Pete O’Keeffe, Leadership Coach: “Be Effective”

by Jerome Knyszewski
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Pete O'Keeffe

Pete O’Keeffe wears several entrepreneurial hats. He is an inspirational leader, award-winning mentor, international published author, and successful entrepreneur. He attributes his success to being an “elite leadership specialist.”

With the help of Pete O’Keeffe, clients can also become elite leadership specialists. He understands that “uncertainty is a permanent part of the process” in becoming a leader. Surviving in an uncertain environment helps people discover their leadership potential. Being asked to decide on issues with limited information should help you develop faith in your own abilities and remain courageous in your choices.

Pete O’Keeffe also believes that leaders should not “remove uncertainty,” but they should “inspire, provide clarity, believe, and progress in the midst of it.” Once you begin to do these things, you are learning how to be a leader.

With his help, Pete O’Keeffe says that he can help you “gain FREEDOM from your Business & make even more money.” To do this, he relies on his own program that uses “proven strategies” that will help you find success.

Pete O’Keeffe’s program also helps clients implement a “proven system that gives you FREEDOM from your work while still maintaining, or increasing your profit.” He knows that people go into business so that they can do the things they want to do, and he helps clients enjoy the process.

Check out more interviews with leadership experts here.

I believe it’s easier to try and it doesn’t work, than not try at all. Pete O’Keeffe

Jerome Knyszewski: Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

Pete O’Keeffe: I have run multiple businesses and made multiple mistakes! Both in the UK and NZ. I wanted to be out of the NZ Police by the time I was 40 and start my own businesses. That happened, 9 days before my 40th birthday. The scary part was making the decision — as they say getting started is 95% psychological, 5% is the ‘doing it.’ When I was 53 Janelle my wife said to me “I would like to teach in England!” I thought holy crap — really!

We moved in 2014, wondering what we would do. We have started a new business here. (teaching didn’t last long for Janelle — ask me why if you wish!!!!)

We moved because I did not want to die wondering ‘What if….” I believe it’s easier to try and it doesn’t work, than not try at all.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you tell us a story about the hard times that you faced when you first started your journey? Did you ever consider giving up? Where did you get the drive to continue even though things were so hard?

Pete O’Keeffe: Moving countries and starting again has been the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. I thought moving to a ‘similar’ country where the culture and language was similar, would have been easy. How wrong I was.

Yes I nearly gave up. In fact, we were 4 days away from leaving the UK at one stage, to return to NZ, because we just could not get traction with the new business. The container was booked for our furniture, we had sold our house, and our business premises. We have a 1-way flight to NZ.

Then we had a conversation with our mentor. That conversation changed our lives.

We’re still here, and business has changed dramatically. (Oh and we managed to get our house back!! But not the business premises)

The drive to continue comes from my faith and the fact my God has never let me down before and he came to the party again this time as well. The drive also came from realising that people will help, however I have to do it myself — because no-one else will.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Pete O’Keeffe: Jeepers, there are many stories I have of my stupidity and naivety when starting out.

How about this.

I had to move from an Employee mentality to a Business Owner mentality.

When I first started in my Business, I tried to work 9–5pm. That is what I was used to. Morning and afternoon tea for 15 minutes. Oh and weekends off!

But there was so much to do, to start!!! I was starting to work 10–12 hours a day — and weekends!! I was thinking, ‘stuff this, this is not what I thought running a business would be like. Why did I leave a nice safe secure job?’

Then I realised, I needed a system in my business and I needed staff. That added more hours to the day to systemise it and train staff.

But the realisation was — I should have done this at the start. So let’s restart again.

All of a sudden my work day went from 10 -12 hours to about 4–5 hours and I had time for myself and family and ‘thinking strategically’ time.

You and the team must we moving in the same direction and they need to know and understand what the goals are that they are accountable for.

Jerome Knyszewski: Can you please share your “Five Things You Need To Know To Delegate Effectively and Be Completely Satisfied With the Results?” Please share a story or an example for each.

Pete O’Keeffe: There are 7 Keys to a winning team so you can delegate effectively and obtain the results you richly deserve

  1. Strong Leadership

Time to take control of your business and be effective, not efficient

  1. Common Goals

You and the team must we moving in the same direction and they need to know and understand what the goals are that they are accountable for

  1. Rules of the Games

These rules must be articulated and enacted so everyone in the business knows what the parameters are that they are working within

  1. Action Plan

There must be an Action Plan that people are held accountable for so they can measure their performance and know what they are achieving

  1. Support Risk Taking

Being able to mitigate risk as much as possible, and then not be scared to try something different

  1. 100% Involvement

To have a winning business everyone must be on board and travelling in the same direction. Everyone must have the same common belief and believe their input actually matters

  1. Train and train

Never give up training staff. It is important to the success of your business.

Never give up training staff. Pete O’Keeffe

Jerome Knyszewski: One of the obstacles to proper delegating is the oft quoted cliche “If you want something done right do it yourself.” Is this saying true? Is it false? Is there a way to reconcile it with the importance of delegating?

Pete O’Keeffe: Yes it is true.

We as Business Owners have a perception “Only I can do it perfectly because the business is my baby.” And this is true to a certain extent because you have a vested interest in the business, your employees don’t (unless they are on profit share)

So ask yourself

If person does it 95% Ok — would that be alright

If person does it 90% Ok — would that be alright

If person does it 85% Ok — would that be alright

If person does it 80% Ok — would that be alright

You will get to a number where it is no longer acceptable. This is your bench-mark that is acceptable.

Now go and train them and train them and give them KPI’s so you increase this percentage, so they become better employees and you receive better results and make even more money.

Jerome Knyszewski: How can our readers further follow you online?

Pete O’Keeffe: You can find me here.

Jerome Knyszewski: This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!



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