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Leading in Times of Challenge with Joni Ernst

Joni Ernst Headshot

Joni Ernst is the first female from the state of Iowa and the first female combat veteran to serve in the United States Senate. She is a retired Lieutenant Colonel of the Iowa Army National Guard and a graduate of Iowa State University. 

Joni Ernst Leadership Tips

Joni served as a company commander for 150 Iowa Army National Guardsmen during Operation Iraqi Freedom I. In leading her unit, she faced challenges from not knowing where the unit would end up. As the leader, she says it was frustrating that she didn’t know the information that would put her soldiers at ease. In order to lead the unit through those times, Joni communicated with soldiers as soon as she got information and made sure they knew she was working through the same hardships that they were facing. Eventually, the unit’s assignment came through and found stability.

In order to recharge, Joni participates in a bipartisan bible study to focus on what brings people together, as well as spends time with family and friends. Living just five miles from the farm where she grew up also allows her to laugh and reflect on life with those close to her. She also draws strength from meeting with fellow Iowans across the state. 

For others in leadership roles, Joni suggests following these four pillars for success:

·       Assume Prudent Risk — weigh the pros and cons of a challenge/opportunity to determine if the risk is worth it and seize the opportunity

·       Inspire Through Leadership — inspire others toward a common goal for the good of the organization/community

·       Serve + Give Back — elevate your service to others

·       Show Gratitude — say thank you to those who have made a difference in your life


Listen to the entire podcast by clicking here.

The Leading in Times of Change podcast is brought to you by the Greater Des Moines Partnership and hosted by Mike Jefferson. The podcast features community leaders from across Greater Des Moines (DSM). To listen to more Partnership podcasts, click here

Leading in Times of Challenge

Leading in Times of Challenge is a podcast featuring Greater Des Moines (DSM) business and community leaders.