Name: Kristi Royse
Job / Title: Founder/CEO
Company: KLR Consulting
Industry: Leadership Consulting
Q: From your perspective, what are the most important trends that will take place in your industry in the next 10 years?
Kristi: Over the last several years I’ve seen how important it is for everyone, but executives especially, to have strong public speaking and presentation skills and executive or personal presence. It affects their ability to forward their careers, to influence their people, to engage their customers, to express their vision so that others will get on board. In our hyper-connected, visually-focused world this is just going to become more important. Executives and managers will find themselves “on camera” more and more, whether they are leading video meetings for their teams scattered around the world or presenting to their boss or the Board. The actual “skills” found in presentation skills put it into both the “hard” and “soft” skill groups, since it includes intangibles like influence and persuasion, yet there are specific steps one can take to get there. Confidence, for example, can be elusive, but one way to increase it is to practice your material over and over and over. It sounds simple, but people don’t realize how much practice it takes, and often resist it. Do you know that TED starts working with their speakers SIX to NINE months before they go on stage? It takes both competence and confidence to engage an audience and I envision that leaders at the Board and C-suite levels will start making presentation skills mandatory for all executives. As early as 2020 or so, I expect to see forward-looking companies training the high-potentials coming up through their ranks to speak well and appear confident as part of their standard leadership development.
Q: What is your career focus now and how has that differed from the past??
Kristi: First, we must enjoy what we do. I feel so blessed because I truly have built my consulting business around what I love to do. I love being able to develop new programs and evolve others for my clients. Over the last several years I have focused more on Presentation Skills. Although it was always a part of my services, I’ve been seeing a growing need and demand in the last five years. It’s been a nice way to see my business change and grow, since I’ve built this service specifically based on the needs of my clients and their network. We need to ask a lot of questions and then listen to what our clients need and what can we do to truly support them. As a society, we are great at providing answers but are we answering the right questions? I always share: when we get to the 10th “why” or “what else,” we will have finally figured out what the need is. We all know that our business, whether we are a sole-proprietor or a large conglomerate, exists to serve the needs of our customers. If we can’t grow with them, understanding their changing concerns, then our business will die.
Q: What’s the best career advice you’ve ever received? Explain what and why it was so good.
Kristi:Many years ago, I had the great pleasure of working with Patrick Lencioni, the author of The Five Dysfunctions of a Team and many other fabulous books. He shared with me his passion and mission to help organizations create leaders and cultures in which trust and cooperation are the norm rather than the exception. I was starting down a similar path at the time, so his words and his dedication helped to convince me that this was indeed the right path. Although a lot of change is happening as we continue to educate and inspire, there is a lot more work to do to create the kind of change necessary to truly make an impact on cultures. Wiley Publishing teamed up with Patrick a couple years ago and developed an amazing tool: The Five Behaviors of a Cohesive Team; combining the DiSC assessment with The Five Dysfunctions and WOW, what an amazing impact this is having for my clients. I am honored to continue this journey one step at a time.
Q: How has your leadership style changed and why?
Kristi: One of the truly exciting things, and there are many, about working with leaders of different styles in different industries, is that I get my own mini-course in leadership! I see first-hand what works, what doesn’t work, and why. I am a voracious reader, consuming nearly every business and leadership book and article I can find, which also informs my own style, as well as my work. I believe so many of us stop learning and growing when we get to a certain place in our lives and this is a BIG mistake. Never be satisfied. No one will ever give you permission to live your dreams. As the late Jim Rohn shares “The way to enjoy life best is to wrap up one goal and start right on the next one. Don’t linger too long at the table of success; the only way to enjoy another meal is to get hungry.” Almost anything we choose to change or enhance, know you are going to fail a time or two or two thousand. If you are not failing from time to time, there are two possibilities. 1: you’re Superwoman, or 2: you aren’t pushing yourself hard enough. And I know it is certainly not number 1!! In addition, we can’t do this alone. I would never be where I am today, personally, or professionally without my amazing network and strategic partnerships. It took me longer than it should have to realize this and now when I reach out to others and ask for help, I am proud and not ashamed. Never forget to say thank you. Every Friday, I send three handwritten thank you notes to show my gratitude and appreciation. It is important to me to lead by example, by inclusion, and with gratitude.
Q: What are ways that you have balanced career, personal, and other interests?
Kristi: Inspiring and motivating women to find their “vision” and what they truly love to do is a passion of mine. We spend WAY too many hours at work and if you do not look forward to getting out of bed every morning, or at least most of them, you may be in the wrong job. When I can help women and teams discover their true “why” as Simon Sinek talks about, and then figure out their journey to make it real, I am making a dent. Also, on a personal level, I love working out. I start nearly every day at 5am with a trip to the gym; after a BIG cup of coffee and a Headspace meditation of course!! I enjoy alternating a traditional cardio/weight training workout and Bikram yoga as my basic, day-to-day program. The benefits of a daily workout go far beyond the physical. Yes, it keeps me in good physical shape, but it also has a tremendous impact on my mental and emotional well-being, helps me handle stress more effectively, increases my ability to focus and generally gives me the mental boost to make it through the day. I can also not feel as guilty when I indulge in a yummy homemade cookie!! Frankly, I think if we all did some exercise every day, our stress would reduce, we would be happier, and the world would be a better place!
Q: What do you like to do to unwind?
Kristi: I truly enjoy cooking dinner every night; especially when I have a good glass of sauvignon blanc and the Red Hot Chili Peppers playing loudly in the background. I am truly blessed by my 17 year old daughter Melanie and every magic moment with her is a gift; she will be at college in a couple years so I want to cherish this time with her. Any time that I can steal away to the beach with Maddie, my yellow lab, is precious! The ocean is truly rejuvenating for me. Oh, and I guess I should also mention my husband!