Emotional Intelligence – Yoga For The Mind

What Gets Me Up In The Morning

Anabel Image

Anabel Jensen Named Top 100 Women of Influence 2015 by Silicon Valley Business Journal

Anabel L. Jensen
President and Co-Founder
Six Seconds

Residence: San Mateo

Education: Ph.D., University of California, Berkeley

Anabel Jensen has multitasking down to a science. Although she was chosen as a Woman of Influence for her work at Six Seconds, Jensen also has been teaching full time for 20 years. She is a full professor in the School of Education and Leadership at the College at Notre de Namur University in Belmont, where she teaches in the credential program for graduate students.

It was nearly 18 years ago that Jensen co-founded Six Seconds, a nonprofit organization dedicated to teaching emotional intelligence. She has stated that her goal is to develop 1 billion emotional intelligence practitioners by 2039, which happens to be the year she turns 100.

The past 55 years of Jensen’s career have been devoted to the concept that everyone has the potential to think positively and be a change maker for the greater good. Her guiding hero down this path to optimism is self-help book author Dr. Martin Seligman, whom she credits as the biggest influence on her daily choices and actions.

Jensen has co-authored four books on teaching emotional intelligence, written numerous articles on the subject, and has trained more than 15,000 educators and leaders around the world.

Your age: 75

How long have you been at your current company? 18 years.

Job description: As president of Six Seconds I strive to model emotional intelligence in all my behaviors, decisions and interactions. I am a spokesperson for Six Seconds and am frequently asked to speak/present at business and educational conferences. As a full professor at NDNU, I teach in the credential program for graduate students. My goal here is to help teachers apply the concepts of emotional intelligence into their instructional toolboxes in order that the students in their future classrooms will thrive and flourish.

Company description: Six Seconds’ mission is to create positive change everywhere, all the time. Our company teaches social and emotional intelligence skills, provides resources, books and techniques, as well as assessment tools for businesses, schools and heath organizations in order to support change and change makers. We want companies, families and communities to flourish. My personal goal for the company is to develop one billion EQ practitioners by the time I am 100 — which is the year 2039. With this much optimism and empathy being practiced, the potential for positive change is unlimited.

Employees: Approximately 20.

The number of years you have been in your line of work: 55 years.

Career path: Teacher, administrator, founder, executive director, chief executive officer and president. Each of these titles requires servant leadership.

Current civic/community involvement: My family — my work is related almost entirely to civic and community involvement.

What was your first job? Sixth-grade teacher as an adult; babysitter as a teenager.

Growing up, you wanted to be: A change maker.

What motivates you to get out of bed in the morning? I am motivated to get out of bed by my noble goal, which is to use my voice (deliberately chosen to battle introversion) to balance accountability with compassion so that integrity floods the globe. When the velcro of sloth would keep me penned to the bed, I am reminded that only action makes it so. My noble goal is the fuel for my intrinsic motivation.

Biggest whoops: I was three-and-one-half years old. Grandma was baking a cake for my mother’s birthday on the 3rd of July. She had instructed my Uncle Lyle (six months older than I) and me to stay out of the house, but not to leave the yard on our stick horses. Yup, off we went without delay across the street to the high school playground, which was occupied with multiple teenagers. With no one to watch me, I walked behind an old-fashioned metal swing and was clobbered in the face. I was a bit of disaster: tongue nearly sliced off, broken cheek bones, and my nose was barely intact. For years afterwards, people would say, “What happened to you?” I wanted to permanently live with a brown paper bag over my head. However, I learned a significantly important lesson. The outside is merely the package. It is what is inside the package that counts. I have never forgotten that lesson.

The best advice you’ve ever received: I received two outstanding pieces of advice. One was from my mother, who said, “Work is the solution to every problem.” The second was from my father, who said, “Integrity is the cement on the road to success.”

Your best advice for others: I frequently tell people the following (based on mom and dad’s advice): Integrity, plus hard work, is the secret for creating change.

Something about you that would surprise others: I am an extreme introvert, who for multiple years has practiced the art of swirling the cloak of extroversion around myself when necessary.

Who is your hero/mentor? While I could name several, I think the hero who has had the biggest influence on my daily choice and actions would be Dr. Martin Seligman, guru on optimism. When going through a grueling divorce — extremely complicated because of my partner’s choice regarding drugs and a switch in sexual orientation, I discovered his body of work. I began practicing a very specific method for shifting a pessimistic outlook for a more optimistic one. The technique is simple: Be aware that adversity (which hits all of us every day) is temporary, isolated and that each of us has the ability to do something about it. I frequently describe myself as a recovering pessimist.

What has been your biggest challenge professionally? I think a major challenge in civic and community work is the art of negotiation and compromise. For example, it is easy to get people to decide that a fence needs to be constructed between two pieces of property. Then as soon as specifics are needed, such as the height, the color, the design — the disagreements begin. I want it eight feet tall. No, it should only be seven. I want white. No, I want red with white trim. I think the very best compromise is the skill to creatively solve the problem so that each participant receives even more than s/he had wanted when the project/discussion began.

You are a woman who has assumed a top leadership role. What needs to happen to get more women in corporate leadership roles? Based on research, many women make their contribution after the age of 50. I recommend that women polish their skills, decide on a purpose (noble goal) and be ready to assume a task or mount a project when the opportunity is forthcoming.

What is the biggest challenge facing women who want to take on leadership roles? I believe gender differences exist. Therefore, I recommend that women be aware of what they are — read such magazines as Scientific American Mind — and then intensify their strengths and compensate for their challenges.

How would you assess gender diversity in Silicon Valley? (1: Not a problem; 5: We still have a long way to go, baby) 4

Do you have a spouse or partner at home and if so, does your spouse or partner work? How do you handle household duties? Childcare? I have been single for approximately 26 years and reared a son who was 14 at the time of the divorce. As I have had two full-time jobs for approximately 20 years, this has been a challenge. My son is a thriving fashion designer and entrepreneur in L.A. One reason is that I committed that when he needed me, I would respond in some shape or form: call, text, email, etc. I wanted him to understand that he was my number one responsibility. Therefore, I was there to support, encourage and cheer. My most frequent question to him during the strife of “teenagedom” was, “Do you have a good reason for your choice?”

Your favorite gadget: My cell phone; not so unusual, but my whole life is there: contacts, calendar, to-do lists, etc.

What do you know how to make? Friends.

What keeps you up at night? I remind myself that only our egos are offended by the truth.

Where may we likely find you during your downtime? You will find me reading a book. Reading is a guilty pleasure, in which I indulge as often as possible. I consume several a week — everything from the application of neuroscience in the classroom or business meeting, to pop psychology to murder mysteries.

Your guilty pleasure: This would have to be some form of chocolate: candy, pie, muffin, cake, cookies, milk and even licorice covered in chocolate.

Reposted from:  Silicon Valley Business Journal: Apr 7, 2015; Cheryl Sarfaty, Contributor

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