Women in Business

Four Lessons Kristen Bright Learned During a Challenging Year

The BKD partner and single mom shares her takeaways from a year of pandemic living.

By Lillian Stone

Mar 09 2021 at 10:52 a.m.

Kristen Bright of BKD
Photo courtesy of Kristen Bright.Kristen Bright is a partner at BKD.
Tip #1: Be open to change.

“At the beginning of the pandemic, every single week was different for me. I was home full-time through May,
then started a hybrid schedule in June. But we quickly found that, when you’ve got good quality team members
invested in what you’re doing and dedicated to serving clients, we really can work anywhere.”

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Tip #2: Designate time to get organized.

“I had to completely rethink how I tackled my day—juggling all the different forms of communication, as well as
all the information we had hitting us at all times. We work in a fast-paced environment, but this was completely
different. I allowed myself 30 minutes at the start of my day and 30 minutes at the end of my day to go back and
scan through all those forms of communication—email, instant messaging, my calendar—to make sure I didn’t miss

Tip #3: Lead with compassion.

“You never know what people are battling at home. Each person had something they were struggling with during
the onset of the pandemic: their own health, a family member’s health, homeschooling kids or just living alone and
feeling isolated. I really tried to give people space in a way that allowed us to constantly adapt to the challenges at

Tip #4: Take care of yourself first.

“I was feeling pretty depleted by the end of 2020. Nobody thought the pandemic was going to last a year, so the
coping mechanisms we chose may or may not have been the healthiest. I spent the holidays refocusing on myself
and checking in on the basics—nutrition, exercise, things like that. It’s helped me tremendously in terms of keeping
calm, keeping my energy up and being a better problem-solver.”

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