Archives for career fulfillment

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.

A Realistic Expectation for a More Conscious Career Path

When the world (or your world) is hit by a major catastrophe, it tends to spur you to re-evaluate your life. It inspires re-prioritization. Often, professionals start reflecting on their careers, questioning if the time that they have been investing in a lucrative career has actually been adding any value on a wider scale, and if it will matter once they are gone.

These are the people who tend to be my clients.

Of course, other things can spur these thoughts, as well. Seeing someone else make a change to a career that is more passion-filled and purpose-filled can make you wonder why you decided at some point that wasn’t an option for you. Was that the truth? Or, was it a story? What purpose did that story serve? How long will it serve you?

If you have had a moment like this and your reason for keeping things status quo was how long it would take you to a better place, what did you really think it would take? Are you really not able to make that happen right now?

What are the costs of staying the course?

Are you going to work each day with a knot in your stomach? Do you notice that your breathing is frequently short? Are your shoulders often tense? Are your thoughts often negative? Do you count the minutes until you can be done and go home? Do you dread Mondays and live for Friday? Do you come home mentally and emotionally exhausted? Do you feel bad about the non-work-related responsibilities that don’t get done, or don’t get done to the quality that you prefer?

Does this happen more often than triumphs, or do they outweigh the triumphs?

Do you really know how much this is costing you? Do you know how your physical health is being impacted? Have you fully evaluated the impacts on your mental and emotional health?

Do you know how your relationships are suffering? More so, do you realize that there is another option?

What is your next move?

Your options are:
  1. Stay the course
  2. Learn how to influence positive change where you are
  3. Do the same thing, but for a mission-driven organization
  4. Inventory your talents and skills, and then reinvent and rebrand yourself for a totally different career
  5. Retire and donate your time to worthy causes
If you go with number one…

Chances are good that change will come whether you will it to or not, and when it comes, it may not be anything close to change that you would want.

If you go with number two…

How quickly you can effectuate change is variable and dependent on many factors, such as your credibility and current ability to influence leaders, the size of the organization, the culture of the industry, the scope of the change, and the stakes for the top players. In our Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint, we teach guide conscious leaders in successfully launching a minor conscious change initiative by week 18. That is to launch, however, not necessarily to completion. It requires participants to invest 45 minutes on a small group coaching call, completing a 15-minute weekly assignment, investing 5-15 minutes reading articles or watching media daily, and listening to an audio recording as you lay down to sleep and after you open your eyes to wake. It’s designed for busy executives and professional parents juggling work and family responsibilities. I know many programs have said this – we mean it!

Are you a good candidate for the Corporate Consciousness Ripple Blueprint? Apply and find out.

If you go with number three…

You could have a conversation tomorrow that could lead to your next opportunity. However, intentional career management means being able to assess comprehensively if that opportunity is really the next best step. You want to assess if it’s really in alignment with your core values, if you would feel optimally fulfilled, if it will support your desired lifestyle or if there is perhaps something even better.

The first step is gaining at least 80% clarity on the role, the company, and a plethora of other criteria.

The next step is branding. Don’t skip this step and go right to writing a résumé. A strong résumé may generate a lot of interviews, but a lot of interviews may not be right for you. A branded résumé helps employers self-qualify themselves as a great fit for you and positions you as a top competitor from the get-go. An authentic, powerfully articulated brand will also make all of your efforts easier. Our Epic Branding process takes 3-5 weeks, and some of that time is dependent on your ability to partner with us, provide us with the needed information, and procure feedback from stakeholders in your career.

This might seem like a lot, but if you put in those 3-5 weeks, by the end you will have a résumé, LinkedIn profile, and perhaps other collateral, that will inspire a sense of urgency from conscious employers, and momentum will be that much easier to achieve. Momentum in a job search means greater confidence, plus a greater sense of ease in interviews, better leverage in negotiations, and more freedom of choice in what opportunity you ultimately choose.

Once you have your branded materials, it’s campaign time. By week three using the Epic campaign tools, training, and support, you will start forming better habits, make better choices with your time, and start to enjoy your job search activities and their results. From there, momentum builds very quickly! The wild card is how long the hiring process takes for your chosen position, industry, and company. The time of year can have an impact, as well. The holidays and summer are harder times to get all the stakeholders in a room. These days, companies have to move very fast to snag talent before their competition. The timing between the first interview and start date could be as little as 3 weeks to as long as 2 months for most non-executive positions.

Without branding, expect to elongate the process of vetting opportunities that ultimately are not a fit, which can be determined in early conversations or when they tell you after so many interviews that the offer went to someone else.

Epic Careering has proven branding processes. Schedule a consultation now.

