Are you an Outlaw? Meet Kristen Leis

‎Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

‎Chief Marketing and Business Development Officer at Parker Poe Adams & Bernstein LLP

Q. What is your motto?
A. Earn it. I was driving to work a few years ago and I passed a runner with a t-shirt on that simply read “earn it.” It has stuck with me and I’ve incorporated it into just about every project – big and small. The sooner we all realize that no one is going to give us anything just because we are ___ (fill in your own personal blank), the more satisfied we will be with our accomplishments. Maybe it’s the Midwesterner in me, but hard work really does pay off.

Q. Share something that you’ve done in the past that set you apart from your peers? 
A. I am a passionate and curious person. But when I think about my peers, they possess the exact same traits and they inspire me to continuously be at my own personal best.

Q. Always paying attention or do you daydream?
A. I get bored very, very easily and am not a fan of unproductive meetings. The mental checklist starts going off in my head. I’ve been known to wrap up conversations (and meetings!) abruptly when small talk begins. So I suppose I’m a day dreamer…oh, and I miss exits sometimes when deep in thought driving so I must be.

Q. What got you into working in the legal industry?
A. I started a non-profit with one primary mission: to help attorneys build superior relationships. Just kidding. In college, I interned at Arter & Hadden in Columbus, Ohio under Erin Hawk almost 18 years ago and fell in love with the legal marketing world. It’s an intellectually challenging career and ultimately, very fulfilling for me.

Q. Your favorite musician/ band?
A. The Dave Matthews Band, of course. I’ve been to over 50 shows! Everyone in my family loves music, although my 8 year old daughter recently shared “no offense Mom, but Dave Matthews is kinda ‘old timey’ music…” Ouch.

Q. What is your current state of mind?
A. Sleepy. It’s 7am and I’m on the train en route to our Raleigh office. However, it could be 2pm and I’d still be in the same state of mind. Are there any CMO’s at law firms who also have small children at home that aren’t in that perceptual state? If so, please call me, I need your secret to balancing it all.

Q. Your favorite virtue?
A. Integrity. As a leader in any business environment, it is critical to be direct, do what you say you are going to do, treat everyone with respect, and earn their respect in return. People with strong integrity strive to be self-aware and are highly skilled at building and maintaining trust. It’s truly the secret to strong personal relationships and to ongoing success in the workplace. It’s not easy but it’s an absolute honor to earn the trust of others and it’s the virtue I’d most like my legacy to reflect.

Q. What would you consider your greatest achievement?
A. Other than my lovely family that I still can’t believe I get to call “mine,” I am so proud of the high functioning and client service focused teams I’ve put together and nourished at some of my firms. The teams at my former firm, Stoel Rives, and my current firm, Parker Poe, are two of the best legal marketers I’ve worked with. I feel very positive and proud of those true definitions of team.