Amanda Hall Of Clean Juice: “Don’t take yourself so seriously”

The movement I would inspire is one I do every day. You have one body in this life, and I want people to live as healthy as possible. Eat good, healthy foods. Understand how food fuels the body. Compliment that with exercise. Get your body moving as much as possible. Find a physical activity you […]

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The movement I would inspire is one I do every day. You have one body in this life, and I want people to live as healthy as possible. Eat good, healthy foods. Understand how food fuels the body. Compliment that with exercise. Get your body moving as much as possible. Find a physical activity you enjoy and throw yourself into it.

As a part of our series about strong women leaders, I had the pleasure of interviewing Amanda Hall. Amanda Hall is the Chief Operating Officer for Clean Juice. During Amanda’s journey to the C-Suite, she has fine-tuned her passion for taking a vision from imagination to reality. Throughout her career, Amanda has had the privilege to lead companies from start-up to maturity. During her professional career, she has worn many hats understanding that any new business venture requires tenacity. When not hustling in the office, you will find Amanda loving life with her family, traveling the world, or in the gym where she loves to weight train. Amanda’s most important goal is to inspire her daughters to strive for their dreams through her example.

Thank you so much for doing this with us! Can you tell us a bit about your “backstory”? What led you to this particular career path?

I have an unquenchable passion for health. This includes exercising and being active and making sure the foods I put in my body are the healthiest possible. My road to Chief Operating Officer at Clean Juice started with Verizon Wireless almost 20 years ago. I started as a sales representative and moved through the ranks toward business development and setting up operating systems. After Verizon, I joined Burn Boot Camp in Huntersville, North Carolina, as the Senior Vice President of Franchise Operations. We scaled this incredible fitness concept from 16 to 270 gyms across 38 states. I had been a fan of Clean Juice since it opened and learned a lot about the company. When the opportunity for the COO position was offered to me, I was thrilled and honored.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

I’ve only been at Clean Juice for a short time but was very happy — and a bit nervous — to present during the company’s annual conference, Juice Jam, for its nationwide franchise partners and staff. With COVID-19 in our lives, this year’s Juice Jam was a virtual event. I was asked to give one of the key-note presentations to outline my vision for its future growth. I was excited about doing this, but a bit nervous since it was a virtual event on my 25th day with the company. This would be a first for me. The set up was very professional as we broadcasted Juice Jam from Elevation Church in Cornelius, North Carolina, which has a substantial professional stage and A/V set up. When my time came, I found myself on a massive stage with rolling fog (from fog machine) with green lights illuminating the scene. Though when I looked out, there were only a few people in the audience. I knew I was presenting to more than 100 people virtually, but it was an exciting experience, nonetheless.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Early in my career, I attended a reception for a software system enterprise conference that the company I worked for was attending. The POS software company had rented a luxurious house on Venice Beach with fantastic ocean views, a beautiful, lush courtyard, and everything you would imagine from a California beach house. There were quite a few people there, many of them CEOs and other high-level company executives. As I arrived and began crossing the courtyard to meet up with other members of my company, I was in awe of my surroundings and excited to be attending such an important business event. My excitement got the best of me, and I did not see the pool in the middle of the courtyard until I fell into it. Suffice to say, I made a big splash at that event, and let’s just say it will always be a memorable moment in my professional career.

Ok, thank you for that. Let’s now jump to the primary focus of our interview. What is it about the position of CEO or executive that most attracted you to it?

What attracts me most about my position is seeing the big picture and cast vision on that endgame and creating the support system for the team can thrive on meeting that end goal. From an organizational standpoint, your vision must extend outside a singular focus or department and must include an executable plan from all angles and considering a matrix of possibilities. You want your team to thrive, which means reaching out and inspiring all divisions to align toward a common set of goals.

Most of our readers — in fact, most people — think they have a pretty good idea of what a CEO or executive does. But in just a few words can you explain what an executive does that is different from the responsibilities of the other leaders?

I think the difference in responsibilities between executive roles and other leadership roles is the level of commitment dedicated to both the team and the vision. The role of an executive is to engage on all levels of the process to provide support, engage in leadership development at all levels while still navigating the entire team, and supporting departments, toward outlined goals and successes.

What is the one thing that you enjoy most about being an executive?

The aspect I love most about being in an executive position is leadership development. And I mean this from a personal and professional standpoint. I am not looking to simply develop a leader for a specific role within the team, but really to inspire my team to create leadership qualities through passion, dedication, and support. I want to give all team members the tools, support, and guidance to grow in the natural direction of their passions and lives.

What are the downsides of being an executive?

