Karen Mangia: A Journey of Intrapreneurship and Entrepreneurship

Karen Mangia’s professional journey has been one of dynamic growth and transformation, marked by a series of strategic moves and bold leadership roles. Her path was paved with a fusion of entrepreneurship and intrapreneurship, driven by a relentless passion for innovation, customer satisfaction, and leadership excellence.

Starting her career at AT&T in Project Management, Karen’s trajectory swiftly shifted towards sales due to regional restructuring. This early transition laid the foundation for her sales expertise, which was further honed as she sold a diverse array of products and services, earning the trust of major clients. This pivotal experience set the stage for her bold leap to Cisco, where she served as a Regional Manager. Her team’s remarkable dedication to the ecosystem led to an impressive 38% year-over-year revenue growth, underscoring her innate ability to inspire results-driven teams.

Karen’s intrapreneurial journey began at Cisco when she pioneered the Partner Experience team, recognizing that partner satisfaction and success were integral to the company’s growth. She went on to lead Global Voice of the Customer and Global Supplier Diversity, intertwining customer satisfaction with strategic decision-making, driving Go To Market (GTM) and product portfolio changes, and enabling the company’s global transformation.

Her tenure as Vice President of Customer and Market Insights at Salesforce saw her influence and transform not only the customer touchpoints but also the trajectory of countless Fortune 1000 companies. Her penchant for driving growth, customer connection, leading transformation, and enabling innovation established her as a thought leader, manifesting in her Wall Street Journal bestselling author status and acclaimed podcast, “Success From Anywhere.”

Today, Karen Mangia continues her journey as the President & Chief Strategy Officer of Engineered Innovation Group. Her entrepreneurial spirit thrives within this startup, aligning perfectly with the company’s core values of Abundance, Insatiable Curiosity, Trust, Measured Creativity, and Diversity. Her leadership exemplifies these values as she leads and serves her team.

A Communicative Visionary

Karen’s working style is characterized by a purposeful structure that maximizes her impact. She starts her day doing deep work then clusters meetings for efficiency, and reserves email and social media interactions for the end of the day. Her vision is grounded in discovery and the pursuit of possibilities, aligning seamlessly with her role at Engineered Innovation Group.

Navigating Challenges and Growth

One of Karen’s career-defining moments was overcoming imposter syndrome early in her journey. Faced with the challenge of stepping into a sales role without prior experience, she sought mentorship and shadowed a successful colleague, ultimately conquering her fears through incremental steps. This experience reinforced the importance of seeking guidance during times of uncertainty and leveraging trusted advisors to navigate crossroads.

Leadership through Communication and Connection

Karen’s communication style is characterized by authenticity, curiosity, and a genuine interest in others. She values relationships, understanding that when customers and colleagues know each other, the synergy of support and collaboration thrives. Her approach has evolved to be more inclusive, marked by coaching and inquiry, embracing the collective wisdom of her team.

Embracing Transformational Decision-making

One of Karen’s most challenging decisions involved transforming her team’s operating model from a cost center to a profit center. This transformation, fueled by courage and collective effort, led to sustainable success and camaraderie. The experience deepened her leadership abilities and highlighted the power of shared commitment to a common vision.

Navigating Complexity with Confidence

In moments of confusion, Karen adopts a deliberate approach, seeking clarity through introspection and consultation. She pauses, reduces activity, and turns to her extensive network of mentors and advisors for guidance. This practice ensures a well-rounded perspective and empowers her to make informed decisions.

A Legacy of Recognition and Achievement

Karen’s impact has been recognized through numerous awards, including the distinction of being a Wall Street Journal bestselling author and receiving accolades such as the Best Book – Business / Career World Book Fest and Thinkers 360: Top 150 B2B Thought Leaders to Follow. These accolades underscore her enduring influence in the business landscape.

Distinctive Excellence in Business

At the Engineered Innovation Group, Karen’s leadership shines through her unique focus on people as the product. This approach sets the company apart, fostering a diverse and harmonious team environment that drives both workplace satisfaction and customer success.

Empowering Trust for Efficient Management

In her role as a business leader, Karen firmly believes in trust as the bedrock of successful leadership. She prioritizes transparent communication and enjoys coaching others through discovering their unique strengths and putting those strengths to work on a bigger scale. 

Leading by Example: A Trailblazer’s Achievements

Karen’s achievements extend beyond her personal accolades to include corporate successes. From being recognized as the Mentor of the Year by the Network of Women in Business to receiving the Executive Customer Champion Award from 1:1 Media & Forrester, her leadership has consistently propelled both her and her team to excellence.

Guiding the Next Generation of Entrepreneurs

For budding entrepreneurs, Karen’s advice is rooted in strategic time management and introspective questioning. By distinguishing between necessity and choice, budding entrepreneurs can streamline their focus, enabling them to navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively.

Karen Mangia’s journey is a testament to the power of innovative thinking, strategic decision-making, and relentless dedication to growth and transformation. From early career challenges to becoming a respected thought leader, Karen’s impact on the business landscape is nothing short of inspiring. Her commitment to nurturing relationships, fostering trust, and driving efficiency sets a formidable example for both aspiring and established leaders alike.