Archives for June 2021

Conscious Leadership Isn’t Perfect Leadership

Conscious Leadership isn’t perfect leadership. With all the backlash surrounding cancel culture, how to hold leaders accountable is becoming more confusing. Can we hold leaders accountable without “canceling them?”

A deeper look into this is coming; I have been pitching an article to major publications on this very topic. In the meantime, let’s ask a different question:

What if leaders held themselves accountable?

We can’t expect leaders, who are still human, will lead without fault, without mistake, and without unintentional harm, no matter how conscious they are. Consider consciousness in this context to mean self-aware and intentional about acting and deciding in the best interests of people and the planet.

So, when they make a mistake, what would it look like if they held themselves accountable?

I’d like to present Exhibit A.

Joel Fishbein, recently-resigned School Board President of Cheltenham School District.

This mistake: minimizing Frederick Douglass’s slavery and slavery in general in a graduation speech intended to inspire students to take risks and create change.

What he did: Listened and acted with compassion…the next day.

Over half of the district’s student population are Black, and feedback from this community, as well as community organizations, was immediate.

Here’s what he didn’t do: Excuse or defend his error.

Our brain does this thing where it tries to protect our ego. It’s pretty instantaneous and automatic, and we may outwardly react in this mindset – unless, we are self-aware enough to recognize this reflex and conscious enough to stifle it.  Mr. Fishbein’s brain likely did the same thing, and I’m uncertain how he initially reacted to this feedback. However, he clearly didn’t react outwardly in this mindset. Fairly quickly, based on his next-day press response, he put his ego aside and went into his higher-self mind. He made a decision to do what was in the best interest of the community he served.

Here is what else he did:
  • Owned his mistakes and the harm they inflicted. You can tell that he really put himself in their shoes, recognizing that this was supposed to be one of the happiest days of their life – a celebration of all they accomplished. All that was overshadowed by cultural insensitivity, and he validated the voices of those he represents and acknowledging his understanding gap.
  • He voluntarily relinquishing his leadership position as board President to the Vice President (in the interim) while keeping his commitment to the school district, recognizing that in this crucial time in our country and our community’s history, minority populations absolutely need culturally competent leadership.
  • As a school board candidate in my neighborhood, Tiffany Cherry, pointed out, he also “immediately instituted a policy to mitigate the chance of something similar reoccurring (addressing what is now foreseeable).”  The speech was not read by anyone prior to him reading it at the graduation ceremony. From now on, the school board will read and approve public addresses from members of the board.

Of course, there were those who assumed that Mr. Fishbein was coerced into resignation, and decried him a victim of cancel culture. His wife joined his efforts in making sure the public, particularly those commenting on social media, was clear – this was a decision he made independent of any public pressure, because it was the right thing to do.

While I agree that this mistake does indicate that he is not the culturally competent leader that the people, particularly African Americans, in his community need at this pivotal time, he demonstrated that he is capable of growing and learning into a better, more conscious leader, and we absolutely need more leaders to demonstrate this potential, even if they are not quite at the point of cultural competence.

Conscious leaders may still make mistakes, but we can all make efforts right now to identify and fill our understanding gaps, which starts by admitting we have them. C3 is a community where you can safely admit your understanding gaps, and receive help filling them. Everyone in this group is committed to co-creating a more conscious corporate landscape.

As I said last week, when we know better, we do better, which is a modified quote from Maya Angelou. If you’re looking for a place you can seek to know better, join C3 now, just in time for our monthly event on July 1st, which is actually a year in review. Reflect with some of our past panelists on the most amazing, crazy, chaotic, volatile, and treacherous, but also catalyzing year I have ever experienced in my lifetime.

The Human League – Human

Vote for your favourite 80s hit of all time: https://lnk.to/80BestHitsListen to more from The Human League: http://TheHumanLeague.lnk.to/EssentialsStream a p…

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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.

What Are You Willing to Do or Give Up for a Better World?

What are you willing to do or give up for a better world?

Unfortunately, my conclusion for the vast amount of Americans is – not much.

