They’re delivering a one-two punch to defects. They’re ridding the earth of process waste. They’re on the front lines delivering customer service perfection. They’re in leadership striving to make a difference in the world. They’re kicking process improvement butt! The Wonder Women of Quality are here!
This month in the Wonder Women of Quality pantheon we are honored to highlight Katie Anderson!
Katie Anderson is the founder of KBJ Anderson Consulting, a coaching and consulting practice focused on helping clients lead with intention by connecting purpose, process, and practice to achieve higher levels of performance. It is Katie’s personal passion to help individuals and organizations gain clarity on their goals, deepen their problem-solving capabilities, and develop more effective leadership habits. Katie also leads learning trips to Japan, where she lived for 18 months.
Here are Katie’s answers to a few of our questions:
What is your Quality Mission?
Connecting people with their intention to do better in this world – and develop their capabilities to do so.
I get joy from helping people identify their personal purpose and developing the capabilities to get better each and every day. Leading with intention is the foundation of my consulting approach and is the core of my personal practice. When I moved to Japan in 2015, I chose to put the word “intention” in Japanese kanji characters on my business cards in lieu of a logo (which I had not yet developed). When I gave out my cards, Japanese speakers would remark on what a powerful meaning the kanji represented.
I came to learn that characters for the word “intention” are made up of components representing “heart” and “direction.” The word “intention” has a deeper meaning to me now: intention is how we connect our purpose (our heart) with our actions to ensure that they are aligned (direction). One might consider one’s intention (heart + direction) as one’s personal “True North.”
What is your Quality Superpower?
I inspire people to turn intentions into reality—and support them by providing structures and support for practice.
I make real immediate—and lasting—connections with people.
I take on new challenges with gusto such as moving to new countries without knowing anyone (UK, Spain, Dominican Republic, Australia, and Japan) over the course of my life.
I have a genuine interest and curiosity of learning: about new cultures, new languages, and new ways of doing things.
I personally practice with intention on getting better myself each and every day.
What do you see as Quality Kryptonite?
Knowing when to tell and when to ask: We need a better balance of telling and asking, and knowing when to do each. Leaders absolutely need to “tell”—to set the direction for an organization and to have an opinion about the problems within their scope of responsibility. But our human habit of telling outbalances our habit of asking questions. We often lead with “I have the answer” or “it’s easier just to give them my suggestion”. If our intention is to develop capability and confidence in others to solve problems, asking questions is a more effective way to line up our purpose with our behavior.
Not clearly identifying the purpose…of the organization, the meeting, the project… Without a clearly identified purpose, there is no “True North” to focus alignment in action, discussion, and priorities.
What are some of your Quality Victories?
Starting my own consulting practice and being able to connect with and help people around the world.
When I moved to Japan in 2015 I had the intention to learn deeply myself, and also share my experiences with others. I started writing my blog, which has become an important way of finding my voice and sharing it with others, as well as developing an international community, which give me joy …. And now 3 years later, I’m leading study trips to Japan (and I’m the only woman that I’m aware of doing this)!
Do you have any Words of Wisdom?
Identify your purpose, find your voice, and be brave to leap into the unknown!
Identify your purpose: Discover and declare your intention—your True North—by identifying your purpose and assessing how your actions line up with achieving your purpose. Work at getting better at moving towards that True North every day.
Find your voice – and share it: Learning from others is invaluable and an important part of growing and improving, and it is also important to find your own voice. What is your unique take on the world? How have you incorporated what you have learned from others in to your practice and made it your own? What have you learned along the way? Share your voice! Your voice can be one that others can learn from and use for their own growth and improvement journey.
Be brave and leap into the unknown! The unknown can be scary, but I have found that more often than not, taking the brave step to move forward into something uncertain and unknown has resulted in the biggest rewards in my life. For me, this includes big leaps such as moving to multiple foreign countries at multiple times over the course of my life (starting at the age of 16!), deciding to become a parent, and starting my consulting practice.
Or “smaller” jumps such as challenging myself running my first 10k or learning basic conversational Japanese. Even these smaller jumps were a bit daunting at first, but taking the leap towards these goals have resulted in incredible payoffs. Of course, there are failures along the way, but that is all part of the learning process. And if you don’t make the leap, you won’t know what you can achieve!