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Author Kashonna Holland: “The movement I would inspire is a care movement; Start and end days with, “How are you today?” and actually take a minute to hear the response”

The movement I would inspire is a care movement. I would ask that everyone who is able to start days and end evenings with, “How are you today?” and actually take a minute to hear the response. According to the Gallup Poll, 58% of employees leave jobs because no one asked them how they were […]


The movement I would inspire is a care movement. I would ask that everyone who is able to start days and end evenings with, “How are you today?” and actually take a minute to hear the response. According to the Gallup Poll, 58% of employees leave jobs because no one asked them how they were doing. What would happen if people actually started asking and caring?


I had the pleasure to interview Kashonna Holland. Born in California, raised in Texas, and currently residing in Baltimore, Kashonna is an engaging keynote speaker, inspiring coach, motivational author, and an insightful corporate trainer. Kashonna is the President & CEO of Simply Kashonna, a business built to promote BOLD, FEARLESS and COURAGEOUS living. She goes beyond surface issues to address the pink elephants that inhibit personal, professional and spiritual potential. In the corporate arena, strategic growth and development of people have always been the focal point of her service. Kashonna spent years in a pastoral role where crisis intervention and spiritual guidance were her primary responsibilities. In understanding that leadership training and development is essential to any corporation or organization’s growth, Kashonna launched SK Leading Forward, which is dedicated to enhancing employee engagement, performance, productivity and morale. Through corporate relationships and interactive group/focus sessions, she has facilitated workshops in Customer Service, How to Handle Difficult People, Navigating Conflict, Emotional Intelligence, Developing Yourself and Others, Behavioral-Based Interviewing, and Diversity and Inclusion. In addition, she has facilitated and provided training for both the DISC and Myers Briggs personality assessments. Kashonna’s area of expertise is transformational leadership development and personal empowerment. Kashonna is also the author of “7 Days to Simply Shift: A Daily Guide to Transforming Your Mindset Personally, Professionally and Spiritually”. She has the awesome privilege of serving her community in her county as co-chair on the Board to Promote Self-Sufficiency and a commissioner for the Commission for Women. No matter the venue, Kashonna brings an impactful delivery with her contagious energy, vibrant smile, and sincere message. For more information please go HERE.


Thank you so much for doing this with us Kashonna! Can you tell us a story about what brought you to this specific career path?

I have always loved people. We are the most complicated, messy and amazing creatures on earth. Everything I’ve ever done in life and career has evolved around the encouragement, empowerment and uplifting of people, so it was easy for me to start a company that would cater to the development of people, teaching them how to win personally, professionally and spiritually.

Can you share the most interesting story that happened to you since you began leading your company?

The most interesting story since leading my company was when I went skydiving to commemorate my jump into this exciting journey. My experience was absolutely amazing, but not without its hiccups. I quickly understood that my entrepreneurial journey would not be easy, but once I executed the jump, the scene was breathtaking and

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lesson you learned from that?

Well, it’s funny now, but then… not so much! I was asked to facilitate a class at the last minute. It was something totally out of my scope, but I was certain I could pull it off. Well, that particular day, the participant from the abyss heckled me the entire class. It was as if I was there to develop their skills in combative technique. I made it through and finished the class, but it taught me the power of “no”. To be stretched out of my comfort zone is one thing, but to not be prepared enough to handle the curve balls of ridicule and degradation that challenged my knowledge, skill and professionalism, is another. I learned very quickly that every opportunity is not my opportunity.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

We redefine training and culture through engagement. We have a genuine desire to see people become better and relationships in the workplace strengthened. We desire to bridge gaps between leaders and employees that will make people want to come to work.

For over 6 years we have trained in both the public and private sector, shifting environments that have been toxic and sometimes even hostile. Our focus is always to teach techniques that will challenge, yet empower, an organization’s workforce, both individually and collectively.

There are a number of ‘aha’ moments that have been beautiful to witness whether in a one-on-one coaching session or a class setting. To witness tears as people come into the knowledge of their power, and to see confidence arise after a few discovery sessions because they have actually done the work (yes, homework), is invaluable. What a joy to know that your organization has shifted the trajectory of someone’s life and not only does their workplace experience the change, their family and friends do as well.

