Staffing industry trailblazer Lesa Francis, now CEO and Founder of LJF Consulting Group, is no stranger to the industry. She has spent her entire career in staffing, from her early days at Audia and Spherion, to Staffmark and then most recently, Supplemental Healthcare. Her rise in the industry cannot go unnoticed as Lesa has been recognized by Staffing Industry Analysts across many of their lists and was unsurprisingly named to their hall of fame. Lesa created an even more decorated legacy for herself when she became the first woman named CEO of a billion-dollar staffing company. Talk about making history!
When asked what made her strike out on her own, Lesa describes a common concern for many in the workplace today: work-life balance! At this stage in her life, Lesa craved valuable time with her grandchildren and impactful teaching moments with her own children as they navigate careers and parenthood. To achieve said balance, Lesa decided to go out on her own with LJF Consulting Group, which focuses on three areas: board service, senior executive advisory work and executive coaching. All are areasLesa mentions that she truly enjoyed throughout her career and is excited to now get the chance to focus on them solely.
As Leslie and Lesa continue to discuss professional moments that led her to where she is today, Lesa reflects on three mentors that she’s carried with her for 20+ years and how they were ahead of their time when it comes to employee engagement. These visionary leaders knew early on that if they hired good people and took care of those individuals, they would take care of clients, naturally creating company growth through their own leadership style. Having learned this early on, it became very natural in how Lesa led companies and soon became her secret sauce.
As the conversation continues, Leslie and Lesa discuss the necessity of a support system as a working parent, the value of abundance in mentorship, and why it’s okay to ask for help in the face of adversity.