Time for another Street Level Influencer interview! Now more than ever, we need reminders from those individuals at the ground level making an impact in our daily lives – many times without us knowing it – that life is overwhelmingly good, even when it’s “bad.”
Street level influencers provide that for us.
COVID, social unrest, systemic racism, insurrections, hatred from seemingly all over. These things have caused cracks in even the most tempered of personality foundations. Concrete, eventually, will crack under the weight of the burden.
When I began my idea of the Street Level Influencer, I had no idea how positive people would respond to it! I’m excited that it struck a chord with people. Remember, the Street Level Influencer is a reminder that everyone has the ability to radiate positive light in the world around them, and light is brighter when surrounded by shadows.
So far in the series, I have shared stories from:
- Kirk Hamsher
- Kristy Freewalt
- Sue Oswalt
- Okie Smith
- John Newton
- Olga Piehler
- Blake Quinlan
- James Woods
- Anthony Eaton
- Jane Murtaugh
- Rhonda Owens
- Dan Huber
- Shenise Cook
- Scott McCullough
I met this next Street Level Influencer where I’ve made many a friend, social media! Kimberly Bozeman is someone I have only known for a little while, but I feel a connection to her. I believe this shows what a truly special person she is! She even asked me to help proof some of her marketing materials, and being a reading and proofing nerd, I said YES! Spoiler: Her shit was awesome and didn’t need much editing at all!
I hope she doesn’t mind my sharing, but she almost didn’t want to do the Street Level Influencer interview! I told her that this series is about showcasing amazing folks, and I felt her story should be shared with others – but ONLY on HER terms and in HER way. I believe Kim is special, and I wanted to use my platform to get to know her better and share what made her special with the world!
So, without further ado, here is my interview with Kim! ENJOY!
So, you recently began venturing out as an independent HR consultant! CONGRATS! Tell us about your company.
Yes, it’s been so exciting, exhausting, and an incredible journey. KNB is a full-service HR Solution firm. What makes us unique is that our solutions are customized to each organization’s industry, mission, vision, and values. HR is not a one size fit all model. To optimize growth and give your people the best experience, it’s essential that HR understands the organization’s business, pain points, and vision and plan accordingly.
I could not agree more if I tried! What is your business strategy? What makes this venture “pop?”
While we support a few industries, our primary clients are startups or organizations in the pharmaceutical or tech industries going through rapid growth. My clients overall have realized the value that HR can provide, so our focus is on making HR accessible for smaller, but growing, organizations by using a hybrid business model of integrated cost leadership and differentiation strategy. What makes us pop is a few things. We are fully vested in our clients from top to bottom; an hourly rate does not drive our decisions. It’s also imperative that we believe in the organization’s mission and values and fully understand the culture to provide superior customer service. My diverse background in operations, HR, and customer service offers a competitive advantage to other consulting firms. Finally, our values of Diversity, People, Integrity, Innovation & Improvement, and Customer Service are displayed daily, and the primary reasons we have repeat clients
A big part of your mission seems to be staying true to who you are while ensuring your solutions for companies connect to solutions for greater societal ills. What does this mean to you and what is the value to this approach?
Before George Floyd’s murder, I was on a personal growth journey of self-love and healing. While our country erupted after his murder, I had to have an honest conversation with myself, which was the catalyst to personal accountability and change. The reality at the time was that I caused a lot of harm by staying silent about injustices and systemic racism in our country. I vowed never to do that again. I will only work with clients that share similar values and beliefs, which allows me to give 10,000% of myself to their business. The freedom to show up as my authentic self for my clients brings more creativity, more vital collaboration, and psychological safety. The data clearly shows the value of having an inclusive environment adds to the bottom line. As a business owner, I understand the tremendous pressure on my clients to provide for their employees and remain as stable as possible. I do not take that responsibility lightly, and it allows me to work just as hard for your organization as I do for mine. I also have accepted that my personality, unique perspective, and untraditional background are not for everyone, and that’s okay. All money isn’t good money, and I fully realize that privilege allows me to make decisions that other business owners may not be able to.
I LOVE that. “All money isn’t good money.” At the end of the day, we need to be able to look ourselves in the mirror. What is one simple thing that HR leaders can do today to make their place of employment a better place to work?
Move from policy driven decisions. Demonstrate emotional intelligence and create psychological safety for employees. Kim Jones, an HR Consultant that has helped me tremendously, once said, “Find the hard way to say yes rather than the easy way to say no.”
Wow. That line is powerful. I need to hang that on my wall! What is one book you’ve read that has influenced your leadership style?
To be honest my anxiety and ADHD make it a bit more difficult to read (in the traditional way) over the last few years, but I listen to tons of audio books. Two books that have been essential for my growth and leadership style are The Four Agreements, and You Can Heal Your Life. In my opinion being a great leader requires self-awareness, empathy, emotional intelligence, and the ability to be a servant for others. I had to work on healing myself, loving myself, and dealing with trauma in the workplace that I experienced so that I could be the best leader, and teammate. I don’t see how you do that if you’re completely broken as a person.
Thank you for being so open and honest. I know your words will be heard by someone who needs to hear them. Who’s one person in your network that readers should know about?
This is such a HARD question. Over the last few years, there are some amazing people that have helped me, and there’s no way I can pick one! Here’s my list: George Parada, Milly Christmann, Vandy Densmore, Tracie Sponenberg, Michelle Strasburger, Ricklyn Woods, Meghan Beaupre, and Christina Wang.
I know many of those folks! Such a great group of professionals! I know why you couldn’t choose one! What do you feel is HR’s biggest challenge going to be over the next six months?
Continuing the trend from a Fixed Mindset vs. a Growth Mindset, as well as continuing to manage the intense amount of change. I see so many HR professionals stuck in the past, not evolving with technology, people, and how we do business today – let alone tomorrow! HR professionals that fail to grow and evolve will not be able to provide value to their organizations, or contribute to their growth.
How can people connect with you?
What’s one thing you think the world should know about you – personal or professional? Have fun with this one!
I love football, whiskey, and tacos. I am extremely passionate about civic engagement – it’s work that sets my soul on fire. I am different and CELEBRATE that. I might be a bit loud, but know when and how to speak with C-Suite (that doesn’t mean I am going to completely suppress who I am). I was a TA for English 1A, and received an A in every damn English class in college, but I cannot use a comma to save my life! I have shit punctuation when writing.
I barely graduated high school – I don’t think I should have – and I went back to college very late in life. I worked three jobs while going to school, but somehow found time to intern for Congressman Jerry McNerney. I graduated cum laude because I learned how to study by discovering that I was an auditory learner. Like many, I have had a hard life. I have been homeless, abused, buried a child, and experienced a significant amount of loss, including myself. I almost lost my life in January 2020.
I always believed that our circumstances don’t define us, and gratitude is the key to happiness. But I went through a very dark, dark time and lost myself. I felt completely overwhelmed and hopeless. It was HARD to pull myself out of that, and I still struggle. We’re not defined by our mistakes or failures. How we overcome them is what shows our character, grit, and fortitude. I want the world to know that peace and happiness do not come from our job titles, professional certifications, cars, homes, etc. It’s found within, and it’s just the beginning, despite what you’ve been through.