegate and let go of control more.  Once they can do that they will have more opportunity to grow their staff and work on more of the strategic activities.


I could not agree more.  This is true in education, business and community leadership.  So, when considering the strengths of leadership as they might relate to character… what virtues do you consider to be paramount as strengths and why do you believe them vital?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

The critical strengths I see necessary are honesty, integrity, authenticity, openness and willingness to learn.  Honesty is critical to build trust with others.  Honesty is not only being truthful but doing what’s right. Integrity is also critical to build trust because it requires doing what you say you will and cleaning up if you don’t.  When both of those activities happen, trust is further developed. When people trust you as a leader they are more likely to follow you and be inspired to take action.  Authenticity is critical because people follow leaders who are real and show their humanity.  Leaders who are open to feedback and open to new ideas are able to expand their thinking more and leaders who are willing to learn will not only improve their own leadership skills but grow their staff beyond what they thought was possible.  We can only grow to the extent we are willing to change and stay open to that growth.


So true.  I love it; and that takes courage and commitment.  Given that, what is one piece of advice you might have for our readership on developing leadership and strength of character in these times?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

When you feel stuck, ask for help.  Don’t try to “go it alone”.  That is not a sign of a good leader.  It is a sign of a strong ego.  Seek out mentors who are beyond where you want to go so you can learn from them.  Always surround yourself with people who are stronger and more skilled than you.  Don’t be afraid to build a team that is even better than you.  Stay true to your values and push back when something doesn’t feel right.  If it doesn’t feel right, there is a reason. Your gut is trying to get your attention.  The more you listen to it, the happier you will be.


Now, there is some real and true wisdom.  I love the insights and focus of what you are doing Jean Marie.  With that in mind and given our time, I am sure others would like to connect.  So, how can someone connect with you for more information on your work?

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

They can go to, email me at or call me at 303-413-8001.  Would love to connect!


Well, once again Jean Marie, I deeply appreciate your time and wisdom.  I, for one, will be connecting with you on your work for sure.  That is all the time we have for now.  But I strongly I encourage anyone to connect with you Jean Marie.  Your friendly spirit of both service and excellence is remarkable. Thank you so much.  It has been a treat; so glad we had the chance.

Jean Marie DiGiovanna

I have enjoyed it and appreciate the opportunity.  Thank you Barry.


Leader ToC™ out…

Folks, check out Jean Marie on her website . I encourage you.  You will be glad you did.  And, yes, we continue on.  Continuing through 2017, around the third or final Friday of each month… we will engage and explore with experts and leaders around the globe.  We invite you to join us.

Until next month…

Peace, passion and prosperity.

Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™

Barry is ultimately a vocalist, strength coach and educator. His work is about exploring, identifying, practicing and mastering our strengths and building upon them through practical and powerful unity and resourcefulness. That is why Barry is The Unity Guy™. EPIC Engage™ is an extension of The Unity Guy™. The Epic work is all about building strong, united and inspired cultures lead by character… at school, work, business and community; where everyone matters and contributes everyday.


Here are some additional resources that may be of use and\or interest:

PPS (Other Resources)

  • Our work is all about character. We work hard and joyfully to help build character driven, united and resourceful organizations and communities around the globe. As part of that work, we offer you …
  • and our buffet of FREE services and resources here.