Jennifer Fisher is the vice president of e-commerce Americas and global digital brand commerce for the shoe brand Crocs. She’s also a brand new Women in Retail Leadership Circle member! We asked Jennifer some rapid-fire questions so you can get to know her better!
1. What’s the best book you’ve read recently?
I recently picked up a book called “200 Women,” mainly as a coffee table book, but I was hooked reading the stories of these women around the globe. They were all asked the same five questions, and it was so interesting to hear the stories from so many different angles.
2. What’s a tip you have for productively leading a team while working from home?
My No. 1 tip is to just be available. For anything — work questions, brainstorming, or for someone who just needs a little extra encouragement. COVID-19 has been so tough on all of us, and the best thing I can give my team is my time.
3. What’s a mistake you made early on in your career?
Letting negativity get the best of me was probably my biggest mistake. It cost me a job at one point. And while at the time I would have said it was a mistake, I look back on it now and realize it was a turning point for me and really shaped the leader I am today. I like to tell people that getting fired was my biggest accomplishment because it changed the course of my career.
4. What’s the toughest part of being in charge?
Having to have difficult conversations and making difficult decisions when it comes to people. That’s really the part that keeps me up at night.
5. What’s the best way you motivate team members?
Lead by example, don’t be afraid to get in the trenches and do the work alongside your team.
6. What woman inspires you right now and why?
The mom — having to work from home and parent at the same time … it blows my mind. These moms are just crushing it during the pandemic!
7. Some experts feel that the COVID-19 pandemic may spark innovation across many industries. What’s something you’re looking forward to for the future of retail?
I can’t wait to see what creative solutions retailers and brands come up with for consumer experience. The pivot that so many retailers made to virtual, curbside and delivery will pave the way for the future of how people engage and shop. Selfishly, I also want to see more “on demand” beauty services. The ultimate dream is working from home while getting a mani/pedi and my hair done at the same time. That would be a total game changer. What would I do with all that extra time??
8. What’s one thing you look for when interviewing a potential job candidate?
The No. 1 thing is a growth mind-set. Ultimately that will determine if they will be successful, not their experience. If they’re not afraid to fail, are solution oriented, and have a desire to learn, they can do anything.
9. What’s something that you learned about yourself in 2020?
I couldn’t work from home 100 percent of the time. I would lose my mind.
10. What’s your favorite podcast?
I’ve been working with Ali Shapiro, who founded the “Truce with Food” program, and she does a podcast that I love to listen to. She’s an incredible health coach that really gets to the emotional part of unhealthy eating habits. I fought my body for years, and would be so hard on myself with expectations of diet and exercise. She really helped me to define my story and uncover the “why” behind the food choices we make. I went in thinking I had no willpower and that food had this power over me, when actually it wasn’t about the food at all. It’s really been a life-changing experience working with her.
11. After the pandemic, where is somewhere you’d love to travel to?
This is the hardest question I always encounter because I want to travel everywhere. I was supposed to go to Romania this past spring with some work friends, so I definitely want to get that back on the books. And to satisfy my outdoor adventure travel, I think Alaska or Argentina is next on the list.
12. What’s one habit you adopted while working from home that you’d like to keep with you as you return to the office?
Taking time for myself in the middle of the day. When meetings start as early as 6 a.m., sometimes you just have to squeeze in that run at 10 a.m. Before COVID-19, I would have felt guilty working out in the middle of the day like that, but now I just see it as taking care of myself.
13. How would you describe yourself in a single sentence?
I just need a single word: curious.
14. What’s your favorite app?
Well, it definitely has been DoorDash or Instacart during the pandemic. Outside of that, I could spend hours on Pinterest and Etsy.
15. What do you do to recharge?
I like to be outdoors — climbing a mountain or sitting back in an Adirondack chair. Or sleeping; I can never get enough of sleeping.
16. What’s your biggest accomplishment?
I feel my most accomplished when someone is seeking my advice or asking for my help. It shows that they trust you and respect you, and that’s the ultimate compliment.
17. What advice would you give to the next generation of women leaders?
Don’t be afraid to fail. And don’t be afraid to ask for what you want, whether it be more money, a better title, etc.
18. Who has left the most impact on your life?
I wouldn’t say it’s just one person — it would probably be the strong female role models that raised me: mom, memaw (grandmother), and Ambi (great-grandmother). I also really lucked out with an amazing stepmother and mother-in-law. And the female who inspires me the most is my little sister, Kristin.
19. How would you describe your leadership style?
I think one of the most important things you can do as a leader is to be vulnerable and let your team see that. Ultimately, I won’t be successful as a leader if my team doesn’t trust me, and I truly believe to gain trust you have to be vulnerable and open.