Kidsan Barnes was named 40 under 40 by the South Florida Business Journal for making an impact in our economy and the community. She is the Director of Global Cruise & LATAM – Intellian Technologies. Here is our conversation with Kidsan a Jamaican young leader making a difference in the South Florida community.
What is your connection to Jamaica?
I was born in Kingston. I migrated to Florida after finishing four years at The Queens School.
What do you think is the biggest issue for women in the workplace?
Depending on your industry, the issues are different. I work in tech, which is a male-dominated industry. In a former role, I was once told that I could not have a large account assigned to me because I was a woman and the customer from this specific country had “issues” with women in power. Let’s start by saying that being seen as equally capable is a large foundational step we have to conquer globally.
What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me About Being a Leader” and why?
The spotlight is never yours; it always belongs to the people that work with you in any capacity. We all have goals, and nothing is wrong with that; we have to remember that achieving goals is very rarely an individual effort.
Leadership involves strategy. Understanding the value of strategic intent is a foundational pillar to great leadership.
Know where to draw the line before friendly work relationships go sour. They can go sour due to many reasons. The faster you learn that lesson, the easier it is to avoid getting into situations that sometimes ruin exceptional work relationships.
Pressure burst pipes, and being a leader comes with loads of pressure. Mental sanity and clarity are as important as results. Keep your head clear; it will make the day-to-day process of leading much more enjoyable.
Have fun. Enjoy the people. Enjoy the process. Some of us are blessed with incorporating our leadership in our day-to-day lives. It makes the journey feel less like work. Enjoy what you do, and you will never work a day in your life. Right?
What’s the most important business or other discovery you’ve made in the past year?
The most important discovery I have made over the past year is that, no matter how positive you are, no matter how motivated you are, there will come a time that you must pull the plug and take a break to decompress. Whether it be for your mental sanity or your family’s mental sanity, we must all be in tune with our minds and know when brain fog kicks in. Business and leadership are like a sport, and you must know in yourself when you are not performing at your best capacity and why. Over the last 18 months, most of us have undergone a bit of Murphy’s Law; if it can go wrong, it probably has threatened to. Keeping up with this dynamic is tiring and can take a toll, so we must know when to say it’s enough, time for a breather.
Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”?
“People will forget what you said. People will forget what you did. But people will never forget how you made them feel.” Maya Angelou
If women ruled the world, what would be different?
If women ruled the world, there would be more female representation in roles of power. As it stands today, there is male dominance on most corporate executive boards and government leadership entities; this, unfortunately, drives down to the same ratios of male dominance in leadership. If women ruled the world, this would change and provide an additional form of female empowerment.
Favorite Jamaican dish?
Ackee and saltfish
Favorite Jamaican saying…
“Cock-up Gyal, in the name of Jesus” – Hycenth ‘Gloria’ Thompson on Elaine Thompson Herah’s Olympic win
Favorite place to visit in Jamaica?