Jillian Bichanich, Implicit Technologies
IB’s Professional of the Week is the premier way to meet Dane County’s professionals. This week features Jillian Bichanich, chief operating officer, Implicit Technologies.
What are the most challenging and rewarding aspects of your job and why?
I’ve loved helping develop young leaders for as long as I can remember. Early on when I joined the workforce, I remember feeling unsupported and thrown to the wolves to figure things out. I believe that mentality to be entirely old school at this point; so much can be gained by sharing knowledge and advice while remaining open to new theories of thoughts from the employee perspective. We shouldn’t fear servant leadership. The most rewarding part of my job is watching my peers, direct reports, and company win. When members of the team overcome challenges and find self-confidence in their skills, you can see and feel a really powerful shift in them. Helping them achieve success is my favorite aspect of being a leader.
While the most rewarding aspects of my job have remained the same for quite some time, the challenges prove to be a different story. As of late, we are not immune to the collective struggle of finding good talent. While our projects and perks help immensely, it is difficult to manage resources amongst more work than we have humans.
Who do you look up to or admire in business and why?
Though I’m entirely aware this is not what you were looking for, I look up to the historical and well-known leader, Cleopatra, both in business and in my personal life. Her status has remained legendary through hundreds of years as a woman who didn’t fear being seen. She was utterly brilliant, compelling, and socially aware. Her presence alone commanded respect and she fought tirelessly for her people. There are certain leaders that stick with me, and her energy and dedication to her role ensures she will always have a special place in my heart.
What has been the high point of your career so far?
The high point of my career thus far has been becoming such an expert in my field that I can hold c-suite roles in numerous companies, while also having more free time than I’ve ever had before. When you learn and implement the right methodology, systems, and processes, and concurrently spend time teaching and leading your team around you, the cliche saying of “working smarter not harder” truly applies and a beautiful work-life balance becomes the reality.
Thinking back on your career, what advice would you give your 21-year-old self?
Pay special attention to the things that set your soul on fire; your intuition is speaking loudly to you for a reason and every seemingly overwhelming dream you have will come true because you are so dedicated and resilient in making it happen. Everything you need is within you, and as long as you keep learning, you’ll find yourself exactly where you always wanted to be.
What would you say are the best things about living and working in Dane County?
I wholeheartedly love Madison and the Dane County area. After living in the Twin Cities, Silicon Valley, and Las Vegas, I promise you no other community holds such talent, as well as such good humans. I love our humanity in Dane County. I love that we put people first and we utilize our intelligence and Midwestern charm to genuinely impact the collective for the better. We have fun. We dream big. We make change.
Do you have any secret talents or abilities that people would be surprised to discover?
People would be surprised to learn that I work closely with many entrepreneurs on energy healing. I’m a reiki master, mindset coach, and law of attraction practitioner, and have certifications in numerous other healing modalities. People don’t often outwardly blend their spiritual and business worlds, but I’m so fulfilled by the transformation I see in others that I can’t imagine my life any other way.
What are your guilty pleasures?
I love to binge-watch old episodes of Survivor. I am convinced I’ll get on the show before I die, so if it happens, you saw it here first, folks. In the meantime, don’t mind me if I randomly decide to make fire on the sidewalk with some flint. It’s been known to happen.
Click here to sign up for the free IB Ezine — your twice-weekly resource for local business news, analysis, voices, and the names you need to know. If you are not already a subscriber to In Business magazine, be sure to sign up for our monthly print edition here.