About Julie Benezet
One constant in Julie Benezet’s life has been the pursuit of adventure. It’s not that she is never afraid. She just can’t resist looking at things from another angle. As a child growing up in Colorado, she was a “nature girl” who spent countless hours tracking down unusual butterflies, building tree houses (then jumping off of them), and constructing model towns in the backyard sandbox. To this day she loves to roam through compelling physical environments.
Her work and life experiences have made her a firm believer in the potential of the new, and the importance of understanding the underlying human psychology needed to achieve it.
Starting early in life when in high school she went to France to live in another culture, followed by her transfer from the academically robust but small Vassar College to Cornell University with its many different schools, Julie has placed a strong value on learning. She loves to seek new ideas, and create organizations that embrace them. She came by those values honestly if not inevitably. Her father was a college president who, with the invaluable political savvy provided by her mother, dedicated his life to building institutions of higher learning. Through her parents, she met extraordinary thought leaders who inspired her with their single-mindedness for achieving greater things in the world.
After graduating from Cornell with majors in psychology and anthropology, she moved to Montreal, Canada, with two suitcases and a dream of practicing psychology. That dream took a different direction after a patient grabbed ahold of her waist long hair and wrestled her to the ground. She escaped with her hair intact, but the event influenced her eventual decision to move from psychology to law, a place where she could build businesses, keep her hair, and get paid to argue.
Pursuing dreams has molded Julie’s life. As a self-described hard wired entrepreneur she spent 25 years in law and business, putting into place the dreams of others as well as her own dreams. Having learned from working in psychiatric hospitals many valuable lessons on human behavior, she shifted to business life where she raised capital, created strategy and galvanized change. She built Amazon’s first global real estate organization, and for ten years led the “Challenges of Leadership” executive program at the Harvard Graduate School of Design. She holds an LLB (law) and M.Sc. (psychology) from McGill University and a B.A. from Cornell University.
More recently, she founded and owns Business Growth Consulting, LLC and The Journey of Not Knowing, LLC where she has coached and counseled executives from virtually every industry. She is a sought-after speaker about leadership, leading change and organizational behavior in the face of change. She shares her professional insights in print and online.
Spending half of her youth at the base of Pikes Peak left a strong imprint. Julie loves mountains both for their metaphoric value of achieving greater heights and for their spectacular vistas to which she loves to hike. Back at home, the most unusual thing in her desk drawer is her eighth grade diary, which is unreadable, as her handwriting is also an adventure.