Lola Kakes is the CEO of Effortless HR. Lola is a thought leader, influencer, visionary, and successful entrepreneur. Lola provides the leadership and energy that has inspired the creation of Effortless HR. Lola Kakes joins other leading CEOs and Founders taking part in our Leader Roundtable Interview Series. The DotCom Magazine editorial team has recently awarded Effortless HR with our Impact Company of 2019 award. We are delighted to have Lola join us for our Leader Roundtable Interview and our popular “speed round” as well.
Lola, thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy day for this interview about your company, leadership, and entrepreneurship.
1. What is the “elevator pitch” for Effortless HR?
EffortlessHR is an Internet based Human Resource Management System designed for the busy entrepreneur to better manage their people through an affordable and easy to use employee data collection program.
2. What is the key to your company’s success?
Our success is our flexibility and customer service. While the program itself is very comprehensive, we work to provide our customers with the package of HR that best suits them.
3. Many of our readers are just starting to build a company. What advice can you give entrepreneurs just starting out with a new venture?
My advice is have a passion and a plan. I was told if I could write it, it could be built. So, I wrote my first book, “If You Don’t Own a Circus, You Shouldn’t be Hiring Clowns”. It is a HR primer for those individuals who do not have a clue as to what HR is all about. If you don’t have a plan, you cannot move forward. Once you have that plan, be flexible in making necessary changes and don’t be afraid to ask for help.
4. For other entrepreneurs seeking to build a business as successful as yours, what advice can you give them when times get a little challenging?
Take a deep breath, step back and look at what you have accomplished. There will always be hurdles or wrong decisions. You have to look at those hurdles and decisions as learning tools and move forward with a solution or move around it to a better path. Don’t brush it off – use it to be flexible and make the necessary changes.
5. How important is the commitment to client satisfaction at Effortless HR, and how do you make sure your customers will become raving fans of your company?
We have a commitment to respond to a call or an email within 24 hours if not sooner. We provide free trials and demos to explain the program. We like to receive requests in writing so we have a log and then we respond in writing to complete the log. That way, we have documentation of what we have done and why and how long it took to respond.
6. In today’s fast changing business environment, how do you stay abreast of things?
We belong to professional organizations where we read and keep up-to-date on current issues. As a technology company, we have robotic programs to check our data links to be sure they are current and if not, we get a report so we can go in and research and update needed information, such as employment posters.
7. What is your “Why”? Why do you get up in the morning, and how do you keep yourself at peak performance to lead Effortless HR?
I know from 30 years of experience that HR is the backbone of an organization. I don’t want to let my customers down as they are working with their people to make their organization run smoothly. If I can’t do the same for mine, how can I help them?
8. Can you recommend a book that has had an influence in your career? How did it influence you?
There are so many different books – they all are important to me in various stages of my career. My favorite is the “One Minute Manager” by Ken Blanchard as it provides a great roadmap to managing others. Also, his book, “Raving Fans” which helped me as I started EffortessHR.
9. When communicating with your staff, can you tell us the most important thing you do so that they are able to carry out the objectives that you set forth at Effortless HR?
Listen to what they have to say.
10. Can you explain what leadership means to you?
Leadership is being available and responsive. You have to be honest and let others know if you don’t have an answer, you will get back to them. Don’t be afraid to be quiet and let others talk. Be firm but supportive.
We would like to have some fun and do a “speed round” with you! We will ask you ten more questions that we want you to answer in just one to three words only.
Here you go!
1. In three words or less, what makes a successful CEO?
Be a role model
2. Describe your business in one word?
3. Describe your customers in one word?
Trying (they are trying to help their company)
4. What one attribute do you look for when hiring an employee?
5. What is the one word you want your customers to say about your company?
6. In three words or less, describe your passion?
Being available and successful
7. In three words or less, describe what it takes to be successful?
Flexible, transparent and eager
8. In three words or less, describe your first year in business at Effortless HR?
Exciting and terrifying
9. In three words or less, describe how running a successful company has changed you?
More open and communicative
10. What is the one word that you believe has the most power in the English language?
Thanks (actually two words – thank you).
Lola Kakes, thank you so much for sitting down with us for our DotCom Magazine Leader Roundtable Interview Series. We very much appreciate the time you spent helping our readers learn more about what it takes to be a leader. We wish you, your family, and of course Effortless HR, nothing but the best. Thanks again!
Lola Kakes, CEO of Effortless HR, The Leader Roundtable Interview Series