229: Karen Martin: The lack of clarity is costing us

//229: Karen Martin: The lack of clarity is costing us

229: Karen Martin: The lack of clarity is costing us

Karen Martin Show Notes Page

Karen Martin had well more than fifty-percent of her revenue tied up in one industry back in 2008. When the economy went into shock she did as well. Fortunately, she was a saver and she survived. Since then, she has written numerous books and her most recent reveals how smart leaders and organizations achieve outstanding results through clarity.

Karen was born and raised in a small steel town 30 miles outside Pittsburgh. Her childhood household was filled with business-minded people: her father owned several businesses, her mother was a buyer for a children’s clothing store, and her younger brother began exhibiting his entrepreneurial spirit in his teens with an innovative approach to shoveling snow from sidewalks.

Because Karen excelled in math and science, her guidance counselor urged her to pursue medicine. She headed to Penn State. However, as she learned about the long path through medical school and residency, she was drawn to microbiology and became licensed as a clinical lab scientist. But she’s also a people person and her lab career had her spending most of her time interacting with Petri dishes, autoclaves, and analyzers.

She landed on teaching as a way to connect what she already knew about science to a career path that put her face to face with people. She began teaching undergraduate courses at California State University, Bakersfield, while pursuing a Master’s in Education (adult learning emphasis). There, too, she saw a mix of elements she liked and some that weren’t for her. While her passion for teaching remained, she didn’t care for slow-to-change academia.

Armed with a Master’s degree and a growing interest in wellness and preventive medicine, she moved to Los Angeles where she took a job with Health Net, a rapid-growth health insurance company. Over her four years at the company she explored operations, legal, and sales and marketing, and loved each one. She moved to another organization and was charged with building an operation from scratch. With a 100% annual growth rate, Karen faced some of businesses’ most vexing problems and her teams still managed to outperform the competition. At 30 years old, Karen had found her true passion: business management and performance improvement.

In 1993, she was about to be promoted to VP and decided she no longer wanted to climb the ladder working for someone else. She left the corporate world and launched her own consulting firm focused on business performance improvement for service companies.

Over the last twenty-five years, Karen has grown what is now TKMG, Inc. from a solo consultancy with local clients into a global firm with a team of consultants and support staff who focus on helping organizations become outstanding through the application of proven management principles and practices. Her love of teaching continues to manifest through her hands-on coaching of leaders and improvement teams—and through her five books, two of which are Shingo Award winners. Though she owns a home in Dallas, Karen is often in the air or on the ground working with clients across the globe.

Tweetable Quotes and Mentions

Listen to @KarenMartinOpEx to get over the hump on the @FastLeaderShow – Click to Tweet

“Frontlines are not escalating quickly enough when things are going amiss” Click to Tweet

“Fear is at the core of dysfunction in a lot of organizations.” Click to Tweet

“You can’t get work done if you don’t have a proper escalation strategy.” Click to Tweet

“Product development decisions should be very aligned with your why.” Click to Tweet

“Trust emanates from clarity” Click to Tweet

“You have to understand the verb or emotion that any product is tied to in the customer.” Click to Tweet

“We’ve created this environment in customer service that actually cuts the customer service rep off from the customer.” Click to Tweet

“It is senior leadership that needs to drive and constantly reminding people about the why.” Click to Tweet

“We’re so product centric that we forget the people at the end of it all the time.” Click to Tweet

“The customer is at the center of it all, and yet we get tunnel vision on products.” Click to Tweet

“Having no clarity on the why makes it difficult to run a smooth operation.” Click to Tweet

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Hump to Get Over

Karen Martin had well more than fifty-percent of her revenue tied up in one industry back in 2008. When the economy went into shock she did as well. Fortunately, she was a saver and she survived. Since then, she has written numerous books and her most recent reveals how smart leaders and organizations achieve outstanding results through clarity.

Advice for others

My job with a staff is to develop them, not to order them around.

Holding her back from being an even better leader

Striving for perfection.

Best Leadership Advice

Listen, listen, listen and you don’t know it all.

Secret to Success

Tenacity

Best tools in business or life

Listening

Recommended Reading

Clarity First: How Smart Leaders and Organizations Achieve Outstanding Performance

Start with Why: How Great Leaders Inspire Everyone to Take Action

The Outstanding Organization: Generate Business Results by Eliminating Chaos and Building the Foundation for Everyday Excellence

Contacting Karen Martin

Website: https://tkmg.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/KarenMartinOpEx

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/karenmartinopex/

Resources and Show Mentions

Call Center Coach

An Even Better Place to Work


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2019-06-12T02:50:38-04:00June 12th, 2019|Podcasts|0 Comments

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