How Jacqueline Baker harnesses etiquette, leadership and innovation

Jacqueline M. Baker is the founder and principal consultant at Scarlet Communications, an etiquette consultancy based in Michigan. Scarlet Communications works with corporations, government and civic institutions across the United States to develop and refine leadership and etiquette skills.

Jacqueline trains individuals and organizations to develop and refine important leadership and etiquette skills and increase confidence to provide a competitive advantage. Her company’s client roster includes Nike, the Department of Defense, the Detroit Lions, Deloitte, the Buffalo Bills, Ernst & Young, Fiat Chrysler, Midnight Golf and the Washington DC Mayor’s office.

In addition to running her consultancy, Jacqueline is a published author.  In her business book Leader by Mistake, Jacqueline shares key leadership lessons and skills to succeed based on her own career journey. Jacqueline currently serves as the director of innovation programming for AARP Innovation Labs.

Prior to becoming a specialist in leadership, etiquette, and protocol, Jacqueline spent nearly a decade working in wedding and event production, which is where her etiquette and leadership journey began. She also worked in corporate leadership and management roles providing training, consulting, public relations and event management to organizations including AT&T, Chrysler, Ford Motor Company and AAA of Michigan.

Outside of work, Jacqueline is deeply committed to making a difference in her community.  She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, a hybrid non-profit think tank and membership network that is committed to driving social change. Jacqueline also volunteers with 12 Days DC Metro, an organization that supports disadvantaged families in Washington DC, to provide professional mentoring.

Born, raised, and educated Detroit, Jacqueline graduated with two degrees from Wayne State University—a Bachelor of Arts in Public Relations and Master of Education in Instructional Technology with specializations in Interactive Technologies and Performance Improvement.

My first job was at Subway as a Sandwich Artist! Although it wasn’t my favorite job, I learned the importance of hustle, grind and doing what you have to do, even when you don’t want to.

I remember when I was working at a teller at a bank in Detroit, Michigan. A woman who owned a PR firm used to frequent the bank to complete transactions. I always snuck in questions about her life in the PR world since I was working on my undergraduate degree at the time. I learned the importance of building relationships, as those small, yet impactful conversations ended up landing me a position at her firm, which opened many doors for my future.

No two days are ever the same. Because I teach etiquette, leadership and I work to be support everyday innovation, my interactions, engagements and situations vary widely. I take great pride in knowing that each day, no matter how busy I am, provides opportunities for people to be more effective in their various situations, making them more confident and able to advance to their next level.

I’m excited as I’m working on my first public all day workshop called, Just Start. It provides an opportunity for people to start the things that they want to do, from writing a book to starting their business.

I enjoy a lot of things, but at the top of the list of my hobbies are snowboarding, drinking wine, listening to podcasts and as a newly added item, watching Lifetime Movies.

Whenever I’m feeling uninspired or out of sync, I enjoy listening to the stories of how people started pretty much anything. I’m particularly in love with the podcast, How I Built This.

I never shared this publicly, but I can sing! I used to sing in high school as it was my focus then. I still do it now, primarily in the shower.

The best career advice I ever received is to stay curious. The paths that we think we will follow always end up guiding us somewhere else.  Stay curious and open to trying new things, even the things that we think we wouldn’t be good at, or interested in.

I can’t say that I’ve had one achievement that outshines everything else, but I can say that I’m proud to always be comfortable enough to be uncomfortable. I show up and try out new things, experiences and people. That mindset has landed me in unimaginable spaces and opportunities.

In the near future, I’m excited about expanding my reach through online classes and international training opportunities.

I love my work because I know that when you feel confident about what you’re doing, you show up in a different way. Through my teachings in etiquette and leadership and my work in the innovation space, people really are able to operate as their best self and advance further. That makes me proud.


Interview by Octavia Goredema 
Octavia Goredema is an award-winning career coach, writer and the founder of Twenty Ten Talent. You can connect with her on LinkedIn or over on Twitter.

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