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In 2007, as the only woman in a male-dominated poker society, Jenny Just learned valuable lessons that have shaped her leadership as the CEO of Women Leading Ed. She credits poker for teaching her confidence, strategic thinking, and the ability to maintain composure under pressure. These skills have allowed her to coach numerous women leaders to advance to roles such as district and state superintendents. Despite facing challenges and stereotypes, Just believes that the lessons from poker have given her a unique advantage in her leadership roles.

Just emphasizes the importance of assessing risks and uncertainty before making decisions, a skill she learned from playing poker. Just like in poker, educational leaders must be able to make choices amidst uncertainty, weighing potential outcomes and managing risks. She stresses the importance of trusting one’s instincts, being flexible, and making confident decisions. Just believes that the ability to navigate uncertainty and make decisive choices is crucial for success in both poker and leadership.

Silence and observation are essential skills in both poker and education leadership. Just highlights the power of remaining silent, allowing others to reveal information and make decisions before reacting. She emphasizes that women in leadership should not underestimate themselves or feel powerless in a system that may be stacked against them. By setting specific goals, overcoming fears, and seeking targeted training, women can increase their chances of success and break through barriers in their careers.

Deep-rooted biases against women in leadership may still exist, but Just believes that women can refuse to be powerless and overcome these obstacles. By leveraging strategies and psychology learned from poker, women can level the playing field in leadership roles. Just encourages women to embrace their own power, tenacity, and collaboration abilities in order to succeed in a competitive environment. She believes that leadership, like poker, is not about chance but about skill and determination.

Just envisions a future where women in leadership will unite and cultivate the winning qualities learned from poker, creating their own luck and success. She believes that by empowering women in various sectors such as education, business, and change-making, a new generation of strong and confident female leaders can emerge. Just urges women to stop waiting for opportunities and to instead take charge of their own destinies, playing the strong hand they hold in leadership roles. Through partnerships and networking with organizations like Forbes Business Council, women in leadership can continue to grow and succeed.

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