Kevin Kruse is a globally recognized leadership expert and social entrepreneur. He has worked extensively for 20 years, in the field of organizational leadership, productivity and entrepreneurship. He has been a best selling NY Times author as well as has contributed in Forbes and has published different articles of his own which are focused toward increasing employee engagement and ultimately productivity of overall organization. In his 20 years of career Kevin Kruse has started and sold many multi-million companies of which many has won fast growth award in Inc top 500 and top fourth in employee engagement. Currently, he runs company named LEADx with a mission to provide world-class leadership and management training to anyone, anywhere, for free.
TaskQue: Your experience in leadership training and productivity is exceptional, people has different sources of getting motivated and inspired, what actually inspired you in becoming a leader and a productivity enthusiast?
Kevin Kruse: It was my own weakness and failure in these areas that caused me to research them and to share my knowledge. When I was young and first starting in business I was working 80 to 100 hours a week, but I was a horrible boss, and my companies failed. It was only later, after I discovered the wisdom of leadership and how to be extremely productive that I found business success.
TaskQue: Employees expectations are now setting new benchmarks for employers who want to retain their employees? How do you see this challenge? and what resolution do you prescribe for addressing this core issue?
Kevin Kruse: Many companies make the mistake of thinking they can keep their best employees by providing a little bit more money, or a fun work environment with games and free food. However the real secret to employee loyalty is to get your employees “engaged”–emotionally connected–to the company. Yes, the salary must be fair, but most people want to work in a place where they are (1) growing and learning new things, (2) they feel appreciated/recognized for their work and (3) trust that the future of the organization, and their career, is bright.
TaskQue: Productivity challenges are rising for organizations of all sizes, as market is getting more competitive, what in your view is best possible solution for current era organizations, in order to be effective and assure their survival?
Kevin Kruse: Companies must create a culture that fosters productivity. Most meetings should be banned (or at least ban them a couple days of the week), internal email should also be banned and replaced with team messaging apps, and all employees need to be trained in the fundamentals of productivity.
TaskQue: Mostly productivity enthusiasts are introverts, while leadership is the area predominated by extroverted personalities, how have you managed to absorb this incredible mix of skills into your personality?
Kevin Kruse: Indeed, I’m a massive introvert and also quite shy. It requires a lot of my personal energy to do what I do. I try to balance it with times of rest and recovery.
TaskQue: Bringing efficiency to organizational operations and productivity differ from organization to organization as per size and structure? In your view what are the best practices and applications which are helpful in solving problems of greater array of organizations?
Kevin Kruse: As companies get bigger, they tend to implement more and more policies and rules and require more approval for decision making. This reduces risk of error, but kills productivity. One way to reduce your rules is to hire better employees. Great employees can generally be trusted to do the right thing and make the right decisions quickly.
TaskQue: In your publication on Employee Engagement in 2012, you elaborated that employee engagement is different than employee being happy or satisfied, please elaborate that a bit.
Kevin Kruse: An employee can be “satisfied” but that standard isn’t high enough. Satisfied employees tend to only do the minimum required to keep her job, and will be lured away by competitors who give a small raise. And employees can be “happy” at work but not productive. For example, I might be happy at work if I can hide in the closet and play games on my phone all day, but that doesn’t help my employer. Employee engagement means I’m emotionally committed to my company…I care about the company and its goals. When I feel this emotional connection, I will always work hard, come up with new good ideas, and turn down job opportunities from competitors.
TaskQue: You have been in the field of leadership, entrepreneurship and productivity for last twenty years, while also have published many research articles of your own as well, after all these achievements, now what do you see in a future, as a next milestone for yourself to achieve?
Kevin Kruse: For the next 10 years of my life, I’m committed to helping 100 million people become great leaders around the globe. Leadership is so important in all areas of life–business, family, society–that I want anyone around the world who WANTS to be a great leader, to have the resources available to develop into one.
TaskQue: Apart from work, what are your leisure activities which help you in calming and relaxing yourself as running a company, doing publications as well as delivering presentations is a lot of work to do?
Kevin Kruse: I’m a single parent with three teenage kids. So I most of my time I spend working, or parenting. However, I try to make time on Friday and Saturday nights for some leisure. Usually that means eating out at a nice restaurant and watching good movies.
TaskQue: Driving strategy, delivering presentations on insights of productivity and leadership require in depth knowledge of subjects, What would you suggest to new millennial leaders who want to make their skills grow in shortest possible time?
Kevin Kruse: Indeed, the world is changing rapidly and information is expanding exponentially. Everyone must become an active lifelong learner if they are going to actually have jobs and a thriving career. I think spending 30-60 minutes a day on learning is a must. The good news, there are many great ways to keep learning including online training, podcasts, videos, and articles. I even like to follow successful people on Snapchat and Instagram so I can follow their daily “stories”. I learn a lot just be watching where they are going, who they are meeting with, and how they spend their time.
TaskQue: As you are a productivity enthusiast, we offer TaskQue (A Cloud based Task Management application), how do you rate it in increasing organizational productivity?
Kevin Kruse: I think all organizations adopt online task management and communication platforms as a way to leverage technology to maximize their productivity.