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Lisa Jones

Manager of Strategic Initiatives
Ontario Power Generation
Lisa Jones
Lisa Jones
Location Born
Location Now
Education Pathway

I lead initiatives to improve leadership as well as the overall effectiveness of the organization.

About me

I was born/grew up in: Born in Roswell, Georgia, USA but moved to Pickering, Ontario, when a few months old.

I now live in: Toronto, Ontario.

I completed my training/education at: Queen's University, Bachelor's Degree in Mechanical Engineering

What I do at work

My current duties at Ontario Power Generation are varied. I deliver some training to managers. I also assess the team and develop plans to address gaps in ability. I coach and help other leaders improve. I also mentor several workers from all over the company.

I analyze problems and help develop solutions for a wide range of problems. These problems include such things as equipment or system failures. I also create surveys and forms using basic computer software. I do this to make collecting and analyzing data more efficient.

I often have to make decisions. To make decisions I usually gather feedback from some of the stakeholders and the experts. I use that information to determine the best path forward. My degree and experience in engineering have taught me how to problem-solve effectively and how to analyze situations. They have also given me the technical background needed to effectively interact with people in all areas at work. This includes operations, maintenance, chemistry, Engineering, and other technical fields. Because I understand how the technology operates,  I understand the issues.

My role is fairly independent, but I work with all the leaders at the site. I interact with respect and kindness primarily. I have a strong drive to help the site get better. I also interact from a place of authenticity which I think is the most appreciated aspect of my leadership style. I am curious and I listen to other team members. This allows me to gather information and also build relationships successfully. It also makes work more fun when you get along well!

My career path is

This is not at all what I pictured doing when I was in school. I went through different phases of what I wanted to be when I grew up. Some that I considered were lawyer, therapist, marine biologist, astronaut, and physics teacher.  I landed on engineering because it seemed like it would open a lot of doors for me.

I started in Reactor Safety Engineering. In this job I did assessments to ensure nothing impacted the safety of the plant. I didn't love working by myself or doing this kind of analysis. About 7 years later I was told about a job opening as a Root Cause Investigator. It was the best! When an event happened, such as equipment failure or if someone made a mistake, I dug into what happened. It was my job to find all the things that led to that event. It was fascinating and I learned a ton about the station, people, leadership and how to problem-solve effectively. I used my technical skills, but I also got to work with people and try to better understand people. This helped me realize my passion wasn't numbers.

I went from there into Operations, then Human Performance Manager. In my first manager role I helped the station plan to prevent errors, understand why errors happened, and increase the overall performance of the workers. I also started getting involved in leadership development. When the role I am in now opened up, it was a natural next-step.

I don't know where I will go next. I have some things I am interested in but try to be flexible. I have mentors at work who influence me, as well as some close friends and colleagues. My father worked at the nuclear power plant and I always said I wouldn't follow in his footsteps. I honestly didn't know how to find or apply to jobs, but that was something I knew. He helped me get my first summer job at a consulting company that worked with Ontario Power Generation. Then I got a job the next summer at OPG. I'm lucky it worked out so well.

I have faced many challenges being a woman in a male-dominated workplace. I have overcome this by constantly showing my value through my results. I also have created groups for women to support, mentor and develop one another. I'm very passionate about women in STEM and leadership, and love supporting and helping other women!

I am motivated by

Working with others to solve problems and making things better keeps me motivated. I love people and I have so much fun working through this together. Actually seeing impact from my decisions and advice is very exciting. It is very empowering to know I am making something better for someone. Even if it's small. I really believe we all have a duty to improve things where and when we can. And we all have different skills and gifts we can use to do that.

How I affect people’s lives

Working at the nuclear power plant is fulfilling because Nuclear Power is one of the key solutions to combating climate change. It is reliable and has the lowest greenhouse gas emissions. That helps everyone, every day. My specific role is fulfilling because I am helping others be better at their jobs, and in a way that makes work better for everyone. I work mainly with men who are strong technically, but don't always have the best inter-personal skills. I am teaching and showing the impact of leading with compassion and empathy. I believe we need a different type of leader than we used to, and I am helping them grow.

Outside of work I

I have two small sons, so most of my time outside of work is spent with them. We play a lot of Lego and watch a lot of Star Wars. We have dance parties and dress in costumes. If I ever have time to myself, I enjoy reading (mostly fiction), and watching TV (mostly anything that makes me laugh) I also enjoy painting, hanging out with friends, playing/listening to/going to see music, doing puzzles, and spending time with my family. My sister and her kids live just down the street!

My advice to others

Talk to lots of people and do your research. Never be shy to reach out to people whose career interests you. Most people will be so happy to talk to you and possibly help you. Looking back, I had no idea how many possibilities there were and now there are even more. So research and learn, and never feel like you’re stuck. Try new things and keep learning!

When I was a student, I enjoyed:
  • Art
  • Literature and Language arts
  • Math
  • Science
When I was a student, I would have described myself as someone who:
  • Brought people together
  • Liked helping people
  • Was motivated by success
  • Liked reading
  • Engaged in volunteer activities
  • Played video games
  • Was really creative
  • Felt great satisfaction in getting good grades
  • Wasn't sure what I wanted to do
  • Learned best "by doing"

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