Karina Kelly loves business and bringing new products and services to market. She is the co-founder and director of 3 e-commerce related businesses. Founded in 2010, www.theradiatorshop.ie was the first online retailer store in Ireland to sell designer central heating radiators. In 2017 Karina left her full-time business development role in Elavon Merchant Services to launch Ireland’s first e-commerce photography studio focussed on 360 imaging of products. www.360crew.ie is the only e-commerce product photography studio in Ireland to have a set-up for 360 imaging of bikes. Clients include international bike retailers Chain Reaction Cycles / Wiggle Ltd. Karina’s newest start-up www.mypicdrop.com launched in March 2018 and is Ireland’s first dedicated Image Editing service for e-commerce retailers. Clients already include leading retailers such as Intersport Elverys.
Can leadership be taught? If so, how?
It’s a bit of both! My own view is that a great leader is the combination of personality and skill. Leadership ‘gold’ is struck when a person with an innate ability dedicates the time required to learn key skills to reach their leadership potential. In this way, we can have two different leaders who would be deemed equally great. One has that leadership spark we are all drawn to, but hasn’t worked so hard on honing their skills. Another might not have such an obvious spark but has worked really hard to hone their skills to the highest level.
What do you think is the difference between management and leadership?
A good leader drives people to look ahead to the next task, and the ones after that. For me, the difference shows itself in the results of the people being managed or led. You will know a person is a good manager if their team works well, completes on target, and stays within their team for a long period of time. You know a person is a good leader when you see people always strive to do things better, exceed on target, and quickly progress into new areas of their organisation or others.
The world around us is changing faster than at any time in human history and we need more leaders to emerge. How do we make this happen?
The school system needs to change with a total refocus on physical health, mental well being, driving curiosity, and forming and fostering relationships. If we did that and also taught our children how to access all of the learning they will ever need (online), then that for me would be the gamechanger. Our children will be competing with AI for jobs we consider mainstream today. So we need to find them their place in this new supply chain. This can only be done by a healthy, curious, and open mind.
What is the one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
Becoming fixated on the “how” and “what” instead of the “why”.
What advice would you give to someone dealing with a high-pressure situation in their life or work?
I listened to a great podcast the other week with Arianna Huffington of the Huffington Post. She spoke about how she worked so hard that she collapsed at her desk and woke up in a pool of her own blood. That was her stop point. She now speaks about how “Life is a dance between making it happen and letting it happen”. So each day she logs her 10% and leaves the other 90% up to the greater force. For some this might be God, or the universe, or chance, or destiny. Whatever you would like to call it. We all know that situation when no matter how hard you work at something, you don’t get what you think is the desired result. I now follow the above and the weight it has lifted is immense! Rather than beating myself up with how much I still “have to do” at the end of the day or week, I say “I’ve done my 10%” and I let the rest go to the universe. This can be applied to any area of life- work, relationships, exams etc. Do what you can do (your part) and then trust things will turn out as they should.
What are a few resources (books, blogs, podcasts, courses etc) you would recommend to someone looking to gain insight into becoming a better leader?
I’m really enjoying Oprah Winfrey’s Soul Sunday podcast series. Sometimes business podcasts can be the last thing you feel like listening to, so this is a nice deviation. If you scroll through you will find really great interviews with some of the world’s best leaders. The insights they give are really impactful and offer a different take on leadership in business.