Do you feel bad about not having a college degree? When working with “educated” colleagues, do you have “imposter syndrome” and feel you’re not qualified to offer input? Having a bachelor’s, master’s, or Ph.D. is great, but not having all those qualifications doesn’t mean you can’t be successful and at the top of your game.

Kelly Ryan Bailey is the founder and CEO of ‘Skills Baby.” She is a chief innovation officer, chief AI strategist, global skills evangelist, and transformation leader. She is dedicated to supporting organizations to create more equitable hiring procedures and empowering people to find rewarding employment and ways to live. In today’s episode, she talks about skills vs. degrees and how to stay on top of your professional career using the experiences you’ve gained from real life.

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    1. What does being an entrepreneur at a young age feel like?
    2. What does the FOS universe do?
    3. Personal life and professional life.
    4. How do real-world experiences help to move on professionally?
    5. Why do people feel ashamed of their superpower stories?

    When you are finding your super-skill or super-power story, don’t be ashamed.”

    Kelly Ryan Bailey


      [03.55] Kelly’s family and educational background.

      [05.56] Kelly’s experiences when she was in college.

      [10.05] Kelly explains what they do in the FOS universe.

      [17.31] How FOS universe helps people to be a leader.

      [23.21] Kelly’s entry into the LATTOYG Playbook: Don’t be ashamed of your power story. You might not achieve a lot, but you achieved something.

      [24.58] Kelly shares what helps her to stay on the top of her game.

      [35.00] Signature Segment: Karan’s Take


      Kelly Ryan Bailey is an entrepreneur, speaker, advisor, and investor. Her nearly 20-year professional career has centered on advocating for skills as the labor market’s primary currency and leveraging data and technology to develop cutting-edge hiring and learning solutions based on skills for individuals, businesses, educators, governments, and initiatives.

      She is also the founder & CEO of “Skills Baby,” the home of her podcast ‘ “Let’s Talk About Skills, Baby,” which seeks life skills leaders use in their journey to success, and “Got Skills,” a podcast that guides people to identify skills and how to communicate them.

      Kelly believes that we acquire abilities through all of our life experiences, not just our formal work and education. While Employers value these life skills the most, they also aid us in overcoming obstacles on our personal and professional paths.







      Kelly’s Podcast

      Article: Sharpen Your Professional Skills Outside of Work from Forbes from


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      Episode Sponsor

      This podcast episode is sponsored by Shockingly Different Leadership, the leader in on-demand People, Talent Development & Organizational Effectiveness professional services, all designed to up-level leader capability and optimize workforces to do their best work.

      Click the plus button on the tab to access the written transcript:

      Episode 29 | Degrees vs Skills: Reimagining How to Define Your Work Pedigree with Kelly Ryan Bailey

      Kelly Ryan Bailey  00:00

      The things that I learned there had actually helped me, I think move forward professionally, in a way that was like surpassing the people who were going after degrees. Now, I’m not going to say that that’s always going to be the way. But I truly leaned into the fact that I was like, You know what, I don’t have all those things.


      Voiceover  00:25

      Welcome to the “Lead at the Top of Your Game” podcast, where we equip you to more effectively lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. Each week, we help you sharpen your leadership acumen by cracking open the playbooks of dynamic leaders who are doing big things in their professional endeavors. And now, your host, leadership tactics, and organizational development expert, Karan Ferrell-Rhodes.


