Don’t chase every shiny object. Kelly Keefe, president of ERC (Employers Resource Center), digs into how to attract top performers and enhance your team and leadership skills. Kelly lays out critical leadership strengths and weaknesses, what top performers look for in their work environment, and how EOS has helped sharpen her focus.
Leadership Strengths and Weaknesses
“No matter what, you have skills inside of you.” Kelly remembers her mom teaching that phrase to her when she was a girl. Today, she still calls upon it as encouragement in her role as the first female president of a century-old organization.
Leading is never easy, and Kelly admits that being a female has made it harder sometimes. But she emphasizes that strong leadership grows from:
- Emotional intelligence
[5:33] “I think a leader … can bring people forward… and make sure they’re enjoying it as well.”
Kelly says her biggest misses as a leader happened when she assumed she was on the same page as someone else without verifying it through open communication. She adds that leaders are at their weakest when they:
- Aren’t nimble in the face of change.
- Prioritize their own needs over their team.
- Don’t give others a chance to succeed and grow.
You will only be as successful as your team — build up your employees and help them become leaders in their own right.
Kelly’s job is to help businesses attract top performers to their workforce. She says top performers don’t look for the best salary or benefits — they look for engagement. If you want to attract the best talent, give people the opportunity for challenging, meaningful, and flexible work.
During the pandemic, Kelly has dedicated herself to adding new skills to her repertoire. When learning new disciplines, she recommends:
- Trial by fire. Just jump in.
- Prepare in advance when presenting new ideas or skills to a team.
- Believe in your work and your goals.
Kelly loves change. She says this year she has been learning how to take a step back, breathe, and give her team a chance to catch up with her. Change can be exciting, but some people need more time to adapt than others. Your team will only progress as quickly as the slowest member — be patient and supportive.
Leaders Make a Difference
Kelly and her team began implementing EOS over a year ago, and she says that in addition to adding a new level of focus and understanding to her workplace, it has taught her about herself:
[23:49] “What I have learned is that I know what I’m good at and I know what I’m not good at — and I need to surround myself with people who are good at what I’m not good at.”
Kelly urges leaders who want to make a change in their businesses, families, and communities to follow some simple practices:
- Listen to others’ perspectives and try to understand them. You don’t have to agree.
- Be optimistic and strive to make your employees’ lives better.
- Keep going and dig deep.
Also Mentioned In This Episode:
Traction by Gino Wickman