After years serving as president and co-founder of my company, and growing it from two to 2,200 employees, I took a sabbatical. I signed up for some art classes, interviewed over a hundred leaders in a variety of fields, and began writing a book, Just Ask Leadership: Why Great Managers Always Ask the Right Questions (McGraw Hill 2009). In the meantime, I received a number of unprompted requests from leaders, asking if I would coach them.
Coaching wasn’t a career move I’d ever really entertained, but before long I had a full slate of coaching clients. Friends and acquaintances would often say, “I can’t believe it took you this long to get into coaching” and “I always thought you’d be good at this.” And yet, nobody had ever mentioned this to me while I was in my previous career!
What career insights are you withholding from friends and loved ones? What new career might prompt you to say, “I can’t believe it took you so long to figure that out” or “I always thought you’d be good at that”? Give yourself permission to tell them, and invite them to share the same insights with you. Even if you’re satisfied in your current career, what’s the harm in learning other ways to utilize your strengths?