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Organizations continue to face rapidly changing work environments, sales teams who are stuck in analysis paralysis, and the urgent need to rethink business models, products, and services to meet the changing needs of their customers. But what Plucky Leaders know is that inside these challenges you can find the greatest opportunity to pivot, progress, and innovate, and that’s exactly what Founder and CEO of Sseko Designs did and how she and her team created a massively successful turnaround story in the height of the pandemic.
Like many businesses experienced, March 2020 showed record low sales and revenue for Sseko Designs. But by May, not only was Sseko back up to baseline, they had surpassed their revenue goals by over 100%. How was this possible?!?! By taking her team through the principles in her Bestselling Book, Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose & Impact Now, Liz helped her team reclaim their Pluck by choosing to get curious and tap their inner beginner. Organizations around the world are using Plucky Principles like Dream Small and Own Your Average to smash sales goals, drive innovation, and build teams focused on passion, purpose, and impact.
Liz Bohannon is the Founder and CEO of socially conscious fashion brand Sseko Designs, which she founded in 2008 as a way to provide educational and economic opportunities for women in East Africa.
Liz shares the lessons learned from her 10-year journey growing Sseko from three women under a mango tree, into a successful international fashion brand that provides employment, educational and entrepreneurial opportunities to thousands of women across the globe.
Her story is filled with lessons for success that are grounded in the principle of having a beginner’s mind, which Liz sums up in her new book, Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose and Impact Now. In it, as in her presentations, she shares uncommon ideas toward success like, Own Your Average, Stop Trying to Find Your Passion…Create It, and Dream Small so you can do big things. Liz continues to channel her inner beginner as she manages 100s of employees across multiple continents, and her mindset sets her apart as a courageous, creative and effective leader.
The Sseko story has been featured in dozens of publications including, Vogue Magazine, Redbook Magazine, O Magazine, Inc., Fortune and others. Sseko has appeared on national broadcasts including ABC’s Shark Tank and Good Morning America.
Among other notable honors, Liz was named a Top Three Transformation Leader by John Maxwell, Forbes listed her as a top 20 public speaker in the U.S. and Bloomberg Businessweek named Sseko as a top social enterprise to watch.
Liz now splits her time between Uganda and Portland, Oregon, where she and her husband Ben run Sseko Designs and raise their two young sons.
BEGINNER’S PLUCK: A ROADMAP TO SUCCESS IN HIGHLY UNCERTAIN TIMES
When we are starting on any journey, there are things that we will do as beginners more naturally that will help us become more creative, innovative, and ultimately, more successful. Even uncertainty becomes something that we look at with curiosity instead of fear. This is a little something Liz Bohannon calls “Beginners Pluck.” By embracing your status as a beginner or diving deliberately out of mastery and back into the magical land of beginners, you will achieve goals you never imagined.
Through exploring some of the 14 principles from her Bestselling Book, Beginner’s Pluck: Build Your Life of Purpose & Impact Now, Liz will challenge your team to dream small so they can start doing instead of dreaming, show them how curiosity over criticism fuels innovation and set them on the ultimate path of success by weaving passion & purpose into every goal.
Become a Problem Finder – If you understand your customers’ lives at a granular level, you can look for other problems you might be able to solve for them, rather than searching for ways to make them comfortable with business as usual.
Be A Doer, Not A Dreamer – Just like start-ups who go from dreaming to doing, iterating and testing, you need to apply a beginner’s mind.
Reconnect Your Sales Team with Their Purpose – This is why purpose is so important. When unexpected curveballs are thrown your way that all but decimate your organization, the strongest unifier and innovation-inducer is purpose.
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