If you go with number four…

Epic Careering has programs to help you map out your career discovery journey, but they are not finite processes. Life doesn’t always offer the conditions conducive to making major life decisions. Crisis can provide clarity, but it can also paralyze our decision-making brain centers. So can trauma, stress, and too many competing priorities. You will have a partner to support you through these times, and also provide you with tools, exercises, and coaching to help you achieve the best mindset and emotional state from which good decisions are made. The goal is to do this within 30 days. It’s realistic in ideal conditions to gain 80% clarity on your new career focus within a month. Then, see the branding and campaign process above for the timeline from this point.

According to Gretchen Rubin, 19% of people will hold themselves accountable to follow best practices, pending they know them, without outside accountability. 17% will rebel against best practices and outside accountability. For the other 64%, knowing the best practices isn’t enough to get you 100% of the way there. Let Epic Careering show you how to manage a successful campaign AND develop career-making habits that will improve your conscious career growth and trajectory from here through retirement. See branding above first, though.

If you go with number five…

Congratulations! While so many professionals spend their whole careers looking forward to retirement, did you know that the change that comes with it can be quite unnerving? Think about how much of your identity has been tied to your profession. Once that’s gone, will you feel like something is missing? A part of you? Will you worry about people moving on and accomplishing or failing without you? Will you know what to do with all that time that will give you that same sense of purpose?

I highly recommend that you reach out to Ford Myers. He can help you custom-design your retirement lifestyle.

If you’re still left with questions about your next move, schedule a complimentary consultation call to discuss your options with us.

Eric Clapton – Change The World

Come On Sing Along!If I could reach the stars I’d pull one down for youShine it on my heart so you could see the truthThat this love I have inside is everyth…

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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.

For What Are You Willing to Sacrifice?

 

My father-in-law, Kenneth Huller

I sit astounded at how many made the ultimate sacrifice. God bless those who were willing to leave their loved ones, put themselves in hell on earth, and give their life to secure a safe, prosperous life of freedom for future generations.

My Uncle Barry fought in D-Day, and made it home to receive the Purple Heart. My husband’s father was shot guarding the US Embassy in Germany. Thankfully, he survived to meet my oldest daughter. But my husband’s grandfather died in WWII when his mom was just four. I am eternally grateful for the choices we are afforded because of this sacrifice, but also saddened that my mother-in-law had to spend time in an orphanage when her mother could not support her three kids after her husband was killed.

Today I honor not only the men and women who were willing to make the ultimate sacrifice to defend my freedom, I also honor the families who sacrificed for them and suffered for this cause.

A memorial to my husband’s grandfather – click for a larger size

I think about the comforts we are afforded because of their sacrifices, and though I cannot say we all take them for granted, too many stay stuck or stifled, unwilling to risk that comfort, even in small ways, to pursue their truth, their passion, and their freedom.

While the majority of us recognize that our basic needs are met every day – food, shelter, clothes, we often have much more than we need to survive, and yet not enough in our lives to feel fulfilled and happy.

I aim to teach my kids not to succumb to what is immediately gratifying when what they really want for their lives requires a little effort, time, and patience. It seems like such a small thing compared to putting your life on the line, but it is because of their sacrifices that we have much smaller sacrifices to make in order to live a full life.

 

What are you willing to give up to improve not only your life, but also the lives of future generations?

 

How to Find Out if a Company Has Work-Life Balance without Seeming like a Slacker

Business by Richard Stebbing of Flickr

Business by Richard Stebbing of Flickr

Sometimes the next level of fulfillment that my clients are looking for is comprised of more free time to spend with their family. If Glassdoor doesn’t provide clear answers on how flexible a company is willing to be, the only other way to find out is to ask. If you ask another insider, someone not necessarily involved in hiring you, you might be able to ask more direct questions and people may feel free to be more candid. However, if both of those options are dead ends, the only option left is to find out during the interview process.

Having the interviewer acquire knowledge about your marital or familial status can put them in a precarious position. These types of questions are illegal for them to ask because they are not allowed to discriminate based on the interviewee’s status. Even for an interviewer to find out by you telling them directly opens them up to potential discrimination liability.

Another risk of acquiring about a company’s work-life balance policies is that you might be perceived as though you are someone who wants to play or rest more than work. Some generations are very susceptible to this perception. So, this week I offer you questions that you can ask a company to determine how flexible they are without seeming like a slacker.

What do you do to keep your employees happy and engaged?

What does the average workday look like for three different people on your team?

How has working here made your life better?

I pride myself on being a dynamic person; the experiences I’ve had outside of work enable me to bring even more value to my work. Do you feel like you have a dynamic workforce? And what do you do to nurture that?

What is the best way for an employee to ensure that they are making the most of their 9-5, if those are in fact the expected hours?

 

Your interviewer may perceive you to be very smart at asking questions, or, if they are really perceptive, they may see what you are getting at. Ultimately, a company would want to promote that they value work-life balance, if, in fact, they do. All employers may not understand the importance, so if it is important to you, take accountability to find out. If you feel that a potential employer resents this line of questioning, consider that resentment good to know and move on to the next company. You do not need to settle. Work-life balance, career fulfillment, and a good income are all attainable.