Inspiration does include grand speeches and epic gestures, but sometimes it comes from simplicity.

As we seek to provide more ways for you to motivate yourself and others, we continue our Inspiring Leadership Stories episodes with Karmen Masson.

Karmen is a Certified Executive Coach and a consultant willing to lend us her expertise in episode 107 of the Meeting Leadership Podcast.  She talks about what inspires her to inspire others.

Shirley Benson

Karmen Masson - Meeting Leadership Podcast - Effective Meetings

Karmen Masson is a Certified Executive Coach and leadership consultant. Her first career was as a lawyer, working in private and then in government practice where she took on senior management and executive roles. She has led large teams across diverse regions, and has been an active leader in the broader community, teaching law, facilitating leadership skill-development programs, and founding and developing a successful charitable organization. Her professional and leadership experience, combined with her passion for supporting and championing others, makes her the ideal coach for leaders who work in demanding environments, have difficult issues, and want to drive change and meaningful results.     

You Can get in touch with Karmen at

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00:00 – Show Opening

Are you a professional who wants to become a more effective leader? Then get ready for daily tips from the coach, with the experience and inspiration to help you succeed in any leadership situation. You’re listening to the Meeting Leadership podcast with Gordon Sheppard.

00:28 – Podcast content starts here!

Gordon Sheppard: Welcome to another episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast. My name is Gordon Sheppard. I want to say thank you for being here, and I always like to, once in a while, take a moment to tell you why I actually called it the Meeting Leadership podcast. Now, I believe that meetings are the building blocks of great organizations, and if you can have a great meeting, you can actually really have a great organization. Well, if you want to run a great meeting, you have to be a great meeting leader, and you can’t be a great leader, if you don’t know how to run a great meeting. So those two things really bolt together quite nicely, and on this podcast, what I strive to do, is make sure that you can pick up something practical everyday in these short episodes. 

01:10 – Inspiring Leadership Stories series – MLP 084 – MLP 091

Gordon Sheppard: And overall, I just want to say thank you so much for being here. And on today’s show, we’ve got another in our Inspiring Leadership Stories series. Karmen Masson, who you heard in episode 84 and episode 91, is back again, and she sharing some of her personal experience that she’s then been able to knit into her actual professional coaching work and into her leadership work as well. It’s a great interview. You’re going to get a lot from it, especially from a leadership perspective, so I hope you enjoy this one, with Karmen Masson.

01:37 – Welcome back, Karmen Masson

Gordon Sheppard: Karmen, aren’t we all lucky, as leaders, to have you back on the show? Welcome.

Karmen Masson: Thank you Gordon, glad to be back.

Gordon Sheppard: I know there’s folks that have already listened to your episodes, episode 84, episode 91 of the podcast. Really outstanding leadership advice around, I’m going to say, the theme of being more vulnerable as leaders and also creating safe spaces where you can gather more information and not get, kind of, stuck in yourself, so you can make better decisions. For the people that are coming to meet you for the first time, what do you like people to know about yourself?

02:06 – Karmen’s self-introductions

Karmen Masson: I’d like people to know that I kind of equate the work that I do, to a bridge. And the beginning of the bridge is kind of, you know, where are we and where are you right now? And then, on the other side of the bridge, is where do you want to be? And I love to walk across these bridges with people and help them to get to where they want to be and get the results that they really desire.

Gordon Sheppard: And I can attest to the fact that Karmen has the chops to do just this. She’s studied deeply in the leadership area, she’s been a leader in both the private and nonprofit sectors, she can back it up, and she’s doing that with professionals all over the place. And so, it’s lucky to have her here, and this is one of those episodes where we want to talk about inspiring leadership stories. And that’s the simple question, Karmen, what inspires you?

02:58 – What inspires Karmen Masson? – Motherhood and trust-building

Karmen Masson: Such a big question, and we could probably talk for hours, Gord, but if there was one thing that I’m going to pinpoint, it’s my children. My family.

Gordon Sheppard: Why do you say that?

Karmen Masson: Well, this is a story that I don’t often share, but what I have learned, in my personal life and through my relationships with my children, is something that I use on an every day basis. And the way I would best describe it is, in my role as a mother, I learn and I gain so much knowledge that I can use in my work, that I’m just indebted to my children for it. I’ll share a story without naming any names. Our kids, like most typical teenagers, have issues, quirks, all the kinds of things that we all grew up with. And when I take an approach with our kids, when they’re having those issues and difficulties, that’s not the typical mom approach. Which, for some of us, myself included for a long time, was that mom approach of mom knows best, you need to respect mom. Mom has all the answers because she’s older and wiser.

