Janet Schijns: Exemplifying Visionary and Thoughtful Leadership

Janet Schijns, CEO, JS Group
Janet Schijns | CEO| JS Group

Impactful leadership is about creating a positive environment with a purpose that matters, a plan that delivers, and results that achieve your goal. Those who practice impactful leadership know that it is critical that the team embraces the problem or opportunity ahead, helps develop the solution and internalizes the approach to win. A CEO must be a leader who inspires, encourages, and drives the teams to results. In order to lead organizations to new levels of success, they need to be decisive and committed to challenging the status quo. They earn trust with their teams by actively listening and showing compassion. And they do it all with a sense of humor.

Janet Schijns is one such influential leader. As the CEO of the channel and go-to-market consultancy JS Group, she challenges her teams to bring their “A-game” to every engagement, demonstrating trust in their expertise and placing focus on their strengths. The result is a firm that’s innovative, results-oriented, and hugely influential. Janet’s motto? Play to win or don’t play at all.

Yearning to be an Entrepreneur

The journey to being a CEO has been a circular one for Janet. Over 20 years ago, when she saw most tech companies struggling to identify their real value propositions to end users, she launched her career as a tech consultant. In 2008, Motorola snapped her up as VP of Global Channels. She served at Verizon as Chief Channel Officer and Office Depot as EVP Chief

Services Officer, but throughout her career in corporate America, she always longed to get back to her entrepreneurial roots. In 2019, she came full circle and re-launched JS Group so she could apply the lessons she had learned leading some of the largest businesses in the world to grow her own firm while helping the technology industry achieve record growth.

Leveraging Strengths

As a female leader, your career is always managed on two planes: your actual role and how that role is perceived by others internally. Early on, Janet learned to leverage her strengths as a female leader like empathy and collaboration to outplay her competition. She used these strengths to encourage cooperation between teams when she saw them wasting time and month with internal competition. Infighting costs businesses billions of dollars and keeps them from being able to reach market leader status. Under Janet’s watch, teams learned to play together—and play to win.

Having a Proven Value

What advice does Janet have for aspiring leaders? Know your value—and charge for it. Don’t start with a vague plan of trying to be everything to anyone. That will only lead to slow and low results both in your consultations and in your fee structure. Being a specialist with a proven value will propel you to success. Take the time to map what it is you offer, how you charge for it and then put that offer out in the market – stand by it and you will win.

Creating Wins for Technology Companies

JS Group is known for its thought leadership, its deep channel expertise, and having an action-oriented approach that’s focused on driving both near- and long-term results. The firm specializes in creating impactful indirect go-to-market strategies for tech organizations. It creates strategic wins for technology companies through the development of modernized channel frameworks, digital sales and marketing programs, and advanced training. JS Group has built multiple 5-star award-winning channel programs for F100 technology firms that span the channel ecosystem, ranging from multinational enterprises to small and midsize organizations, including early-stage startups.

Embracing Digital Normal

Back in 2019, JS Group committed to a strategy of what Janet calls Digital Normal, changing its go-to-market, consulting focuses, and program delivery to be digital first. This turned out to be a prescient move that served the firm well when the pandemic hit as it was almost a full year ahead of the market in terms of its digital offerings, and it showed in JS Groups 2020 growth. Janet also invested in making sure its teams were safe; she canceled attendance at events and in-person meetings well before much of the industry admitted to itself that the risks were not worth the benefits.

Achieving Tangible Growth

JS Group provides go to market, channel, marketing and sales consultation and programs primarily in the technology industry. It has deep expertise in designing strategies and plans that work to achieve tangible growth. Because its team has a long legacy of success in the industry as well as the skills to ensure digital domination, it is the preferred choice for firms looking to achieve growth. Finally, in a world where almost every firm is using technology as their primary route to market, it has excelled in its ability to offer programs that deliver leads and sales in what is for many a new environment. As an example, JS Group has launched a social selling program in late 2019 that has delivered hundreds of millions in leads since launch. The bottom line? JS Group is real, it gets results, and it knows its stuff.

Being Charitable

Janet understands the importance of supporting those in the world who haven’t been as fortunate as she has. JS Group supports two charities that are critical to its communities. Project Self-Sufficiency works with single mothers and those at risk in the community to obtain the skills, support, food, and programs needed to break the cycles underpinning poverty. The Elle Foundation focuses on providing final wishes to children who are faced with a terminal diagnosis, providing a final moment of comfort for them and their loved ones together.