Essential Leadership Lessons for Women: Insights from Jen Chinburg

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Written By: Amy Fukuizumi

This year, NH Business Review recognized Jen Chinburg as one of the 2023 Outstanding Women in Business and we couldn’t agree more!

As the Vice President of Marketing & Corporate Development at Chinburg, Jen has been a driving force behind the company’s branding, marketing, and corporate growth since 2003.

The first woman on the Executive team, she is also a key contributor to innovations in technology and initiatives to support company culture, such as Chinburg University for professional development, and the sabbatical program.

Jen’s leadership style poses asking discerning questions, listening closely to understand, and helping lead a team to the best possible outcome. She is a strong communicator, analyzer of processes and is a champion of continuous improvement and innovation.

She currently serves on the board of GoodWork at Carey Cottage, and is an investor in and an advisor to several businesses, many of them women-owned. In 2012, she founded MillYoga in the Newmarket Mill where she helped foster a healing and growth space for teachers and clients. She passed the business on to two women co-owners in 2023.

In her award acceptance speech, she shared invaluable insights and life lessons to inspire and empower young women professionals in leadership roles. This blog post aims to highlight Jen’s wisdom and help you navigate your own path to success.

Choosing Her Own Path

Jen notes one of the best decisions she ever made was to move to NH in 2000. After years of working in corporate roles in Boston, she found her true home, both personally and professionally.

Collaborating with Eric and the senior team, they developed a strategy for thoughtful growth and expansion. In 2007, when she and Eric married, the company took on an even deeper personal significance. The company’s impact is something she lives 7 days a week, with many crossovers between their personal lives, with the community, Chinburg customers, investors, and business partners, many of who are also friends.

With the Chinburg name proudly displayed on every building, Jen feels a deep sense of responsibility to deliver exceptional experiences for customers, fostering a supportive environment for employees, and making meaningful contributions to the community they serve.

Five Life Lessons in Leadership

Pursue Your Passions

Jen considers herself fortunate to have built a successful career doing what she loves—telling peoples’ stories and fostering thriving communities. At the core of Chinburg’s work is the creation of unique spaces where people can live, work, and play—a passion that drives her. She believes that if individuals love what they do, work feels like a privilege and adds meaning and excitement to life, beyond earning a paycheck.

When you genuinely love what you do, it fuels your motivation and enthusiasm, transforming work into a fulfilling endeavor. She encourages all people to, “pay attention to what you feel passionately about and pursue that in your work and personal life.”

Be Generous with Your Time and Resources

Leadership extends beyond the workplace; it involves actively participating in and contributing to your community. Jen says, “Be generous with your time and resources, join community organizations as a volunteer or board member. By nurturing connections and investing in your community, YOU can shape the community that you want to live in.”

Embrace Curiosity and Lifelong Learning

A successful leader never stops learning. Cultivate a mindset of curiosity and a hunger for knowledge. Seek out educational experiences, attend workshops, and engage in continuous self-improvement. Embracing curiosity opens doors to new opportunities and keeps you adaptable in a rapidly evolving world.

Recognize Your Own Accomplishments

Work hard to earn your success and recognize your own accomplishments. Take pride in your hard work, skills, and achievements. By acknowledging your successes, you boost your confidence, fuel your motivation, and inspire others. Take time to reflect on your journey, identify milestones, and use them as stepping stones for future growth.

Build a Supportive Network 

Surround yourself with people who share your values and ambitions. Cultivate a network of mentors, peers, and colleagues who inspire and challenge you. A supportive network offers guidance, encouragement, and invaluable connections. Collaborating with others allows you to leverage diverse perspectives, learn from different experiences, and collectively strive for success. By surrounding themselves with individuals who share their values, women can amplify their impact and collectively strive for success.

Leadership Knows No Boundaries

Jen’s story and insights remind us that leadership comes in many shapes, sizes, genders, and races. Success comes in many forms. YOU have the power to find your own unique leadership style and choose the path you want.

Let us embrace these lessons, shape our own definitions of success, and continue to inspire future generations of women leaders.