Karmen Masson: But the approach that I’ve tried with my kids is to really trust in, even in their young age, how capable they are, and to ask more questions, and to be more open to learning from them. They get me every time. When there’s a problem, or there’s something that I see as an issue with, maybe the way they’re behaving, if I truly trust in their capability of figuring out the solution to that, they come up with the most incredible things, approaches, insights, even solutions. And I am so inspired by these young minds and how, even at early ages, they are so capable. And I take those lessons that I learn from them on a daily basis, and I apply them in the work that I do.

05:12 – Applying trust to team meetings

Gordon Sheppard: This would be an incredible thing, if we could simply lift everything that you just said, and gave that to the leaders who are listening to the podcast right now. For example, somebody’s in a professional office somewhere right now, they’re an engineer, they’re a doctor, they’re a lawyer, they’re in a leadership situation. Can you imagine if they honestly or authentically took on that ability to trust their team in the way that you just described trusting your kids? I can see the easy transferability of everything that you’re doing, and how lucky that your clients get your mum perspective, although you may not… I’m not sure if you label it that when you talk to them, but they get that mum experience perspective that you’ve gained through experience, and then it must be really able to help them.

Karmen Masson: I love the way that you describe it, and you’re right, I don’t describe it as my mum experience, but I might describe it as my lawyer experience, yeah, my parenting experience, but just… we all carry around wisdom and a role that we may define for ourselves, as an adviser or our parents or whatever it is. 

05:54 – Stepping out of knowing it all

Karmen Masson: But yeah, it’s really… Stepping out of the typical roles and the knowing-it-all and being the wise ones and saying, “Hey, there’s a lot of things I don’t know and I don’t understand.” And to get curious and to really engage with the people that we work with in our teams, and find out what did they think? Wow, to me, it’s just… it gets me every time. That’s why I love coaching, is because I trust that folks that I work with, my clients, know they actually have, inside of them, the best answers and the best solutions to their own challenges. And the more you trust in their capability, the more… it’s such an exhilarating feeling, to hear the answers come from them, rather than from yourself.

Gordon Sheppard: What a great gift to leadership, to again, not have to be the know-it-all, like we’ve talked about in a previous episode, but be the one who’s curious about that person. And I’ll just add in, I’ve got a couple of teenagers myself, and one of the things that I’ve learned, if I had to dial it all back, is with the kids, you never know who you’re going to meet. So, they’re not the little molds that I, sort of… maybe early dad was expecting, and thankfully along the way, I found out that, really, it was finding a way to support them for who they are. And I can hear that theme running, fully, through all of the things you’re talking about right now.

07:05 – Find a way to support your team for who they are

Karmen Masson: Yeah, and that’s why I love the work that I do, is because when we listen and be curious about who the people that we’re working with really are, and not only what makes them tick, but what they’re great at, what their potential is, that is just such a reward, in and of itself, is helping people to really reach their potential.

Gordon Sheppard: Well, and that is an absolutely inspiring story that so many people are going to benefit from. Thank you so much for sharing it.

Karmen Masson: Thanks, Gord.

Gordon Sheppard:    Can you imagine what would happen if every leader trusted their team and listened to them? You should do it with your kids, you should do it at work, you should do it every chance you get and get that muscle really, really activated. And I think the results that you’re going to see, are going to be fantastic.

08:10 – More from Karmen Masson – MLP 084 – MLP 091

Gordon Sheppard: And just as a reminder, if you’d like to hear more Karmen Masson, then check out episode 84 on the Meeting Leadership podcast. It’s called Why You Should Stop Being A Know-It-All Leader, and you’ll find that one at And of course, we’re also lucky enough to have Karmen on episode 91, and it’s called What Stops Leaders From Speaking Up, And What To Do About It. And you can get that episode by going to

08:58 – Meeting Leadership Academy –

Gordon Sheppard: And I also want to let you know that this episode of the Meeting Leadership podcast is brought to you by the Meeting Leadership Academy. If you’re looking for great live training options for your team, and really solid online training options as well, then visit to learn more. And as always, thank you so much for listening, and we’ll see you tomorrow on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

09:23 – Podcast Outro

Thanks for listening to the Meeting Leadership podcast. Be sure to subscribe for more strategies to help you become an outstanding leader. And don’t forget to rate and review, so we can bring you fresh content every day. We’ll see you tomorrow, right here on the Meeting Leadership podcast.

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Gordon Sheppard

Gordon Sheppard

Gord is on a mission to change the world, one meeting at a time. Over his 25+ years in business Gord has run or participated in more than 2000 meetings! Not only is Gord the CEO of Business Expert Solutions Inc. (owner/operator of Meeting Leadership Inc), but he is also a Facilitator, Trainer, Business Consultant, Author, Speaker and Podcaster who helps leaders learn how to have great meetings, so they can build outstanding organizations and serve their clients at the highest possible level.

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