Graduating Corporate University

The following is the original and rewrite can be found by clicking here.

If you were to ask me how I feel right now I would say I feel like I just graduated university - Let me explain.

My very exciting and very fulfilling corporate career of 22 years has come to an end due to a large merger and acquisition, as part of a broader overall consolidation in the industry. So what is a person to do after all those meetings, all those projects and presentations - all that corporate "learning"? Travel of course... and figure out what to do with one's life.

And travel I did, as well as exercised, ate better, reconnected with friends as well as made new ones and attempted the art of mindfulness which is quite a work in progress. It is true what they say with regards to taking a six month personal sabbatical... take it if you are able as it rejuvenates the body, mind and soul. 

So here I am. All educated, all rested and energized with the whole world in front of me. So what to do... back into corporate? Wait, wait.... wait! Lets think about it.

One of the things about having a "corporate education" is it does afford you some luxuries to evaluate the situation and determine what you REALLY want to do. It also probably allows you a different eye to figure out what that is - I mean when you are 24, right out of university with student loans, an eye on marrying the love of your life, then it's fair to say the drivers are a little different from graduating with a degree from "Corporate U".

My skills and competencies are in sales and marketing leadership, management, operations and project management - I'm a sales and marketing guy. (for better or for worse). As I objectively looked at myself and what I wanted to do I found myself looking at all my skills and achievements and aligning them with a job - ultimately each time it just came across flat as I just kept thinking is "this the best way to use my Corporate U education and take advantage of this wonderful opportunity in front of me". Then one day I looked at it differently.

What did I enjoy most in my 22 years? Was there a passion that simply gave me energy and true enjoyment -  where I was not working but simply having a wonderful time? And sure enough even with that question my business passion simply appeared - Creative Problem solving! Not just the thrill of solving a problem (the harder the better) but how we do it it in a practical sense, why sometimes we just can't figure it out and how do we "thing out of the box"? -  conceptional to practical, I loved it all.

So there it was, following a PASSION of creative problem solving and aligning it to sales and marketing which unto itself can be an addictive adrenaline rush. In a practical sense what does it mean? Well right now I want to understand it, talk about it, get other people's thoughts on it as to how it works and why it doesn't works. As with most PASSIONS I am just going to follow it and see where it takes me.

Connect all 9 dots using four straight lines, without lifting your pen and without tracing the same line more than once. As you can see, "out of the box thinking"

Connect all 9 dots using four straight lines, without lifting your pen and without tracing the same line more than once. As you can see, "out of the box thinking"

Just as a final note I will tell you up front I bite the inside of my tongue every time I say "out of the box thinking" as it just seems to be so trite and conjures up visions of a rather angry leader pounding on the table saying "this is unacceptable people! We need some out of the box thinking here!" Did you know the term was derived from a puzzle with 9 dots and 4 consecutive straight lines back in the early 80's? Who knew?

Lets talk!