My Year of Thinking Dangerously: A Professional Breakthrough

About 18 months ago I was feeling pretty good. My team at work was doing well and creating massive impact. We enjoyed the respect of both the business leaders and our peers in HR. Business schools and professional groups were seeking our input for lectures, case studies and guidance. I had more opportunities to co-author books, lecture and research than I had time for…and the headhunters kept calling. Not only were they calling me…but everyone on our team. Like sirens of the lake, each call promised the riches of fame and fortune.

It couldn’t get any better. As they say down

If you think you’ve ‘arrived” you’re in trouble!

I could hear it in their voices as they described their work and personal lives.

I could see it on their resume in their list of education and experiences.

They had “arrived!” They had reached a pinnacle in their career … but their story didn’t have a happy ending.

Earlier in my career I was, for lack of a better term, a “hired gun.” A management consultant conducting leadership assessments for companies being sold, bought or undergoing large-scale transformation. I travelled the globe writing leadership profiles on senior executive talent across a variety of industries.

After conducting hundreds of these I began to notice