From Ballerina to Startups: Juliette Dupré’s Unique Career Journey
This episode features an interview with Juliette Dupré VP of People & Culture at Simulmedia, who shares her unconventional career trajectory from ballerina to the startup world. The conversation delves into the challenges of working in HR and startups, finding a balance between perfection and the fast-paced startup environment, and the importance of embracing change. The host also explores the significance of coaching and feedback in developing exceptional leaders, debunking misconceptions about feedback, and emphasizing the need for personalized approaches. Juliet highlights the role of love, mentorship, and continuous learning in HR leadership, emphasizing the value of genuine feedback and understanding the psychological and biological aspects of it.
Here are a few of the topics we’ll discuss on this episode of Better People Podcast:
- The challenges of managing people in a startup, include being a player-coach and dealing with resource restrictions.
- The impact of constant change and turnover in startups and the importance of embracing change management.
- Helping team members achieve more than they anticipated.
- Coaching new leaders and managers in a rapidly changing environment.
- Emphasizing that leadership and management skills can be learned.
- Balancing a customized approach to coaching with the limitations of larger organizations.
- Military leadership style offers valuable lessons for the corporate world, including the importance of loving your team.
Connect with Juliette Dupré:
Connect with our host, Holly DePalma:
- 13:32 – I think what I learned with him and what I try and teach my team is that you are capable of a lot higher quality bar than maybe you realize even with the restrictions. But yes, perfection to your point is not necessarily the actual expectation or goal, it’s not really possible for any of us. But how close can you reasonably get, you know, and in service of the teams that we’re supporting and recognizing all the effort that they’re putting in and making sure that we’re really representing what they’re doing and being an example to others and so forth.
- 29:00 – Wanting them to succeed makes all the difference in the world. So again, huge fan of actual radical candor versus obnoxious aggression or some of these other categories that people love to use. I also think there’s a lot more to feedback than just that, you know, that concept. There’s, there’s a lot of other pieces of the puzzle that are worth, you know, helping managers to understand as a bigger part of all of it, such as the psychological and biological things that happen when someone feels threatened or someone’s in a feedback situation. And you know, the timing of that, what’s happening in the brain, what’s happening in the body, the hormones that are released, the time that that takes, what that can mean to people. How you, that might change your approach. There’s so much there that is worth learning
- 16:49 – But I’m a big believer in management as something you can learn and leadership is something you can learn. And I think, you know, there’s a lot of research out there to show that sure, anyone can have talents for anything naturally, but ultimately these are skills that can be taught and leaders are not born. That is one of the most, I think, harmful ideas and erroneous aphorisms of business. So with that in mind, it’s really a little bit of a custom approach once I get to know folks.
- 15:52 – “When someone like me is brought into a startup, it generally means they’ve reached another phase of their growth and development as a business. They’re looking to sort of professionalize a bit more. So there’s an element of change intervention going on anytime I enter a space. And usually the first thing that happens is, as will happen with, with many folks in such a position, you spend a lot of time talking to people and listening, a lot of listening and understanding where people are and what they’re going through and how things are going and trying to diagnose the barriers and the root cause of those barriers. So when I usually enter a space, as you know, a business is when I kind of start taking stock of where the various managers are and their journey of, of learning to, to better themselves and to get the most outta their people and to be good people as managers.”
- 11:28 – Holly: You go with the 85% is good enough, right? And so balance for me, tell me how you balance that pursuit of perfection, which has sort of been your mantra, I’m gonna call it your mantra with the kind of sort of environment that you’re in that doesn’t allow for, it doesn’t really allow for perfection in many ways because it moves so quickly.
Juliette – And that’s, you know, I’m just gonna stop and say that’s one of the things I love about this podcast after having listened to so many is that you, you have such a, a great innate or maybe learned, I’m not sure, ability to catch these things and like put two and two together and get to deeper layers of these things. It’s totally true.