At Limestone Commercial, one of our core values is Authentify. This is a word we created to mean breakthrough decision-making supported by data and transparent analysis. To Authentify is to transfer courage through authentic and meaningful conversations with our clients. It takes courage to speak words that people do not want to hear but need to hear – especially as they make large decisions.
In the first addition in our Authentify Blog Series, we interviewed proven sales leader, Nicki Keenan, Senior Vice President of Sales of Landry’s Inc., who shared her secrets to success. They include leading a company with integrity and building strategies that speak to core values while increasing profits. We believe she has a story that will encourage others to make breakthrough decisions in their lives, businesses, and communities.
What lessons did you learn? What insights did you gain on the way?
If you will genuinely give 10% more, you will stand out head and shoulders from the pack. Don’t avoid change, it is the key to being the leader in your industry. It’s okay to be disruptive in your industry, be the trailblazer and set the trend. Anyone can follow.
How do you prepare your team to take on projects that appear impossible?
First of all, when hiring anyone, I interview for three key attributes: attitude, skills, and knowledge.
Because the hospitality industry and our company culture are founded on innovation and change, I look for people who thrive in a challenging and competitive environment. People who are entrepreneurial in spirit and genuinely think like the “Owner” or “CEO” of a company and understand the importance of being a positive contributor to our team synergy. This mindset is critical when faced with adversity and projects that appear impossible.
During the pandemic, I told my team we would be put to the ultimate test. We would need to be battle-ready for whatever might lie ahead and be committed to staying nimble, strategic, and innovative. We also had to embrace the fact we would have to do “more” with “less” – less staff and less resources. We might not always get it right, but one thing was certain, we would stay vigilant to get to the other side and our future success.
I also believe in providing strong communication with clear expectations. It’s really important to hold each team member accountable to the same standards of dedication and commitment. The cream always rises to the top.
What is your next?
I love being part of a “think tank” to solve problems and define strategy. It really always comes down to four guiding principles: People, Product, Process, and Profit. As for my next, I would like to take this passion to the next level by determining where I can either volunteer my time in a meaningful way with a non-profit and/or sit on a corporate board to help provide leadership, define vision and strategy.
What advice do you have for young professionals?
It is important to surround yourself with people who push you to be your best. Rise above the chaos, ignore the negative noise and negative people. Don’t allow them to steal your time or joy. Be the driver of innovation and the master of change by having a start-up mentality and approaching threats in business with grit, agility, creativity, and forward-thinking solutions. Always look for a better mousetrap and embrace and welcome CHANGE.
About Nicki Keenan
Nicki Keenan is a dynamic and versatile Senior Vice President of Sales for Landry’s Inc. Nicki balances the company’s hospitality division with its casino division, which ensures that she has an active role in both industries. Her responsibility also includes leading sales efforts for Private Dining at Landry’s Restaurant Group and heading up their gift card sales department.
About Landry’s Inc.
Landry’s Inc. is recognized as a world leader in the restaurant, hospitality and gaming industries. The company operates in more than 600 properties across 36 states with international locations spanning from Canada to China. The company also employs over 60,000 people worldwide who are committed to delivering exceptional experiences at every level of their business.