About Karen: Leadership Coach for Responsible Leaders

I love working with people who want to make a positive difference in the world – responsible leaders, purpose-led professionals and young people just starting out on their journey in life.

In today’s rapidly evolving landscape, where business holds so much power, responsible leadership is not just a choice, but a necessity. Our world needs responsible leaders!

But it is not easy. How do you build the confidence to lead and stay true to your values? How do you stay optimistic and committed? How do you navigate the power system, which often seems to reward the wrong behaviours? How do you make calm, wise decisions when things around you seem to be going wrong. How can you guide others in the midst of misinformation and fear? How do you handle your own doubts and misgivings?

I provide a safe space where, together we explore these kinds of questions and many more. Drawing on my experience of psychosynthesis, responsible leadership development and qualifications in meditation and mindfulness, I will guide you on a transformative journey. I help you integrate inner conflicts, harness strengths, and unlock your full potential. By working with me you will cultivate deeper self-awareness, purpose-driven decision-making, and harmonious interpersonal relationships – all to help you make a positive difference in an uncertain world.

Karen Blakeley River View

Early Career: Who am I?

When I started my career I just wanted to live up to my parents’ expectations. Unfortunately for me, this meant becoming the first female socialist Prime Minister in the UK! After years of trying – and failing – to live up to their expectations, I was deeply unhappy and completely out of touch with myself. I clearly had to take a step back and ask myself some deep questions. Who am I? What do I want? What are my talents and skills? How can I make a contribution?

I discovered that I was a teacher or mentor (see Carolyn Myss’ list of archetypes to help you find your archetype here). This meant that I loved facilitating the emotional, intellectual and spiritual growth of others. The energy of the mentor is gentler, slower, more thoughtful, less action and more other-oriented than many of the politicians I was aware of. I simply was not cut out to be a politician – but I was cut out to be a coach, mentor and teacher.

Mid career: Guiding Leaders Through Change

I was working in the corporate world when I decided to change career, so I did a quick turnaround and went into management development which took me all over the world from Africa to South East Asia. I then went into leadership development during the 90s – a time of intense change and disruption. This is when I decided to sign up for a PhD looking at how leaders learned (or failed to learn) during periods of intense change. This led to my first book, Leadership Blindspots and What to Do About Them.

Experienced leadership coach UK
Personal growth through coaching

Later career: Teacher, Researcher, Campaigner for Responsible Leadership

I then felt called to enter academia. Luckily, the university closest to me was about to set up a Business School, based on the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. The School was dedicated to developing students who would be the next generation of responsible business leaders. At last! I could combine my interest in coaching and teaching with my lifelong interest in ethical leadership and power. It was a dream job.

Whilst working at the University of Winchester I conducted research, published papers and set up and ran the Centre for Responsible Management attracting national leaders to give talks around how they practised responsible leadership. I established and led the Doctorate of Business Administration and led the Undergraduate Business Degree. I also taught young undergraduates business ethics, leadership, change and responsible leadership and won awards for my teaching. At this point I conducted research that led to my second book, Leading with Love.

Now: Leadership Coach, Teacher, Speaker and Author

In 2018 I had a life-changing experience which took me along a different path. I left the business school and went around the world exploring different spiritual practices and paths. I now have a responsible leadership coaching practice, run workshops and offer talks around responsible leadership and power. I am currently conducting research for my next book which is on the responsible use of power.

I have also set up and a free monthly gathering for anyone wanting to connect with themselves, with others and with life at a deeper level. I have a spiritual practice which I follow, known as the Diamond Approach. I help to run a local meditation group and have attended many courses on spiritual growth, mindfulness, meditation and personal development. I recently gained a Diploma in Psychosynthesis Leadership Coaching. I volunteer as a mentor for young people.