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Karen Wensley

Executive Coach

Karen Wensley received her MBA from McMaster University in 1980 after which she joined Ernst & Young from which she retired in 2010. After many years as a tax partner, she joined the firm’s leadership team as the national HR leader, where she led the strategic imperative of recruiting and developing the best people. Since retiring, Karen has continued to exercise her passion for mentoring. She works with senior professionals as an executive coach and with professionals new to Canada as a volunteer mentor with the Toronto Region Immigrant Employment Council.

She serves as a director of the newly merged Trillium Heath Centre/ Credit Valley Hospital. She also enjoys interacting with university students as a lecturer in business ethics at the University of Waterloo. Whether with students or executives, Karen’s focus is on helping people think about what they want to be known for – what their “personal brand” should be – and using that knowledge to manage the development of their career.
The Boston Bombers Are Not the

The Boston Bombers Are Not the "Other"

Dzhokhar Tsarnaev was an ordinary college kid, who looks rather like a young Justin Trudeau. No one predicted what he would do. Like aliens from outer space who blend in with humans until they are ready to take over the world, they walk among us. As so we ask for a foolproof test to detect them -- a way to know who will be radicalized, and why and by whom.
04/24/2013 05:19 EDT
Business Leaders Can Learn From Pope Francis and Marissa

Business Leaders Can Learn From Pope Francis and Marissa Mayer

When you take over the Catholic Church, or Yahoo, or a losing soccer team, or any other organization that is losing relevance and showing declining numbers, coming in with a strong brand and showing early results is critical. Here are some tips from how the new Pope and the new CEO of Yahoo have done so far.
03/15/2013 05:27 EDT
University Students: Brand Yourself Now and Get

University Students: Brand Yourself Now and Get Ahead

We can all think of excuses for postponing work on our personal brands. Students are overwhelmed with university work, and just want a few tips on how to sound credible to a recruiter. Thinking about the brand you are developing in a self-reflecting and strategic way is the antidote to finding yourself left behind.
01/18/2013 07:58 EST
Why Has Sandy Hook Touched More Than

Why Has Sandy Hook Touched More Than Syria?

Being a US citizen, I can't help feeling smug about choosing to live in Canada where the gun culture is not so alive and well, along with a sense of despair about how deeply entrenched it is in the US. But then, being an observer of brands and myths and icons, I wonder why this event had such a powerful impact on me, and on the rest of the world. Of course, it's a lot of people, and mainly children. But why is the killing of "innocent" children so much worse than the killing of thousands of people caught in the violence in Syria? Or young urban males shooting each other every day all over the US? It can only be that we feel those other victims are somehow partly to blame for getting killed.
12/19/2012 08:42 EST
The Branding Lessons You Can Learn From the U.S.

The Branding Lessons You Can Learn From the U.S. Election

<img alt="2012-11-05-HP_World_Graphic_300x70.png" src="" width="300" height="70" /> Most of us are relieved the U.S. election is over -- listening to the hyperbole of the campaign for so many months has been difficult even for Canadians who don't hear the ads and don't have the same emotional reaction to the candidates. But there are some lessons to be learned for non-politicians working on their personal brands.
11/07/2012 12:16 EST
How Shy People Can Get Noticed at

How Shy People Can Get Noticed at Work

Many people find their career options are limited because they are shy. It's a myth that shy people can't have successful personal brands. It is true that if you never speak up in meetings, never talk to colleagues, and simply do the work assigned to you, you will not be at the top of the list for the next promotion. But shy people just need a strategy that is aligned to their personality, values and comfort zone. Here are some tips.
10/15/2012 05:41 EDT
How to Recover Your Personal Brand After a

How to Recover Your Personal Brand After a Failure

A personal branding strategy is built around success. Knowing what you're good at, articulating the value you can deliver, and getting recognized for that value are the three key elements in creating a brand. But we all fail from time to time. The project is delivered late, the client selects a different supplier, the product launch flops. How do you, and your personal brand, recover? Here are some suggestions.
09/26/2012 12:16 EDT
Mark Carney: Canada's Smoothest

Mark Carney: Canada's Smoothest Operator

Mark Carney, Governor of the Bank of Canada, probably has the best personal brand of anyone in Canada right now. Carney has created a spotlight for himself by taking some risks, all of which could have blown up in his face. I think he managed to avoid disaster by focussing on some key principles about personal branding.
08/28/2012 12:00 EDT
How (and Why) to Build Your Personal

How (and Why) to Build Your Personal Brand

Guess what? Personal branding is just as important for bank managers and accountants and human resource specialists as it is for actors and advertising executives and sports figures. Many people shy away because they think only the famous need them, but you already have a brand -- it might not be accurate, and it might not be the brand you would like to have -- but you have one. Why not optimize it?
08/24/2012 07:51 EDT