      Karan Rhodes  01:00

      Hey there superstars, this is Karan and welcome to another episode of the elite at the top of your game podcast. Now, I’m gonna be telling my age a little bit. But back when I progressed through the corporate ranks in corporate America, having a list of advanced degrees behind your name was the ultimate aspire to work pedigree. Thousands of dollars of college and decades later, I’m super pleased to say that I’m happy that this way of thinking has evolved in the world of work. In many industries. There is now an intense focus on the skills you have whether or not you have a formal degree. And this has opened up the doors to more of the population having a shot and obtaining a living wage for themselves and their families. So to put this phenomenon in better context, I am so pleased to have Kelly Ryan Bailey, co-CEO of FOS universes, on today’s show, boss is a multifaceted company focused on the labor market skills and the future of work. They host a variety of events through podcasts and conferences and think tanks, where experts come together to provide that leadership on how to build more productive workforces and workplaces. So enjoy her insights on today’s episode and be sure to stay tuned for just two minutes after the episode to listen to my closing segment, call Karen’s take, where I share a tip on how to use insights from today’s episode to further sharpen your leadership acumen. And now enjoy the show. Hey there superstars! This is Karen and welcome to today’s episode. I am super thrilled to feature an expert on a topic that’s probably near and dear to all of our hearts. If you are a business owner, or if you’re an employee working for an employer, the topic of skills and careers and how to advance your talents is definitely one that resonates with all of us, and I have a dear friend and expert that has come to be a guest on today’s show to give you an absolutely more insight. So I would love to welcome officially to the show. Miss Kelly Ryan Bailey, who is the co-founder of a new firm, new in the sense of a new name that has been established for a long time, but it is FOS University. I believe that’s correct. And by the time this episode airs, they’ll probably be a lot more information out in the universe on her fantastic venture. So welcome, Kelly to today’s episode.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  03:49

      Thank you so much for having me, Karan. I’m so excited to be here and chat with your people.


      Karan Rhodes  03:55

      Ah, we’re thrilled to have you. Well, you know, what, I always love to start out with our guests is for you to share for as much as you’re comfortable. Just a little bit about your background, kind of where you grew up a little bit about your education and maybe the 50,000 foot view of your career this far.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  04:16

      Sure, happy to. So I was born and raised in New Jersey, in, for anyone that is familiar with the state, the North West portion of New Jersey. I grew up in a family of entrepreneurs. My father owned his own dental practice. My mother was an executive with Avon products. And when she started having children even took a step back into being a manager of what we used to call Avon ladies.


      Karan Rhodes  04:46

      Ah I remember Avon ladies! I’m telling my age.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  04:53

      But I used to go to work with them all the time. So like in our family, we all helped contribute. We all started working at a very young age. So work and life was always extremely intertwined for me. I am the oldest of seven in a Modern Family. So there were three of us originally. And then my parents were divorced and got remarried. And that brought in a step sister and a stepbrother, on my mom’s side and a new half brother and half sister on my dad’s side. But so yeah, so it is super fun now with three children of my own, as well as a step son, who is in between the ages of my half brother and half sister.


      Karan Rhodes  05:41



      Kelly Ryan Bailey  05:43

      Yeah, I think we could we could have a TV show.


      Karan Rhodes  05:48

      Yes you could. I’ll be your agent. How about that?


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  05:53

      Perfect. But career wise for me. You know, again, like I said, growing up my family, although I would say we were fairly, you know, run of the mill middle class, like we were, by all means had advantages, if you will, my parents grew up in a very different time. And so they believed that it was extremely important for us to earn the things, like earn money to purchase the things that we wanted. So if we wanted, you know, that fancy new pair of Air Jordans, which by the way is coming back, apparently, because my daughter just asked for them.


      Karan Rhodes  06:27

      I know! They are in quick sidenote, I saw a an article online saying that, and now some of them are going like for hundreds of 1000s of dollars, so might be an investment opportunity.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  06:41

      There is actually for young budding entrepreneurs, they probably already know this. But like the sneaker business, especially the, it is huge. There are people buying and selling sneakers as a business anyway, we could talk about that later.


      Karan Rhodes  06:55

      I know!


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  06:56

      But yeah, in my family, if you wanted to buy something like that for yourself, you had to earn money to buy it if you wanted to buy it. The big things for me were like any of the fancy sneakers if you wanted those CALVIN KLEIN JEANS, if you wanted a car, if you wanted that first cell phone in a bag, whatever it was to date myself, but like you that was it. And so when I was 17 years old, and I graduated high school, my parents I at the time, I remember maybe being a little frustrated about their this, but I so now as an adult appreciate this. They were like, okay, so you’re going off to school. Yay for you. Bye.


      Karan Rhodes  07:40

      Love you, see ya! Mean it!