Are you working on any exciting new projects now? How do you think that will help people?

We are currently working on our first ever women’s weekend, Upgrade! This is a weekend designed for women who lead. Women are leading in our county and around the world now more than ever and working to figure out how to manage it all. This weekend is for them to unwind, have some serious girl time, and rediscover self-care. It is scheduled to take place Spring 2020.

What advice would you give to other female leaders to help their team to thrive?

Don’t lose you trying to help someone else find them. Oftentimes we are working ourselves to death trying to help someone discover something amazing about themselves that they refuse to accept. Until your team members are willing and committed to the process, nothing changes. Your team (including family and friends) thrive when you do!

What advice would you give to other female leaders about the best way to manage a large team?

Eat the elephant one bite at a time. Don’t be intimidated by size. You don’t have to know everything, that’s why you have a team. Delegating is your friend. Train and trust the process.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story about that?

I’ve had a host of family and friends who have been very instrumental in my success. There’s just not enough space for me to share the impact of everyone’s hand without me deeply sighing and throwing a tantrum in the morning for forgetting someone. My children, my mother and my best friend have been my constants. I am super grateful for them.

How have you used your success to bring goodness to the world?

I sow into people I believe in. Whether it’s word or deed, I want them to know they are not forgotten. I make an intentional decision to pray for those who are hurting, broken, lost, confused and seemingly hopeless. Everyone wants to feel like someone cares for them and I work to be that someone in every space possible.

What are your “5 Things I Wish Someone Told Me Before I Started” and why? (Please share a story or example for each.)

1. This is not going to be easy

Taking my cues from social media, watching someone’s highlight reel, I was certain starting a business would be a breeze. That was not the case. This has been a journey, not a sprint and I have had to continuously reassure myself that I am called to this purpose.

2. Believe in yourself

Others believing in you is great, but in order to be as successful as you desire, you must believe in yourself. This is extremely important when things are difficult, but focus and determination will get you through the hardest of times.

3. Be resilient

As you are building your business/career, life will happen. There is no doubt that giving up will become an option, but be sure not to allow a temporary situation to push you to make a permanent decision.

4. Choose your confidants wisely

When you have big dreams and goals, who you share them with can make or break your confidence in them manifesting. Everyone won’t see what you see, nor will their faith level match yours, so it is important that you carefully choose who you share with.

5. One bite at a time

It’s normal to be excited and desire to see your dream come to life, but when it’s more than the capacity your brain can handle at the time, step back, breathe and allow yourself to eat slowly. Remember this, eating quickly can give you undesirable indigestion, but when you slow down and eat at a moderate pace, taking your time, your meal is not only enjoyable, but digested properly. It’s the same principle.

You are a person of great influence. If you could inspire a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

The movement I would inspire is a care movement. I would ask that everyone who is able to start days and end evenings with, “How are you today?” and actually take a minute to hear the response. According to the Gallup Poll, 58% of employees leave jobs because no one asked them how they were doing. What would happen if people actually started asking and caring?

Can you please give us your favorite “Life Lesson Quote”? Can you share how that was relevant to you in your life?

I honestly cannot remember where I read this quote, but it has become my absolute favorite, “Givers must create boundaries, because takers seldom do.” When you are a natural giver in your time, talent and treasure, it can become someone else’s crutch. As long as I gave without boundaries, takers took…without boundaries. I’ve bumped my head several times while making excuses for inexcusable behavior. However, once I learned this life lesson quote, I came into one of the most significant times of freedom in my life.

We are blessed that some of the biggest names in Business, VC funding, Sports, and Entertainment read this column. Is there a person in the world, or in the US with whom you would love to have a private breakfast or lunch with, and why? He or she might just see this if we tag them 🙂

Serena, come on girl…let’s do this! LOL! Serena Williams is a beautiful, bold, tenacious beast of a woman. If I could glean for about 30 minutes of how she not only represents a brand, but is one, would make my entire quarter (actually, my year)!

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