We had the good fortune of connecting with Kidsan Barnes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kidsan, what is the most important factor behind your success?
The most important factor behind my success in corporate America lies on being grounded. The world is a crazy place and many folks struggle just for day to day success, much less for long term successes. It’s easier said than done to set a goal and actually achieve it. I believe the key to achieving anything in life is remaining grounded and focused on the task at hand. Remembering there will tough days, there will be tough people, there will situations that you absolutely hate, but at the end of the day, don’t lost your vision. Stay grounded in your faith and focused on your goal. If you keep this factor first, you will find that as time passes you remain encouraged and eventually climb the ladder to get where you want to be – or even further!
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
The skill needed to lead multi country projects is one that cannot be taught. It takes the perfect balance of empathy tied with business sense and leadership skills. Once you hone in on these traits and you clearly understand your industry, it is amazing how your career can unfold. Even though I got my start at a domestic telecom giant, I had the courage to jump ship to a smaller international satellite communications player. That was the best step that I could have made in my life as it opened the door to where I am now. The exposure to satellite communications comes with its own geekification, all of a sudden I was a young business professional born and raised in Jamaica, but with my Telecom experience I was getting thrown at almost any country you could imagine in Europe and Africa. Prior to taking the leap of faith to leave AT&T, I hit several blocks that hindered my career growth. It came to the point for me, where enough was enough and I knew I had to go. With lots of prayer, God opened up the right path and I have been following it ever since. I have learned that whether I am sitting in front of a CEO for a telecom giant in Congo or Chad or even if I am just hanging out with my engineers for the evening; what matters at the end of the day is the unique person sitting inside that body. Many times we don’t slow down enough to sense a persons uniqueness, their laugh, their smarts, their smile, their eyes, their wit. To me, these are the most important things. The business will always get done, we know that’s what we are here for – but you are “living” only when you can truly be actively in the “presence” of others. Whatever task I have I ensure that I truly experience it, if I am leading it, I try to be in it, in every little detail. I have been able to successfully close million dollar deals and lead projects in more than a dozen countries and I am well on my way to having set foot in almost 50 countries. These were never life long goals, but definitely something I can say I am proud of.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
While I love Miami and I spent a lot of time working in Downtown Miami off Brickell; I am more a suburbian. My definition of the best time ever would include both the city and the suburbs. An extended weekend in Miami to kick things off, staying in the heart of Downtown (Either East Hotel or Kimpton Epic). Dinner at Komodo Miami, Brunch at Rusty Pelican one day, venue hopping with a pit stop down calle ocho (8th St.) at Ball and Chain. We would of course partake in shenanigans on South Beach one day , maybe one night at Mangos. We would probably take a good 4 days with the Miami life, then to the suburbs we go to recover. Watch gators at the sunset parks around Coral Springs/Parkland. Pop in at Coconut Creek Casino for some live music and good drinks. Then have a chill beach day on pompano beach by Beach House restaurant. Whew, I am tired writing this – but I am ready whenever you guys are!!!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have always kept my immediate circle of support small, I like consistency in life. With that being said, I can truly say that I would not be able to achieve any form of success without the continued support of my family (especially my mom, daughter, aunts and significant other). My AT&T family deserves a shoutout as they were the first work group to open my eyes and help me develop my Corporate “style”. My friends also know, they balance me out so I avoid burnout and for them I am eternally grateful.
Linkedin: Kidsan Barnes
Other: TikTok: @kidsywidsy