The Courageous Podcast with Ryan Berman

The Courageous Podcast Episode #36: Sarah Jordan (CEO of Mastermind Toys)

Episode Summary

Imagine navigating the gauntlet of corporate life looking for that right opportunity to be a CEO. When you’re finally given your shot, you find yourself two months in on the job navigating your company through a pandemic. This is the “in progress’ story of Sarah Jordan who is the CEO of Mastermind Toys; Canada’s biggest specialty toy and children’s book retailer. On this episode of The Courageous Podcast, we discuss how Sarah quickly realized she wasn’t simply the CEO but needed to be the Chief Communications Officer, how she quickly scrapped her first 90 day plan and how she has been leading courageously with a team she has primarily never met in person. During a week where we’re proud to celebrate International Women’s Day we bring on a passionate and inspiring leader we can all learn a lot from.

Episode Notes

3:07 - What's special about Mastermind Toys

5:18 - Sarah shares background on her path to CEO

6:53 - First time CEO navigating the pandemic.

10:12 - Leading when you've only met your team in Zoom.

11:34 - Sarah felt she wasn't just the CEO but the Chief Communicator

13:59 - Sarah shares that she plays to her strengths

16:51 - Sarah shares if her ambition wavered when she became a parent.

18:22 - What International Women's Day Means to Sarah

19:32 - Sarah shares "The Power Gap"

20:18 - Navigating the choices/realities of retail in a pandemic

21:39 - Setting the expectation with her team

23:04 - A year of "Choose Your Adventure" for customer's of Mastermind toys

25:49 - Launching "Grandparents Day"

28:34 - 4 Pillars of Sarah's strategy

30:13 - Sarah shares her mantra, "Find More Ways To Say Yes"

33:38 - Sarah discusses pattern recognition and how to guide a team forward

34:53 - As the leader, you're the one who has to inspire your team -- and get to know your team

37:56 - Parents instilled a "can do" attitude in Sarah

38:08 - No concept growing up of the glass ceiling

40:51 - Sarah shares what you're looking for in a Board.

43:10 - The importance of making it safe to allow others to be themselves at work.

43:41 - Sarah shares that women often won't apply for a job without 100% of the qualifications.

46:38 - How do you know if you've stayed too long at a company?