From wearing masks to foregoing multi-million dollar bonuses that were questionably earned, it seems as a country, we justify a fair amount of the damage we do to people and the planet. Me, too. I can’t say everything I buy is sustainably sourced, organic, or ethically manufactured. I don’t think any of us flip a switch and do everything “right,” or for the highest good.

Sustainable behavioral change either takes baby steps or a huge event/epiphany. Either way, it starts with self-awareness and the desire to “do no harm.”  When we know better, we do better. We can choose better.

What about choices you make in your career?

I just turned down doing career branding for the former President/CEO of 3 major food companies.

I told him in the first few minutes that after 15 years in business (celebrated June 1st), I only wanted to work with people who are committed to prioritizing people and the planet alongside profit. He urged me to convince him that what I could do for him would get him better results. I flat out told him that unless he wanted to target companies willing to do this, we would not be successful working together.

Because he wants to target private equity firms who “could care less about people and the planet,” we agreed to end our professional courting right then and there. We had a mutual admiration for each other’s success, but we were not aligned. He said he learned something from me – to get to the point about whether two professionals will be successful working together. Our conversation was all but 11 minutes.

Obviously, this high-profile client could have paid me very well and referred more clients of equal caliber. However, I have been clearer than ever since 2020 what is at stake and I committed to only help people gain greater influence if that influence is going to benefit people and the planet. I reminded myself of that commitment and aligned myself with that energy before the call.

I absolutely could have justified helping him, and I’m sure some of you will think that was a dumb business decision. If I had ignored my conscience, not only would I have been a hypocrite, but I potentially could have contributed to harm, such as people getting laid off, if he would have seen fit to do so to achieve profit margins.

I think it’s important to note that I am not vilifying him. I am also not vilifying people who make the decision to contribute their time and talent every day to companies that do arguably more harm than good while the executive leadership takes home 4000% more than them.

We were all sold and bought the American dream. It’s one we all share – get a job with benefits, buy a house in the suburbs, start a college savings account, save and plan for retirement. Don’t be a drain on society is the minimum standard of acceptability to many.

Honestly, it seems sometimes we worry more about being accepted than the well-being of our fellow humans and our one and only home (for now), planet Earth.

It’s not cool to be conscious…yet.

My daughter is 11. She still has stuffed animals, loves to play pretend, and she sings with joy all the time. Any day now, someone will tell her that something she loves isn’t cool, and I am teaching her to say in reply, “I decide what’s cool for me. You decide what’s cool for you. Cool?” I will teach her not to let “cool” people decide what or who she should love or rob her of joy she once derived from things. Will she anyway? Likely. But I hope as she builds confidence as an adult and learns to make decisions for herself, she abandons the need to please anyone/everyone, including me, and follows her heart, not her head.

Does your head or your heart lead your career decisions when they disagree?

Think about some times in the past you made decisions that went against your head, and then the ones that went against your heart. Which ones turned out better in the long run? What did you learn from those decisions?

Some people will say that the decisions that they made with their heads better enabled them to reach their financial goals and, therefore, were better. There’s really no way of knowing what would have happened to know if you’d be even better or not. I have found that the clients who were able to follow their hearts still reached financial goals because reaching financial goals was still part of the criteria. They aren’t mutually exclusive.

However, when you align your talents, time, and contributions to benefit from the wealth that has been amassed by unconscious practices, you help maintain systems that exploit you and people like you for the benefit of a few.

Not everyone will answer the call to career more consciously. That’s okay. There aren’t enough companies and leaders right now to employ everyone…yet.

If you, like me, set a hard line in 2020 to align with others (leaders and companies) who are aiming to operate and act more consciously, then ask yourself these questions:

  • Have you accepted, even adopted, a practice that you felt was unethical because your colleagues seemed to accept it and you didn’t want to risk negative perceptions?
  • Did you accept a promotion without asking enough questions to find that now you are complicit in unethical, maybe even illegal, activities?
  • Are you seeing leaders act in ways that go against the values the company claims to embody and embrace?

Do you want to career more consciously and with more integrity? Let’s talk.

Be cool enough to decide what cool is for you – consciousness.

Papa Roach – Done With You

“Done With You”I count the days that we have spent apartI’ve got a bad liver and a broken heartThere’s no salvation in the comfort of youI finally realized y…

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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.

