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7 Questions on Leadership with Travis Barnes

Name: Travis Barnes

Title: Chief Curator

Organisation: The Mimosa Way

A graduate of Claflin University with a Bachelor of Arts in Mass Communications. I also recently graduated from Queens University, obtaining a Master of Arts in Communications. Now, he is pursuing his Doctoral degree in communications at Liberty University.

He currently serves as the Chief Curator for the Mimosa Way. Their mission is to stay committed to hosting innovative and network-centered events that support local communities with pride, honesty, and authenticity. Their vision is to empower individuals to give back to the community through innovative events that promote philanthropy. Finally, Travis is a United States Air Force veteran due to his time in Kuwait during Operation Inherent Resolve.

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

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


Jonno White

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

As a leader, I have found it most challenging to balance the needs and expectations of different team members. Each individual has their own unique strengths and weaknesses, as well as their own goals and priorities. It can be difficult to ensure that everyone feels heard and valued, while also pushing the team to reach its full potential. Additionally, there are often external factors such as changing market conditions or unexpected obstacles that can make it even more challenging to lead effectively. However, I have found that by staying focused on our overarching goals and communicating openly and honestly with my team, we can work together to overcome these challenges and achieve success.

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

Well, I wouldn't say I'm a leader in the traditional sense, but I've certainly been in positions of leadership in various aspects of my life. I think a lot of it comes down to being willing to take on responsibility and make decisions, even when they're difficult. When I was in school, for example, I often found myself taking charge of group projects and making sure everyone was on the same page. Later on, in my career, I've had the opportunity to manage teams and lead projects, which has been both challenging and rewarding. I think what's helped me become a leader is simply being willing to step up and take action when needed and being confident in my ability to make good decisions.

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

To stay productive, I have a consistent morning routine. I wake up at the same time every day, have a healthy breakfast, and do some light exercise or stretching. Then, I prioritize my tasks for the day and make a schedule to stay on track. I take short breaks throughout the day to stretch and move around, which helps me stay focused and energized. At night, I wind down by relaxing, like reading or watching a movie. I get enough sleep to wake up refreshed and ready for the next day.

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

One recent leadership lesson I've been reminded of is the importance of active listening. It's easy to get caught up in our own ideas and opinions, but taking the time to truly listen to others can lead to better collaboration, understanding, and ultimately, a more successful outcome. It's also important to acknowledge and validate others' perspectives, even if we don't necessarily agree with them. This helps to build trust and respect within a team or organization.

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?

One book that profoundly impacted my leadership is "The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People" by Stephen Covey. Reading this book helped me to develop a more proactive mindset and focus on my goals rather than just reacting to situations as they come up. It also taught me the importance of building solid relationships and seeking win-win solutions in all interactions. Applying these principles to my leadership style has helped me more effectively achieve my objectives and make a positive team culture.

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

As a young leader, keeping a proactive mindset and always focusing on your long-term goals is essential. It can be tough to navigate leadership challenges and stay on track. Still, you can create a foundation for success by seeking mutually beneficial solutions and building solid relationships with your team and colleagues. You'll become a highly effective leader and cultivate a positive team culture by prioritizing these principles and habits. Keep your eyes on the prize and stay committed to your objectives – you've got this!

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

One meaningful story that comes to mind from my time as a leader so far is when I had to make a tough decision while deployed during the height of COVID-19 which affected the entire team. I took the time to listen to everyone's concerns and perspectives and ultimately came up with a solution that addressed everyone's needs to the best of my ability. It was a complex process, but it taught me the importance of balancing empathy with strategic decision-making and how to build trust and respect with my team, even in challenging situations.

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