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  07:42

      Can you also pack all your stuff because we’re moving out of this house like, enjoy your life. And it’s 17 you’re like, Well, wait, I’m sorry, what. But when I went to school, now, I did go into a college actually, where I live right now, which is in Charleston, South Carolina, I went to College of Charleston. And when I came, I was the same age or actually maybe slightly younger than the typical freshman. But I was not acting like a typical freshman, I was a working student. So I had anywhere from four to five part time jobs at any given time to make sure that I could pay for a place to live, for anything that I needed for school like it was now it was real life for me. And I thought at the time that it was extremely important to have an education. And where I grew up, it was pretty much like bachelor’s degree was sort of the minimum. Most people professionally, you know, my father was a dentist. It was like, Well, what’s after bachelors? Are you going into dental school? Are you taking over this dental practice? You know, like it was the expectation was to keep going, you know, and I think me sort of having this funny opportunity in a way right? I say like it was challenging. But also, I’m a now quite positive when I think of these things is learning experiences like a fantastic learning experience to understand that a lot of the things that I was learning, being in real life, were just as strong as what I was learning in these classes. And in fact, I might even argue now that those things have helped me get to where I am today, more so than my college education. I don’t not believe in an education. It’s just that it is quite expensive, that has not changed and has in fact increased. It doesn’t mean that an individual cannot be successful. If for whatever reason college is not the right choice for them. If financially it’s not the right choice, and that is something that I had to learn. So that was kind of like my I early life, but I’ll stop for a second because you may have other questions


      Karan Rhodes  10:03

      No, we can go all day listeners, we might have a two hour podcast at this rate, because we’ve got to Kelly about I could talk to her about a lot of things. But what I do want to bring us back to the Kelly. And so audience members and full transparency, I actually met Kelly when I was on a consulting engagement at a corporation, and we just, you know, had kind of an instant connection and kept in touch even after the engagement was over. But I was, you know, following her and was really, really impressed on her thought leadership in the area of skills, because, you know, similar to you, Kelly, my parents really valued education, they were kind of old school as well, and especially for a woman of color, you know, they had the belief that education would be your best ticket to be successful, but so much of your parents, my parents also had side businesses as well, legitimate ones, you know, large established ones. And so I always saw them, you know, dealing with the world of business, along with, you know, emphasizing education. So it was a mix, right. And I, to your point, I think growing up, I learned just as much if not more from shadowing my parents and their networks in the businesses as much as you know, university educations as well. And you’re doing some fantastic work. And listeners, I think you mentioned you heard in previous episodes, I mentioned that I was really blessed to be invited to speak at the global talent summit that was hosted at the Gallup headquarters in DC. But Kelly and her co founder were the leaders of the global talent Summit. So I just wanted to make that connection in case you all are curious, but definitely look them up because they are doing some fantastic work around the globe. But Kelly, I want to give a bit of airtime on your I won’t say new creation, because you’ve been in the business forever. But you’ve had so many businesses, but now you’re folding them under one umbrella called FOS University. And so I want you to tell the listeners a little bit more about that concept.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  12:14

      Yeah, no, I’m happy to and it’s FOS Universe.


      Karan Rhodes  12:17

      I’m sorry, universe, sorry.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  12:20

