When you are a confidant to people in bad job situations, you become privy to some pretty dark intelligence.
What do to with that?
Certainly, I don’t go public with it. If I am to remain a confidant, confidentiality is critical. Also, when I hear reports indicating a lack of conscious leadership in a company, I aim to help – not alienate – them.
I do keep a list, and I do index news and comments about unconscious companies and leaders.
So, what happens when a client, or a close contact, asks for help landing in companies I have “dark intelligence” about?
Well, it’s tricky, but I have adopted a policy and a protocol for making conscious decisions, meaning decisions in the highest good.
Some of my clients are coming to me to escape an unconscious company or boss because they feel stifled in their ability to lead consciously while succeeding in such an environment, and they want to make sure that their next opportunity is better aligned with their values and style. Since confidentiality goes both ways with my clients, I will tell them what I know and trust that they will use it only for the highest good.
Others want guidance in how to navigate their current environment and maximize their impact to leave it better than when they came. In this case, I provide them with questions to ask in interviews and in networking to qualify that the challenges that exist there are challenges they are going to confidently overcome to make the desired impact. The questions also ensure the existing challenges won’t be an obstacle to their impact or a career-killer, putting them into ethical predicaments that will force them to choose between becoming a whistleblower against their will or becoming complicit. I advise my clients only to go to this company if they are willing to be a whistleblower, which can have devastating effects when an industry is wrought with unconscious practices and leaders, and few conscious choices exist. However, should the need to become a whistleblower arise, they know I will be there to help them reinvent and redeem themselves so that they can move on to make their desired impact elsewhere.
Sometimes, it’s in the highest good that one of these companies hires my client, and sometimes it’s in the highest good that clients land where they can bring their whole selves to work and be uninhibited by unconscious conditions. If they are uncertain, as a coach I ask questions to help them come to their own conclusions and be at peace with their decision.
Over the years, especially earlier in my company, I found great joy and satisfaction in helping individual contributors breakthrough their corporate growth barriers and step into leadership. Unfortunately, the joy was diminished by reports of new insights they learned as they took on greater responsibility and had greater access to information, and had more involvement in strategic planning.
This was the point in my career that I started leaning further into conscious leadership coaching.
When dark intelligence about an unconscious company’s employment practices makes the news, certain comments, like, “The door is always right there. They can just work somewhere else,” seem super naïve, even ignorant. Coaches like me exist because decoding career campaigning isn’t everyone’s skill set, and we deserve to earn income for our skill set, so it takes someone with a budget to afford us. Many of the victims of these employers have been underpaid and overworked, resulting in additional challenges to hiring a professional like me.
There are not enough conscious companies for all of my clients, let alone the volume of talent out there reaching their limits with their current career situation.
Some will have to be the change they wish to see, and that will mean being trained as a conscious leader, and training other conscious leaders.
Either that, or you adapt. You learn to play the same political games and you become complicit in perpetuating a toxic, unconscious work environment.
Have you ever had a moment where you felt like you traded your values, maybe even your morals, for success in an unconscious company you once admired?
What did you decide?
What is your next move?
Ask yourself: What is in the highest good?
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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.