Brenda Ford, Vice President of National Retail Leasing is one of the luckiest and most modest people you will ever encounter. Her tenure with JLL is approaching 14 years and as time is passing, her ambitions are consistently being achieved.
Almost 14 years ago Brenda’s original long-term ambition was to work for a really strong company, but be independent – ultimately having the opportunity to work for herself. Although she has the spirit, she didn’t want to take the risk of starting her own company or being an entrepreneur. Simply put, Brenda was looking for a safety net and who could blame her? Little did she know how fortunate she would become. She began working for Jones Lang Americas when her first ambition was achieved. Brenda was presented with the opportunity to work independently and throughout the years has experienced an incredible support team. Her work life was set up in an entrepreneurial fashion and it was all possible by taking a leap of faith.
The Law of attraction is the ability to attract into our lives whatever we are focusing on – in other words, life doesn’t happen to you, it responds to you. Brenda put her second ambition out into the universe – the desire to work internationally. Her request was granted two-fold during her career here at JLL. Brenda was given the opportunity to transition from Jones Lang Americas to Jones Lang Russia with the help of Greg Maloney. Brenda spent a little over two years at our Moscow office (and spent once a month in Kazakhstan). While in Moscow, the goal was to transfer best practices. She worked as a liaison with both the consulting and leasing agency platforms. She created and implemented training sessions for the brokers which she loved because it incorporate her two passions – teaching and entrepreneurship. While spending once a month in Kazakhstan she helped set up an office to assist with new business development. Her time in Russia was a great learning experience. It was there her fascination with communication heightened, and she learned a different work/lifestyle culture.
Part of Brenda’s third ambition was established in Russia, but continued to bloom. Brenda has always wanted to make a difference in people’s lives via mentoring and teaching. JLL has made it possible for Brenda to mentor JLL employees and this ambition carries over in her personal life where she mentors/teaches others outside the company. Brenda is also fascinated with communication, which to her is important given the constant conversation surrounding the retail industry and malls vs. online shopping. With her fascination of communication, she knows she is in the perfect job, negotiating leases and managing client expectations. Brenda always advises her mentees “Before you pick up the phone, send an email or start a conversation, you have to ask yourself: Is what I am about to communicate going to encourage or discourage?” The end result should always be resolution. Brenda attributes the recognition of this concept as one of the reasons she’s been successful in deal making. Not to mention, she has a company that supports her and a strong foundation.
Today, Brenda is a happy camper with no complaints. She shares how extremely lucky she is and how sometimes she has to pinch herself due to all the ambitions she’s been able to achieve with the help of JLL.