Karen McGregor is an inspirational speaker motivating leaders to be powerful influencers through the integration of ancient wisdom teachings. A chaos-to-calm expert and a strategist in combining the inner mystic with the outer activist, Karen supports individuals and teams to produce lasting change from the inside out.
Karen is also the bestselling author of several books, her latest being “The Tao of Influence: Ancient Wisdom for Modern Leaders and Entrepreneurs.” – Radiance
What is so important about leadership in today’s interesting times that we can glean from the Tao? I’ve been in leadership roles of all sorts, as have my clients, and redefining that is really important. In the past we’ve labeled leadership as leaders and followers, but even with what Radiance Magazine is seeking to accomplish is having everyone work together. To not see differences, and levels, and status, but to actually come from a place of “How can we support others?” How can we inspire others to produce positive change? That’s the essence of what I’m all about, and The Tao of Influence coming out adds in the mystic, adds the spiritual and personal development. Someone who merges those worlds together within is what I consider a true leader so that we can make changes.
You say in your book that combining the inner mystic and the inner activist is crucial. How so? True influence is about the proper use of our power, and not the shadow aspect, either. There are only two types: power based in love or fear, which is distorted power. We have to be vigilant of moving from one to another. The Tao helps bring us into balance and flow so we can use our personal power for love instead of abdicating it through force.
You share about having more influence in your famous TEDx talk that had… how many views? Over a million now. After my talk, people asked me, “How can I have more influence?” It’s important to note the different stages of influence: The first stage is simply desiring to have more influence. The second stage is asking how we can work together to create more influence. The third stage is knowing you are that influence; there’s nothing you have to do or be. You’ve arrived at such a highly conscious place, that now your conscious presence around others supports their own desire to change.
I always say that if you only want to have influence for the sake of influence, that’s not a Taoist approach. But if you want to be in that state where you inspire others, and you’re not pushing or trying to get something, that is a more Taoist approach to life.
I imagine people will be drawn to your book who have had life break them down, where the ego’s expectations and attachments to certain outcomes didn’t happen like we hoped it would. Yes, it’s about the constant vigilance and checking in with ourselves. Therapy and workshops are great, but if we don’t understand that our mind is still going to do unhelpful things and think unhelpful thoughts, we’ll be unprepared for difficult times. It’s not that we won’t ever be triggered, but those episodes can be shorter each time with practice and awareness.
It’s important to develop that foundational peace around your personal power. Doing it as a practice, observing your thoughts, checking in, and releasing any thoughts that are based in fear.
And just reprogramming the mind the way you want to consciously? Exactly, that’s right. When I help people with their messaging for the stage, which I’ve done for years, I see over and over again incredible speakers and storytellers who are hesitant about sharing their message globally, like TEDx Talks. That’s why I wrote the book too: so many of us have a yearning to make a difference. That’s all the more reason we need to monitor our mind when it goes into procrastination, or being stopped because we think other people are better than us, or that we’re not enough. People are asking themselves, “Why should I get my message out to the world?” When I experienced this with my clients, I became inspired to help them on this different level, and that was the genesis of the book.
You talk about the importance of mothers and fathers in leadership roles. What do you say to them? I have a 22 year-old and an 19 year-old, and I can tell you the kids that are coming out now are not putting up with all the inauthenticity, and the lies and the institutionalization of so many things that we know are unsustainable and unhealthy.
Yes, these kids are not having it. Experience is more important than higher wages. Yes, and I think Truth and Love. Yes, they screw up – they’re human. But I feel as parents today, we really need to put the Taoist philosophy at the front of our leadership as parents with questions like, “What is the deeper truth?” “What is your soul’s calling?” “Where do you feel in your body – not just in your mind – what you are being told here?” So, intuition, guidance, truth-telling, looking at reality are crucial.
As parents, we have to ask if we are trying to force our child to do something. When my son didn’t want to go to university, I had to deal with my attachments to that. After we spoke about all the possibilities, now he’s a thriving entrepreneur of not just one but two companies. My other son is all about heart and wants to help people and he wanted to take a year off school. That concerned me at first, but as parents we all have a choice to stand in our light and let them stand in theirs.
What do you say to speakers and practitioners who want to make sure their message is strong and connecting and engaging? I think that now with COVID-19, almost all my clients have pivoted to online classes and webinars. SpeakerSuccessFormula.com is my website for those interested in honing their message. There’s a free small starter package there that gives you the basics for creating a webinar, a business talk, or a TEDx Talk. On KarenMcGregor.com you can learn more about merging your mystic with your activist to create more positive influence in the world.
Included in the purchase of The Tao of Influence is complimentary access to The Writer’s Retreat, a full day training for authors and aspiring authors. I teach participants how to write, sell, and market a book, and how to get a publisher and an agent. We also explore self-and traditional publishing. When you purchase the book you get this retreat free of charge, a $500 value. This is an unadvertised bonus for all Radiance readers and viewers of Inner Views on the Xpnsion Network.