Vania Grandi is the master of career transitions, both deliberate and unintentional. She has transitioned from an NCAA athlete early in her career to a successful journalist with the Associated Press in Rome and providing coverage of the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City, and then onto a VP in the mining sector, and finally to the CEO of the Canadian Ski Federation! She definitely knows her ShiFt!
From my previous podcasts, you will know that a growth mindset is something I try to bring to every coaching engagement. It is a marker of success for many of the professional women I have interacted with, coached, and interviewed. Vania certainly exemplifies this in her approach. She speaks to self-awareness of strengths and potentially rate-limiting weaknesses and searching for opportunities that allow for personal growth. She sees failure as an opportunity to grow and not as something to be avoided at all costs. The ability to explore all sides of an issue and arrive at a logical conclusion is also important in a growth mindset, and something she claims to have taken away from her career in journalism. She is constantly learning and has a passion for new adventures!
Vania has intentionally sought out the sweet spot of shiFt in several of the intentional transitions she has undertaken. For her, it is the intersection of what she has a passion for, what she is good at, and what good she can bring to the organization. Her best example of this may surprise you – it certainly surprised her! She would have never imagined as a nature lover and sustainability expert that the ultimate sweet spot for her would lie in Rio Tinto, a mining company, where she took on several roles culminating in VP of Marketing and Sales!
She came full circle back to her love of skiing in assuming the position of CEO of the Canadian Ski Federation. What has helped her in her numerous transitions has been transfer of strengths across transitions, getting better at failing, and putting things into perspective. Transitions are hard and acknowledging that can make the journey smoother! She derives great joy in seeing others succeed and sees that as an important measure of the success of transitioning.
So, maintain a growth mindset and seek out opportunities that allow you to function in that sweet spot of transition. It might lead you to places you had never imagined!
Don’t miss the last episodes on the She Knowns ShiFt podcast: