karen keller

I’m going to start this blog with an example of the top leader this country has: the President of the United States. Now, whether you’re Democrat or Republican and no matter what term it is, you have to admit that the man elected to the station of POTUS has tremendous influence. Whether you agree with how they got there, the fact remains, they have a huge burden for the next four years to be the ultimate leader, not only for Senate and Congress, but the leader of the nation! Now, come on, if that’s now the pinnacle of great leadership, tell me what is.

My point is that one of the reasons that the President got where they are is because of their ability to influence those around them and use that influence to lead, whether it was their business, city, state or even an entire nation. So what influence factors do I think lead up to that kind of leadership?

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Detox Your Hurtful Relationships

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

I know no one sets out to get into a hurtful or damaging relationship. No one wakes up one morning thinking, “Gee, I’d really like a business partner that sabotages me at every step” or “Boy, I’d like for this friend to really take advantage of our relationship.” But the fact of the matter is that they happen and, as much as I hate to say it, we’re the ones who let it happen. Sure, the other person involved is screwing up your life, but somehow, you’ve sort of gotten yourself into this hot water, so it’s time to get yourself out. And it’s just like putting out a fire.

Stop. Confront the person who’s causing so much negativity in your life. Tell them that you want nothing else to do with the way that they have been treating you. You’re in control of your own life now and you won’t be bullied or manipulated into doing things that negatively affect you.

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Building Trust in the Workplace

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

So many of the relationships in our life boil down to one simple word: trust. It works in friendship, romance and in the workplace. Really, if you don’t have trust in any relationship, there’s nowhere you can go that won’t wind up being tainted by distrust and underhanded dealings. So what are my six tips for making sure you have trust in the workplace? Here you go!

1. Stay open. There’s nothing that will get people to distrust you more than closing yourself off to them or their suggestions. Keep an open mind (and an open door) to your team members and they’ll feel more welcome and trusting.

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Can Money Really Buy Happiness?

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

Throughout our lives, we have different relationships with money. When we’re a teen, we don’t quite understand it. We know it buys things, but we don’t understand the value of it. In college, some of us are introduced to credit. Yikes. Then as we enter our adult lives, we really start to understand what the true value of money is.

It’s rent and groceries, it’s paying off our student loans or credit card debt. Sometimes it’s hours spent awake at night trying to figure out how on earth you’re going to pay all your bills next month. As we get older, though, and start to find monetary success in our professions, the bills can become less worrisome and you start thinking about the fun things you can do with your money that you used to dream about when you were younger. Or, at least that’s how you would imagine it goes.

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Who Does the Leader Look Up To?

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

You’ve worked hard and you’ve earned the respect and understanding of your colleagues and team. Now you’re out ahead of the pack. No one can stop you in board meetings and your team looks to you for the type of leadership and advice that they can rely on. In short, everything is coming up roses. Except one thing: where on earth are you going to go from here?

You’ve heard the phrase “sky is the limit” but what happens when you run out of sky? Well, my friend, you’ve got to shoot for the stars. But when there’s no one else in your field that you really have to look up to, what then? Where do you find inspiration to continue on your path of leadership excellence? I know what you’re thinking: “Karen, stop asking so many questions are start giving me more answers!”

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Gaining Respect as a New Leader

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

Aretha Franklin sang it best: R-E-S-P-E-C-T. That’s what you need if you’re ever going to be a good leader in your company. Now, you may have experience as a lader in other companies or you may have just been promoted to a new leadership position from within the company. Either way, you’re going to have to work to get the respect of your new peers and the team that you’ll be managing. Here are a few little tips on exactly how to build respect.

React quickly. Don’t wait for problems to turn into something larger. Your team will look to you know to handle problems as they arise, so always be on the ball.

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In any business, whether it’s your very own small business or start up, or you’re a member of a very large corporation, it’s always important to have strategies. Of course, we all have some form of strategy to get ahead or to impress your peers or management, but sometimes in can get knocked a little off course. So what do you do when your strategy doesn’t seem to be working the way you think it should? You need to take the time and find the right direction you want to be heading.

Of course, when you’re charting new territory, you need all of the instruments to find your way, right? You’ll need a map, a compass and landmarks along the way.

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Most people spend more time at work than they do at home, with their family or with their friends. While it seems like an utter travesty, the facts remain unchanged, so it’s important that you have a good relationship with your work environment, whether that’s the people that you work with or the space in which you work. What are some tricks for keeping things healthy and happy while you’re in the office?

Keep your space clean. You know the phrase “cleanliness is next to godliness” right? Well, whether you believe that or not, it’s still really important to keep your space clean. It’s a direct representation of the way your mind works. Cluttered desk; cluttered mind.

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When you’re advancing in a corporate environment, you, of course, spend a lot of time hearing about persuasion and influence being big parts of your success or failure in the company and that’s very true. However, many people make the mistake of thinking that persuasion and influence are the same thing. That, my friends, is far from the truth. Yes, they are both a means to an end and many times they involve swaying opinions, but there is one thing that I believe influence has that persuasion does not use and that is your reputation.

What do you mean, my reputation?
I mean that anyone can persuade another person with some slick graphics and the right words, but when you’re working on changing minds through influence, likely the people you’re working with know you, or at least they know your reputation. Influence involves trust and a relationship, where persuasion deals more with solid facts and figures manipulated to get the desired outcome. When it comes to influence, your reputation is your best asset.

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Finding Your Sweet Spot

by Karen Keller, Ph.D.

We all have strengths and weaknesses. We’re human, which means that we’re not perfect, but in the world of business, it’s important that you not let your flaws show too much. That’s why it’s critical that you always play to your strengths, whatever they may be. In the past I’ve talked about using the SWOT method in business and I think that there are a lot of other great ways to analyze the way you perform in certain business situations, one of which is to give yourself a job interview. Think about it, we go on so many job interviews in our lives, and we tailor our answer to best fit the job description. But what if you could invent a job, your dream job, and interview for it? How would that look?

First, you take a look at your past experiences. Pull out that resume and actually think back to the different jobs that you’ve had. Don’t just look; remember. Which jobs did you like? Which did you loathe?

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