Select Page

Ken Keis – Personality and Purpose

What’s your personality like? Today, we are discussing how your personality and your purpose effects your business team, customers, staff, and so on. Ken Keis is a bit of an expert when it comes to personality. He is keen to help others:

“Increase [their] capacity to make a difference!”

So then, how do you increase your capacity to make a difference?

Ken Keis, The Next 11 Days Podcast, Purpose, Business

Personality and purpose in business

It’s a good question. Research on development is increasing on such things as mindfulness, self-awareness, emotional intelligence and so forth. Kens’ business works on helping people to be conscious, awake and aware. In other words, self-aware. The real question is, what do we need and want? It’s something we don’t often have the answer to. Graham, Kevin and Ken have all come out of corporate and this question needs answering – what do you need and want? When you set up a small business, you set it up to serve your strengths and your purpose. This is calculated through asking this question of personal needs and wants.

When Ken wrote the book, “why aren’t you more like me”, he was wondering how he could create a really deep awareness about “who I am, what my strengths are and then make intentional decisions on my business, my team and my vision”.

The Next 100 Days Podcast, Ken Keis, Purpose and Perosnaliity

Click to buy the book.

The idea is, you don’t create a small business from a self-centred point of view but a self-honouring point of view. You play to your purpose.

So, personality is one thing to think about as part of thinking “this business starts with me”. Because really, your business is you and then you expand out from that and think what that means for everybody else. How do you hire the right people? How do you put the right people in the right seats, doing the right things?

Another thing to think about is the personalities of who you hire? Graham has recently hired Ellie – someone who is completely opposite to him. She’s a young female.


By using other people’s differences, you can progress the business; they may compliment the business or address issues you as the creator do not. These are all strategies to think about.

Leadership and work environments

Kevin points out that he couldn’t work under a Chief Executive who wouldn’t listen to feedback or allow the challenging of management decisions.

Now, there is a shift, as Ken suggests. The challenge is that most people are not equipped to be in management positions despite their being promoted there. So, it may be your tenacity hat has caused you to be successful, but when promoted it comes to how can you bring out the best in others.

A lot of times, leaders get into these management positions and haven’t been skilled and people haven’t challenged them because of things happening and it just perpetuates itself.

One question to ask is, how conscious, awake and aware, and how do you view your self and is that how others view you? 95% of people say that they know themselves and how they view their selves is how other people interpret their presence. However, only 10% of people do actually see their selves in the same way as others see them. This shows self-awareness isn’t as acute as is needed; self-awareness is the meta skill for the 21st century.


For the business environment, self-awareness can be found through actively engaging with feedback and also seeking it. This can help increase the capacity of others.


Self and others: finding the middle ground

Now, we’ve just discussed being true to ourselves (effectively) and now we’re talking about how to consider and facilitate relationships with others. How can you serve your own needs and yet be seeking to serve others? If there is a tension between the two, how can you optimise personal situations without 360 degree-awareness?

Well, there are 3 steps to optimising personal situations. Awareness is number one.

  1. Self-Awareness
  2. Self-Management – for example, if you know you’re a jerk and you decide to stay a jerk, that’s not what we’re on about.
  3. Self-Mastery – how can you get out of the way of yourself?

If you’re playing to your strengths, that’s great. But, if you’re conscious and awake and aware that you’re approaches were degrading relationships rather than building them, why wouldn’t you change them?

Therefore, you’re not changing who you are to help others. However, you are thus going to be the opposite of self-centred. Adjust your approach to serve others, to build relationships. Personal style is not an excuse for your behaviour. You can adjust behaviours, within the frame of your personality and purpose, to build relationships.

Processes for development

  1. Be aware of who you’re talking to
  2. Talk about suspending – this is about ‘nobody is offended, unless you let them’. Dr. Burns wrote and spoke on this after extensive research. Being offended, having road rage or anything similar, is all about your personal choice. Now that’s not saying the action against you was right or appropriate. However, your response is your choice only. What Ken teaches is how do you stay grounded and centred in a difficult business interaction? Click here for more on this.

