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Interview with Irish Executives

Kevin Kelly

I came across Kevin Kelly last year when he offered me an article on leadership for the Bloggers In Residence Program @ IEN , he also spoke to me about the value of execution and since then has written a book about it so let`s catch up !!!
IEN : Who are you and where are you based ?
Kevin Kelly, Keynote speaker on leadership, motivation, entrepreneurship, sales and best selling author based in Galway.
IEN : When did you join Irish Executives and Why ?
I joined pretty much at the start in the hope of being inspired, informed and of course getting an opportunity to spread the DO! message.
IEN : Tell us about your new book “ Do! the pursuit of xceptional execution”
The new business title distills nearly two decades of research
about why some startups succeed and why others fail. DO! is the culmination of my life experiences, client work and keynote insights. In it I highlight what makes xceptional businesses and their leaders—the “Xceptionalists”—succeed beyond all odds, and features exclusive interviews with the entrepreneurs behind fast-growing, innovative companies such as Balsamiq, Dwolla, Globant and others. With revenues of 100k to 150m, drawn from around the world, those companies have moved the dial from dream it to do it.
DO! focuses on the power of simple execution, and how it’s the single defining variable is why some entrepreneurs experience unprecedented success.
You don’t have to be Einstein or Jobs. Your product doesn’t have to be a Bentley or a Stradivarius. And your service doesn’t have to be a Hulu or a Dropbox. You must simply find an ordinary idea, and implement that idea with xceptional xecution.
In DO!, I also argue that too much knowledge may just be a recipe for failure for potential entrepreneurs. Why? Knowledge always gives you enough reasons not to act. Drawing on anecdotes from my past life as an Idea killer, I show just how easy it can be to rule out potential game changing ideas.
Business writer Tom Peters said of the book: “Now I can retire in peace. Kevin Kelly has written the book I always wanted to write. And he’s done to the point of perfection—calling it xceptional execution.”
IEN: At a time when multitasking is worshiped , you preach focus and delegation Why ?
Yep probably more specifically I preach focus on xceptional execution – ie DO! underpinned by strong self awareness and understanding that you are operating in an attention deficit society.
It was no coincidence in 2007 that the Stanford Business School advisory committee highlighted self awareness as the most important attribute a leader can develop.
Probably one of the great challenges facing the busy executive is not solving but seeing problems. In DO! we explore the source of this challenge and how we can start to see more clearly. We also look at how you can deliver quality attention in the marketplace by a focus on building friendships, not customer relationships. The customer in its current interpretation is dead.
IEN : What would you say to aspiring writers and maybe a final word ?
Move from dream it to do it. But be clear about your objectives from the outset. Books are more of a platform than a cash cow. If you are in for the money, you may be disappointed. On the other hand having a well written, researched book is an excellent brochure. Assemble a strong team around you that will challenge and potentially annoy you! Pain=growth. And action!
Last word – the book is launching in the Los Angeles on Oct 04 – please spread the word and join the Do tribe on www.kevinkelly.do If you have any ideas how I can make this work, I am all ears. If you would like three chapters free just go to the website or email me directly.

“if you would like to see Kevin visit your company in the States in October or indeed in Ireland later on please DM him…..“
Interview & Editing By Pascal Derrien Governance and Leadership Team, Board Member & Executive Director at Irish Executives Network