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Great leaders are not defined by the absence of weakness, but rather by the presence of clear strengths. John Zenger


Karolus Smejda

The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious. It is the source of all art and science.--Albert Einstein.

KAROLUS SMEJDA, M.A. (Consultant, facilitator, producer, playwright). Featured in The Wall Street Journal, Newsweek, NBC, CNN, The Chicago Tribune, and Future, Karolus has consulted with corporations, government, privately-held firms, and professional partnerships to improve leadership, management, sales, and communication since 1974. Using a holistic, purposive approach to understanding and improving communication, he applies his practical, on-the-job strategies when custom-designing individual and group programs (and seminars) in effective oral, written, and team communication. These seminars range from management to sales to customer service as well as diversity, eliminating harassment, and managing change. In addition, executives, managers, and salespeople consult with Karolus one-on-one to improve the effectiveness of both individuals and organizations. He has consulted and presented in both the U.S. and Europe.

As an expert and thought-leader in business communications, Karolus has presented his seminars to organizations as diverse as Federal Home Loan, Federal Reserve, BP(Amoco), Chicago Board of Trade, Chicago Mercantile Exchange, U.S. Federal Bank,  Hospira, Chicago Police Department, Evanston Hospital, Northwestern Memorial Hospital, Northern Trust Bank, Chicago Society of Association Executives (now Association Forum), United Insurance, American Dental Association, Council on Logistics Management and USG Corporation.

I do not know how I may appear to others, but to myself I am a little boy standing on the shoulders of giants.--Isaac Newton

In 2003, Karolus earned his M.A. from the School for New Learning at DePaul University. His project for the master's degree focused on writing assessment and developing a business communication assessment. This graduate work resulted in PowerSuasion Writing Profile

Karolus has created PowerSuasion Writing Profile to provide feedback to business-persons and organizations on what to improve in their communications. A professional assessment of business communication, PowerSuasion Writing Profile uses on-the-job business writing as its data-set.  Professional editors use a content-analysis methodology to provide data to PowerSuasion's proprietary algorithms.  The output of the algorithms provides business people feedback on how to improve their communication. PowerSuasion Writing Profile results can be presented online, in seminars, or in one-on-one consultation.

As both a producer of the PowerSuasion Players (formerly LaSalle Street Management Theatre) and a playwright, Karolus has produced and written his business plays for audiences such as Abbott Laboratories, Allstate, Navistar, Baxter-Travenol, Harris Bank, Walgreens, BP, USG, the American Society for Training and Development, International Society for Performance and Instruction, Sales and Marketing Executives, Illinois Affirmative Action Association, and the Illinois Association of Personnel Consultants, and the National Family Business Council. The following list of his “live cases” provides an overview of his work in this medium.

Year Live Case Themes/Topics
1979 Squeeze Play

Poor management practices, miscommunication, misplaced talent

1981 Personal Touch Change , leadership, and succession in a family business
1982 Wasn't Easy Customer Service/Sales
1984 Future Shock Now Managing Change toward Customer Orientation
1986 Customer First Creating Strong Customer Service
1988 Leadership Nightmare Adapting leadership styles to follower needs/requirements
1993 Question of Style Sales & Sales Management, Buying & selling styles
1995 Better...Faster...Cheaper Managing and leading the organization through hyper-change to adapt to a new reality
1996 Until Creating safe work environments by eliminating various types of harassment
1997 Trickster In and out group behavior and its impact on the management of diversity
2002 Crossroads Family business, transition between generations, modernization of plant/office
2004 Matrix-Management Dilemmas Dealing with how international matrix management creates dilemmas for the various departments: sales, manufacturing, and marketing
2005 Hyper-Change Blues Hyper-change, adapting to new environment, working through emotional blocks impeding change (Custom written for a client)
Future To be discovered Whatever creativity or clients demand

Currently, Karolus also teaches Advanced English (Business Writing) at the Institute for Managerial Arts and Leadership at Loyola University in Chicago as adjunct faculty.


Traveling, theatre, films, sitting in coffee houses

Martial Art

I have been studying Lui Ho Pa Fa since 1978 with Sifu Wai Lun Choi.  This practice has given much understanding and insight into the nature of balance and stability. I achieve a deeper understanding of the movement between the receptive and creative principles.

Favorite software

Maxthink--the best $89 bucks I ever spent. If you want a thinking tool, this is it. If you want something that helps you outline and oganize, this is your tool too. Maxthink now is $25.00.


I proudly served in the United Stated Marine Corps where I learned the meaning of leadership, team-building, and professionalism.

Grateful for

The wonderful team and fabulous clients I work with everyday.
Having had the chance to live a fully creative life with the gift to do what my soul wants and so soar with joy.
Don't postpone joy!!!

Spirits who influenced me the most

When I look over my life, there are so many who belong on this list, but who for one reason or another cannot be on this list.  To them I say a greatfull. "Thank You."