I always say that it is lonely at the top. The downside of being an executive, you find yourself in a lonely position. However, if you are genuinely doing your job as an executive, your focus is on people. It is your role to make others successful in their roles, and sometimes that can be a lonely process because you are pouring so much energy into others.

What are the “myths” that you would like to dispel about being a CEO or executive? Can you explain what you mean?

One of the main myths is that executives have it all figured out and that you know everything. This is not true. As an executive, you should be surrounding yourself with the best, brightest, and seek out and accept the company of those who are smarter than you. The other myth is thinking you are the most valuable and most important in the company. This is absolutely the wrong mindset, and a good executive means you are looking out for others and developing their skills, which then passes on to others.

In your opinion, what are the biggest challenges faced by women executives that aren’t typically faced by their male counterparts?

I struggle with this question a bit, but I think there is still a stigma around women who want to be an executive and still be all the other things a woman wants to be like a great mother, a loving wife, or whatever that woman wants to be. As a woman, we are sometimes questioned about our focus or dedication when trying to be all the things we know and strive to be.

What is the most striking difference between your actual job and how you thought the job would be?

When I joined Clean Juice as COO, it was a new role not just for me but also for the company. I thought it would take me some time to get comfortable in the position, define the role (there is pressure being the first), and wear many hats quickly to get this new role and division up and running smoothly and effectively. However, I soon realized that I work with a fantastic group of people who share their thoughts, resources, and expertise on how their particular departments could fit into mine. Having such a dedicated, smart team that shares the same passion in goals made the transition very smooth, and I learned quickly that I would be in a position, with support from all angles, to make an impact early.

Certainly, not everyone is cut out to be an executive. In your opinion, which specific traits increase the likelihood that a person will be a successful executive, and what type of person should avoid aspiring to be an executive?

The one trait that exemplifies a great executive is selflessness. I believe in servant leadership so that a smart executive will invest heavily in their team’s development. Furthermore, a great executive must be confident and optimistic. Without these two traits, achieving true selflessness for your team’s service is much more challenging to achieve. People who are lone wolfs or one-man-bands in their work will probably not be a great executive.

What advice would you give to other women leaders to help their team to thrive?

I believe you have to have radical candor and not be afraid to use it. There is a balance I would advise between being open and honest with people, but with an equal amount of empathy. If you want your team to thrive, they need to know where they stand, what obstacles they must overcome, and where their strengths are. Being able to share that kind of information, so they know you care about them is the center point of that balance.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person to whom you are grateful for helping you to get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

The person who I am most grateful for in my professional career is Dean Antonilli. I worked for him for approximately eleven years at Verizon. His famous quote was, “do a job before you get a job.” He was a master delegator and would create opportunities for people to step into, which gave many of us the chance to shine and discover aspects about ourselves that we didn’t know, or think, we could achieve.

How have you used your success to make the world a better place?

I hope that I have made an impact on my team, as Dean did for me. My impact on the world comes from being the best mom I can be and being the best woman, I can be. I want them to know they can do anything they want to do, and I hope that my journey has demonstrated that and will take them further than I have traveled in my life.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

  1. Don’t take yourself so seriously.
  2. It’s ok to be human and to make mistakes and learn from them.
  3. Ask questions and never assume you know everything.
  4. You are stronger together with others.
  5. It is better to give than receive.

All these tie together in the simple observance that you are just trying to make it through the day with confidence, health, happiness, and juggling all the little (and sometimes big) struggles in life — just like everybody else.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good for the greatest number of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger.

The movement I would inspire is one I do every day. You have one body in this life, and I want people to live as healthy as possible. Eat good, healthy foods. Understand how food fuels the body. Compliment that with exercise. Get your body moving as much as possible. Find a physical activity you enjoy and throw yourself into it.

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

“You do a job before you get a job!” This means taking chances on yourself and if there is something you want to be doing professionally, then seek the opportunities to make that happen. You do not have to wait — and shouldn’t — for a title before doing what you love. Do the job you love, and you will get the job you love. In my career, I did the jobs I wanted before I was tasked with those jobs. It’s about seeking opportunities and making them your own.

We are very blessed that some very prominent names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them.

Sarah Blakley, founder of Spanx — hands down! She is such a fantastic role model, businesswoman, philanthropist, who had an idea (Spanx) and the confidence to make it a successful reality. She exemplifies everything a woman can be a successful entrepreneur, a loving wife, an amazing mother. She speaks her truth and is very humble and gives back in meaningful ways. She would be my private breakfast or lunch hands down!

Thank you for these fantastic insights. We greatly appreciate the time you spent on this.


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