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Kiechelle Degale, CEO KiE Leadership Training and Development Ltd

Growing up in the Caribbean, Kiechelle Degale had big dreams she wanted to pursue and committed to making them a reality. Now, as the CEO of her leadership training and development company in the UK, Kiechelle talks to The Industry Leaders about her journey.

How did you end up sitting where you are today?

What a journey and I believe the best is yet to come!

I started in a tiny village in the Caribbean/Trinidad with no self-esteem or self-confidence but with big dreams. So I made a commitment to myself to learn and grow and to become more.

It was an incredibly difficult journey, but I am proud of all that I have overcome as this has been my greatest teacher. Because of it, I have been able to reach and connect with hundreds if not thousands of people.

What kind of work does your role involve?

My work is about meeting the training needs of groups, teams, companies or individuals. It's essential to get a deep understanding of what they need and to deliver more than can ever be expected! This can be training on anything from Emotional Intelligence, Management skills, Mental Health First Aid and a wide range of bespoke topics. My role also extends to one-to-one Career Coaching and Keynote delivery.

What gets you excited about your industry?

My industry is about self-empowerment, self-improvement, upskilling, raising standards, learning, growing, overcoming and moving from surviving to thriving. This excites me every day, just thinking of the positive impact I can make on others.

What's the best advice anyone ever gave you?

The best advice I was ever given was to 'Be myself - as everyone else is taken'.

It's important to live an authentic life and feel great about who you are. We are all unique individuals with our own lived stories, and we can always teach each other something of value.

What's the best way to support aspiring leaders in your field?

I support aspiring leaders by encouraging them to be themselves. I help them to believe in themselves and support them on their journey. This could be just listening, being a critical friend, reflecting their thoughts to empower them to make their own decision.

One key question I am often asked is, "What's great about that?" - it's especially relevant for adverse situations.

How do you keep up to speed with what's happening in your industry?

I am always in tune with current trends, information, techniques, resources and new developments. This can be from networking events, online publications and membership, following industry leaders online through social media and attending courses and other training events.

What was the most challenging project or situation you've overcome?

I was asked to train over 100 people on a new platform I had no knowledge of. The people I was expected to train also had numerous challenges that they needed to overcome, and I still said YES!

Why? Because I knew I had the confidence to jump right in and figure it all out.

And you know what, it was the best experience with overwhelmingly positive feedback!

You finish work today and step outside the office to find a lottery ticket that ends up winning $10 million. What would you do?

My first concern would be, "Who has lost this ticket, and how do I find them?" As it would never feel right if it belonged to someone else.

But let's assume no owner could be found, them I have it all worked out.

I have a list of deserving people I will look after, including my own family, and I have ideas for international projects and businesses I would launch. I would also open a few homeless shelters as it's something close to my heart.

What do you see as the key ingredients for failure?

This is easy:

A key ingredient for failure is most definitely the inability to GROW. In my industry, if you decide to stand still and let the tumbleweeds roll by, you will stagnate and die. How can you teach others to grow if you don't?

If you had one wish for the future of your industry, what would it be?

My one wish for my industry would be for people to be more authentic. If you want to teach others how to do something, you must do it yourself. For instance, I teach others to manage their emotions, and I know this is something I have worked incredibly hard at and can do at an exceptional level.

What book or podcast should everyone know about?

I love books and videos that can transform lives and teach something life-changing. So anything by Tony Robbins, Les Brown, Dr Wayne Dyer, Lisa Nichols and Jim Qwik, to name a few.

How should people connect with you?

*Would you like to have your questions answered by business leaders who've been where you are now? Work with an Industry Leaders mentor.

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