Karen Meyers is the managing partner at the Meyers Group in the Washington, D.C., area, which is a full-service government relations and business development firm providing a broad range of consulting services to clients looking to influence public policy and create new business opportunities. Meyers is a Spelman College graduate and has 16 years of experience aligning business strategies for small businesses and startups. Meyers’ expertise is in coaching, mentoring, improving and streamlining processes, project management, training and development. Meyers has spent her career aligning overall business strategies with execution and she helps corporate and nonprofit leaders reach their potential and execute their business strategies.
Rolling out recently spoke with Meyers to get her perspective on being a Black woman in leadership. Read what she had to say below.
As a Black woman, what do you consider your superpower to be?
What key skillsets or qualities makes you unique as an African American female leader?
Ability to be candid [and] honest when others cannot.
What thoughtful or encouraging piece of advice would you give to your younger self?
Religion is not believing.
Why is it important for women of color to lead or work in positions of leadership?
Diversity of thought. You can ask one question and get as many answers as people in the room. This proves that you cannot predict the impact of diversity. Someone has to be in the room to defend the Black community, Black people and the Black family. Black women are the bearers and the protectors of the Black family.
If you could thank any Black woman history maker for her contributions to society, who would it be and why?
I would thank Michelle Obama. She spent eight years in public office, raised two Black young girls without scandal and showed the world how to support her husband and remain a boss. She was effortlessly classy, family oriented and I thank her for her demonstration of power as a Black woman, a professional, a wife and a public servant.
Why is it important for seasoned and experienced Black women to reach back and help younger women of color?
Since we live in a society where corporate America is built off the nepotism of mostly White men, we do not have a choice but to pull up our youth who have high potential in a field where we have connections. If we want a say in the forward motion of this country and the world, we have to not only forge paths and build relationships in every industry at the highest level, we have to reach back and set up our youth to fill our places and even displace some of our privileged counterparts.
How do you feel about the hashtag #CollaborationOverCompetition?
Collaboration yields higher results than competition because you are pooling together the talents, resources and networks of several groups and entities. The parts make the whole stronger which is more beneficial for everyone in the long run.
What are your thoughts on taking risks? Making mistakes?
I never think about it.
What are three success habits you implement into your daily routine to maintain your success, sanity or peace of mind?
Sit with God every day.
Take a bath.
Have a drink.
Who is your biggest inspiration? Why?
My family. They are the reason for my success.
If you could have any person in the world become your mentor, who would it be and why?
If I had an opportunity to sit with Jesus and get his word firsthand without anyone else’s interpretation, that would be priceless. I read people and assess people, so in that, I am able to also assess their weaknesses. I am not interested in having a mentor because I am not fit to have a mentor.