Tuesday 2 July 2019 7:32 am

Kim Kardashian's business lessons for bosses

Burcin Ressamoglu is chief executive of Sodexo Engage.

Kim Kardashian West is no stranger to being in the news, but recent stories surrounding her have been a far cry from the usual headlines. 

For instance, after successfully fighting for convicted drug trafficker Alice Johnson to be granted clemency by President Trump, the celebrity has revealed that she’s studying for a law degree, stating that: “this is my dream and passion, and I’m going to follow it”. No stranger to promoting herself, the star of the reality TV show Keeping up with the Kardashians even made a trip to the White House last month to make a speech about criminal justice reform. 

Underneath all the fame, headlines, and occasional controversy, this is something that we can all relate to. We all have dreams, and just because you’re established in your field doesn’t mean that you have to stop aiming for these goals. 

So, looking at Kim, here are some lessons that we can all learn from the woman who broke the internet. 

Follow your dream 

The fact is that not everyone knows exactly what they want to do with their lives. Therefore it’s absolutely normal for people to move about – going to new jobs, industries, or completely different locations to see what fits best. At the age of 38, the wife of US rapper Kanye West has only just found hers, doing a complete 180-degree turn from her existing career. 

Read more: 25 years of Photoshop – the image editor that gave us Kim breaking the internet

It just goes to show that you shouldn’t be afraid to make the leap, learn a new skill, or attempt a different role – as long as you’ve got the drive to see it through. 

However, if you’re running a business, it’s easy to worry about what this advice will mean for your employees – will they all suddenly decide to jump ship? 

In reality, the opposite is often true. If you’re listening to your staff and encouraging them to pursue their passions, you’re much more likely to drive loyalty, motivation, and productivity within the business. 

Have multiple passions

It’s also important to remember that people don’t just have one single passion. Even if someone loves their job, that doesn’t mean that they don’t have other ambitions. 

Look at Kim: she’s the founder of KKW Beauty, a reality star, and now a soon-to-be lawyer. Variety is the spice of life, and supporting staff in extra-curricular projects goes a long way towards winning them over at work. 

It’s also important to make sure that employees aren’t feeling boxed in with what they do. They may love the day-to-day job, but there’s likely to be a few things that they’re keen on trying out. Experiencing a range of activities is likely to keep staff engaged with both their role and the business. 

Stop caring about what people think

In the words of Mrs West herself, “people are going to talk about me anyway, so what does it matter”. It’s a good lesson for your employees to learn, as pursuing a new skill or accepting a challenging role is bound to come with a few knock-backs – and honestly, who cares? If your people have passions that they want to pursue, encourage them to have a go – regardless of what anyone else thinks. 

Take an interest, listen, and understand what your people are passionate about. If there’s a way that they can incorporate their long-term ambitions into their role, make that happen. If that’s not possible, be flexible so that they can fit everything in. If you get it right, you’ll improve retention and see the positive impact on productivity. 

Whether you’re a fan or completely indifferent, you can’t deny that Kim is a successful businesswoman who is able to turn her hand to anything. Employers can learn a lot from her drive to succeed – if everyone took notice, we’d all have happier businesses.