Reflections On: Is It Better to Be Lucky Than Good, Adopting an Attitude of Gratitude and Why Sometimes You Just Need to #Unfollow

Author: Cabanne Howard, CEO

I recently had the honor to take part in the inspiring On the Rise Conference at the Rise Collaborative Workspace and spent the day learning from and sharing with an amazing group of women who are definitely on the rise.

During one of the breakout sessions, I had the opportunity to share lessons learned since launching Kaleidoscope Management Group (KMG) and answer questions on a variety of topics.

Having this time to reflect on my own lessons learned was in itself inspiring — and energizing. Here’s a quick look back at a few of the questions we discussed during the session. I share these in the hopes that you can find a little inspiration of your own in our story at KMG. 

How have you achieved the level of growth you’ve attained at KMG?

I’m amazed when I look back at how KMG has grown from just an idea to a firm that now counts among its clients three of St. Louis’ 10 largest public companies, a number of large private companies, national firms and cutting-edge innovators in industries ranging from health care to real estate to technology.

I attribute much of this growth to being at the intersection of lucky and good — to a combination of a lot of hard work and a little bit of being in the right place at the right time. I actually think it was Thomas Jefferson who said how that he found the harder he worked, the more luck he had.

This has been true at KMG. We have worked hard to exceed our clients’ expectations, to help them make the decisions that matter. And along the way, we’ve been lucky to be noticed by other high-performing companies who have decided to team up with us and also become clients. 

Sometimes this happens quickly — a company decides they are ready to invest in marketing, and we’re waiting in the wings. At other times, I may meet with a potential client, and we don’t start doing business with them until years later when they are ready to make the move. I’ve learned that growing a business takes an equal measure of agility and patience.

What’s the most important factor you consider when hiring someone?

Bringing on new clients often leads to another exciting challenge... growing your team to best service these clients. I thought finding the clients would be the hardest part. I was wrong. Identifying the best talent for the job has proven to be even more challenging. 

One thing we look for in everyone we interview is: Do they have an attitude of gratitude? Is this an employee who will come to work every day excited about the work they “get” to do and thankful for the opportunities and challenges ahead? In today’s culture, especially in the U.S., “work” feels more like a four-letter word than a luxury. It doesn’t have to be this way. 

Our work should inspire us and then, in turn, inspire others. Only when this is true can we achieve what is our mission at KMG — to help cultivate high-performing and happy companies as their go-to marketing and communications partner.

Where do you look for inspiration?

I look for people who have proven that you can be yourself and still be successful. What a novel concept! One of the things I am most proud of is the fact that I have been able to advance my professional identity while also being a mother and maintaining my femininity. I hope I can continue to look for ways to be successful and respected while still being the real me.

People are longing for this kind of authenticity. They want real, honest talk. The rise in fame of personalities like Ellen DeGeneres and Guy Raz — and even my mentor, author Laura Herring — proves this.

I want to surround myself with authentic people, people who inspire me to authentically be my best self — and unfollow the rest.