How often do we hear or read about successful people who realize, later in their career, that it’s the journey, not the destination that matters most? It rings true, as most cliches do. It is certainly true with me, especially in the second half of my life. I am removing the clutter and focusing on what matters most, with a sense of urgency. The writer John Gardner writes, "Renewal lies in the pursuit of larger goals rather than their attainment. For that reason, the self-renewing man never feels that he has arrived.” As I think about my life, I wonder how my children will remember my journey, and if the world will be better off when I’m done.
I’ve had the good fortune to interview and listen to the career goals of thousands of executives over the years on all continents. Three observations stand the test of time. First, effective people are constantly reinventing themselves, not because they want an easier life, but because they are constantly seeking new challenges. It's the journey that matters. Second, most successful people build careers by trial and error. Few of us know exactly what we want to do when we enter the work force. Most people experiment and zig-zag through career changes, using their intuition. But here’s the insight: The happiest of these successful executives become more self-aware with each new experiment; they edge closer to the person they truly are. This takes reflection and learning. Remarkable careers are not built by accident.
Finally, we all know that successful executives are ambitious. Yet they use their ambition to better themselves, focusing on the gaps that can be closed in their current and next job. At some point, self-improvement becomes more important than a better title. Career building amounts to a series of identifying and closing gaps.
Whatever your motivation for learning more about Executive Springboard, thank you for the consideration. Our mission is to help you accelerate your life journey by helping you rethink your career purpose from the inside out. The workshop affords you the opportunity to try on different career platforms, test assumptions, hear feedback from fellow workshop participants, and zero in on the behaviors and mindsets that have held you back and what will make you happy.
I’m often asked about the genesis of the Executive Springboard workshop.
Over the course of thirty-five years, thousands of executives have called me for help on their careers. A great many called to say their job wasn’t fulfilling or satisfying and they wanted to make a career change. As it turned out, most ended up getting another job that looked almost exactly like the job they left. Most of the time, even when executives want to make a career change, they don’t. I realized that there was nowhere for senior executives to turn for thoughtful and practical career advice.
I sought out Kathy Uroda to co-create the program with me. I first met Kathy in India while both of us worked with Korn Ferry. Not only is she an outstanding executive coach, but she has deep experience in program and curriculum design. She was the perfect person to help create Executive Springboard.
We knew what we wanted: The workshop needed to be experiential — no PowerPoint decks, no lecturing. And we wanted the participants, all senior executives, to receive practical feedback and ideas from each other.
To make bold changes you need to be ready to engage with matters of the soul, of your Self. Most people don’t take the opportunity to step back and assess their lives, take stock of the past and present, and consider fresh possibilities based on the person they are today. This is why we created Executive Springboard.
Because extraordinary careers don’t happen by accident.