      Nope, totally fine. The you know, I always like to point this out, because we really, this has been a name that we have been thinking through for a number of years. And you know, I think when you know how every, I don’t know anyone else out there who maybe has had a side hustle or started other businesses, but the name ends up having such true meaning to what you’re doing. And this is exactly the same with us. And so FOS is actually the Greek word. So the O is an omega, and it’s Greek for “light” or “enlightenment.” And the idea around this particular business, it is a merger between my businesses as well as my now new business partner on our roles. We are combining a number of brands. So you know, we talked a little bit about that global talent Summit, which is one of our premier events and experiences. The brands that we have are Diplomatic Courrier. So Ana had started a global media affairs publication about 20 years ago, that is coming under the umbrella of FOS Universe, as well as world in 2050, which is an initiative on helping build a better future for our world, as well as a number of podcasts. So you mentioned the skills work that I’ve been doing. And that will include the podcast that I host, which is called, “Let’s Talk About Skills, Baby.” And it is a lot about the skills that help us become successful in life, be it personal, and professional, as well as a lot of the new innovation work that’s happening around skills based hiring and learning trying to break that down, for those that might not have been doing it for 20 years. And then, two other podcasts one is called, “Got Skills?” which is intended, they’re extremely short, less than 10 minute podcast episodes that are intended towards maybe an early to mid-career professional that is trying to understand,you know, if you know what, if they have a certain skill, or perhaps they might have skills that are quite important professionally, and they just don’t exactly know how to describe them. They and they don’t know how to necessarily describe an experience that wouldn’t be a quote unquote, formal education or work experience. And then the last is future tense, which is a podcast really focused on future trends tied up with our World in 2050 Brand and I say all these things to say that like what does that even mean when you decide to merge all these businesses? Well, the thing that you know, over this I’m having started so many businesses, I actually just caught myself thinking I could tell you how many businesses this is to date, but I have lost count, I think it might be over ten. Not all of them have been successful. But this one has such meaning. Because over time, as I’ve mentioned, you learn so many things, in the experiences that you’ve had. And professionally speaking, and personally speaking, like I mentioned earlier, with my parents growing up, you know, our that work life and personal life really was quite meshed. And when I started off in my early career, what I started to notice moving into a corporate environment was that it felt like I had to leave my personal life at the door, no one could know that I had children, no one could know that anything horrible was going on at home, right? Like all of those things had to be turned off, to focus in this environment. And the funny thing was, is that that environment was building data, technology, products for people to navigate their professional journeys. And, in fact, the majority of these organizations weren’t actually accepting of the fact that we also were people. And also had these personal lives. And so this business is so important to us. Because, you know, we’ve COVID I think, for many of us has sort of like the, I mean, maybe I’m speaking more to those that would identify as like a working parent, but maybe I could even dare say, working mother, you know. It really has, for the first time sort of pulled back the curtain on so many things. And it’s the first time where the whole world felt it at once, like the whole world got the peek behind that curtain at once. And I think many of us had varying levels of burnout, you know, like throughout the time, and it was like, why are we I used to get in trouble because I used to ask this one question, like, “Who made that rule?” My mom like this is I laugh, because it’s, I think we now have all asked that question like, “Why do I live life this way?” And I used to get in trouble at school, at home, because I would constantly say like, “Well, I’m not going to do that, like whoever made that rule anyway.” And I think we’ve all we’re all asking that question. And FOS Universe, at least for me, is attempting to provide an answer. Why do we have to live the world this way? Why can’t we have an ecosystem that actually focuses our professional lives on making impact? Yes, also helping provide for us financially and hopefully making us financially successful as individuals, as organizations. But how do we do this in more of a collective way that the the people who truly, I think you know what I mean, with you being at global talent Summit, you know, when you get a group of like minded people who focus on the same values in life, and in their professional life, right, I say life and professional life many times because most people don’t think of professional as part of life when in fact, I’m like, sort of, like we say mental health now. It’s just health, right?


      Karan Rhodes  18:30

      It’s just health! It’s part of the being.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  18:33

      it’s just life, but it’s really an attempt to say like, Hey, what if we decided to try to build a new ecosystem? Wherein we provide support for these types of individuals that may have not been getting the correct support? Being the new leader today means you have to know how to do social media, you have to be a speaker, you have to write a book, you have to have a podcast, and you still need to live your life at home and do your work, by the way, and all the other things right but like how do I do all that? How do I find the financing I need? How do I get the advice I need? How do I know what people to turn to that will actually care and not take advantage of me? Anyway I say all that to mean like, this is real that’s how passionate I am about this because I’m like, I just felt like this was missing. Such a huge part that was missing in our world was that I was like, why can’t we all just have a little bit more like kindness and mutual respect for those around us and why don’t we start just all the people who think that way let’s like all band together and help each other.


      Karan Rhodes  19:38

      which is why I raised my hand. And would you also share Kelly, a little bit more about your passion around evangelizing everyone embracing their talent and not getting so caught up in, as we talked about, a degree per se. I mean, degrees are wonderful, but really having them double down and understanding what their true talents are, and what the worth of those talents are in, you know, the world of work


