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Thank you to the 1,400 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 questions!
I hope reading

7 Questions with Blair Kellison

helps you in your leadership.

 

Cheers,

Jonno White

7 Questions with Blair Kellison

Name: Blair Kellison


Current title: CEO


Current organisation: Traditional Medicinals




Initially a traditional career professional - CPA E&Y, MBA Booth, Brand Manager Nestle. Move to CA for Nestle (LA), became a vegetarian and realized these upstart, all-natural, organic food companies needed my skills more than the Fortune 500. I've spend the last 25 years as CEO of mission driven companies changing the world through the food we eat and by treating everyone in their supply chain with respect and dignity.

7  Questions with Blair Kellison

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1. What have you found most challenging as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise?

Too many people and processes between me and the problems and the opportunities.


2. How did you become a CEO or executive of a large enterprise? Can you please briefly tell the story?

Became the CEO of a small company, partnered with the founder, hired a great team and together we grew it into a large company.


3. How do you structure your work days from waking up to going to sleep?

That's impossible. Every day is different. Agility and adaptability is key. It is important to schedule some time to do thinking each day.


4. What's the most recent significant leadership lesson you've learned?

What got you here will not get you there. Organizations are constantly growing and evolving and you as a leader must continually grow and evolve or it is not possible for your organization to grow and evolve.


5. What's one book that has had a profound impact on your leadership so far? Can you please briefly tell the story of how that book impacted your leadership?

It Starts with Why. Simon Senik. People and companies have a WHY (purpose/mission/passion) and a HOW (culture of how work gets done) and a WHAT (the product or service you make). You must compete on WHY and must get every employee to understand and embrace your WHY.


6. How do you build leadership capacity in a large enterprise?

Hire aptitude. Keep promoting from within, keep providing space for employees to grow, keep investing in your people.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a CEO or executive of a large enterprise so far?

All my stories are about people. I heard about this story after it happened which makes it most special. We had an employee that was in the US on a work visa, was married with a newborn and was in an abusive marriage. A group of our employees worked with her to get an apartment, and then one day while the husband was at work they moved her out and furnished her new apartment. Our legal team orchestrated a restraining order so he could never bother her. Our legal department went to work to initiate getting her a green card which she has and she is going great. This was all initiated and paid for by company staff.
Is there anything more important than that?