#16 Isabella Phoenix – Spotting butterflies

Isabella Phoenix – Spotting butterflies

Uploaded: 10.05.2021
Duration: 44:02

Today’s guest is Isabella Phoenix who describes herself as mother, wife, friend, activist, board member and Global Head of Channel Enablement & Sustainability at Hewlett-Packard. In our conversation we speak about her leadership experience in all of those aspects of her life. You’ll hear recommendations for young leaders called “Chessboard”, “Honest John” and “Snakes&Ladders”. I like how this are such exciting cliffhangers! Just like the title I gave this episode as Isabella mentioned that one of her strengths is to spot exactly the right people for a job, which she refers to as “catching butterflies”. Even though you’ll hear that the sound of our recording was sometimes not the best, bear with us as it was so exciting to speak with Isabella about leadership from her holistic perspective in the corporate but also NGO and arts world. If you like this episode, let us know via e-mail to katrin@destination-leadership.com or by subscribing to the podcast! Enjoy listening to our conversation!

We talk about: 

  • Isabella’s recommendations for young leaders such as working out what your vision is, your non-negotiables and your values
  • The 5 balls in life
  • Her lessons learned from one of her first management roles: how essential it is to know what’s important for your team members at that moment instead of expecting your team members to be like you. Understand how much they can and want to give. 
  • The importance of being mindful with a person in a call and really being present as a sign of respect instead of dual-tasking 
  • Chessboard: Seeing corporate life like a chess game – who are the influencers, how does it work? Work out your chessboard with the influencers!
  • Honest John: As you climb up the corporate ladder, the more important it is to have “honest Johns” around you who will honestly tell you what is going on 
  • Snakes & Ladders: Don’t take things personally when you go down a snake like in the British board game
  • Respect: Listening to the quiet ones in your team. They are often the brilliant ones whom Isabella likes to give a stronger voice
  • The HP sustainability programme Amplify Impact and how under Isabella’s lead, a multi-country & multi-functional team delivered it in 10 weeks on top of their normal jobs 
  • Isabella’s strength to spot the best people for a job or as she calls it – spotting butterflies
  • How the right network is so important for successful women who are mothers. And how it’s about quality time with your kids, not quantity! 
  • Navigating the different worlds such as the corporate, NGO and arts world 
  • Recommendations on what to look out for when you’re interested in getting started to volunteer/work for an NGO 
  • Architects of Air, an arts organization making lumniariums that are large-scale sculptures you can go inside and experience colour. We speak about how adapting her “business language” to the arts world added value and how working with her husband is like
  • The organization Inspired Women Lead and how building up a network is so important as you never know who can help whom one day!

More about Isabella…

HP Amplify Impact

Architects of Air

Inspired Women Lead