It’s About Change!

by on Jun 3, 2015 3:30 PM

An excerpt from Breathe, Think, Lead by Ted Federici is available at Amazon.  Federici is the Principal at Federici Coaching and is a Trilogy Alliance Partner.


This collection of Breathe_Thinkessays is designed to get one thinking and to push the understanding that if we do not change and grow, we become irrelevant. Irrelevant as people or as a business.


Most people have had a number of careers: one or two they may have liked and prospered in. Some they did one or the other, and unfortunately, some in which they did neither.


Those of you who have achieved in at least one career all you had hoped and dreamed of in terms of financial rewards and recognition know what I mean. However, personal growth, contribution to the world in which we live and self-fulfillment may have been put on hold.


We all know, however, that financial success can take its toll. Health issues, personality change, stressed relationships, and perhaps the worst of all, the feeling of not having fulfilled one’s personal creative potential.


There comes a time when one is entitled, yes that is the right word, to choose what the next phase of one’s life will be.


This special time in your life can come because you have achieved all you set out to do financially; but don’t know how to get out of the present. Or, fear that the enterprise you leave behind will fail with out you. And, even fear that the business defines you: read as you won’t know what to do every day!


Other reasons may be that you are burned out, have been asked to leave. Perhaps, you and your partner’s goals are no longer aligned. Perhaps you have become ill and cannot do what you did before and it is simply time to plan an orderly management succession.


The magic here is that you have the financial ability to make new choices!


This thinking and what I propose later on may not be right for those who are still upwardly mobile and are yet to achieve their greatest financial or personal goals. The rub is however; these rewards often come after leaving what you thought was your best vehicle for success.


Let’s imagine for a moment that you are one who is defined by your work and believe that is who you are. You may also believe that there is really nothing else for you to do in life. Or, nothing you want to do.


Do you enjoy being Mr. or Ms. In-charge? Do you enjoy the prestige of recognition by your employees and or your peers in your industry? But suppose you have topped out and the business needs a new leader. Or, suppose you are asked to leave. Or how about, you know you are topped out and want to leave. How about, it is simply time to do something that you want to do!


Hard to give up all that may define your work life and often-personal life as well?  I agree.


I will share my personal story with you since I think it will shed light on the process one can use to make change that replaces all you now think defines you.


I am one who was tapped out, burned out and no longer enjoyed the responsibilities I had.


I began my working career with the Bell System after college.  I stayed with the system for 33 years because it offered me work I truly enjoyed. It offered as well financial and social stability, pension and health care at retirement and a network of people who would be my life long friends.


There came a time, however, when I realized that I had achieved all I had hoped for with the Bell System (Officer Level) and that I knew little of the rest of the world.


I had travelled extensively worldwide for pleasure and business; yet thought there must be more personal growth, financial gain or just plain excitement I could find.


It took me three months to mentally get to a place where I could courageously make a decision. So, after much thought, consultation, and sleepless nights, I found the courage to retire. I do not exaggerate when I say courage.


I also changed everything I could about me within reason: grew a beard, moved to Florence, Italy, rented an apartment, enrolled in both language and cooking schools. In short, I enjoyed myself (interesting choice of words even now) because I had freedom to do what pleased and enriched me.


I also began practicing yoga, reading spiritual material, and understanding what a spiritual journey is about.


During that year, a friend became president of a major, national not- for-profit. She decided, along with the Board, that a major reinvention, restructure and new mission were required for the foundation.


She asked if I would join in this effort and take on the job of COO. I agreed to do so since ‘pay back’ was much in order in my life.


You see, having had the courage to change my life had reenergized me completely and allowed me take on new challenges.


After a thorough review of the foundation, we decided that a five year plan was to be executed after which I would be free to move on and she could pick a ‘kinder more gentle’ COO. I stayed five years to the day and we achieved all we set out to do.


I was completely energized by the experience; but more so by the freedom to make choices and fulfill my own potential!


During the next five years, after leaving the foundation, I became a corporate adventurer taking on jobs that interested me and used my skills.  For example, I became a VP for AmeriCast in a two-year deal with a mission to marry conduit and content for television. Next, President of an American owned but Russian operated communications company, with a move to Moscow.


Upon my return to the US, I began executive coaching because over time friends and colleagues asked my help and support in operating their own businesses or changing their life’s direction. I found that coaching enabled me to fulfill my Vision of my self and to make a contribution to my world. I could share all I had experienced and learned with others.


Here is the point. Along the way, I found that it took courage to invent my self every day, to write a Vision for my self and then continuously measure my life decisions against it.


As a coach these last 13 years, I have helped accomplished people to change their lives. Some were asked to leave their businesses; others wished to turn the leadership over to younger executives to ensure the firm’s long-term success and still others who were no longer fulfilled. Out of these experiences I created a process to take accomplished, successful people to a new Vision and a new life.


I have taken fear out of the decision to change. I have replaced fear with positive action that we all recognize makes change possible, positive and effective.


The process starts with a personal acknowledgement that a new choice is in order. The acknowledgment comes during a personally designed Clarity Day.


Next, is the work of writing the Vision statement that will guide you for the rest of your life.


The follow-on work occurs over a planning period in which individual coaching sessions create the strategies, tactics and plan for a next phase of life.


As you know well, execution of any plan is the key to success and it is that work that creates change.


So, time to make change? Time to reinvent your self? Time to take fear out of the equation and replace it with positive action?


Read these essays, find courage to create a new reality, and get on with it!