What did you think leadership was when you were growing up?
One of the scariest phases in a parent’s life is when they no longer are the primary influence on their kids. They choose a new “leader” to follow. But are they good ones?
What were you examples were you taught from childhood to emulate, and how did that transform as you asserted your independence? Did you follow the wrong people sometimes? How did that teach you to make better choices and about whom you wanted to be?
I find that few people I meet, work with, and get to know had really strong examples of leadership in their homes and beyond. I’m sure this varies from community to community and from demographic to demographic. I envy, yet fail to relate, to people who grew up in households where they had consistent financial and emotional support. In many ways, it is because I experienced gaps in these areas that I developed certain strengths, yet, I had a very warped idea of what true leadership actually is.
I am grateful to have started therapy young, as a fourth-grader, even though it came with stigma in an already un-empathetic community. It made me realize just how much outside help I needed, and set me on a path of self-discovery and self-help that eventually led to engaging coaches, attending conferences, and taking courses through Landmark Education. These led to breakthroughs in my life, and inspired the desire to help others have breakthroughs in their career that make their lives better.
Growing up, leadership seemed to me to be about power, getting others to follow, and manipulating people to get your way. I was wooed by charisma and confidence instead of character. I made a lot of mistakes in leadership as a result.
The further down the path of personal development I went, the more I realized that I needed to redefine leadership. In one particular course, the Self-Expression Leadership Course, I demonstrated to myself that the leader I wanted to be – the highest version of leader I could achieve – is someone who creates other leaders by inspiring and enabling them to be the best version of themselves.
Of course, idealism and reality do not always coincide, and learning is a bumpy road. So did I still make mistakes? Yes, yet I also increased over time the amount of time I am that highest version of leadership, and my career continued to give me new opportunities to learn, especially from my amazing clients, and to test myself – with professional networking organizations, with parent-teacher organizations, in my community, as a college professor and youth instructor, and with my kids.
Sidebar: the kids are the biggest challenge to date! I seek out more help in this area than any other and continue not getting the results I want, not knowing if I’m doing “right,” and feeling like I am completely out of my element. Anyone else?
I spent the past four years focused on taking everything I have learned and developing the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, and though I engaged various coaches and mentors to help me, it still felt like a solo effort and an uphill climb to garner enough enrollment to make a difference, and yet the urgency of making a difference continued to grow as my kids got closer to their teenage years (they’re still tweens) and to impending adulthood.
Then, of course, as 2020 unleashed its fury.
I got the sense that I was not alone, in fact. Other people were also feeling their sense of urgency to make an impact grow, and it was high time we started collaborating and co-creating if we really wanted to get anywhere.
I put some LinkedIn feelers out, and one of the first leaders to respond became my co-creating partner. I’m talking about Lawrence Henderson, my co-manager for the C3 community.
Together we grew our C3 community to 140 co-creators and had 25 of them step up to the online “stage” to share their wisdom and success for the benefit of our community, most of whom joined us last month for our Year-In-Review event.
When creating our vision for the coming year, Lawrence and I knew that we had to keep our mission about leveling up leaders and giving them more and more opportunities to co-create and share the goods with others, so we put the invitation out to our panelists to speak at ConCon 2021 (click here to join the waitlist) and to host their own Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership events. We are so thankful that Phil Williams and TaJuanna Taylor have answered our call to action and now the number of monthly events we have is doubled. This is great news, as we have so many in-demand topics to cover in 2021 and beyond.
Sadly, due to circumstances, Phil cannot jump in just yet, so we are looking for another conscious leader to step into hosting with TaJuanna on Unconscious Bias in August.
If you would love to co-create a new stage to elevate conscious leaders and conscious leadership any time this year, get in the C3 Community and introduce yourself today! Let us know what you would like to co-create and with what conscious leadership practices you have had success.
The stage is yours!
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. She is an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy (YEA) where some of her students won the 2018 national YEA competition, were named Ernst & Young’s America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.
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.