We had the good fortune of connecting with Kristin Kaufman and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Kristin, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
When the idea first came to me, I was a senior leader in Corporate…..running a large global business in the technology space. As much as I loved how I had been contributing for over two decades, I realized somewhere along the way. – I had ‘lost the plot’. The daily experience was no longer fulfilling to me. I was (as I refer to this) ‘out of alignment’.

I wanted to continue to do what I loved, what I am good at doing….and most importantly, I wanted to tie my contributions t to something much greater than myself. That is my definition of alignment. And…if any of these three pillars are not present in their full and optimal potential…neither is the individual.

There is no question that we are at our most powerful when we are aligned to our purpose. And when our gifts, strengths, talents, desires, and intentions support that purpose – that is the recipe for fulfillment.

I had that fulfillment for decades when leading large global teams in Corporate….then I didn’t. I wanted to tap into the power of alignment for other individuals like me, as well as teams, groups, and organizations…..and that is how my company Alignment, Inc. evolved. I love being an entrepreneur, being in service to others, and applying my Corporate business experience to help others reach their potential.

Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I was fortunate to be hired by Hewlett-Packard Company upon graduation from college. This was when Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard were still active in the company. The ‘HP Way’ culture was the greatest gift I could have experienced as my first corporate role. It is without question the gold standard benchmark for all other corporate cultures to aspire. The business and leadership lessons all of us learned during that period of time are legendary.

I stayed there for 25 years and grew from a rookie ‘new hire’ to leading a large global business. When I left, I was the General Manager of the channels and partner program that supported Hewlett-Packard’s largest corporate accounts. This business represented a $3 billion revenue stream for Hewlett-Packard.

Then, I was recruited by a rapidly growing, through ‘scrappy’ software company to join their executive team. It was a tremendous experience – through which I also garnered new skills. Serving as Worldwide Channels Vice-President on the Executive Committee of this $250 million publicly traded software company, our team built the global infrastructure for multi-channels of distribution for our software solution.

In my first departure from traditional ‘corporate America’, I was asked to join the NYC Leadership Academy effort, which was the centerpiece of the New York City Children First reform agenda. New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Chancellor Joel Klein sponsored this agenda, led by CEO Robert E. Knowling, Jr. The goal of this reform was to create a system of outstanding schools where every child and teacher has access to effective teaching and learning. It was a humbling honor, as I was chosen as one of two private sector business executives, to teach, train, and coach the 1,200 principals of the NYC public school system and the top 100 executives on the Chancellor’s staff.

This three-year experience was the initial catalyst for my forming Alignment, Inc. ®

My last executive position in corporate America was as Group Vice President of a multi-billion dollar global health system. This appointment leveraged my strong knowledge of the technology business and how to leverage multiple channels to market in the increasingly complicated world of healthcare and healthcare insurance. I provided expertise for its go-to-market strategies, defined and created alternative channels to improve organic growth, and implemented sales effectiveness methodologies across all segments within this conglomerate.

It was then, when I realized for the second time, that I was ‘out of alignment’; and made the decision to create the life I wanted. This was when I departed to found Alignment, Inc. ® which is a unique consultancy to help individuals, corporations, board of directors and other similar groups find alignment within themselves and their organizations.

Finally, one of my heart’s passions is writing. My first book, ‘Is This Seat Taken? Random Encounters That Change Your Life’, was released on 11/1/11 to national acclaim, and endorsed by Stephen Covey and John Maxwell, among others. My second book in the series, entitled ‘Is This Seat Taken? It’s Never Too Late to Find the Right Seat’ was released in January, 2015. It has been endorsed by notables such as Marshall Goldsmith, Sean Covey, and Doug Parker, CEO of American Airlines. This book shines the light on late in life reinvention and encore ‘second half’s’ of diverse individuals. The individuals are in some cases widely known and others are somewhat anonymous to the mass public. The common thread is their ‘post-50’ resurgence in life and in some cases their ‘fork in the road’ is quite serendipitous. My last book in the ‘Is This Seat Taken?’ trilogy was released October 8, 2019 and made the best seller list in the first week of publication. These books are my heart and soul. In fact, my vulnerability in openly sharing stories have been one of the most empowering contributions I have made in my lifetime.

Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Dallas has changed so much since I moved here in 1983! Yet, there are several ‘staples’ that will always be at the top of my list.

The art scene from The Dallas Theatre Center to the Dallas Symphony Orchestra to all the various museums….Dallas Museum of Art to the Nasher, Kimbell, Moma, and Crow…..are world-class and worth the time to explore and enjoy.

Then, of course the food scene has evolved tremendously in the almost 4 decades I’ve been here. My all time favorite bistro (and home away from home) is Parigi on Oaklawn Avenue. Janice Provost, owner, is a dear friend. I have hosted all my book signings there – and the food, atmosphere, and ‘warm energy’ makes everyone I introduce to Parigi a raving fan. I have always loved The Library Bar….life music and a fabulous venue to have drinks and conversation. Other favorite places include: Cafe Pacific in Highland Park Village – a haunt of mine for years, and all of Alberto Lombardi’s restaurants are fabulous – Traverna, Toulouse, etc. – and most are within walking distance of the Katy Trail which makes that fun, too! Finally, the Bishop Arts District, has really expanded and has fun boutiques and bars and restaurants!

Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My parents were the greatest role models in my life. No question. My sister and I were fortunate to have a very tight knit family with our momma and daddy at the helm. Through their lives they taught the importance of faith, family, hard work, integrity, community contribution, and the value of giving the most of yourself to each and every endeavor in business and life.

Website: www.kristinkaufman.com

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/kristinskaufman/

Linkedin: linkedin.com/in/kristinkaufman

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KristinKaufman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/kristin.kaufman/

Youtube: http://www.kristinkaufman.com/Kristinyoutube

Other: https://linktr.ee/KristinSKaufman

Image Credits
Marla McDonald, Photographer

Nominate Someone: ShoutoutDFW is built on recommendations and shoutouts from the community; it’s how we uncover hidden gems, so if you or someone you know deserves recognition please let us know here.