We were sitting in a coffee shop in Boulder, just off Pearl, in the midst of two days together. My client had been reminding me that she wanted me to tell the “SVP story.” She had been talking about her career, taking about the shifts in her career and herself since we had started working together.
She told me about the fourteen years she had spent as a VP at two major firms. How she was comfortable at that level, how she was making good money, how it was enough.
Except it wasn’t. There was a part, inside her, that always knew she could be more. But she had created this ceiling for herself, and she had gotten to the point in her career where abusive bosses were beginning to take advantage. Where maybe she had been at that level for so long that she no longer seemed like a threat to them.
She saw something else was possible. And within ten months, she was at a new firm, a firm whose mission she cared about, making more money than she had ever made, plus an equity stake should that firm go public.
Two years later, it did. And shortly after that, she was recruited by the CEO of another publicly traded company to take a role reporting directly to him.
I asked her what had changed for her, what was the shift that allowed this to happen after 14 years of being a VP. I confess the answer completely surprised me.
“It was you,” she said. “It was the fact that you saw I could do it. When I saw how much you believed in me, I began to believe in myself.”
When I work with a client, we make a commitment. I make a commitment to see the pure potential of my client, to see what they really want, to show it to them if they are having trouble seeing it for themselves, and to help them get there with all of my ability.
My client makes a commitment, too. To me, yes, but by far the most important commitment my client makes is to themselves.
To stop selling themselves short. To admit to themselves what they really want. To stop settling for good enough, just because it is easier, or because it doesn’t suck enough to quit.
If you are wanting to do that, if you are wanting to feel alive again after 14 years of being a VP, we should speak.
I’m putting together a group of leaders just like you to go on a three month adventure that will radically shift how you see yourselves and what is possible for you. People who see it is time to make big change. And we will commit to each other to make this shift, together.
You can do this. Deep inside, you know you can. You’ve known for awhile.
You’ve just been waiting for a sign.
This is that sign.