Author: Kelli Richards

RIP iPod, May 2022 – Honoring the little device with a big legacy – Apple announced it was officially ending the life cycle of one of its most iconic products — the beloved iPod.

What’s Happened to Rock Music?, April 2022 – Most rock and metal bands make most of their revenues by performing live, but what happened to album sales?

Riding the Wave: Navigating Web3 and Music, Feb. 2022 – Web3 is emerging as one of the most dynamic of all the waves we’ve experienced thus far related to multimedia platforms and new forms of content creation, engagement and monetization. Here’s how.

Cultivating Presence Matters for Leaders

A key challenge that I’ve observed in business is that many execs are struggling with the need to be present, especially at a time when many valuable employees are choosing to leave their jobs.

Companies are left struggling to find great talent. As a result, it’s more important than ever to view employees as individuals, to be sensitive to their unique needs, to pay attention and to listen to them carefully, to validate them, and to honor what’s most important to them — in order to attract and retain your best people.

As a leader, presence is one of the greatest skills you can master in two directions. First, it allows you to be there fully for those around you as they seek guidance and observe how you show up. And secondly, it allows you to be be yourself more fully and authentically in the moment. When you convey presence, people respond as they feel seen, heard and valued. And at the same time, you operate at peak performance levels tapping your gifts and talents in real time.

Your relationships with others improve by default. Being fully present allows for richer, more meaningful connections that foster trust, credibility and loyalty because others sense you have their back and genuinely care about doing right by them. You’re fully engaged, switched on, and aren’t focused on conflicting agendas. It turns out your presence is just about the greatest gift you can give to those around you – including your employees, co-workers, shareholders, friends, family and others.

During my many years at Apple, I had some great bosses. For example, I recall how meaningful it was when I announced my engagement that my supervisor at the time made a big deal out of pausing the meeting to acknowledge the news. His reaction was more that of a caring uncle vs a manager at work, and he subsequently arranged a party to celebrate this important milestone in my life.

I don’t see that in the workplace much these days (or even back then); it meant a great deal to me, and it engendered even greater loyalty to him as a leader (and to the company!) than I already felt.

On a personal note, I was at a family gathering awhile back; an important one — my aunt’s 80th — and I don’t get to spend a lot of time with my immediate or my extended family, so I was really looking forward to it. I’m so used to operating with my To Do list and unfinished tasks to take care of in my head. My mom had to remind me to focus on being present and in the moment. In fact, we went into a book store near the event, and she bought me a book entitled “1001 Ways to Live in the Moment.”

Of course I embraced it immediately; how perfect. It was an act of grace that the book showed up at that moment and re-framed the importance of being present. As my mentor Alan Cohen is fond of saying, “you can change the world by the power of your being.”

So as we power into this year, consider what you can do as a leader to be more present to your own employees and teams. What can you do to make each individual feel genuinely valued, validated and appreciated? Your presence will pay off in terms of allegiance, increased productivity, greater teamwork and increased retention. And it will go a long ways towards fostering long-term trusted relationships that may extend well beyond your current workplace and throughout your entire career.

Reinvention and Transformation are Key Trends this Year

In addition to the challenges, there have also been a number of unanticipated gifts during the pandemic.

The “Great Resignation,” is an example in which employees are voluntarily choosing to leave their jobs in the pursuit of a more flexible (and meaningful) lifestyle.  This phenomenon was fostered as we were all tethered to our homes throughout the pandemic, and many of us realized that we had more time with our families and loved ones – and reduced stress and loss of time as a result of fewer meetings, office politics, and soul-crushing commutes.

We started to realize what really mattered to each of us – and it wasn’t necessarily more material goods, but instead doing things that best used our talents and passions, and that created meaning, legacy and impact in our lives. Many of us realized that through technology we had the means of being able to work from home remotely and do just as good a job as we could have done in the office – if not better without a commute and fewer distractions.  And as importantly, the reasons why many choose to leave companies is because of bad managers that don’t honor, empower and validate them as unique individuals.

As a trusted advisor, this is the work I do with my clients who are often at a “what’s next” crossroads. My goal is to empower them, help them see possibilities they may not see for themselves, and transform the quality and the meaning of their lives so that they do more of what lights them up and fulfills them now — not waiting for someday — vs what others think they should do, and living with constraints imposed on them like shackles.  We weren’t meant to live life that way; that’s simply a recipe for despair.

Imagine instead a life of following your intuition, knowing exactly what you are meant to do in this life, and having the ability to pursue the path that’s calling to you. Imagine having a sense of direction, living life to the fullest, and playing full out on your own terms with a sense of agency and sovereignty.  When people are following their passion, living their gifts and talents, and pursuing what they are called to do, they are happier, more fulfilled and operating at peak capacity, and they create a ripple effect that uplifts others in their circle by extension. So the transformation at hand is a reflection of the insights many of us came to during this period of isolation and remote work, fueled by the pandemic, which has caused us to re-assess all of these things and more.

Here are a few tips to consider as you contemplate transforming aspects of your work and life:

  • Do you enjoy what you do for work? – If not, what can you to do take steps to shift into something that’s a better fit?
  • Do you have a clear vision for what you want your life to look like – your relationships, your work, your lifestyle, and how much you really need to have the life you envision that would bring you the most pleasure?
  • Can you afford to make a change that would bring you greater meaning and fulfillment?  If not, what steps can you take to adjust your lifestyle – from paring back on unnecessary expenses to re-locating to a more affordable location?
  • Do you have a support network that works for you – or are you tolerating relationships that no longer serve you (professionally and/or personally)?   If so, it may be time to take stock, re-assess and make changes that will ultimately create more happiness, peace of mind, and bring you greater fulfillment.
  • Last but not least, what is it that gives your life meaning and fulfillment?  How many of the things that do are in your life right now today, and what can you do to manifest more of the things you envision?  Starting creating and living your legacy today.

Reinventing and transforming your life can be challenging, yet at the same time the rewards are well worth whatever transitions you go through to craft a life that empowers and lights you up on all fronts. That’s something worth paying attention to this year!

The Importance of Continuously Reinventing and Innovating with Kelli Richards

In this episode, Annemarie Cross speaks with Kelli Richards to explain why you need to innovate and reinvent within your personal life and business. She highlights how visionaries pave the way for industry trends and how we should navigate them. Kelli also delves into finding success as a woman in male-dominated industries. Then, she speaks about how working with a trusted advisor can help you accelerate your vision.

Search Resources

Topic Areas & Guests


Join our mailing list

For insights on industry trends, and for details on special projects/events. We respect your time and your privacy.

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: . You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact