Thoughts On Business Leadership By Lori Kennedy

Small Business Canada

Lori Kennedy is first and foremost a mom to her two kids. She’s the CEO of The Wellness Business Hub, the host of the Business Of Becoming podcast and the author of The Successful Practitioner.

Using her experience of growing a multimillion-dollar company from her dining room table her company, The Wellness Business Hub, exists to provide industry-specific business training and professional development to support health practitioners and coaches to start and grow their business online. They do this by creating high-value practical and applicable digital content like blogs, videos, the podcast and host live events with the intention of supporting their global community to reach for more and create an impactful business that changes lives.

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What is your definition of Leadership?

Leadership is the ability to influence the efforts of others towards the achievement of a vision or goal.

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What are the most important values and ethics you demonstrate as a leader?

Integrity: The best way I can define this is by using a piece of advice my best friend gave me years ago, “act in a way your future self would be proud of.” Being a leader and having integrity means doing the right thing especially when it’s hard so that you remain a person who is trusted in the eyes of the people they are trying to lead.

Compassion: Everyone wants to feel cared about. Demonstrating genuine care and concern for my team members, actively listening and being thoughtful is one of my core values as a leader because I don’t ever want my team to feel like I’m just their boss who only cares about getting the work done.

Nothing is an emergency: There is a difference between having a sense of urgency and working in reactionary/panic mode. We do not panic. If this is our core value then it requires us to have backup plans and to thoughtfully think through all scenarios so that if/when something does go wrong, which it will, we don’t need to panic because we have backup plans and nothing is an emergency. We’ve taken it so far as to actually define what would be an emergency situation and have back up plans for that.

Fail Forward: If everything is going right then I’m doing something wrong. We promote failing forward which means that we try new things all the time and learn from the data and outcomes the trials provide. We learn what works and what doesn’t from failed attempts.

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How do you encourage the development of your employees?

Having a clear vision and client-centred mission gives my team the ability to leverage their own zone of genius and ideas. We’ve created a culture where collaboration and contribution are routinely asked for and implemented.

Understanding what motivates my team members is really important so that we can provide opportunities that they want to do (versus have to do) in the form of additional learning or experiential events that provide additional training and skills to help them achieve their own goals.

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What is your advice to Canadian business owners during the COVID-19 Pandemic?

We are in a unique position because we’ve been a virtual company since day one so we didn’t have the hardship of having to transition online. Look to those businesses that are operating online and think outside of the box and assess what’s working in other industries. What elements of their lead generation, marketing and sales can you model for your own business?

As the leader, it’s my job to ensure that I remain healthy, stay focused on the vision and lead my team in a way that my future self will be proud of. That means focusing on what’s working and doubling down on those efforts.

Give yourself grace. Acknowledge that this is a traumatic experience and keep your focus on ensuring that your team feels secure, that you are taking care of your customers/clients and doing your best under the circumstances to lead the business forward.

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