Beth Kieffer Leonard urges young women to speak up about their professional goals.
Early in her career, she left her position at a financial firm and moved from Minneapolis to Washington, D.C., for her husband’s career. While they were there, one of her previous peers was promoted to partner.
“Nobody had ever sat down with me and said ‘You could be a partner at our firm,’” said Kieffer Leonard. “If I had known that I could have been one in that same timeframe, we might not have left.”
After moving back and returning to the firm several years later, Kieffer Leonard stated to the executive team her goal of becoming a partner. They responded that they had no idea. “It was then I thought to myself that if you don’t ask for something, you are not going to get it,” she said.
In the latest episode of the Power of Possible podcast, the now-managing partner at Lurie, LLP sat down with Gunjan Kedia, vice chair of Wealth Management & Investment Services at U.S. Bank, to talk about her career journey and how the business environment for women has changed over the years.
Througout Women’s History Month in March, U.S. Bank is honoring women who, like Kieffer Leonard, are creating the future today. Internally, the company’s U.S. Bank Women business resource group is also hosting national and local events focused on developing and advancing women into senior leadership positions.
Over the course of her 35-year career, Kieffer Leonard has become one of the most influential business leaders in the Twin Cities. Last year, for example, she was named to the NAWBO Minnesota Women Business Owners Hall of Fame and to the Minnesota Business magazine “(Real) Power 50.”
In the podcast episode, Kieffer Leonard reflected on finding an equilibrium with work and family, emphasized the importance of understanding career goals, and provided advice to women just starting out in their careers.
“Define success on your own terms,” she said. “As long as you’re open and honest with yourself and the people with whom you’re working, I think it’s a lot easier for you to be able to feel successful.”