Archives for leadership development

Toxic Positivity: Do We Have To Feel Bad for Feeling Bad?

Do we have to feel bad for feeling bad?

NO! Feelings are hard enough.

I’ll also add that hurt people hurt people and sometimes when we’re feeling bad, we misdirect our feelings into words and actions we can’t take back. Then we feel bad for feeling bad AND making someone else feel bad. Fortunately, this is a habit we can break. We can learn to better process and express these emotions so that we don’t compound our pain.

Toxic positivity is what happens when people don’t feel safe expressing negative emotions.

The main focus of most companies is on their bottom line. So it would behoove these companies to better understand how they bleed money when they enable a toxic work environment, including discouraging expression of emotion in the workplace, both positive and negative emotions.

Denying a human being the ability to let emotions show and be healthfully processed can backfire in big ways. The worst of those ways is disgruntled employee violence. It creates a powder keg situation. Suppressing negative emotions is dangerous for the individual’s health and for the people around them.

In our next monthly Answer the Call to Conscious Leadership event, Dr. Laura Dowling will share some of the latest research on the impact of toxic positivity. She will also provide leaders with guidance about how to create an environment where negative emotions can be expressed healthfully so that they don’t turn into costly turnover, absenteeism, presenteeism, and morale killers. She’ll also share some ways that individuals can learn to healthfully process and express negative emotions so that we don’t injure others with our emotions.

Request to join the C3 Community today so you can join us for this live event tomorrow (Thursday) at 1:00 PM ET. If you can’t make it live, fret not! The replay will also be available for you to watch at your convenience inside of the C3 Community.

REO Speedwagon – Can’t Fight This Feeling (Official HD Video)

Watch the official music video for “Can’t Fight This Feeling” by REO SpeedwagonListen to REO Speedwagon: https://REOSpeedwagon.lnk.to/listenYDSubscribe to th…

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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.

Redefining Leadership

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!

Garrison Starr – Superhero

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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.

Cancel Culture vs Conscious Capitalism

A few weeks ago, I shared a story about a School Board Chair who stepped down from his leadership role in the wake of backlash against his graduation speech.

Some comments reflected a wariness around people being ousted for saying something perceived as offensive, shifting the wrongdoing to the people so easily offended bullying people into resigning positions of power. His wife took to social media to make sure that the record accurately reflected that no one bullied him.

What we know is that there are too few leaders who would so responsively take accountability for harm done. Why? Ego. No one is immune from ego, however, conscious leaders are committed to being self-aware and recognizing when ego is interfering with the highest good. What is in the highest good can often conflict with personal, corporate, or government agendas, which is what makes it so hard to consistently be a conscious leader. As I said in my past article, even conscious leaders make mistakes.

So, when leaders (or individuals) do harm, and fail to hold themselves accountable, it is up to others to hold them accountable. In a company, one might think it is the job of even higher-up leaders to hold others accountable. In reality, performance and success are measured in dollars, which makes profit the priority over people and the planet. In many corporate cultures, people and the planet don’t even show up on the list of priorities, and harm to both is a byproduct. There is no authority delegated to ensure that decisions made by the most wealthy and powerful aren’t adversely impacting people and the planet.

Conscious capitalism arose as a movement because of the influence money has on these leaders and their decisions as a priority of their performance.

There are other ways to influence these leaders to better consider harm to people and the planet in their decisions, such as:

  • Petitions/Protests
  • Media/Social Media/Public Relations Awareness Campaigns
  • Litigation/Class Actions
  • Strikes
  • Government/Industry Regulations

Is the fact that more people are leveraging these methods an indication that there is a mass reckoning or is it getting out of hand?

Is the damage to people (and the planet) getting out of hand, or is the response over-sensationalized?

Are too many leaders’ livelihoods damaged, seemingly permanently, by public backlash? Is it deserved?

It depends on whom you ask.

An accusation, whether true or not, can be enough to jeopardize a livelihood.

Personal grievances can become the justification, then, for revenge. Accusations, therefore, should not be made lightly or without evidence. I am troubled by an increasing trend of people not being able to civilly confront one another and work out potential issues with good old effective interpersonal communication.

On the flip side, the danger of a lack of accountability for harm done leads to more harm done. To assume that unchecked leadership will automatically consider potential primary, secondary, and tertiary impacts in all decisions is in direct denial of history, data, and what we currently understand about human behavior. We are at such a critical point in our climate, both planetary and social, that if the oppression of our people and our planet continue, there will be another kind of reckoning. And it could make profit seem like a very foolish priority.

What about when the harm isn’t yet known to anyone, but a decision is recognized as harmful by the leader who made it? How can we incentivize leaders to admit to their mistakes if the admission itself can be damaging or fatal to a lucrative career? Accountability doesn’t have to be fatal, but sometimes it hurts. Can a leader come clean without carnage?

I’ve noticed that while we are quick to vilify, we also love a redemption story. Still, some will continue to vilify, but a public figure can restore livelihood and reputation by being a “bad guy turned good.”  Yes, this can burn bridges, especially if doing so brings other harm-doers down. It’s evident, though, that what isn’t working needs to be replaced with systems that work better.

At the ConCon event coming up in November 2021, I am compiling a panel of change-makers who have influenced corporate leaders to better prioritize people and the planet and plan on facilitating the co-creation of a list of protocols and best practices from the debate of the panel and input from attendees. We will be launching the registration site for ConCon soon. In the meantime, get on the waiting list. We look forward to all that will come from this epic event.

Wounding and Healing of Men

Provided to YouTube by The Orchard EnterprisesWounding and Healing of Men · Francis DunneryHometown 2001℗ 2004 Francis DunneryReleased on: 2004-08-03Auto-gen…

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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.

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.