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  20:07

      Completely. Oh my gosh, I mean, well, this is like been the way that I’ve lived my life, you know, you guys, I was a young mother and I unfortunately didn’t have the financial abilities and/or financial resources and/or the time to put forward like to allow myself to continue my degree. And I used to feel quite bad about it. Like I was working with individuals that had master’s degrees, PhDs, all sorts. And I felt like maybe that made me less than, and what I started to recognize is I was like, able to do so much more, there were things that had been turned on in me from having been in the real I say, quote, unquote, real world, right, but like living the real life of like, there are bills, you’ve got to figure stuff out, you know, the things that I learned there had actually helped me, I think, move forward professionally, in a way that was like surpassing the people who were going after degrees. Now, I’m not going to say that that’s always going to be the way. But I truly leaned into the fact that I was like, You know what, I don’t have all those things. The people that were inspiring me were people like Richard Branson, because I also have dyslexia and ADHD, so that it helps to see that, wow, there’s all of these super successful people that don’t necessarily have this pedigree. But now how do I turn around and talk about those things in a way that helps a potential employer understand those things. And so truly what I would say to anyone out there that is thinking of this for themselves, sit down with yourself and really think about the things that are are your, I call them like superpowers. Some people call them super skills, the things that for whatever reason, naturally, you just excel at, and what is the story that you can tell, to share with someone else as to why you excel at that. What I can tell you being someone who has been working with like labor market data in the sense of like, understanding what employers need, and the words that they’re using to describe, let’s say, a job posting, what skills and capabilities and knowledge a person might have, across the board, there is no employer that will ever not put at the top of their list that they need people with what used to be called soft skills, what I call life skills, because those are the skills that all of you out there, have learned in the trenches of life, any challenge that you’ve had and listen up, like, I’m a mother of three, the stuff that I do at home for three kids to manage this household. I’m like a CFO of this house. I’m a CEO of this house, this stuff that I do, like no one could afford me because this, right, like, but you have to really think of those stories there are, you can work with a team so much better because you understand different personalities.


      Karan Rhodes  23:21

      That’s right. And to be able to articulate that when you’re interviewing is tremendous. I mean, one that’s top of mind for me is as you were describing, that is resiliency, you know, for you to be able to manage all of the aspects of your life, even through the ups and downs, right, increases your skill resiliency, and who would not love for someone to have a high degree of acumen and resiliency in their workplace? Yeah.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  23:48

      Oh my gosh, it’s so true. And honestly, like, don’t. The other thing I would say is when you’re finding your superscalar, superpower story, don’t be ashamed. Don’t ever be ashamed of whatever that story is. And the story changes over time. I mean, my original story was that when I was 10 years old, I started a baby sitters club, and I was the president and I had a team of babysitters, and I was making a cut of their money. Now, if you can imagine today, I say this out loud. And I’m like, That’s pretty awesome, right? But I used to be like, oh, man, I haven’t really accomplished a lot. But I did this thing. You know what? That’s great. If you were a ski instructor, I don’t care what it is that you’ve done. You volunteered at your church, I swear it is a powerful story.


      Karan Rhodes  24:35

      I know, it is and don’t let the little Gremlins in your head deflect you from sharing that story. Right. You know, just embrace it as well. And Kelly, I know you’ve had many roles in the world of work as well as many roles in in your business, businesses, that you have found it, what do you do to stay on top of your game?


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  24:58

      That is such a good Question, what I would say is, it’s first of all, it is a journey. Because there are some times that I’m really great at this. And then there’s some times where, you know, we just lose, you know, we kind of lose our way and have to like get back to our normal selves, the things that I have learned through the hard way, that are very important for me to be to have the energy and the brainpower to do the things that I want to do every day are to get enough sleep, to make sure that I’m fueling my body with, you know, I jokingly think of my body as like a Ferrari, right, like, I need the highest level of fuel to make this body do what I want, like perform like a Ferrari, I need to move my body. So like, and I often say it that way, as opposed to like, I don’t need to be doing bootcamp exercises, but like, whatever is the kind of movement that helps me be that best person. And I do listen to my body a lot. I try not to over do myself, but make sure that I’m moving on a daily basis. And I also make sure that I leave time for gratitude and like mindful meditation, time to…quiet time for your brain, any of you out there that also have ADHD, like I do, quiet time might have to happen when you’re moving. So, often I’ll have to go for a walk for my brain to like, be up, or do something with my hands for my brain to do that, and it’s okay. And then lastly, I really have to read, like, have again, it’s just like, whatever is your me time for me my me, I love reading. And that’s my me time. And actually all of this stuff that I’ve just said to make me do that I have it scheduled right in my calendar. Most people look at my calendar, and they’re like, Oh, my God, but it has, it’s all color coded. And it’s like, every hour, you’ll see a break for 10 minutes that says like, do three push ups and like 10 squats. You know, like…


      Karan Rhodes  27:00

      wow, that is amazing. Okay, so I’m gonna have to have my game prepared to you. But if it helps you run your life. That’s fantastic.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  27:09

      It’s just little ways. I mean, I’m like I keep saying I’m a mom. And you know, it’s my kids are still fairly young. So we often think that it has to be perfect. Like, I used to be able to do these like amazing two hour workouts. I was an athlete, and I could it that doesn’t work in theory, like, you know, in theory, I would love to do that every day, but it just doesn’t work. And so this way, I don’t finish the end of the day without being like, wow, throughout the day, I actually got in an hour of a workout, but it was just in five minute chunks.