It’s so important to be thinking how you can serve your business team, thinking of knowledge, expertise and advice that can help them rather than thinking about you want to divulge.

Serving others


The majority of people in businesses are trying to do something positive. If you have an accountant, for example, who doesn’t know what she doesn’t know what she doesn’t know, then she is doing the best she can with the knowledge she has. Again, most people are trying to be positive. The challenge is is that most of them have not been equipped.

For example, accountant’s spend years in training to be a successful and qualified accountant. But how much are they being trained on people and communication skills?

At a conference Ken was at recently, it was asked “What are the core skills that we need to develop for the workforce in the future?” The jobs young people will go onto do have not been invented yet. What was interesting was that the majority of discussion revolved around soft skills.

  • Problem solving
  • Communications
  • Being able to be conscious and awake

One of the things Ken teaches is ‘the ability for individuals to say no is equally important to the ability to say yes.’ Part of learning about ourselves is about learning when “NO” is the right response, to contain focus for the business.


Work engagement and personality

With a victim mindset, you as the victim cannot do anything. However, with a responsibility mindset you can think okay, I know my personality but what about you?

Gallup’s study on engagement round the world showed that only 13% of the global workforce even like what they do. One of the reasons Ken believes this is true is because some people take a job so they can get money – they’ve not done the work to see what they enjoy to do. As well as this, leaders and management have not done the work with these individuals to decide that they need their workforce to play to their strengths as much as theirselves.

As owners and leaders in small businesses (or any businesses for that matter), we should proactively and intentionally adjust roles and responsibilities as best as possible. There are always going to be tasks that we have to do, yet dislike. But think about how you can minimise that and maximise the things you do enjoy and are good at doing.

Research shows that, if the nature or style of the work does not fit for who you are, engagement is not sustainable over time. That engagement will wane depending on its style in regards to personality and purpose.

What the bottom line is is this:

Take responsibility for who you are – you are not a victim. Do your team members know who they are? And then, what are the intentional steps to be better and to develop “x” – be it consciousness, mindfulness, self-awareness or development.

How do you go about finding out more about purpose and strengths?

If you don’t know your purpose – if you don’t know what you like doing – then your purpose is to find your purpose! You have to do the work.

Get clear. Life leaves clues – discovery is reserved for the seeker or the searcher. But, people are not paying attention to this. Life-long learning in continuing to consume and grow is a given but you must be paying attention and be engaged. When you get in the zone, your purpose or what you’re doing should be energising for you. Interests compel or draw, rather than drain. That’s where you start paying attention to these things.

Start on one piece to begin the puzzle. Another tip Ken offers is start with one thing you can do today. Don’t think of the 99 other things – just one. Don’t feel overwhelmed, but do the work one step at a time so you can head towards clarity on your purpose, your strengths, your weaknesses.


A process toward purpose

These steps are outlined specifically in Ken’s book “A Quest for Purpose“.

  1. Ken has a series of assessments that help people get clarity; you need to know your personality and work style because everyone has one.
  2. Assessment on values is also offered. Values are used as a filter for decisions.
  3. For a personal journey, there’s the idea of assessment versus narrative. Start writing an autobiography of your life; go back and think about all the times where you were energised and positive. No neutrals and no negatives. This story shows the clues that point toward your purpose and personality. Don’t look outside to the jobs out there – look and focus on what you want.

More on this can be found in Ken’s book which is being offered as a FREE resource to listeners. To get a hold off it, click here!

The digital world…

In the next 10 years, Ken will be creating online content and continuing to develop that as we head into an increasingly digital future. As we move into an era of flexibility, Ken wishes to speak but he is also happy for others to buy online resources.

His mission will continue to be to help others live, lead and work on purpose!

The next 100 days podcast is sponsored by Linked Professionally and is brought to you by Kevin Appleby and Graham Arrowsmith

Find Out More About Planning For The Next 100 Days

Find Out More About Planning For The Next 100 Days

Join our newsletter and receive our free planning resources.

You have successfuly subscribed, Check your email for a link to the download.