Jodi Duncan, president of Flint Group, is a fearless leader who is passionate about effective communication, women in business, and being a lifelong student.
In a brief summary, what do you do?
I’m the President of Flint Group. I am responsible for 120 employees, the general management, and the financial and employee health of the business. I also work with clients on strategic planning – mainly focused on manufacturing and health care.
What’s your favorite part about what you do?
Throughout the past few years, my shift has changed to employees. I want to make sure that people love working at Flint, and that they have good career paths. That’s becoming my favorite part of the job. I also love the strategic side. I love everything about business.
How do you stay current?
I read a lot and do a lot of research online to stay on top of trends. We have to keep on top of the client side. I like learning new things and understanding things. Clients often say that we understand their company better than they do. Teaching a class at Concordia has forced me to be really on top of things I have been lax on. I also go to a lot of seminars and conferences. Mirren is an agency conference in Chicago or NY which is good for understanding what’s happening in the agency world. I highly recommend it. Data is the hard one to keep on top of. At Flint, we push education a lot.
What is the best career advice you have to offer?
One of the things I’m fixated on now is how women feel like they have to check all the boxes before they apply for a position. How they need to have every piece of the position. They feel they have to be 100% qualified to go for it. You don’t. You just have to believe in yourself to go for it. Maybe 60% is all you need. What’s the worst that can happen? You learn from it and move on.
Who is your hero and why?
My dad. Maybe it sounds sappy – my dad was a president of a business and I’ve tried to emulate some of the lessons that he taught us. I have four brothers. My dad was very much a chauvinist, but he was always 100% supportive of me. From a business perspective, he treated me the same as the boys – same expectations, same philosophies and I think that carried into my business life. I was never afraid to go head to head against the men. I was always participating in the conversation, and women are often afraid to speak up.
Do you have any go-to stress management practices/strategies?
I run every day at 5am with a friend of mine who is a first grade teacher. I think it’s the best way to handle anxiety: spending time with my friend. It’s like our therapy session. We talk about everything. Having an outlet like that is so important. I travel a lot, and that’s easy because i can do it anywhere. Outside, in every weather.
What do you do to boost your creativity?
I like to try new things. When we travel we try to see different things, visit places you wouldn’t normally go to. I read a lot. I’m not particularly creative, but at Flint, everyone else is.
Out best ideas come from those moments when we’re brainstorming… “What if we did this?”
How are you taking better care of yourself in 2018?
As I get older i’m paying a lot more attention to self care… things like regular doctor visits, exercise and diet. Sleep is a big thing but it’s so hard to come by.
Why is it important to be social media savvy?
The ability for us to be connected everywhere. It’s almost impossible to communicate avoiding social media. For women, because our schedules are crazy, it gives you an opportunity to be connected at weird times.
What do you like about the Fargo-Moorhead area? Why did you choose to stay here?
I’ve learned to appreciate it more as I get older. I love what’s going on now with the progressive things happening downtown. Businesses like Kilbourne Group and Emerging Prairie have changed the potential for this city. I’m particularly impressed with what Dayna Del Val and her Arts Partnership team are doing with the art scene in Fargo. It’s amazing.