      Karan Rhodes  27:40

      Right. Right. But it still goes it still counts. Yeah,


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  27:45

      Exactly. And so that’s the way that…and I think for everybody just to find what the things are that make them the best they can be that day.


      Karan Rhodes  27:53

      Oh, that’s awesome. And you know, Kelly, one of the things I love to ask all of our guests, quite selfishly, because I’m curious. But as you know, I wrote a book on leadership, execution. And we focus on, you know, tactics and things that some of the world’s best leaders do to help them be successful. And I was just curious if there was one that really kind of jumped out at you by chance? And…


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  28:16

      Oh, my gosh. Well, first of all, you know, after seeing your presentation at global talent Summit, and learning all about these leadership skills, I mean, I think we had already connected like you said, and then just to see that it was like, yes, you know, you were describing all of the things that I’m thinking about with, you know, like the future, right. So for me, and you’re gonna have to help me just make sure I get the exact wording that you


      Karan Rhodes  28:44

      Sure I’ll help.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  28:45

      Yeah, it was the if you say it, and then I’ll describe why I said that one. What was the second one on my list?


      Karan Rhodes  28:54

      Oh, the courageous agility?


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  28:55



      Karan Rhodes  28:56

      Yes. All about having the courage to move forward or do the right thing, even if this feature is unclear or uncertain? Yeah.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  29:04

      You know, I think the reason that I have just recently reminded myself, this is something that happens to be one of my superpowers, because I have made a recent transition. And part of this transition was really doubling down on the fact that I do want to 100% Focus on FOS Universe. It was, you know, pretty much a side hustle for me with all of the other things going on. And I said, You know what, I’m going to put my full focus here and I’m going to tell you guys something that, the hardest part about all of this is that you don’t have all the answers. In many, I’ve made many, many decision decisions where I didn’t have the financial like, you know, I didn’t have the financial safety net, or the safety net for all of the things but somewhere deep inside my gut knew that this was the right thing, even though all of the things weren’t in line to tell my brain that like this is how it’s all happening. So that’s why that one in particular resonates so much, especially now.


      Karan Rhodes  30:13

      Oh, I love that. I absolutely love that. And although it sounds like a lot between you and your co-founder are pulling together, um, what I love is that there’s a red thread that flows through them all. So they all in some way, shape, or form all of the businesses support each other and reemphasize ya’all’s core message, which is fantastic and rare and hard to do, believe me.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  30:41

      And I’ll tell you one other thing that’s like pulling that red thread through is that a lot of the things we do like hosting an event like Global Talent Summit, or our innovation retreats are opportunities for the community to connect and sort of learn and grow together, all of those are also being credentialed mainly around the skills that we’re learning through these activities to make sure us as individuals, really understand the things that we are helping us up our game. So hopefully, as I’ve described, some of the things you all out there might be thinking of putting together your superpower story, this might be something that ends up helping too.


      Karan Rhodes  31:21

      Absolutely, and if I can just give a little plug for those of you who aren’t as familiar, please make sure that you follow Kelly. We’ll have all of her information in the show notes, but especially about the credentialing piece, because she’s partnering with some other organizations that I’m aware of where they’re trying to move the needle of helping you to get credit for a lot of the knowledge, skills and abilities that you have gained over the years. And so they’re using technology to do it. And it is extremely innovative. And it’s going to I predict this is Karan’s prediction. I predict it will be mainstream and a mainstream occurrence very soon for people to have all of their credentialing online kind of in a I don’t know, suitcase, a virtual suitcase.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  32:10

      Like you’re, yea, you’re like digital wallet, like I say, like we


      Karan Rhodes  32:15

      Yes, digital wallet. That’s right.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  32:17

