Jim Dudley


Vice president of business development, KeeFORCE

Age: 37

Education: Bachelor of science in business, Murray State University.

Some of Dudley's professional accomplishments include:

n KeeFORCE vice president of business development: February 2016 - present.

n KeeFORCE - business development manager: November 2012 - February 2016.

n Opened the first KeeFORCE satellite office in Owensboro.

A few of the organizations he has been involved in:

n Family Service Society board member - past chair.

n McCracken Lady Mustang Youth League coach

n Leadership Paducah graduate - voted outstanding class member

What is the biggest challenge for a young leader in today's workplace?

I believe the biggest challenge is patience. We live in a world that we can order things and get it next day. How many people go online instead of going to a mall or Walmart? Walmart and Kroger have next-day pickup for your groceries. So, everything is available when we want it. However, when it comes to our careers, young leaders need to have patience. We have to practice active listening and empathic listening. Make sure we are giving people the full attention they deserve. That even though we want the challenge of being in charge and we want the pressure that comes with it. That doesn't mean we are truly ready for it. As John Quincy Adams stated, "Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish."

What is one characteristic that you believe every leader should possess?

I believe every leader needs to have a sense of humor. The ability to make someone laugh has so many positives in the work environment. Everyday I try and go through my office and make people laugh. It gives them a break from the stresses of the job. A sense of humor is a great way to make work enjoyable and build a sense of team. Laughter is contagious and when one starts laughing, everyone does. Dwight D. Eisenhower said, "A sense of humor is part of the art of leadership, of getting along with people, of getting things done."

What are you doing to ensure you continue to grow and develop as a leader?

Every day I ask myself, "Who do I want to be"? As a leader, I believe that you must have goals. If you talk to my boss, he will tell you that I have always set my own goals. That I am self-driven and that I hate to fail. So everyday I try and find a way to make myself better. It could be listening to a podcast, reading, or having lunch with a mentor. Every sports fan knows about Jimmy Valvano's famous speech when he won the Arthur Ashe Award. He said two things that have always stuck out to me. He said "If you laugh, you think, and you cry that's a full day. You do that seven days a week, you're going to have something special." Take a moment and think about how great our world would be if everyone did that. What would your community look like if every day we showed empathy, humility, and a sense of humor. The second thing he said was, "How do you go from where you are to where you want to be? And I think you have to have an enthusiasm for life. You have to have a dream - a goal. And you have to be willing to work for it." So everyday ask yourself, "Who do YOU want to be? "

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