The International Association of Interviewers (IAI) teamed with General Dynamics for their annual recognition of remarkable women in loss prevention. Kris Vece, director of client relations for Protos Security, is one of the 2017 honorees.
As you reflect upon your career, to what do you attribute your high level of success?
When I was growing up my parents always taught me that there are no mistakes, only opportunity, and that everything is a learning experience. To be an effective leader I have always tried to reflect upon my successes and to continue to do the right things, but I try to also reflect upon situations that I know could have gone better and take the steps necessary to grow from those experiences. My goal is to learn, evolve, and grow. I have a great family. My husband and kids are my support system. They challenge me to be the best I can be.
What will be the biggest challenge for the generation of women behind you?
In the future, women leaders will face more competition. They will have to strive to not let anyone define their work/life balance …having it all means different things to each of us. The rules can be rewritten. There are many options now for women with families to be more flexible and have rewarding careers.
What has been your greatest achievement over the last two to three years at work?
As I look back at my greatest achievements over the past couple of years, I am most proud of my relationships and where I stand in the industry. I love working with people and collaborating to build relationships. It was a challenging decision to change jobs after 11 years. I was comfortable, but needed to get out of my comfort zone. Strong relationships and mentorships have helped me along the way. Also, the company that I work for understands and embraces the positivity of empowering their employees – it’s a great place to work!
What is the most important characteristic you believe every leader should possess?
The most important characteristics for a leader are to lead by example with integrity, make ethical decisions, and empower others. When employees are empowered to take control and make decisions, they feel more confident, capable, determined, and more satisfied.
What is one mistake you witness leaders making more frequently than others?
I think that when people become leaders they sometimes forget how they got there and who helped them along the way. They need to have an appreciation for their team.
What advice would you give someone going into a leadership position for the first time?
To an aspiring leader, I would say to be confident, stay humble, and listen to your gut. Your team is your greatest asset, so taking the time to continually nurture that relationship is very important. When your team shines…you shine!
When faced with two equally qualified candidates, how do you determine whom to hire?
When it comes to hiring a candidate, I want to make sure the person is a good fit for our team. The more likely choice will be the one who fits in, wants to share in our organization’s unique and friendly culture and core values, and brings some outside-the-box thinking with them as well.
What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?
Continuous education, training, and two-way communication with my team are very important to help me learn and grow as a leader. I attend webinars, seminars, and conferences, and I am constantly reading articles about the LP industry. I try to stay motivated and I never stop trying to better myself. I can’t ask my team to be flexible and open to feedback if I am not willing to do that myself. I am fortunate to learn just as much from my team as they do from me.
Do you have a favorite quote?
“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching, love like you’ll never be hurt, sing like there’s nobody listening, and live like it’s heaven on
earth.” – William W. Purkey
Check out the other IAI Remarkable Women honorees.