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7 Questions on Leadership with Kristy Wieber


Name: Kristy Wieber


Title: Chief Growth Officer


Organisation: Krysalis Lifestyle Inc.


Recognized entrepreneur with over 10 years of experience as co-founder and president of an award-winning start-up. Built the first fashion rental service in Canada, from a basement with one intern, into an omni-channel retail disrupter with 95k members through lean practices, an exceptional customer experience and engaging company culture.


Strong roots in retail with a skill-stacking path through executive recruitment, sales, and education. Creative problem solver, process improver, team builder, engaging speaker, multiple-hat wearer, export pivoter, and full-belly laugher.


Currently consulting and advising to both start-ups and established retailers with a goal of improving the customer experience, elevating brands and e-commerce, streamlining operations, cultivating positive workplace culture, and fostering thoughtful leadership.


Thank you to the 2,000 leaders who’ve generously done the 7 Questions on Leadership!


I hope Kristy's answers will encourage you in your leadership journey. Enjoy!


Cheers,

Jonno White



1. What have you found most challenging as a leader?


Deciding where to focus my time. There are so many areas that can benefit from my attention, from employee development to the e-commerce user experience to big-picture strategy, and it can change daily.


2. How did you become a leader? Can you please briefly tell the story?


My journey into leadership started early in my career as I took charge of a team of 12 employees within the retail sector. This role served as an invaluable training ground for honing my leadership skills. However, it wasn't until my friend and I embarked on the entrepreneurial path and established our own company that I truly experienced the weight and demands of leading an entire organization.


Our journey began humbly, operating out of my friend's basement with just one intern. Over time, we navigated the challenges and seized opportunities, ultimately transforming our venture into a nationally recognized, award-winning, omni-channel retail disruptor boasting multiple showrooms.


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


My daily routine centers around a few key practices that help me maintain my physical and mental well-being.


To kickstart my day, I prioritize exercise. I engage in activities like kickboxing, weightlifting, or yoga. This routine is not only crucial for my physical health but also plays a vital role in managing my stress throughout the day.


I have an affinity for old-school methods, and one of my favorites is a hand-written To-Do List. There's an immense sense of satisfaction in crossing off completed tasks. I keep my monthly calendar handy but work primarily from my categorized list, separating tasks into urgent, important, and pending. This approach helps me maintain focus on the day's priorities while ensuring I don't overlook lingering concerns.


I strategically schedule my meetings for mid-morning when my mind is at its sharpest. This allows me to dedicate the remainder of my day to focused tasks. To prevent email overload, I limit myself to checking emails just three times a day – in the morning, mid-day, and at day's end, safeguarding my productivity.


My husband and I try to make time for a walk before or after dinner. This break from the workday offers a refreshing perspective and allows me to be fully present in the moment.


Before bedtime, I adopt a mindful approach. I jot down any lingering concerns or thoughts that might otherwise keep me awake. Additionally, I make it a habit to record five things I'm grateful for each day, even if they're as simple as "a walk in the sunshine." This practice offers perspective and serves as a reminder to cherish life's small pleasures.


4. What's a recent leadership lesson you've learned for the first time or been reminded of?


To have a "beginner's mind" - to remind yourself to be open to solutions, ideas, and proposals that you might initially shrug off. My friend, Maggie Kolkena, author of "Today for Tomorrow: A Field Guide to Scenario Planning" says that there is a sweet spot of expertise and if you go past it, you'll see a diminishing return in innovation.


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?


"Daring Greatly" by Brene Brown. To generate fresh ideas and be an effective leader, we must embrace the willingness to take risks and occasionally encounter failures. Staying within the confines of our comfort zones inhibits our ability to stretch limits or question the existing norms.


6. If you could only give one piece of advice to a young leader, what would you say to them?


Don't be afraid to ask. This could mean you need to ask how something works, ask for support if you are overwhelmed, ask for clarity, for help. It goes back to "Daring Greatly" - don't be afraid to be vulnerable.


7. What is one meaningful story that comes to mind from your time as a leader, so far?


In 2020, I had to close our company. My business partner was diagnosed with ALS and on the heels of that, COVID hit. Many of our old employees, that had worked with us over the span of our 10-year run, reached out to tell me how much they enjoyed working for us...how much they had learned...how much they appreciated the environment we created...or even how inspired they were by watching two female-founders grow a company. It was a reminder that for all the days you think you are doing it wrong, and there were many, that you still can have a positive impact on people.

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