Episode 17: “Lead by Example”- Dr. Karen Townsend
This week’s Leadership Tidbits with Coach Tee Wilson features the inspiring Dr. Karen M.R. Townsend.
Dr. Townsend is an inspiring speaker whose messages are always relevant and on point. Whether delivering keynote presentations to corporate executives who lead fortune 500 companies, conducting seminars for educators who are impacting the lives of today’s diverse students, or encouraging busy women to make themselves a priority, Dr. Townsend’s messages always deliver. Dr. Karen holds degrees from Kentucky State University, The Ohio State University, and University of Dayton. She is the CEO of KT Consulting, where she works with leaders to create inclusive environment and build strong teams so that they can effectively and efficiently meet the needs of their diverse clients and customers. She is a recognized subject matter expert, whose articles on diversity have been featured in local, regional, and national publications and media outlets.
Dr. Karen is also the founder of “About My Sisters,” an organization on a mission to empower one million women and girls. In 2018, her annual conference “Sister to Sister” celebrated its 25th anniversary and was recognized as one of the longest-running women’s events in the United States. She is a proud member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated, Tabernacle Baptist Church, and the Kentucky State University Alumni Association. Dr. Townsend’s honors and awards are numerous. She was named a Woman of Influence by YWCA Dayton, One of the 25 Women to Watch by Women in Business Networking, and most recently she was selected as a 2019 Dayton Skyscraper. Over it all, Dr. Karen Townsend says that her greatest accomplishments include being a wife and mother.
Right off the bat, Dr. Townsend starting dropping leadership gems. She first discovered what it meant to truly be a leader in the seventh grade when she successfully ran for a seat on the student council. She stated that even though she was only 12 years old at the time, it really set the foundation for every other leadership position that she sought thereafter. She went on to explain, “I learned as a middle school student that in order to get the support of your peers you have to speak their language, you have to be interested in things that were important to them, and you have to communicate that you are able to represent their interests and concerns to those around them.” She believes that the best leaders are those who are committed to serving others.
For those of you that are looking to embark on your entrepreneurial journey, Dr. Townsend advises you to be brave.“Sometimes you have to be bold, you have to invest and believe in yourself, and trust that if you take one step, that there will be others around you if asked, that can support you in taking the next steps”. Dr. Karen Townsend truly is a living and breathing success story. She encourages you all to believe in yourself no matter where you come from. “I am a person that came from very humble beginnings. I grew up a person that would be considered a statistic. My mother used to always say, ‘You may live in the projects but the projects don’t have to live in you.’ So live your life because of, not in spite of.”
To conclude, Dr. Townsend reminds you that it doesn’t matter whether you have all the tools people think you should have, “if you show up being who you are, being honest, walking in your integrity, you can achieve your goals.”
Check out the full show to hear more of Dr. Karen Townsend’s thoughts!!