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Lessons Learned: Get Feedback (Jean Block)Lock Icon

2 min read

Eight women in leadership positions across Arkansas from banking to utilities shared their leadership advice and biggest management regrets with Arkansas Business for our Women in Business issue. They also talked about dealing with their own imposter syndrome, the best leadership advice they received and more. Click here for more.


JEAN BLOCK
Chief Legal Officer
Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority, Little Rock

Jean Block wanted to be accessible when she joined the Little Rock Water Reclamation Authority as its chief legal officer in 2016. 

“I’ve wanted people to know that I was a team member who was there to not be a hindrance to achieving the utility’s goals, but to really assist them in achieving what they were trying to pursue and the utility’s overall mission.” 

Block, who also has oversight of human resources and the environmental affairs department, said she learned a valuable management lesson in her first six months on the job: Get feedback from employees, which can make a policy or product stronger. 

She said senior leaders had decided on an employee policy change. At the time, Block had only experienced a top-down approach to management, in which a decision is made and then told to the rest of the employees. 

But one of her C-suite colleagues said that he planned to discuss the changes with supervisors in his department to understand the policies and get feedback.

“I was incredulous,” Block said. “And I asked him why he would do that. I said that this is something that the C-suite deems necessary and should be the end of the story.”

But the colleague shared with Block the value of discussing the issue with supervisors. As a result, she said she narrowly avoided a major misstep by implementing a policy without knowing its full implications.

From that, Block said she learned “that it’s not a weakness to get input from your colleagues. In fact, it can be a weakness to not do so.”

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