Karen Pelot, founder and CEO of PERSPECTIVES, has dedicated her career to helping leaders bridge the gaps between their vision and exceptional results. The PERSPECTIVES team specializes in executive coaching, strategic planning facilitation, and workplace conflict resolution. Karen’s experience in Fortune 100 senior leadership, circuit-civil mediation, and her deep understanding of personality and work-style variables, uniquely equipped her to guide clients to achieve extraordinary outcomes. PERSPECTIVES’ clients include government agencies, corporate, and nonprofit organizations.
Karen’s professional journey began in the financial services industry, working for three Fortune 100 companies. However, after more than fifteen years as a corporate leader, Karen took stock of her personal long-term goals and realized becoming an entrepreneur was the right next step for her. As part of her decision-making process, she identified autonomy, engaging with her team, and problem-solving through conflict resolution as three areas wherein she felt most engaged and successful.
In 2007, she started Karen Pelot Mediations, LLC, which evolved into PERSPECTIVES, and the business organically grew into the leadership consulting firm it is today. Karen values all the experience gained during her time in large corporations. She leans on the lessons learned, successes, and great mentor advice, as she consults with corporate leaders today.
Every day with clients – even working through the most complex issues – is another day to appreciate the opportunity to pursue a career where she can best utilize her strengths, and always be her authentic self. Since starting PERSPECTIVES, Karen has faced her share of challenges. However, she remains grateful for the opportunity to follow her passion, as she helps clients transform issues into successes.
One of the early challenges for Karen was the loneliness that accompanied being a “solo-preneur”. In the early years, she remedied that loneliness through connecting with other professionals in her field, who served as a sort of master-mind group for each other. Today Karen enjoys the autonomy of owning her own business, while working with a team of contracted professionals, each with specific expertise and a passion for their work.
Fortunately, PERSPECTIVES remained resilient despite challenges posed by COVID, as they transitioned from a fully booked in-person calendar to embracing new opportunities in the virtual and hybrid world. Currently, Karen’s work continues to be 60% virtual and 40% in-person. She believes this hybrid model is here to stay, as it saves time and money for her and her clients, while allowing for effective relationship building and goal achievement.
Since 2007, PERSPECTIVES has evolved from primarily focusing on conflict resolution to providing comprehensive leadership support, offering executive coaching programs, strategic planning facilitation and implementation assistance, and workplace conflict resolution services. Client engagements are rarely offered on a one-and-done basis. Rather, they typically encompass multiple aspects of the company’s services.
PERSPECTIVES’ signature programs are customized to meet the client’s need, but the approach is always systematic. Each engagement moves through the steps of gaining objective perspective, strategically planning for future outcomes, and conclude with the accountability and performance necessary to achieve goals. Supportive leadership coaching is provided throughout the process, to help clients stay on-track, with alignment, clarity, and unity.
Karen and her team work exclusively with upper-mid and senior-level executives. Their focus is typically on strategic leadership, accountability, and leading with emotional intelligence. She discovered early that engaging directly with front-line managers and staff members creates confusion about her role, her authority, and who is actually leading.
Karen believes there are a few qualities that are essential for success as an organizational leader: Outstanding communication, authenticity, strategic planning and follow-through, and giving credit to the team for great results. She believes leaders should let go of the need to have all the answers and receive all the credit. Instead, focus on placing the right people in the right positions, with a good balance of empowerment and accountability. Once you make it into the senior ranks, your ongoing success is no longer about your technical expertise – it’s about how effectively you communicate, engage, and motivate others to achieve results.
PERSPECTIVES has received numerous accolades for its leadership coaching and development work, which Karen finds thrilling and motivating! However, while awards are certainly enjoyable, the most rewarding aspect of her work is learning about the successes and achievements of her clients. This sense of accomplishment, knowing that they played a part in their clients’ success, is what drives Karen and her team. This is the primary reason PERSPECTIVES exists.
DE&I (Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion) is an important success strategy Karen incorporates into her work with clients. She recognizes that change can be challenging and uncomfortable but emphasizes the importance of helping clients understand the long-term benefits of embracing diversity in the workplace. Karen remains persistent in her pursuit of progress, guiding clients and demonstrating the value of diversity, while normalizing their struggles and discomfort. All valuable change is challenging and uncomfortable.
Karen and her team often work with clients to help them adopt a new perspective, recruit from diverse talent pools, and revamp their training and succession planning. This process requires time and dedication, but the rewards of achieving greater diversity and inclusion far outweigh the temporary pain.
One element of improving DE&I, includes cultivating an environment wherein senior women leaders serve as advocates – rather than just mentors – for other women, supporting their growth and advancement. This shift in mindset can contribute significantly to creating a more diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace.
As a female founder and CEO, Karen’s advice to other women looking to start their own businesses is to do your due diligence and ensure the viability of your business idea. She also suggests not leaving a stable job until the foundation of your new business is established, as jumping without a parachute can make the transition unnecessarily stressful and difficult.
For those with a solid foundation and ready to take the leap, Karen encourages you not to let fear hold you back. She firmly believes women possess everything they need to succeed! There are plenty of female coaches and mentors available who will offer guidance and advocacy for you. Ultimately, Karen’s wish for other women leaders is that they pursue their dreams with determination and confidence.