Catherine Jelinek

Recent Posts

What Junto Really Is and Why I Love What I Do

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on April 26, 2016

All of us on the JuntoTeam regularly talk about how this isn’t a “job”. No two days are ever the same. We are surrounded by wise, seasoned Mentors and enthusiastic, change-making founders. And we are constantly learning and growing, right alongside the companies we serve.

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We Are Entrepreneurs, Not Victims

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on March 30, 2016

When Junto launched in 2013 there were no women in the cohort. With JuntoII in 2014, we had a few key leaders participate who were women. It wasn’t until KnowledgeHound joined JuntoIII in 2015 that we could celebrate the first woman CEO, Kristi Zuhlke, in our Apprenticeship program. This year, in JuntoIV, five of the eight companies have a CEO, co-founder or key leader who is a woman, three are led by female CEOs, and one has all-ladies leadership team.

Women entrepreneurs are rare. Why? Even more rare are women who are both entrepreneurs and mothers. Why again? How do they feel about playing in this “male dominated” business environment? The current sentiments out there about gender and business - is it different for entrepreneurs?

I care deeply about this topic, and decided to line up a series of one-on-ones with seven of the women founders and CEOs in Junto. I cannot fully express my gratitude to these kick-ass women nor convey all that I learned from the conversations. To summarize the experience, these interactions were very honest, very real, and the element that stood out the most was the unflinching optimism of each woman.

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JuntoIV: How Our Latest Cohort Is Different from Past Ones

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on February 24, 2016

JuntoIV began just over a month ago with Opening Night on January 20. It feels like we’ve known the new Apprentices for much longer, and yet a winter month in Chicago has never gone so fast.

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Announcing JuntoIV

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on January 20, 2016

We are thrilled to announce JuntoIV, the fourth cohort of companies to enroll in The Junto Institute.

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Junto2015: The Year in Pictures

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on December 15, 2015
Running Junto operations, someone from our team is always in the room for every session, usually sitting in the back or to the side. From this prime real estate, we were able to observe and experience the third Junto year in action, and what a year it has been.
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How to Make Better Decisions As Your Company Grows

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on December 15, 2015

At Junto, we believe an entrepreneur’s ability to make sound decisions is the most important measure of her/his leadership ability. Similar to emotional intelligence, strong decision-making cannot be taught, but it can be learned. Heightened emotional intelligence helps improve a leader’s focus and ability to reason, which leads to sounder decisions.

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JuntoDay: Growing a Business is Not Scaling a Business

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on November 4, 2015

Last week we held our first JuntoDay, a day-long learning event with sessions on sales, people, and scaling. Craig Vodnik, co-founder and COO of cleverbridge and a JuntoMentor, led the session on Scaling & Operations.

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How to Run Great Board Meetings (Part 3 of 3)

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on November 3, 2015

Two weeks ago we published Part 1 and last week we published Part 2 of our series, "How to Run Great Board Meeting." In this third and final part, we move on to the steps we follow the next business day after the meeting. 

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How to Run Great Board Meetings (Part 2 of 3)

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on October 27, 2015
Last week, we published Part 1 of “How to Run a Great Board Meeting”. It was focused on the steps we take a before conducting Mentor Team meetings for companies enrolled in The Junto Institute’s Apprenticeship program.

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How to Run Great Board Meetings (Part I of 3)

Posted by Catherine Jelinek on October 19, 2015

At the beginning of the JuntoApprenticeship every company is assigned five Mentors that serve on their Mentor Team. This group acts as a de facto advisory board during the nine-month program and meets with the company’s leadership team every month for two hours.

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