Inaugural Ambitions

On Wednesday, my daughters watched the female vice president of the United States get sworn in.

The ceremonious events, that thanks to COVID and virtual learning I got to watch with my daughters, represented new possibilities. They represented hope that the future will not look like the past… or the present, which isn’t working for a lot of us either.

This new leadership and new administration are inheriting seemingly insurmountable challenges. These are challenges we’ve faced before as a country, but never really all at once. Some of the previous solutions left painful gaps where wounds never could heal as they continued to be inflicted and fester.

Bridges need to be built, but first justice needs to be served!

President Biden has a very large chasm to close. And he has a very opposing path that his new Senate will be pursuing at the same time as he is attempting to close the chasm as well as to stop the bleeding.

How do you help heal a nation desperately divided while the bones are continuing to bleed? How do you prevent our country from being wounded in this way again? How do you hold the assailants accountable and still engage? Do you bring their apologists into the fold?

You can’t unify while you vilify.

Brené Brown’s research on shame is now mainstream in the corporate and professional development worlds. At its core, it teaches us that shame is about the worry that we aren’t worthy of connection.

So, how do you hold people accountable without vilifying them?

Let’s get biblical about this. Hate the sin; love the sinner.

One of the tenants of conscious leadership is assuming the best of intentions. Empathy seems like such a far reach from how many of us are feeling about people who have opposing views from us. The most passionate among us will not yield easily into empathy, even when they are ready. We have to give everyone time.

Unity will be a marathon, not a sprint. I expect there’s also no particular destination, and that it will be a continual journey. The more passionate we are, and the longer we persist in battle with the opposing side, we may start to exhaust and resign.

Anger is not the enemy of unity; apathy is. This is the real challenge ahead. The anger won’t subside until the wounding does.

As someone who advocates owning and processing emotions, I will not be urging you to put aside your anger. On the contrary – I say really lean into it. Listen to it. What is it that it’s telling you that you need? Go deep! What would that need provide to you once filled? What is all of this really about?

We are only one month into winter. We are all already craving spring for all that it provides, especially renewal and growth. Let’s take the next 8 weeks to sort out what is really at the core of our anger. Now is the time to dive deep into what we really want our world to be like on the other side of this, and what part we can play in that. I think most of us will find that it’s fear.

I am inspired by the possibility of the Reunited States of America. In fact, throughout COVID, I have been writing an album of songs about just that. I believe we can get there someday, but the only way out of the pain is through it.

May we empathize! May we heal! May we rise!

P.S. If you’re ready to find out how conscious you are as a leader, take a few moments to assess your CCQ – Corporate Consciousness Quotient here.

Karen Huller is the creator of the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint and author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days ( She founded Epic Careering, a leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, in 2006. 

While the bulk of her 20 years of professional experience has been within the recruiting and employment industry, her publications, presentations, and coaching also draw from experience in personal development, performance, broadcasting, marketing, and sales. Her solutions incorporate breakthroughs in neuroscience, human performance optimization, bioenergetics, and psychology to help leaders accelerate rapport, expand influence, and elevate engagement and productivity while also looking out for the sustainability of the business and the planet.

Mrs. Huller was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends. She is a Certified Professional Résumé Writer, Certified Career Transition Consultant, and Certified Clinical Hypnotherapist with a Bachelor of Art in Communication Studies and Theater from Ursinus College and a minor in Creative Writing. Her blog was recognized as a top 100 career blog worldwide by Feedspot. 

She was an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business. As an instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy, she has helped two of her students win the 2018 National Competition to be named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, to win the 2019 People’s Choice Award, and to land in the top 8 during the (virtual) 2020 National Competition.

She is board secretary for the Upper Merion Community Center and just finished serving as Vice President of the Gulph Elementary PTC, for which she received recognition as a Public Education Partner and Promoter from the Upper Merion Area Education Association. She lives in King of Prussia with her husband, two daughters, and many pets, furry, feathered, and scaly. 

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