Jacquelyn Nicholson on finding opportunity in adversity, controlling your day, working through conflict, avoiding the urge to overshare, and the power of a good lunch (#53)

Jacquelyn Nicholson

Today, we’re talking with Jacquelyn Nicholson, a sales and leadership executive with some of the world’s top brands. 

In our conversation, we talk about finding opportunity in adversity, controlling your day, working through conflict, avoiding the urge to overshare, the power of a good lunch and so much more!

Contact Jacquelyn

LinkedIn: @jacquelyn-nicholson

About Jacquelyn

I want to start with my favorite part of Jacquelyn’s bio which really struck me and sums everything up about her so well and that is this. Jacquelyn is passionate about being the woman her husband would marry again, the mom her kids are proud of and the person her boss or customer would work with again.

Career-wise, Jacquelyn has had a three-decade career traveling the world to work with the best brands to grow businesses in new markets from scratch. With a career focused first in R&D, then consulting, and finally sales and leadership, her successful track record managing relationships with J&J, Roche, Novartis, United Airlines, Transamerica, Cisco, Bayer, Sanofi, Discover, Verizon, McDonald’s, Juniper, Zurich, and Takeda make her a versatile author, speaker and saleswoman.

She is Co-Author of Sales Success Stories Volume I, a prolific speaker at Sales Success Summit and on various podcasts like Sales Success Stories, Surf and Sales, Sales Evangelist, and Your Legacy. She has spoken at UC Berkeley’s Women in Science group, and was on panels for BioNetwork – Mastering the Science of Due Diligence, Elsevier – Takeda’s Acquisition of Nycomed, Capital Roundtable on Private Equity in Healthcare – Legal & Regulatory Issues & Due Diligence, and with GLG and Bloomberg on ROI of Innovation. She has won numerous President’s Clubs 1999 to Present, and the J&J Achievement Award for global performance above level.

She spends time serving at Watermark Church Dallas with her husband as leaders in the Marriage Ministry and their Community Group. An avid runner, yoga fan, and prolific wine collector, Jacquelyn is a trained sommelier who loves to cook and bake. 


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[03:53] Jacquelyn introduces herself
[05:46] Discussion on being a sommelier and tasting wines
[08:52] Facing adversity in the workplace
[09:12] Finding opportunity in adversity
[13:51] Jacquelyn discusses a time in her career when she faced adversity
[16:44] Choosing how to react to frustrating situations at work
[18:26] Working through conflict over a good lunch
[19:23] Exercises to help build up your resilience muscle
[23:04] How to be more thoughtful in your responses and reactions
[26:22] Using technology to open up space in your calendar for reflection
[29:42] Handling conflict while balancing assertiveness
[35:20] Jacquelyn shares the point in her life where she shifted her approach to conflict
[38:40] Helping your team handle adversity
[42:35] Facing adversity at work for women vs. men
[44:29] What would Dame Judi Dench do in this situation?
[45:43] The mentor who made an impact in Jacquelyn’s career
[51:21] The song Jacquelyn goes to when she needs a confidence or energy boost
[51:53] The one thing under $100 that has made a signficant difference to Jacquelyn
[53:01] The final piece of advice Jacquelyn leaves everyone with
[53:34] Where to find Jacquelyn


“…there is always opportunity in adversity…”

“When you find yourself in a situation that is adverse to you – it’s not good – It’s your choice how to see it. It’s your choice how to respond to it. You can either react and get upset or angry or emotional or what have you, or you can choose to look at the situation as something that it’s presented it to you and it can be an opportunity for growth.”

“One of the most important tools I’ve found, especially professionally, is kind of drawing that circle around myself. Like, what am I responsible for? Can I own my own crap, right? I’m contributing to this conflict. I’m not just, you know, it’s not just you. It’s some, it’s me too. So what am I doing that could be wrong?”

“So, you know, do, do people feel like you care about what they’re dealing with at work or at home, right? So sometimes the, the home life will just radically interfere with what’s going on in the business world. And so do you care? So being leading by example, and then I think it’s just, knowing what matters to each person, right?”

“…the best leaders that you and I have ever worked for, think about the qualities that they exhibit. That’s the other thing, right? I tell people all the time, this is a great tool. It’s like, would, would you invest in you? Would you want to be led by you? , would you want to be on your team? would you expect an investor to make an investment in you? Tough question. Sometimes it’s like, not today. Maybe not. We didn’t want to work for Jacquelyn from November 30th, but maybe tomorrow.”

“Too many women are too free to give details that don’t. Matter and that don’t make them look good and that ultimately don’t affect the outcome of what they’re doing, but will make them seem less than in the eyes of someone who’s not really great at being leader because there are people who just can’t handle those details. And so if you were Judi Dench, would you would M say this? No, she would not. Don’t say it.”





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