14: Leaders with Heart Don’t Take Their Own Leadership For Granted

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Today on the podcast we have Kristi Turner, CMO at Compeat Restaurant Management Software.

In this episode, we talk about company culture, learning from the best and the worst, being honest and authentic with your employees, and a lot more.

As a CMO, my role is to create a brand, a culture, a marketing plan that really inspires employees, customers, partners, prospects to want to engaged with us and be proud to be associated with Compeat. @kturneroa Click To Tweet

Kristi oversees product marketing strategy, competitive positioning, brand awareness, digital presence, customer retention, lead generation, inside sales, and internal and external communications.

With over 27 years of domestic and international strategic business and marketing experience, Kristi has a successful track record for building scalable SaaS revenue growth, empowering employee cultures and customer centric marketing strategies.

Prior to joining Compeat, Kristi served as CEO of Kaizen Consulting, a SaaS marketing consultant firm and previously served as SVP of Marketing for HotSchedules, formerly Red Book Connect. Before HotSchedules, Kristi served as a consultant to wireless global providers and as SVP of Marketing for InComm, a global technology innovator and provider of prepaid and payment solutions.

Kristi holds a bachelor’s degree in Mass Communications from University of South Florida. She resides in Atlanta with her husband and two children. Kristi enjoys athletic challenges, outdoor adventures, yoga and meditation, and dedicates much of her time to studying conscious capitalism success and mentoring young men and women in professional and personal growth.

“I Absolutely Love Seeing Growth”

Kristi shares that her desire to lead comes from her desire to see growth. She loves seeing employees grow, personally and professionally. She loves seeing customers, the bottom line, grow because of the product they use from their company.

I literally get giddy when I can see or say that I had a small hand in any of these types of growth, as a leader of a company, or as a manager, or as a parent. It truly is the most thrilling high you can experience, just watching individuals, and companies, or teams, or organizations, grow and succeed.

And I think that’s what keeps the drive in me as a leader.

Make a Difference in the Lives of Your Employees

I can tell you what I strive to be as a leader. There’s a complex blend that I’ve learned from others where I strive to lead with integrity, authenticity, and being transparent.

Humility is a big one. We all make mistakes; we’re all imperfect. It’s showing your team that “Hey, we made a mistake. Now we’re going to correct it.”

Admitting failures, and learning from failures, but doing that with confidence. It’s not so much apologizing; it’s more like, this is our world, none of us are perfect and giving them permission to push and grow and make mistakes and have successes.

I try to be the truth barometer in our organization, or a change agent, or value-driven or servant-driven leadership – there’s so many ways to describe what I strive for – but the ultimate high is more about making a difference in the lives of our employees, or customers, while simultaneously driving a healthy bottom line.

I have a very passionate belief that happy employees = happy customers = happy bottom line. #leadershipwithheart #customerfanatix Click To Tweet

Kristi also believes that employee and customer happiness is driven by personal relationships, trust, and feeling valued. It’s never just about the product, or about the price, or about the salary you’re paying an employee; it’s the way you treat your employees, or the way you treat your customers that really drives the bottom line success, more than anything.

Nine times out of ten it all comes down to, Do I trust this company? Do I trust these people? Do I trust the leadership? Do I want to be part of this community? Click To Tweet

Kristi’s Authentic Leadership Style

“I give my team constructive criticism and feedback; I create sense of urgencies in situations. I have very high expectations of them, but I do it in a more collaborative way.

My goal really is always to create the relationships with my team members, or even other cross-functional teams, so that they would want to go beyond the call of duty, or they’d want to work hard for me or work hard for the company, because their heart’s in it.”

I don’t think we, as leaders, need to put a smile on our face…I don’t think we need to fake that everything’s perfect. I think that can be a real mistake. @kturneroa on #leadershipwithheart Click To TweetLearn from others, the best and the worst, and come up with your unique combination @kturneroa on #leadershipwithheart Click To Tweet


Connect with Kristi on LinkedIn and Twitter

Visit their website at Compeat


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