37: Karen Walker: No Dumbing Down

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On this episode of The Manage Your Message Podcast host Jim Karrh speaks with Karen Walker—an executive coach, consultant, speaker, and author of a new book No Dumbing Down: A No-Nonsense Guide for CEOs on Organization Growth.

Karen has a great perspective on what it takes inside an organization in order to support external growth. She was one of the first employees at Compaq Computers–which at the time was the fastest-growing company in US history. Compaq went from zero revenue to more than $110 million in the first year! She had a 14-year career at Compaq—when she decided it was time to move on the company’s revenue was $15 billion.

Jim and Karen first talked about the commonalities she saw in her corporate career with Texas Instruments and Compaq.

Much of the conversation covered five internal strategies Karen outlines in her new book. These strategies are designed to create and keep the infrastructure that keeps growth alive and sustainable:

  • “No dumbing down”
  • “Double back”
  • “Play bumper cars”
  • “Become a utility”
  • “Learn to levitate”

Karen also discussed one of her favorite quotes, as well as other advice for leaders who have to manage themselves as they manage the growth of their organizations.


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Pre-order Jim’s new book The Science of Customer Connections: Manage Your Message to Grow Your Business:

Amazon – https://www.amazon.com/Science-Customer-Connections-Message-Business/dp/163265153X/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=the+science+of+customer+connections&qid=1553718688&s=books&sr=1-1

Barnes & Noble – https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/books/1130470908?ean=9781632651532

IndieBound – https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781632651532

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