Mike Kehoe, Senior Vice President of Global Marketing for Focus Brands International, recently spoke with Rawls Business Leadership Program students about the qualities of a leader and what lessons have benefited him the most in the working world.
Kehoe, who graduated in 1997 with bachelor's degrees in both Marketing and Management, has ample experience in the professional business industry, particularly in the international sector. Kehoe's experience includes extended time in Europe and Latin America. In 1999, he joined Procter & Gamble as an assistant Brand Manager for Hugo Boss fragrances. In 2003, he was named Brand Manager for the Western European operations of Procter & Gamble's Max Factor product line, which led to responsibilities in Central and Eastern Europe, overseeing sales managers and distributors of the Procter & Gamble. Kehoe eventually became Senior Brand Manager for Health and Beauty Care based in Argentina and Chile. More recently, he served as the Vice President of International Marketing for Bloomin' Brands, Inc, until moving to his current position with Focus Brands International.
With these experiences, Kehoe had unique insights about leadership to share with Rawls leaders. He insisted that anyone can become a leader, as long as they are dedicated to constantly developing themselves and those around them.
"With the right attitude and determination, anyone can become a successful leader," Kehoe said. "You must simply have the drive to take others where they cannot or will not go on their own."
Kehoe also shared the 20 most important lessons he's learned about leadership in his time in the professional world. Most notably, he emphasizes that leadership cannot exist without proper communication; that you should always bet on yourself; that leaders create a purpose and define the "how" and "why"; that leaders should have the ability to adapt to changing climates; and that leaders should always remember to have fun.
"There are many qualities that make a great leader, not just those I've discussed," Kehoe said. "However, as you develop in your education and move into the professional world, you should remember that all leaders must remain determined and hard-working. A leadership role will not be handed to you. You must earn it."
To view more photos from Mike Kehoe's visit, please visit the Rawls College Flickr account.This supports the efforts outlined in the Rawls College of Business Strategic Plan. Learn more about the LEADER 2020 Strategic Plan and follow our progress on Twitter at #RawlsLeads.