Karen Jehanian is the Owner/President of KMJ Consulting Inc., an innovative transportation engineering consulting firm located outside of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The firm focuses on improving mobility. She began living her true passion as an entrepreneur at 8-years-old. She likes to be the best version of herself and continually improve, while helping others to do the same. In her spare time, she volunteers, reads, plays golf and takes long walks on the beach.
At a young age, Karen was surrounded by entrepreneurs and a very courageous mother. Her Grandparents started from scratch, making use of their fantastic work ethic and family values. Karen knew by the 7th grade she wanted to own her own business. She landed in civil engineering and went to the co-op program at Drexel University. One of the reasons she started her company was because she wanted to create a more friendly and productive culture with an atmosphere that inspires creativity and where the people care as much about each other as they do their product and their clients.
Playing Small Moment
Karen’s biggest small moment was brought on by an uncomfortable feeling she had. At first, she didn’t believe she could run a business on her own. She thought she needed a partner, but just before they incorporated she realized she was making a big mistake and could succeed on her own.
The Wake Up Call
Karen says sometimes you have to hear the same story repeatedly for it to sink in. As a woman, Karen tended to think ‘this is happening because I am a woman’. But one day, she shared a problem she was having with a group of male colleagues and someone said: “Oh, I have that problem on a daily basis”. So, she asked him how he had dealt with it and he responded: “I tell the person to get out of my office and to handle the problem themselves”. It changed her life. She accepted that she did not have to accept responsibility for everything someone puts in front of her, she could just say no.
Style of Leadership
Karen prefers a collaborative leadership style. She likes to envision her team in a row boat and they are all rowing in the same direction towards their goals.
What Are You Excited About?
Karen is excited to start teaching a course in Entrepreneurship at Drexel’s Close School of Entrepreneurship. She says that teaching has helped her to expand her mind and to better understand people.
Tips to Become a Better Leader
Karen says her daily meditation and prayer practices make her calmer which also makes her a better leader. Also, she sleeps well when she expresses her gratitude.
Book to Develop Leadership
Advice For Younger Self
Karen would tell her younger self to take more risks earlier in her career and to play a team sport, so she could have learned more about give and take.
“Anything is possible.” ~ Karen Jehanian
Find more resources at https://womentakingthelead.com