In the fall of 1999, I left the training company I had worked with for 17 years, and began my own coaching business, The Smart Work Company. It was perhaps the smartest thing I’d ever done professionally. I worked primarily, (though not exclusively) with technical professionals who had gotten promoted into leadership positions, and mainly in high tech. It provided me with over two decades of rewarding work.
And yet. For many of the people I worked with, the focus was always on the next promotion, the next bump in pay and status. Over 25 of my clients reached VP level. Almost inevitably the “whoopee” and “hallelujah” moments were followed by “oh shit” moments – “what have I gotten myself into?” Almost none of them were, six months later, happier and more fulfilled than they had been at earlier points in their careers. It was becoming more and more obvious to me that the global corporatocracy wasn’t working—for those inside or outside of it. Let alone for the rest of us.