Kris McCleary started her career as a scientist where she frequently found herself leading people, teams, and projects. After realizing that this was the work that she enjoyed the most, she acquired her Project Management Professional (PMP) credential, and once people in her network began reaching out to her for her guidance and leadership on projects, her journey as an “accidental entrepreneur” was born.
Kris has been running her business, Kris McCleary Consulting, a boutique management consultancy and Professional Executive Coaching practice, for 10 years. She creates custom solutions to help leaders achieve results to move themselves and their organizations forward, and she helps leaders transform themselves to perform at their best.
Since starting her business, Kris has completed professional training in Executive and Team coaching at Royal Roads University, earning her Certified Executive Coach (CEC) and Associate Certified Coach (ACC) credentials. In addition, Kris shares her expertise and hard-won insights with students at Thompson Rivers University, where she teaches Project Management and Consulting in the Master of Business Administration program.
Q. What inspired you to start your business?
A. As I worked with clients on projects, I realized that most organizations need to define the direction they’d like to take the organization in (strategy and vision) and get people and teams involved to reach their goals (change and transformation). As I continued to work with clients, I also realized that I could have the biggest impact by partnering with my clients to help them determine where to go, and how best to lead themselves and their teams to the desired future.
Q. What’s your biggest strength?
A. My biggest strength is my ability to understand client needs, and help clients achieve their goals, whether it is identifying the direction for their organization, helping them lead projects, facilitating change or helping them and their teams grow as leaders.
Q. What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learnt as an entrepreneur?
A. The biggest lesson I’ve learned being in business for myself is that to borrow a phrase from Hillary Clinton, it takes a village to establish and grow a successful business. There are many people who are interested in, and willing to help you, so make sure to seek out and accept advice.
Q. Do you have any advice for other women who are following your path?
A. My one piece of advice for women entrepreneurs would be to find support and guidance from others that have walked your path before you. Guidance and support through mentorship are key success factors for establishing and growing a successful business. I believe that the best way to grow a business is to grow the woman leading the business and help her be successful.
Q. How have you used your experience to help other women entrepreneurs?
A. I teach the Taking the Stage® program and lead Peer Mentoring programs for women entrepreneurs through WeBC and mentor women entrepreneurs through The Forum. I also use my teaching skills to facilitate skill development workshops for WeBC. I support WeBC and other organizations that support women entrepreneurs with my time and expertise because I believe in supporting women entrepreneurs and have experienced the impact of their programs firsthand.