Practice a gratitude mindset. It’s important for executives to accept their team members as a whole package — strengths and weaknesses together. Never focus on the weaknesses alone or expect that people will do things exactly as you would. It’s easy to go down this negative path, but it’s utterly unproductive and hurts the culture. Nobody’s perfect, and remembering to be grateful for how the company got to this point and for everyone who helped get it there is key.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Barry Kelly. He is CEO of Kelser Corporation, an IT consulting firm based in Glastonbury, Connecticut. Barry has been a driving force in the company since its inception in 1981, and has led the firm to serve some of the largest, most well known companies in New England, as well as small and medium-sized businesses of all types. Most recently, Barry and his team developed Defend Forward, a truly comprehensive cybersecurity-as-a-service offering to help organizations protect their data and stay ahead of cyber threats. Supporting the community has always been a priority for Barry, who shortly after becoming CEO in 2010, created the Kelser Foundation, which has donated over a million dollars to nonprofits in addition to countless volunteer, clothing and food donations.
Thank you so much for joining us! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?
The IT industry didn’t exist when the opportunity came up for me in the early 1980s. My brother was a consultant working at Cigna and had the idea that he could start a company to help small and large businesses with their IT. I was in my 20s and doing roofing jobs at the time. That was hard work, so I jumped at the chance to try something new and exciting. I was the second or third employee. We bought some home computing equipment, and from there, the business grew in all sorts of ways we didn’t initially expect…