I’m taking a high road strategy.
That expression is used in Harvard Review literature to talk about companies who invest heavily in human and social capital.
I’m investing in myself, in terms of courses and coaching and conferences. I’m also investing in companies by re-starting my business helping organizations increase their performance through responsible communication, collaborative and problem solving skills; as well as leadership skills that focus on trust as a means of motivation.
This means I’ve come full circle in my career. It’s a fascinating turn of events for me – I had been vocal, almost fist-poundingly so – that I was not going to EVER work with organizations again, something I’d done for decades.
My training and consulting business had been successful for two decades. I worked with businesses such as Martin Guitar, Mack Trucks/Volvo, Amazon, Hoechst-Roussel Pharmaceuticals Inc.; health care systems such as Lehigh Valley Health Network, St. Luke’s Health Network; school systems across the United States and Canada.
Initially my work was in the areas of communication, teams, supervisory and leadership skills. Over time it morphed into working with teams in the quality field and solving problems using a statistical problem solving methodology. Then my work became almost exclusively 6 Sigma.
I was no longer happy in my business. I was working, continuously it seemed, with disgruntled employees who didn’t believe upper management was going to truly implement 6 Sigma. They didn’t want to be in class, nor work on projects. No fun for any of us.
Then my 86 year old father, who had still been working full-time, quit because he felt tired and couldn’t perform the way he wanted to. He had leukemia. I wanted to help him. For all intents and purposes I quit working. After he died, I did very little to rebuilt my business. At the time I didn’t want to work for corporations or any organizations again, except on a volunteer basis.
Coming of Age
Then I had a second coming of age moment, really many moments, at 62. I remembered: It’s OK to change my mind.
It wasn’t organizations I didn’t want to work with; it was 6 Sigma. It is OK, actually well beyond OK all the way to smart and exhilarating to do the work I enjoy: teaching and coaching in the so-called soft skills. It’s in that work, similar to the work I do with women, where I get in the flow, not noticing time, not groping for responses because the responses are just there, sliding without effort out of my mouth.
I may be a MBTI introvert but I relish speaking in front of groups. It drains me (there’s the Introvert part) so afterwards I require alone time to recharge my battery. But other than that I’m ready to roll. Rock and roll with corporations, organizations, non-profits, associations, conferences and more. It’s an invigorating place to be.
Moving to Arlington, VA
Part of the reason I moved to Arlington was to shake up my life. Well it worked. It jarred me into clarity about what I want to do and who I want to be when I grow up.
I foresee two arms of my Borderless Thinking® business. One working with organizations, as I just mentioned; the other continuing to work with women related to their mindset and how they see themselves. Mentoring them to increase their confidence in order to have the courage to do what they want and be who they want. Hard to imagine a work life getting better than this.
Three things I (re) learned and want to share
1. Changing your mind is not a sign of weakness or some other negative label.
2. Viewpoints and external factors are constantly changing making re-evaluation important.
3. Old is not a negative term. Your age, at any age, is what you make of it. I’m making the most of this age. I feel so good and hope you do too, whatever age or stage of life you’re in.
What’s something you changed your mind about recently? How do you feel about it?