SHERO - Kait Dinunzio, Sr. Partner & Chief Change Officer, Helios Consulting

Why Kait Dinunzio is a SHERO.

Kait is a straight shooting, to the point change leadership expert. Her ability to provide candid and constructive feedback to both organizations and individuals is a refreshing change from a more traditional corporate plan to fix a set of issues or launch a new product. She has an incredible empathic ability and can speak from her own experiences in the trenches and past career pathways. She and her partner have a teenage daughter and two “strays” in their 20’s, that she picked up along her lifepath. She has a strong affinity for sports and bodybuilding which have reflected positively on her entire family.

Senior Partner and Chief Change Officer, Helios Consulting

How would you describe your leadership style?

I’m a no nonsense, fun, loving, git’r’done kind of leader; I have a strong sense of humor and an even stronger sense of self. I’m an inclusive individual and like to engage my team to help solve problems and grow/use their skills as much as possible; I enjoy building capacity in others and take an “apprenticeship” approach with my team members and clients. I like to demystify difficult conversations through honest, loving “real talk” to bring people along their personal growth journey.

Describe a time when you went outside your comfort zone and what you achieved and/or learned?

As a lifelong learner, I try to avoid comfort - I push myself on a routine basis, be it through sport, difficult decisions or conversations, or business growth. I like learning and growing – blowing my own mind in terms of what I think is possible. We are what we say and think we are – so if we think we’re amazing – we can be amazing!

And as my good buddy Michael Jordan said, “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.”

(Also, we’re not really friends. But it gives me some credibility when I drop my own profound statement: “No asky, no getty.”)

What productivity hack would you recommend to others?

Be planful.

Time is our most precious commodity – it’s the one thing we can never get back (Even Cher couldn’t Turn Back Time!) So as a wife, mother (of an athlete), business owner, auntie, sister, daughter, and competitive athlete – time management is the key to whether I have a good, mediocre or fantastic day. I start my day with the attitude of gratitude through daily journaling (5 Minute Journals are the best!), I book my training times in my calendars (These are non-negotiable!), I prepare, and plan focus time to be able to complete deliverables and when I’m working directly with someone, I ensure that I have the time and mental space to be present. I’m certainly flexible when the need presents itself, however, I build “fluid time” into my mental/time structures to facilitate these instances. I believe that how we do one thing is how we do everything. Structure gives us the ability to flourish in every aspect of our lives.

What skill sets do you possess that have made you a better leader throughout your career?

I’ve spent many years working on improving my Pillars of Resiliency: problem-solving, empathy, emotional regulationand self-confidence. This ongoing focus on self-discovery and self-improvement has given me the ability to connect to people in much more meaningful ways – moving away from theoretical conversations of how to execute to real-life execution. Being an activator, competent communicator/facilitator and finisher are a few things I’m known for.

What does great leadership look like to you?

Great leadership starts with connection. We all have functions to fulfill – but I believe very little can be achieved if you can’t connect with people or they don’t want to connect with you. It really is all about relationships!

What advice would you give your younger self?

Keep walking your path, hard times only give us the ability to savour and appreciate the beauty of the positive rewards of hard work and commitment.

PS: Being busy isn’t a badge of honour; it’s okay to take a day off. As Abe Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop down a tree and I will spend the first four sharpening the ax.”

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