Leadership Interview: Johanna Hoover
by Valerie Carrillo
Johanna Hoover of Scripps Networks Interactive shares some great leadership insights with WICT.
Name: Johanna Hoover
Where do you currently work? Scripps Networks Interactive
What is your current role? VP, Production Operations for Scripps Networks Productions
Where are you currently located? Knoxville, Tennessee
Share 3 personal facts so our readers get to know you.
I come from a very close-knit family with a twin sister and an older sister. And having been married for 20 years now, my combined families have gone on vacation every year. A lot of people find that interesting.
Faith is also very important to me.
I have driven a race car at 140 mph at Charlotte Motor Speedway. Yes, I’m a big NASCAR fan.
Do you have a favorite book on leadership?
Susan Packard’s “New Rules of the Game.” I have the utmost respect for Susan. To quote her: “Will beats skill.” It’s a reminder that maybe I don’t have the skill to do this, but I have the will to do it and that resonated with me.
Describe your journey to your current position.
Eighteen years ago, I started as a production assistant in Scripps productions, the most entry level role that someone can have. I was making a career change at the time and from day one, I knew that this was a company where I wanted to stay. Since then, I have had five roles within the organization.
I have been very fortunate to have great supervisors and bosses. And I was very proactive in developing myself and seeking out things that I wanted to learn.
In 2014, there were changes happening within the organization, the greater organization, and that is when I landed in my current role.
What would you say is your greatest achievement?
I view every day as an achievement. That may sound silly, but for me personally, I don’t ever say that I have arrived or this is my greatest achievement because I would like to think that my greatest achievement is yet to come. That’s what keeps me motivated and inspired.
What sort of leader would your team say you are?
Having just been accepted into the Betsy Magness Leadership program, I had to do a 360, so I know how my peers and colleagues feel about me. I got a lot of feedback that I am an example of shared responsibility and that I am side-by-side with my teammates. I lead, but I am a leader in the sense that we are in this together.
What is the most significant change that you have brought to an organization?
In 2014, we had structural changes and for me the significant change that I brought into the organization was an environment for openness. Openness on every level. Openness on having a voice. The biggest change was creating an environment of openness, communication and thinking outside of the box and saying what you feel and being able to receive back the feedback.
How do you encourage development of your employees?
As a team, we try to do organized team building, things to spark creativity and reignite passion. For me, I try to encourage my teammates to find their voice and speak up. Development can be as simple as learning a new task or staying inspired.
What is your definition of job success?
Happiness. I truly believe that job success is happiness. It’s not about job title.
Our theme this year is “know yourself.” In what ways do you find that “knowing yourself” has helped you in your career? How would you advise emerging leaders to incorporate these lessons into their approach?
Be who you are. Do not be ashamed of where you come from. Believe in yourself. Stay true to yourself. Don’t try to play a role. Be the best version of yourself and know where you are lacking. But do not be ashamed of what you’re lacking in. Own who you are.