Dr. McBride’s executive coaching programs have produced a generation of exceptional leaders who have transformed industries using sustainability and innovation while maintaining a healthy work-life balance. “The focus is on building emotionally intelligent leaders and helping them understand and conceptualize the concepts of emotional intelligence with applying self-awareness, self-regulation, and self-motivation,” Dr. McBride says.
Her upcoming book explores the psychological theories and their applications of the operational style assessment, making it the new ‘Leadership Language’ of the 22 Century. “It gives you a deeper insight on how to utilize the theories to benefit how you engage others, communicate, make decisions, and how to fully show up in your professional and personal life.”
Dr. Karen McBride provides Entrepreneurs, Influencers & Thought Leaders with the insight and expertise necessary in the areas of entrepreneurship, corporate structure & business acumen, as well as, counseling/mentoring professionals dedicated to providing them moral support and actionable value in both their business and personal lives; empowering, strengthening, encouraging, and challenging them in identifying their unique purpose, equipping and enabling them by teaching them transformative lifestyle changes to live positive, dynamic, impactful, influential lives by supporting & propelling them to show up to lead & win.
Patrice: What motivated/inspired you to start a business?
Dr. Karen: I was raised in the inner city of Compton, California. I was destined to reach higher heights in the entrepreneurial and leadership space. I was leading and starting businesses in elementary school. As a teenager headed to college, I sold my flower business to a florist and received $11,000 to pay towards my education. I was always an entrepreneur. I always believed in leadership, bringing me to realize my goal was always to lead people. Not just lead people, but in a way that would produce results, that would create opportunities, and that would shift the norm of what people would consider leadership to be.
Additionally, I believed in education and how it would support my business acumen. I did not plan to have 5 degrees. However, I worked hard to establish an impressive college background, obtaining my bachelor’s in business administration, a master’s in management and organizational leadership, and two doctoral degrees in business administration/ organizational psychology, psychology/management & consulting, and human letters honored for research.
Patrice: What makes you a pretty woman that hustles?
Dr. Karen: Ha-ha, I love that! I see, ‘pretty’ as an internal state of your being. Meaning, the work I do, is because of my inner awareness of who I am, and how I can use my expertise to help others. I train small business leaders and executives to become emotionally intelligent leaders. I teach the highest level of leadership theory to reach the most significant level of growth. So, with that, I would deem it equates to a “pretty awesome hustle.”
Patrice: What is the name of your business(es) and what are they all about?
Dr. Karen: MKCircle Enterprises: CEO Institute Executive and Business Coaching.
MKCircle Enterprises, LLC offers individuals, small business owners, entrepreneurs, corporate, non-profit, and civic leaders a one-on-one curriculum that support professional growth, life planning, and goal setting. It also explores personal and professional pressures that may hinder progress and growth—introducing several tools that support daily decision-making and leadership, all of which can be shared with other leaders, colleagues, and subordinates.
The CEO Institute offers executive coaching, leadership development team building, and engagement programs that provide one-on-one, cohort and team curriculum that supports professional advancement, personal growth, success strategies, and tools to create the best YOU! It is like no other program in the market. The focus is on three main theories: Operational Style Language, Emotional Intelligence, and Mindset. We explore personal and professional pressures that may hinder progress and growth introducing several tools that can be shared, as well.
1:1 Executive Coaching Programs (Executive Leaders, Small Business Owners, Civic Leadership, Entrepreneurs)
Cohort Leadership Program
Team Building and Engagement Programs
And, much more.
Patrice: Have you faced any challenges in your business?
Dr. Karen: Starting as a small business and now scaling into a more mid-level business, presents some challenges. Our main challenges have been funding for expansion and hiring new coaches with the proper education credentials. But if I am speaking about my small business clients, they experience the same challenges around funding. However, they also need support in marketing, customer engagement, understanding their business, and making it profitable and sustainable within their community. The pandemic has been a struggle for some of my small business clients, but it’s also been profitable for some. I always encourage my clients to use my EOES Business Growth Model to plan for the unexpected. The EOES Business Growth Model represents, Emulate, Originate, Establish and Sustain. We support them in creating a plan using the model to follow, which ultimately promotes sustainability during challenging times.
