Today we’d like to introduce you to Jennifer Bardot.
Hi Jennifer, we’d love for you to start by intr
All about personal GRIT, giver, connector, mentor, volunteer, authentic problem solver, speaker, publisher author, and promoter of empowering people. Most of the choices that have taken me to the present where by taking risk and leaps of faith, growing, and accepting new challenges. I’ve always seen the importance of education as a first-generation college student on both sides of my family I decided to go down an unknown path in my family to ensure I could provide a better life for myself and graduated with my undergraduate and completed my two master’s degrees. I’ve always been passionate about helping people, which I do this as a Health & Benefits consultant and places I volunteer, and through the connections I make to try an bridge an add value. I am passionate about growing as a leader, while supporting others to develop as leaders. During the height of Covid, I started a women’s networking with Lorna Gibbar called Thought Partners and we have grown the group to support over 500+ women in our community. I have gathered over 125+ women to participate in my GRIT Books to intentional inspiring and empowering more in our community to speak up and share their story. I published Owning Your G.R.I.T. in 2021 that was an international bestseller in 8 countries that is available at Target and Walmart, and Barnes & Noble. My father always said be a dynamic person so this is how I show up daily Currently building a four part sequel to my original book called the Deconstructing GRIT Collection, GROWTH Launches Aug 2, 2022, and RESILIENCE Launches Jan 25, 2023.
Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not, what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
No, the road has not been smooth during the time of growing professionally, but as I reflect on my journey, I can appreciate the journey as I learned more about myself, my abilities, and my strength. I don’t think I have met a leader general who can describe their path as being easy. A leader designs their own path because we see things differently, but I can’t describe it as easy. It isn’t easy to forge a new path it takes dedication and determination it takes GRIT. I’ve constantly been pushing myself out of my comfort zone to develop and grow at a quicker pace to get to where I see myself in the future. I’ve had to work long hours, navigate hard conversations, and show up for others on their timelines to meet their needs. Many times, I have turned away from the grain because as a cycle breaker I could see room for improve instead of doing what had just been done in the past. Struggles are a part of life and make us stronger as we endure more obstacles. The key is not to lose yourself along this journey but to push through to the brighter days ahead. I wrote this quote in my first book, Owning Your G.R.I.T. “Reflection is a powerful tool. Through reflection, we can see how past struggles help us identify the strength it takes to get to the present.” I can see my struggles now in hindsight as a beneficial experience, but I’ll be the first to say was I was enduring these trenches and pitfalls in my journey; I didn’t wasn’t grateful for them happening during that time. The biggest challenge up until this point is when self-doubt creeps in and you start embodying imposter syndrome because that is when we have allowed weakness to feed our self-talk, which can fee enabling. When I get inspired an invite growth, I gain confidence, direction and the agility to tackle the next obstacle. Now I have the self-awareness with the weakness creeps in so I know when to shut the door and kick it out of my mind.
As you know, we’re big fans of WTW -Willis Towers Watson. For our readers who might not be as familiar, what can you tell them about the brand?
I work for an incredible organization, the 3rd largest insurance provider in the world, with tremendous innovative solutions to help employers and employees receive the best resources. We are a wise brand with a legacy of integrity and top-of-the-line offerings. I am proud to work for this organization and deliver such a high standard of services to my middle market health & Benefits clients in St. Louis Market. WTW is unlike any other insurance provider because they are the brains behind all benchmarking and scorecards we see in the insurance marketplace. They truly have the resources to engage with the employees to ensure that employers provide them with the right benefits through various employee listening strategies. I specialize as a Health & Benefits consultant but WTW has the capacity to handle risk insurance, retirement solutions, executive compensation strategies, metal health parody solutions and much more. In my role I visit with HR Directors, CFO’s, Owners, and Presidents to ensure they are delivering the best resources to retain their top talent and recruit top talent, and make sure there is alignment based on the benefits that their employees find interesting and enhance the employee experience. Our culture has a strong client focus, an emphasis on teamwork, unwavering integrity, and mutual respect which leads to may of the companies we support thinking of us as an extension of their team. As a constant with Health & Benefits I strive to not look like my competitors and do things differently. I lead from a point of view of always trying to find creative ways to add value which is very much a core value of WTW’s rich history. Founded in 1828, Willis had a huge marine account and was a broker for the ill-fated Titanic, settling the hull claim of $1 million within 30 days.
Where do you see things going in the next 5-10 years?
In the upcoming years, I see myself continuing to support and empower women and volunteering within the community. In my career at WTW (Willis Towers Watson) largest comprehensive insurance firm which I am proud to be a Health & Benefits consultant supporting middle market sized companies within the St. Louis, MO Community. I see myself continuing to build my business at WTW with Health & Benefit resources. I see myself being a resource to these owners and HR teams whom they can trust as I build my portfolio and brand myself as a Health & Benefits consultant who can be trusted. I see myself growing within WTW an coaching consultant on how to engage in the community and support them to rise in the Midwest region. I see myself continuing to support women through connections and a supportive community. I see continuing to build out the GRIT Collection with leading business coaches, educational summits, courses, cohorts of small groups building connections and confidence among those involved. I see myself continuing to show up as a mentor for small business owners, startups, and young professionals. I see myself infusing GRIT in all these spaces helping our community grow strength and improving their quality of life through Growth, Resilience, Intention, and Tenacity. I want to begin helping those interested in leadership development as more dynamic leaders. As I mentioned prior, I love supporting others. I think it is powerful to shine a light on all the leaders who have pushed through struggles and shine a light on them to allow them to see their strength, and it might inspire upcoming leaders around them that can relate to their journey to push forward to make a larger impact.
- Owning Your G.R.I.T. is sold on at Target, Walmart, Amazon, Barnes & Noble for $15.99
- Growth of the Deconstructing GRIT Collection will be sold at Amazon for $16.99
- LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jennifer-mcdonnell-bardot/
- Website: https://www.gritcollection.com
- Website: https://www.wtwco.com/en-IN/About-Us/our-history