Excellence in HR Awards Honorees: Kristopher Osborne

Meet Kristopher Osborne, Chief of Staff at Launch Potato

Marine Corps Veteran turned startup builder. My mission: Put people first and build companies that do the same!

Favorite Quote: Every person is the creation of himself, the image of his own thinking and believing. As individuals think and believe, so they are. — Claude Bristol

Fun Fact: I drove across the country twice once in 6 days. The other time in 10 days while camping along the way. I don’t recommend trying to do less than 6 days from South Florida to San Francisco.

How do you unwind after a long day of work? Walking on the beach with my dog, Layla.

What challenges have you faced in your career, and how did you overcome them? I feel fortunate to have found my passion scaling companies, advising, training, hiring, and retaining the absolute best is extremely rewarding. It was no easy feat, but with a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck, I found my way. It started by enlisting in the United States Marine Corps early in life. I spent six years in the Marines, during which I was promoted five times, twice meritorious, rising to the rank of Sergeant. While enlisted, I completed my BBA as well as HR work with United Technologies, needless to say; I hate being bored.

The Marines set me up for success for the rest of my life. The military pushed me past what I believed could be possible. The experiences I was exposed to taught me how to do more with less and never give up; that mentality is why I fell in love with entrepreneurship and startups. In every company I have worked for, I’ve pushed myself harder, faster, and more efficiently than the next compounding my experience to create more success.

What has been the most monumental moment of your career thus far? My work with Launch Potato set the new standard for monumental. I joined when we were 20 employees, over the past 2.5 years we have grown to 60 while more than tripling our revenue. Each year we have won more awards for our growth and culture, 2020 we had a total of 10 awards. To summarize why this is currently my most monumental moment outside of this honor:
– 2x Inc 5000 Fastest Growing Companies List
– We have been an advocate of distributed/remote work since day 1
– Inc & Forbes Best Place to Work & Great Places to Work certified – check out the data
– Values aren’t just words on the wall, we build high performing teams, here’s what our team is saying on Glassdoor – Glassdoor 5/5!

What’s the best piece of advice you’ve ever gotten? Following your passion isn’t always the best approach. Hard work and perseverance lead to success. When we push ourselves past what we believe is possible it sets a new standard and your perspective shifts to focus on bigger and better things.

What qualities make for an outstanding HR professional? Empathy, organization, confidence, and grit.

How have you adapted your HR skills to COVID? Luckily we were more than 50% distributed before COVID so skill-wise there wasn’t much that needed to be adapted. I’ve always been strict with my schedule and calendar using the timeboxing method to help keep my days on track which made the transition much easier. I also have regular check-ins will all employees which kept me connected where others may have felt more disconnected with reduced facetime. As an organization, we picked up our communication cadence, implemented new culture initiatives, new virtual experiences, new slack channels, and games in slack.

What are some misconceptions about HR and how do you combat them? Traditional HR is only good for compliance and policies, some see that model as the “fun police.” I’ve never followed a traditional approach, I believe policies should only be made unless absolutely necessary and not impact the 98% of people that do the right thing vs the 2% of people who may try to take advantage. We focus on performance, continuous improvement, continuous feedback, and if there is a gap we work quickly to understand the why then close it. You have to listen to your employees, get advice from your trusted advisors/leadership team, and execute quickly to create positive change.

What do you like most about working in HR? I love to see the progression someone makes from new employee to making a massive impact. It’s exciting to create an organization that is rowing in the right direction together. I enjoy being a catalyst for positive change by caring personally and challenging directly.

SFBW Staff
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