Using Active Voice vs. Passive Voice – Answer The Call To Conscious Leadership

When Lindsey Ackerman, Geotechnical Project Manager, came into the C3 community, she introduced us to a change that she made in her communication style that helped level up her conscious leadership. As it turned out, the C3 community proved very curious about this change, using active voice instead of passive voice, and so it became the last topic of our 1st year of these events, and what an event it was. Lawrence and I were joined by Lindsey and Jay Hurt, COO at The Academy of Creative Coaching, who came to serve as our persuasive communications expert and co-panelist.

The usual topics came up, but so did some things we realize we need to spend more time talking about in the next year.

Check out the highlights of our event listed below and be sure to request to join the C3 community so that you can get the replay link.

  • What was the feedback that spurred Lindsey to make this change?
  • Can you be nice and be an effective leader?
  • How quickly did Lindsey realize better results and what were they?
  • Why is it important for women to adopt active voice?
  • What is a tool that you can use to help increase your self-awareness of when you are using passive language?
  • What are some words that you can eliminate and add to activate your voice?
  • What are the costs of using passive voice and not communicating well?
  • How does active voice most effectively facilitate the sales process?
  • What are the two different kinds of closing in sales, and how can both active and passive voices fit in?
  • What is the value and the detriment of selling to people’s pain and what works even better?
  • What skills are leaders going to need in this century and in the next century to be successful?
  • How do we sabotage ourselves and limit our leadership capabilities when we use passive voice with ourselves, and what happens when we start using active voice in our self-talk?
  • How do we get people to care about making these changes?
  • How do we build up our vulnerability muscle as we become better at using active voice?
  • What does the new leadership narrative look like?
  • What is reframing and how does that help leaders better leverage self-awareness? Plus, how did Jay use reframing to lead his team to #1?
  • How do you e-mail like a boss?
Recommended reading:

Lindsey was hesitant to present herself as an expert on the topic because this was something she learned about, applied, and realized success. And guess what – this was a perfect example of how powerful sharing your knowledge with our community can be. We learned so much from Jay and Lindsey’s anecdotal experience and Jay’s expertise.

As Lindsey said, we’re all a work in progress, and it’s all just practice. As Lawrence said, it’s all about the reps. Aim for progress, not perfection. Perfection is an illusion. What matters is – Are we showing up? Definitely show up. Here’s how!

Join the C3 community, introduce yourself, and please share with us something you’ve learned that has improved the way you show up.

Then, join us next month to commemorate the end of our conscious community’s 1st year with a year-in-review. What a year it’s been! And, find out what we have planned for the C3 community in the coming year – we have very exciting news!

Adventures ahead!

Gimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010)

Provided to YouTube by Universal Music GroupGimme Some Truth (Remastered 2010) · John LennonImagine℗ 2010 Calderstone Productions Limited (a division of Univ…

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.

Highlights of My 15 Years in Business

Today I celebrate the 15th anniversary of the day I officially started Charésumé, LLC (dba Epic Careering.)

I clearly remember the Memorial Day weekend right before my business launched. I fasted and cleaned and organized my office to prepare my mind, my body, and my physical space for a new beginning. That beginning has led to many other beginnings over the past 15 years. It hasn’t all been easy, but it’s been fulfilling and made a difference in many lives.

The #1 highlight has always been my clients. There have been so many amazing clients I have gotten to coach, but also to learn from – how they succeeded, how they overcame challenges, how they influenced change, what they had to endure. Along with my helping them, there have been many professional redemption stories – clients who realized their potential, found a new professional home, and thrived financially and personally because they were nurtured in being their whole selves, inside and outside work hours.

While my clients reached new professional heights, somehow, I managed to keep my business going through two pregnancies, births, 4 years of breastfeeding, and 5 years of either no school for my kids or half-day school.

