Working remotely is nothing new, and at Koné Consulting we use myriad tools to stay connected with one another, so meeting with clients and each other or even taking a break by the virtual water cooler are not only easy and convenient, it adds an element of fun to our work together. A day does not go by without some topic or shared insight via Slack, and our weekly video conferences keep us closely engaged in the work.
That said, I am always grateful for the opportunity to spend time in-person with my colleagues, not the least of which is our fearless leader, Alicia, who always leaves me invigorated and interested in expanding my personal and professional development and world view.
Last Friday was no different. As we headed to the U.S. Small Business Association SCORE Women in Small Business Conference for the greater Seattle area, we easily filled our 40 minutes of drive time with conversation around current events, strategies for upcoming client work, and latest movies watched (Alicia: Hello Privilege, It’s Me, Chelsea on Netflix; me: The Beautiful Fantastic on Amazon Prime) and books read (Alicia: Paper Wife: A Novel by Laila Ibrahim; me: The Sound of a Wild Snail Eating by Elisabeth Tova Bailey).
A common theme in any conversation with Alicia is the opportunity to do better/be better – that as a business practicing Lean principles and continuous improvement, we are learning and growing together. During our weekly 1:1 meetings, she often asks, “how can I help you this week?”
When there is a way Alicia can help support our learning and growth, personal or professional, she is always on board. (To that end, next week I am attending a non-work related training workshop for working with individuals with disabilities around sexual health, an issue in which I am very invested as the parent of an adult with cognitive disabilities; and I’ve registered for a French language class in preparation for our Travel With Purpose tour to Côte d’Ivoire.)
So it is not surprising that Alicia, who exemplifies servant leadership, is in the .02% of women business owners of management consulting firms, and 10% of women-owned businesses with employees, as shared by the event’s keynote speaker Kay Hirai, “when women earn money, we invest 90% back to our community and family.” For additional statistics, read Alicia’s April 11, 2019 blogpost, “When women succeed, we all benefit,” here.
I know I speak for the entire Koné Consulting team when I say, thank you, Alicia, for your support, wisdom, and entrepreneurial spirit.
- Erika Larimer