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Achieving Clarity and Focus as a Leader

October 3rd, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

One of my goals in the Leadership Workshops I facilitate is to help participants achieve clarity around who they are as a leader, and how that impacts their people and the world around them.

The leadership model I use – Lumina Leader – looks at four domains of leadership: Leading with Vision, Leading with Drive, Leading to Deliver, and Leading through People. As leaders, we should develop competency in each of these domains, yet we tend to operate most frequently in one or two of them.  Here’s a brief description of each. Where do you see yourself?

Leading with Vision - focuses on strategy, innovation and inspiring the team.

Leading with Drive - provides the team with very clear direction and is focused on achieving excellence.

Leading to Deliver - strength lies in planning, follow-t..... Read More...

Behavioral assessments, Leadership, Learning, Professional development

6 Ways to Tell Whether You Are Managing or Leading

September 7th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

One of my roles as an executive coach is to help people become very clear about what it means to be a leader. In our fast and frenzied corporate environments, many people in leadership roles – even those who have held them for a long time - have never had the opportunity to pause and assess who they are, how they lead, and the difference between managing and leading.

Warren Bennis famously said, “Managers are people who do things right. Leaders are people who do the right thing.” Think for a moment about what you do and how you behave in your leadership role. Are you managing or leading? Here are 6 ways to tell.

Role definition. Managers base their power on authority. Leaders base their power on personal influence.

Goal setting. Managers focus on goals that relate to continuity and optimization of resources. They prefer stability, and like..... Read More...

Leadership, Management, Professional development

We Can All Use a Little Grit

August 29th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

If you’re like most of us, you’ve been glued over the past couple of weeks (at least for short periods) to the televised coverage of the Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro. Those athletes were amazing. Such focus. Such dedication. Such grit.

Speaking of grit, I recently read Angela Duckworth’s best-selling book, Grit – The Power of Passion and Perseverance, and I was thinking about it a lot as I heard different athletes share their journey to Olympic competition.  “Sacrifices,” “hard work,” “perseverance,” “goals.”  Those words were common threads in the conversation. Along the way…they fell down, they got up. They lost a competition, they worked harder for the next one.  They got injured, they healed, and got right back in the game. So much of what I heard and observed resonated with what Duckworth describes as “grit.”  ..... Read More...

Development, Learning, Life


If Only I Knew Then What I Know Now

August 15th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

If you’ve been following my advice about taking some “ME” time this summer, you may have had an opportunity to reflect on your life so far. What have you learned that you wish you’d known 20 years ago? What did you NOT do that you wish you’d done (there’s still time!) And what advice would you give your younger self if you could? We posed this last question to our followers and networks a while back and got some really insightful answers. In case you missed it (or would like a second look) I’m sharing it again. I’d love to hear from you if you have something to add; please comment.

The majority of the responses fell into three major categories. All good advice!


-It’s all about attitude. Have a great attitude, show up with it and leave with it every day.

-Don’t tell people what you think they want to hear. Be yourself and..... Read More...

Learning, Life, wellness

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Giving AND Receiving Through Mentoring

July 27th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Ask any successful senior leader, executive, or entrepreneur and chances are they’ll attribute at least part of their success to one or more mentors they had along the way. Ask any of their mentors who got more out of the experience, and chances are they’ll tell you that as mentors they got back as much or more than they gave.  That has certainly been my experience.

Years ago I joined an organization, Mentoring Circles, to mentor women entrepreneurs around developing processes, business acumen, and leadership.  I was invited to join the Board of Directors – which I did – and continued to mentor.  I got so much out of it. Not only was it thrilling to “give back” by helping other women identify, plan for, and achieve their goals,  it was an incredible learning experience.  Through mentoring I gained more insight into people, learned from different perspectives, and buil..... Read More...

Communication, Development, Mentoring, wellness


“Connecting” Your Way to Wellness

July 13th, 2016

By: Karen Colligan

Earlier this month I was in New Jersey and Washington, D.C. with seven girlfriends I’ve known since high school. We call ourselves the “Jersey Girls” and over the years we’ve shared good times and bad, countless phone calls and visits, and lots and lots of laughter.  In fact, I still laugh out loud every time I think about all the fun we had. It was soothing, it was inspirational, it fed my soul. Oh, and did I mention it was fun?

I’m sharing this because in this hectic and often harsh world of ours we often forget the importance of doing things that contribute to personal well-being. Things like connecting with yourself by knowing and doing the things that feed your soul. Connecting with friends who care about you and accept you just as you are. And connecting with others by volunteering your time or expertise.

I was at a point where I needed some downtime. And having al..... Read More...

Health, Life, People, wellness