I have always believed, as a leader, you should surround yourself with people who are smarter and more successful than you. I believe smart successful people inspire you to strive for higher goals and make you realize the question “Why not me?” is worthy of asking.
Brian Kempisty founder and CEO of Port X Logistics LLC has recently been nominated as a finalist for the Ernst & Young, LLP Entrepreneur Of The Year Award. If you are familiar, “it is one of the most prominent competitive business awards for transformative entrepreneurs and leaders of high-growth companies who are building a more equitable, sustainable and prosperous world for all” according to the Journal of Commerce 2023.
This is a big deal and a big deal for me. I have been working alongside Brian Kempisty (AKA BK) as an Executive Leadership Coach and the Chief Heart Officer of Port X Logistics for more than four years. I have worked with him as he has led with unwavering courage, inspiration, authenticity, heart, and compassion.
Interestingly, people often ask me about his leadership, enthusiasm, and personality. They will ask, what is it about BK that makes the room buzz? My best answer is always the same, he leads from his “Why” and he has a clearly defined purpose. He is passionate about what he does and is intentional about his leadership.
You see, Brian is a natural-born introvert, who knows how to bring the juice, excitement, and energy. He is a charismatic leader who uses a combination of charm, interpersonal connection, enthusiastic persuasion, and motivation when he leads any team.
He believes strongly in the power of walking leadership to connect with each person on a personal level. Even though he lives in Montana he reaches out to every member of the team throughout the day, week, or month. When he visits any office, you will see him walking around the room asking people about their day, family, and current experiences or he will sit down to work with them to share his expertise and knowledge.
He never misses an opportunity to coach the team to develop and hone their skills. He is not intimidating or unapproachable. He is kind, funny, and humble, AND knows how to execute and make shit happen. I have been known to call him magical because of his empowering beliefs and ability to make the vision a reality.
People will often try to “figure him out”, scratching their heads, and asking “How does he do it”? How did he build a dynamic team of people and two multi-million-dollar companies with thriving cultures and happy employees? How does he inspire his leadership team to willingly follow him up a mountain, literally!?
As his Executive Leadership Coach and CHO, I will tell you he does not have a secret sauce or a magic wand. He simply understands the power of human connection. He realizes the effect of tapping into human emotions. He knows how to inspire people with stories, and he creates memories by providing others with life-altering experiences. He creates a sense of trust, inspires passion, and helps people to feel a sense of purpose much greater than themselves.
There is no secret sauce to leadership and being recognized as The Entrepreneur Of The Year. You simply need to start with your “Why” and learn to appreciate humans and the value of connection. For BK it has little to do with moving freight, and everything to do with changing the lives of those he encounters.
Congratulations BK, it has been an honor to collaborate with you.
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