karen drakeI’m a globally experienced consultant and executive coach, with a reputation for innovation and creative problem solving. A skillful communicator and energetic facilitator, I relish opportunities to engage diverse leaders and groups in increasing their confidence and agility to deliver exceptional results and experience greater personal satisfaction in their lives.

Over the course of my career, I’ve owned 2 successful organizational effectiveness practices, managed individuals and teams, served as Director of Human Resources for an academic healthcare institution, directed Leadership Development programs for high potentials, designed and conducted Management Training, provided counseling and consulting services for an international Employee Assistance Program, facilitated strategic planning for numerous organizations, lead community engagement efforts, and built capability in business leaders, peers, and communities across the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

One of 8400 coaches credentialed by the International Coach Federation, I’ve earned Bachelor & Master’s degree in Psychology, and am certified to administer and interpret the MBTI, Inventory for Work Attitude & Motivation (iWAM), Leadership Effectiveness Analysis (LEA 360), and the LAB Profile®; a psycho-metric instrument to understand, predict and influence behavior, that can help you decode what motivates the people you need to influence.

The North American Institute for Work Attitude & Motivation (iWAM) just announced its 2013 Advisory Board, who advises Institute leadership and staff on policy, strategy, programs, and research. I’m delighted to be appointed to this group of iWAM-certified professionals who represent a specific constituency or have a certain talent deemed essential to Institute operations.

Karen’s Beginnings…

Hold it, let’s back up-the path to my present was not straight nor well-orchestrated. Growing up as the 2nd of 7 children, I always knew that excellence was expected and earned, resulting from hard work, sacrifice, and making something better than how you found it. My life-changing lessons typically resulted from my biggest (most visible) failures or lack-luster performances. Parental messaging was clear, “when you walk out that door, you represent not only yourself, but your family, and our rank.”

Yup, we were a proud military family who called multiple domestic and European bases home. Often the “new kid in class,” I needed to quickly assess the lay of the land (what type of teacher, culture of the classroom, how to fit in without losing my spirit). I grew up recognizing the importance of understanding the environment/context, knowing my values, and working with others to achieve common goals.

My first consulting practice grew out of my desire to give entrepreneurship a go (hadn’t done it before, had solid work experience, loads of energy, and fire in my belly). How hard could it be? Well, being smart and talented wasn’t enough. My journey was rocky, filled with twists and turns, and unpredictability. While I’ve experienced success in my career and life, I’ve also been divorced, raised two sons as a single parent, close to filing bankruptcy twice, and been laid off with two kids in college. Success can build confidence, but coping with adversity builds character, resilience, and creates your repertoire from which to assess, understand, and problem solve.

My recent client engagements include change management with a financial services firm, employee engagement in a community hospital, leadership development in a child-serving nonprofit, succession planning with a community development organization, team effectiveness with a shared services team, diversity strategy with a school district, and HR infrastructure design with a regional foundation.

Learn more about Karen on St. Louis Organizational Development Network’s Spotlight!

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