Five Questions For: Melinda Richter, Global Head at JLabs

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counseled myself at 25 that there is no judgment on you for any of that and that you can do it. You’re powerful enough to do what you set your mind to. I would’ve been kinder to myself in that regard.

X: What’s your blind spot?

MR: My blind spot is probably taking the time to make sure that everybody is on board. I am optimistic and creative. I love coming up with solutions. I love mapping out a plan and getting all of the people on board that could be part of that plan, marching forward. And sometimes you need to just take a pause to think about all the extended community and make sure everybody is on board. I think I’ve gotten pretty good at that but it’s always a good reminder to constantly check in on that. I have a different risk profile than the average person so I have to recognize that.

X: Tell me about your early influences.

MR: I would say my early influences were my parents. We didn’t have much in the way of money or material goods, and I think they both had a grade 5 or 6-level education. They couldn’t tell me about the world I was walking into, but they did instill values in me that I think have been my passport through life. My dad was incredibly curious and adventurous. His super power was his passion to stand up for things that mattered. He and his parents were in Czechoslovakia at the beginning of World War II and they had to escape from Europe when Hitler was coming into their town. He always said to us, ‘I don’t blame Hitler for what happened. I blame everyone who stood around and watched, who didn’t stand up for those who couldn’t stand up for themselves. Your job in life is to be educated as to what’s going on in the world, stand up, and make a difference.’ That was a bedrock of our early childhood.

The news was always on. We were reading anything that we could at the library and debating it at the dinner table.

Mom was different—very logical, analytical, and detailed-oriented. Her super power was creative problem solving. She never became a victim of what we didn’t have. She would take … Next Page »

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