CAPT, US Navy, (ret) Leadership/Followership Trainer, Speaker & Consultant
Karen is a fusion of a tough-minded senior military leader, a successful corporate executive and a gifted speaker and trainer

Speaker Video


Member Contact

Email: karen@truebattleaxe.com Website: www.truebattleaxe.com

Phone:  603-553-1483

Note: Clients are invited to contact our members directly (contact info listed above) or contact Info@WomenVeteranSpeakers.com 240-298-3940


  • Inspirational
  • Leadership
  • Ethics & Integrity
  • Accountability
  • Time Management
  • Accountability
  • Workplace Respect
  • Women in Business

Member Profile

Like you, leadership expert and retired Navy pilot Karen Baetzel has seen the word leadership used in many contexts and wondered what makes for a great leader. She knows the answer. Karen believes that leadership is a matter of training, discipline and practice. You and your crew will benefit from learning military methodology that works – right here and right now.

Is this another self-proclaimed leadership “expert” spouting the latest platitudes? Not hardly. She retired after 30 years as one of the Navy’s most senior female Naval Aviators. She is also one of the few naval aviators of either gender to qualified as an Aircraft Commander in fly helicopters, propeller and jet aircraft.

Karen has the resume of a practitioner, serving organizations such as NASA, Microsoft’s High Performers and the Departments of State and Defense, FDIC, National Corporation for National and Community Service and many others. The best and brightest partner with Karen when they want effective, sharp results. She was honored in 2015 to be named one the nation’s top 101 Leadership Speakers by New York Times best-selling author, Kevin Kruse.

Speaking Programs

An enthusiastic dismantling of some conventional wisdom about communication, particularly in leadership. This presentation is filled with great insight, tools and tips that will work anywhere, right now.

A compelling and informative breakout session for upping the game of your speaking and leading “presence” and effectiveness. Offering 37 plus years of military bearing, briefing, training and public speaking experience as a guide, this content rich and experiential workshop will improve the podium presence and craft of even the most nervous of speakers. Very valuable for new leaders, uncertain public speakers and offers special emphasis for women called to communicate in high-pressure situations.


“We have good corporals and good sergeants and some good lieutenants and captains, and those are more important than good generals”. Gen William T. Sherman

Program Description

You can’t swing a dead cat without hitting some sort of leadership training. While leadership development is ubiquitous, developing dynamic and effective followers is an under appreciated (read forgotten) aspect in most organizations. BUT, follower competencies and skills are vital and can be trained and developed to provide immediate impact on your organization and mold them into your leaders of the future.

In this high-energy and engaging strategic work session, you will take a hard look as followership as it exists in your organization.

What makes a good follower? It may not be what you think.

Is it simply a transitional stopover on the way to leadership?

Is it a situational skill set you and your team need to switch on and off?

You will be able to apply the knowledge and insight of the value of followership to your specific business, vastly improving the communication and efficiencies between leaders and followers. The modes will include large group lecture and discussion, small group discussion/dialogue and individual analysis and reflection.

“Leaders must encourage their organizations to dance to forms of music yet to be heard.” Warren Bennis

Program Description

Does your organization seem stuck? Or simply just lethargic? Worse yet, do you need to end unnecessary drama and energy sucking conflict and prevent a disaster that can emerge from a poor organizational climate? Raise the tide of the entire group and make work a stimulating, engaging place to be.

In this high-energy, engaging and participative strategic work session, you will review the organizational climate as it really exists in your organization. You will be able to apply the knowledge and insight into your specific climate, discover any mis-alignments and stimulate fuller engagement across the board. The modes will include large group lecture and discussion, small group discussion/dialogue and individual analysis and reflection.

“Diversity: the art of thinking independently together.”  Malcolm Forbes

Program Description

Do you feel overwhelmed (and a little uncomfortable) by the entire issue of workplace diversity and inclusion? If so, you are not alone. Make your organization greater than the sum of its parts with some business sense and straight talk about the issues. Learn and apply some non-scary tactics, tools and takeaways. Ensure your organization is maximizing the talents of every employee on the property.

In this high-energy, engaging and participative strategic work session, we will take an unflinching look at the issue of diversity and inclusion in today’s business climate, and begin an important, continuing dialogue in a safe and respectful atmosphere. You will acquire knowledge and proactive, common sense applications to enhance and protect  your business. The modes will include large group lecture and discussion, small group discussion & dialogue and individual analysis and reflection