60 seconds with: Kerry O’Keeffe, Betty O’Callaghan & Miriam O’Connell

Business, Interviews | Tue 20 Jun | Author – Business & Finance
60 seconds with: Kerry O’Keeffe, Betty O’Callaghan & Miriam O’Callaghan
Miriam O’Connell and Kerry O’Keeffe, Mojo For Leaders

Kerry O’Keeffe, Betty O’Callaghan & Miriam O’Connell of Mojo For Leaders take the 60-second Business & Finance interview.

Q. What was your first job?

Kerry O’Keeffe (KO’K): My first job at 16 was a catering assistant in an amusement park. It certainly helped me learn the value of money at a young age. My first job post college was as a Personal Financial Adviser for a building society.

It was a steep learning curve but taught me how to interact with customers and deal with sensitive issues and gave me a fantastic grounding in savings and investment.

Betty O’Callaghan (BO’C): Cleaning and doing the wash-up in Sea View Hotel in Ballylickey in west Cork for the Summer Holidays, aged 14 – I learned about standards, hard work, the fun of working in a team and got a first taste of freedom!

Miriam O’Connell (MO’C): I worked in the Tourist Office in Kenmare, my hometown, during the summers of my college years. It really taught me that when dealing with people, you get back what you put out most of the time. If you put out warmth and cheerfulness, that is very much what you will receive back from your clients. If you are having a grumpy day, it will feel like most of your clients are too!

Q. What would you regard as your greatest achievement to date?

KO’K: Having the courage to follow my dream and set up my own business in the first year of the recession in Ireland and survive.

BO’C: On the career front, completing a Masters in Coaching in UCC in 2015 – a long-held dream as I hadn’t been to college back in the days. On the personal side, prioritising my family when that was the right thing to do.

MO’C: Hard to choose one as the greatest, but my Masters in Organisational Change stands out for me because of how it opened my mind so much to how great human endeavour can be when people feel they matter and join together to work for a common vision.

Q. What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever been given?

KO’K: Never sit still – keep learning and developing yourself.

BO’C: ‘To thine own self be true’ – my friend gave me a poster as a gift when she went to join Mother Theresa’s order. She’d written this on the back.

MO’C: ‘You are already successful’, said to me by a wise friend, because once you are trying, once you have stepped off the starter block, you are successful.

Q. If you could step into the shoes of one business person for the day, who would it be and why?

KO’K: That’s tough, as I love understanding how businesses work.

BO’C: Patrick Coveney. Between orchestrating the Greencore strategy and operations internationally and interacting with his political and business connections I reckon any given hour, never mind day, would be truly fascinating.

MO’C: Richard Branson because he seems to really enjoy his work, push boundaries and stand up for his values.

Q. In three words or less, how do you define success?

KO’K: Being happy and fulfilled.

BO’C: Personally: relationships, happiness, growing. Work: Mojo For Leaders!

MO’C: Enjoying your journey.

Q. How do you motivate yourself and your staff?

KO’K: Constant learning, a walk every day to settle the mind and goals to create a sense of achievement and progression.

MO’C: I have a strong sense of purpose about my work. I believe good leadership matters in business and in society and feeling that what I do contributes to that fires me up each day.

Q. How do you relax?

KO’K: A walk with my dogs every day. If I go a couple of days without it I feel my energy dropping.

BO’C: Time with family, play a game of Mahjong 3 Dimensions when I finish work, reading, mindfulness and mindful colouring, get on the phone to family and friends, out for a cuppa or lunch with friends and in the winter – then light the fire, feet up, and a glass of wine.

MO’C: I love the sea so a walk by the sea, or in summer swimming, body boarding or a boat trip will always refresh and restore me.

Lately, I have taken up painting and find it therapeutic. And of course, you cannot beat good food, good wine and a good laugh with family and friends.

Q. What’s your motto?

KO’K: No regrets.

BO’C: Warm heart, cool head.

MO’C: Do the right thing.

Q. What are your aspirations for the future of your business?

KO’K: Making a felt difference.

BO’C: For Mojo For Leaders to make a real impact on shaping what it is to truly be a leader – helping leaders explore and ground themselves in what they stand for and in being true to themselves while leading their people in delivering exceptional results.

MO’C: I want Mojo For Leaders to be synonymous with transformational leadership.

I want us not only to be always bringing leading edge thinking around leadership to our clients but to be helping our clients break the mould when it comes to powerful, effective, wholesome leadership and become role models for the rest of the world.

So, we will continue to learn and experiment and push ourselves so that we can provide the inspiration, challenge and support that will propel our clients onto great things.

I want Mojo For Leaders to be synonymous with transformational leadership
– Miriam O’Connell, Mojo For Leaders


Kerry O’Keeffe
Kerry has worked at HR Director level in multinationals for over 10 years. Her career in Johnson & Johnson, CSIRO, BT and IBM focused on design and delivery of major change. Kerry now works across pharmaceutical, sales and marketing and technology. Working at a company, team and individual level supporting business and personal transformation to develop a proactive and practical approach to making change happen.

Miriam O’Connell
Miriam’s first introduction to leadership was in her role as IT Project Manager many years ago. There she realised that the key to real, sustainable success was engaging with your people at a meaningful, consistent and honest level.

She has since made working with organisational change and leadership her life’s purpose and has been helping leaders successfully lead change for over 10 years now.

Betty O’Callaghan
With extensive experience in management leadership and human resource management, Betty’s passion is coaching.

She is inspired by the insights, courage and capacity of leaders and managers she coaches as they step up to maximise their leadership mojo and make a real and positive difference within and outside their organisations.