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Gardian of the Month: Karen Tracey

Jun, 19 2024

Our Gardian of the Month is Karen Tracey, Managing Partner/COO of The Image Shoppe.

EG: What type of environment/setting do you find that you learn best in?

KT: As a visual learner, when it comes to learning anything new, I prefer an in-person setting that offers a hands-on approach where appropriate. In the post-Covid business world, it has become the norm for business to be conducted online. While this works for a majority of meetings and some project-based work, when it comes to new information that has to be retained and requires more than 15 minutes of engaged listening, I far prefer an in-person setting. LIke many people who struggle with ADD, it is very difficult to remain engaged in an online setting.

EG: What is your go-to question or topic when networking with new people?

KT: I love color and much of my career in marketing and design has been shaped by the importance and psychology of color. Beyond the typical get-to-know-you chitchat, I love to ask folks what their favorite color is and why. It tells you quite a lot about a person.

EG: What is a challenge you have encountered applying new skills to your work and how did you overcome it?

KT: I have found a big challenge in applying new skills within an organization to be getting your team on board with new ways of doing old tasks/processes. In my 37-year career, there have been many “new" ways of thinking that have come and gone, and often we can become jaded by the “latest and greatest" methods. At times, though, there just is a better, improved option, and when you’ve properly vetted and analyzed whether it’s a good fit for your team or organization, the best way I’ve found to bring the team along is to provide successes cases with this new method, fully engage in the new process with your team and follow it up with regular check-ins and data collection where appropriate to ensure the new way is in fact a better way. And if it’s not, have the humility to accept responsibility that it wasn’t better and move on.

EG: What is your favorite season and what brings you the most joy during that time of year?

KT: One of the joys of living in Michigan is to experience the changing seasons. I love them all, with the exception of winter beyond the first magical snow 😉, but my favorite season by far is summer. There’s nothing that beats a Michigan summer with the lakes, sunshine, outdoor activities, the plethora of in-season produce and spending time with family and friends.

EG: What is a resource that has been valuable to you in your work, and what makes you appreciate it?

Click the video below to see Karen's response! 

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