Other highlights include:
  • Additional publications on Philly.com, ReadersDigest.com, and CPAJournal
  • Working with Tracy Davidson of NBC10 on her Jump Start events, doing LinkedIn training, and being interviewed at the studio for a segment
  • Many radio interviews and podcast features
  • Being Professor Huller, teaching and inspiring tomorrow’s leaders to follow their dreams
  • Drexel University’s recognition as a published faculty member for Laser-Sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 days
  • Winning a Feedspot top 100 Career Blog award
  • Three years of YEA Philadelphia students who learned how to start a business, some of which still prosper today!
  • Winning 2nd place with my StockJock team at Philly Startup Weekend (Adam, Anas, John, John’s friend)
  • Growing into Corporate training and State (DE) training
  • Founding and co-managing the C3 Community on LinkedIn, engaging the awesome Lawrence Henderson as my partner
My clients have been from:
  • Comcast
  • UPenn
  • IBX
  • GSK
  • QVC
  • TD Bank
  • ICON
  • SAP
  • ADP
  • Oracle
  • GE
  • GM
  • Qlik
  • IBM
  • eBay
  • Honeywell
  • J&J (& subsidiaries)
  • Aramark
  • Quest Diagnostics
I have spoken at/for:

The PA Conference for Women, GVFHRA (local SHRM chapter), Philadelphia Great Careers Group, Jump Start Your Job Search, Black Data Processors Association, ChemPharma, AichE, FENG, TPNG (where I was also co-chair for 2 years.)

I have been mentored by:

Ford Myers, Ed Callahan, Jon Wagner, and Dr. Dawn Francis.

I have developed the following programs/inventions:
  • Jack Shipley helped me gamify the Accelerfate Career Campaign tool
  • Jedi and the team at OpenForge, after a successful crowdfunding campaign with 76 lenders, helped me turn Accelerfate into a mobile game prototype
  • Wharton MBA students who helped develop the prototype for an Online Executive Branding tool
  • The Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint was a 3-year labor of love that took all of my years of learning and experience to curate and develop with various coaches helping me along the way with content, curriculum, format, media, marketing, and enrollment – This is the future of my practice and the very best thing I have created thus far to make a lasting difference in this world
I have invested in studying under …

I would like to thank the talent who have supported me and my mission over the years, my interns and assistants – MaryKate Sullivan, Heidi Jenkins, Angela Mosely, MJ Concetta, and my current virtual assistant, Cynthia Harder, who has been with me for over a year and a half now.

A couple of other people who made these highlights possible are my mother-in-law, who came weekly to watch the kids while I commuted to the city to teach, and my mom also helped watch the girls while I attended conferences and earned certifications. I’d like to give a shout-out to all my kids’ caretakers who made it possible for me to be my best for my clients: Betsy Czarkowski, Elissa Salamy, Emily Vandergeest, Jenna Bednar, and Kait Brennan.

All of these people and experiences have brought me here today, and I absolutely must give major props to my husband, Tim, for supporting me emotionally, financially, and physically. He doesn’t understand the ins and outs of what I do, but he knows I love it, and he knows I’m good at it, and he has total faith in me, and that means everything, especially when I lose faith in myself.

If you are reading this to the very end, thank YOU! I don’t often hear from the people who follow me, but from time to time someone lets me know that what I am putting out into the world weekly is making a difference for them, and just to know that the time and care I put into this weekly effort is reaching other people is enough reinforcement for me to continue to do so.

Thank you all for an amazing 15 years, and here’s to the next 15 years. I look forward to more conscious co-creation.

Grateful Dead – Touch Of Grey (Official Music Video)

You’re watching the official music video for ‘Touch Of Grey’ from the Dead’s 1987 album ‘In The Dark’. We will get by, we will survive….Subscribe! https://…

Karen Huller, author of Laser-sharp Career Focus: Pinpoint your Purpose and Passion in 30 Days (bit.ly/GetFocusIn30), is founder of Epic Careering, a 13-year-old leadership and career development firm specializing in executive branding and conscious culture, as well as JoMo Rising, LLC, a workflow gamification company that turns work into productive play. 

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. 

Karen was one of the first LinkedIn trainers and is known widely for her ability to identify and develop new trends in hiring and careering. 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 is an Adjunct Professor in Cabrini University’s Communications Department and previously was an Adjunct Professor of Career Management and Professional Development at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business  She is also an Instructor for the Young Entrepreneurs Academy where some of her students won the 2018 national competition, were named America’s Next Top Young Entrepreneurs, and won the 2019 People’s Choice Award.