By Rakia Reynolds
As the economy continues on its turbulent path, CEO builder Kimberly S. Reed is readying a new crop of entrepreneurs for their turn as gamechangers. With almost 15 years experience in professional and executive development, the managing partner of the Reed Development Group, LLC (RDG) has worked with Fortune 500 companies and top universities, and is an international speaker and lecturer whose passion has earned her a reputation for delivering results for her clients.
Three years ago, when her firm downsized, Reed accepted a severance package, which she then used to create her own company. “I had great talent, networks, sponsors, and mentors in my career toolbox,” she says. “It was time to package them and develop my own company.”
Reed insists that character and integrity are integral to earning clients’ trust, which allows her to make the best decisions for them. “I become their advisor and confidant; you can’t earn those titles without strong character. It helps them grow and win.” In addition, she gives her time to multiple nonprofit organizations, including the African American Chamber of Commerce, the Howard University School of Business, and Women’s Way, Inc.
I’m a Boss
More and more people are turning to entrepreneurship as a career change and viable source of income. Reed advises clients to make informed decisions with strategic plans. “You must be willing to reinvent yourself, reinvigorate your service off erings and be extremely knowledgeable in your industry,” says the West Chester University alumna. “Also, network, network, network!”
Reed—who also serves as the president of NExT (Network of Extraordinary Talent) Philadelphia—acknowledges that she has a huge responsibility on her shoulders as an entrepreneur. “It challenges your creativity and competitive [nature] because clients expect 150 percent effort, innovation, solutions, and results.” So how does she stay ahead of the curve? “I read about business trends and global leadership and have increased my attention to detail. I always try to lead by example and empower others.”