Decide Like a Cheetah

Decide Like a Cheetah

To think or decide like a cheetah is not about, as one might assume, speed but to be able to decelerate quickly. The term ‘cheetah pause’ was coined by Cheryl Strauss Einhorn. Therefore, the idea behind learning to decide like a cheetah is about being able to change direction quickly and staying agile, all while keeping an eye firmly on the end goal. I thank Ioana Jago for highlighting this concept to me because of her article last year that referred to this term. 

Two days ago, I ran a Thrive meetup for career women in which I had the honour of interviewing and chatting with Ioana Jago about her career, direction and the ups and downs along the way. 

Running Thrive meetups has provided me with a wonderful and vast opportunity to meet talented, intelligent and ambitious women from all over the world. When you take the time to discover an individual’s life story and career journey, you often find a sense of serendipity, and strangely enough, a universality of emotion and thought behind shared and individual human experiences.

Who is Ioana Jago?

Ioana Jago

Hailing from Transylvania (Romania) and now based in the Cotswolds (England), Ioana is a B2B growth marketing specialist who has enjoyed an international career. Starting in Tokyo and then continuing in Bucharest, London and then Frankfurt, she has immersed herself in her career and sought to continually find meaning, purpose and direction in all that she undertakes.

Things took a completely new turn in 2019 when Ioana made the bold decision to leave corporate life and launch IVENTUM,  a growth marketing consultancy working with professionals, entrepreneurs and world-class thinkers globally.  

Who attended the meetup?
Typically, I run the online meetups either late morning or mid afternoon Canberra time on a Saturday. Given that guests can log in from anywhere, the timing typically brings in guests from countries such as Australia, New Zealand, United States, United Kingdom, Singapore and Malaysia. This time, with Ioana coming on at 7AM London time, we ran our meetup at 6PM Canberra. 

This timing change and the guest speaker brought in more guests from Europe and the UK, which was lovely. For example, Charlotte-Annabel Jago from Basel, Magda Paslaru from Bucharest,  Ioana Iordache from Berlin, Joanna Ash from Singapore, Usha Devi and Shivani Reddy Nigudagi from Kuala Lumpur and Kiran Bhullar from Melbourne.

What remains fascinating about these closed-door meetups is the ability to hear first-hand about an individual’s career journey. We get a peek not just at the outward and obvious career highlights and major decisions but the thought process and the emotional roller coaster that accompanies the journey.  We hear about highs and lows, doubts and fears and how individuals connect the dots and make sense not just in the moment but later, on reflection. 

These journeys are important to share, to discuss and to amplify. In my case, I choose to focus on women because (for various reasons) we tend not to share this so publicly or consistently . Whether married or single, raising a family or not, we as women need to own our journey and put words out there to both articulate and mark our journey. This is an exercise that has utility in and of itself (as writers often discover) but also, may serve to support, guide or reassure other women on their paths.

Highlights from the session
Here are three highlights worth sharing:

First, “This is the year that…. “ can be a powerful way of framing our goals and vision for the year. We decide our direction and our purpose. We articulate our hopes and dreams.

It’s exciting to think about the questions we can choose to ask and what answers these questions can lead to. Questions are powerful for helping us shape our reality.

Second,  Ioana talked a little about the process of finding her north star.  One of the things Ioana did was to walk and talk regularly.  During the pandemic, this may have been over the phone with colleagues, friends or mentors. The idea was to spend time disconnecting from the hustle and bustle of the day, from tasks and to give oneself space and time to think, to reevaluate, to be creative. 

It also involved asking herself and people she trusted lots of important questions. Questions like how should you grow your network, what do you do to improve your visibility, how do you figure out what you’re good at, what do you think people want from you that you can deliver and so on. These questions require space and time for reflection and the walks she took consistently helped her refine her vision and direction.

It’s exciting to think about the questions we can choose to ask and what answers these questions can lead to. Questions are powerful for helping us shape our reality.

Third, decide like a cheetah. Sometimes, it may seem that you need to move back quite significantly in order to move forward. Allow yourself the opportunity to consider this as a potential move and know that not all backward steps are necessarily bad for you.

Looking back on your career, do you recall making any decisions like a cheetah? I’d love to hear so please feel free to share with me in the comments.

Group photo of the recent meetup

Top L-R: Ioana Jago, Rowena Morais, Usha Devi
Middle L-R: Ioana Iordache, Kiran Bhullar, Shivani Reddy Nigudagi
Bottom L-R: Charlotte-Annabel Jago, Joanna Ash, Magda Paslaru

Additional resources

Thrive is a women-only private group founded by Rowena Morais. We empower career women by connecting those who are starting out professionally (and needing support) with the more established women (who can mentor and share ideas). Thrive focuses on helping women develop their profile, network and body of work. Thrive runs complimentary monthly meetups for career women.
#DigitalProfile #WomenThrive #CareerWomen #CareerJourney

One Reply to “Decide Like a Cheetah”

  1. […] Decide like a cheetah featuring Ioana Jago (based in the UK) […]

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