Patrice: What projects are you currently working on?
Dr. Karen: I have several projects that are happening simultaneously. I will share three that I am extremely excited about.
First, I am teaching a Business Health 101 course to legacy business owners in the Los Angeles area. This project is so near and dear to my heart because I grew up in the inner city of Los Angeles. I am a proud product of the inner city. This is an opportunity for me to bring my expertise back to the inner city to support economic growth.
Secondly, I was offered the opportunity to publish a section in Business Matters magazine, for 12 issues, called “Executive Coaching Corner with Dr. Karen.” This is so amazing because I can reach an audience not just in the US, but in the UK and Australia. I get to coach individuals monthly with tips and resources that support professional growth and business sustainability.
Lastly, with my longtime colleague, we created the Operational Style Assessment. It embarks on a new leadership language that will help leaders communicate effectively and learn about their true selves. When I speak of leaders, I speak of everyone who leads their professional sector, in their personal lives, and social circles. The language is universal.
The assessment is available on my website at: https://www.mkcircle.com/assessment/ It is life changing.
Patrice: How do you face diversity as a woman entrepreneur?
Dr. Karen: I wrote a quote that says, “High heels are not about being comfortable; they are for leveling the playing field.” I wrote that in closing on a talk I was giving to a group of young female professionals who needed to hear that we are enough. We are tall enough, we are smart enough, we are strong enough, to stand equal to our male counterparts in any sector. Although we have come far, there is still inequity in pay, position, and perception. That quote represents my stance, my obligation as a leader to stand when injustice, a lack of inclusion, and a lack of diversity are present. I believe it is my job to pave the way for women who walk behind me and alongside me and support them in their growth.
Patrice: Is balancing your personal life, work life and business life difficult for you at times?
Dr. Karen: Work-Life balance is a priority for me. I teach work-life balance within the CEO Institute programs because as leaders and hard workers, we get caught up in what I call the loyalty spiral. We misconstrue loyalty by not leaving work on time. We discount our needs and place them behind our work. What we fail to realize is that it is a dysfunction and more of a hindrance to our growth. If we continue to work in that capacity, the inevitable is resentment, unhappiness, not being fulfilled at work or home. I do my best to balance my work and personal life. I leave my office when it is time to go home. I don’t take client meetings during my off days or off times. I’m a better leader, a better teacher, a better coach if I have that balance, and I want to be a role model for my clients. I want to practice what I teach.
Patrice: How would you say your business differs from others in the same industry you work in?
Dr. Karen: There are countless times that I hear from a corporate client or an individual client that there is no other coaching firm doing the work that you do, how do you do it? Our results speak for themselves. Our research showed me that 1:1 dyad executive coaching breeds the highest results. It was essential for us to make our coaching programs about our client’s needs, not about time or money.
Not only are we business strategists and an executive coaching firm, but we are also a research firm. We believe the data that we produce. The data offered that we needed to teach theory in a practical way and create training with tools that would be used and not forgotten. All our programs are 4 to 12 months long. We do not have one-week executive coaching programs or 1-hour group trainings. We have a results-based curriculum, and to teach that curriculum takes time on task, repetition, and engagement. We base all our training on sustainable research and the results that our clients receive. That is what makes us different.
Patrice: What does be an entrepreneur or business owner mean to you?
Dr. Karen: To me, it means that I have the opportunity to welcome diversity of thought, engage in like-minded leader projects, teach my curriculum, make a difference in individual’s lives, and support business growth. I also have the opportunity to create, collectively build, individually and intentionally shift sectors of business that I would not have typically engaged in my previous role as a COO of a large corporation. The most important part of being an entrepreneur and a business owner is doing the work I love every day.
Connect with Dr. Karen:
YouTube: Dr. Karen Semien-McBride