      Yeah, exactly. That company, by the way is called for Redocracy, that we’re partnering with. And for anyone that ends up looking me up and can’t remember the name of the company, it is tied to me on all of my things. So you guys will will be able to see it. But it’s like a Fitbit for your content consumption, as well as that ability. So you kind of understand when you’re reading things that might be more negative. And like is that actually having like a negative effect on me as a person when you’re reading things that are politically skewed too much in one direction? Or, and like you said, even like earning credit for all of the knowledge, like if you’re reading about, I have a friend that calls himself a coffeepreneur, because he has spent years and years and years as this being like a side habit and learning all about coffee to then starting his own coffee shop and then starting his own line of coffee beans. And I’m like, it wouldn’t that be something that you would like to share whatever that might be for you, with everyone else,


      Karan Rhodes  33:22

      Right! Absolutely. That’s right. They especially people who are looking for it right. Absolutely you’re spot on? Well, Kelly, we could talk another hour Believe you me. And I would love to steal you away. Maybe we have to do a part two sometime soon. When you officially launch let me get it right FOS Universe not University. FOS Universe.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  33:47

      Thank you, though. And you’ll have to come on mine too, because then we can hear all the side of your story and then everyone can


      Karan Rhodes  33:53

      They can put it together, right? Well, thank you so much, Kelly for joining us, we you’ve definitely given us some nuggets to think about, and I’ll definitely have your information in our show notes. But thank you for coming on the Lead at the Top of Your Game podcast.


      Kelly Ryan Bailey  34:08

      Thank you so much for having me.


      Karan Rhodes  34:09

      Awesome, and listeners out there. Once again, I’ll just reiterate, please check out our show notes and for information about Kelly and some other resources that we’ll have there. And please, please share our podcast with your family and friends, because we could use the listeners and we’d love to give everyone tips about leadership. But until next time, have a wonderful, wonderful rest of your day and see you next episode. Take care. Well, I hope you enjoyed our conversation today with Kelly Ryan Bailey, co CEO of FOS Universe. Links to her bio her entry into our leadership playbook and additional resources can be found in the show notes both on your favorite podcast platform of choice and on the web at And now for Karen’s take on today’s topic of workplace skills. So today, I wanted to connect how sharpening your workplace skills is essential to one of the leadership tactics that I write in my book, Lead at the Top of Your Game. And the tactic of focus for today is leading with intellectual horsepower. As you know, intellectual horsepower is your ability to use your areas of expertise, to look around corners to spot trends and opportunities that others miss. However, your level of ability to demonstrate intellectual horsepower will be severely limited if you lack a focus and passion for keeping your skills sharp. I mean, how else are you going to be able to spot future trends if your knowledge point of reference is based on what was happening in your profession, three to five years ago, or heck, even one year ago? You know, in Malcolm Gladwell book “Outliers,” he famously talks about the 10,000 hour rule, asserting that the key to achieving true expertise in any skill is simply a matter of practicing, all be it the correct way, for at least 10,000 hours. And to keep up your expertise. He says that ongoing skill development is mandatory. So my simple advice for you today is to dedicate at least one hour per week, up leveling your skills. You can do this in any manner, such as reading books, or articles, shadowing other experts, taking courses, attending conferences, or whatever tickles your fancy. At the end of the day, just do it. You may not see the payoff immediately. And I’m not a gambling woman, but I’ll bet you a penny that it will come in handy before you know it. So if you by chance, need additional insights or help, please visit us at our main website at, and please share the podcast with just one friend and subscribe yourself because we definitely want to keep you within our network. Thanks so much for listening, and see you next week. And that’s our show for today. Thank you for listening to the lead at the top of your game podcast, where we help you lead your seat at any employer, business, or industry in which you choose to play. You can check out the show notes, additional episodes, and bonus resources, and also submit guest recommendations on our website at You can follow me on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn by searching for the name Karan Rhodes with Karan being spelled k a r a n. And if you like the show, the greatest gift you can give would be to subscribe and leave a rating on your podcast platform of choice. This podcast has been a production of Shockingly Different Leadership, a global consultancy which helps organizations execute their people, talent development, and organizational effectiveness initiatives on an on-demand, project, or contract basis. Huge thanks to our production and editing team for a job well done. Goodbye for now.

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