Field Careers

Looking to develop your global talent and succession plans?

10775418-global-business-people-handshake-to-agree-in-international-economy-pactIs your HR staff equipped to expand your global business? Are you looking to advance your global HR career, accelerate your thinking and network with a select peer group? Join us at The Conference Board’s 20th Leadership Development Conference on June 3-5 in San Diego, CA.

At the June 3 seminar on Succession Management, I will speak on identifying, assessing and developing your global talent pipeline.

  • You will learn where to begin to develop your company’s global succession plans.
  • Take the global assessment and learn areas you need to develop to make you a more effective global leader.
  • Network and learn from other practitioners in your field.

The Succession Management Seminar has been an important element of the Leadership Development Conferences since 2005 and attracts senior practitioners who are looking for both thought leadership and best practices/tools/implementation ideas from leading companies. The audience is always deeply engaged in the topic and enjoys the chance to interact closely with peers and with speakers.

For the Agenda and to register, see Global Leaders





From Corporate Refugee to Renewed Leader. Make the Most of your Transition.

thinking woman waterTwo years ago I met Diane at a conference.  We quickly developed a mutual respect for each other and a friendship that led to a productive coaching relationship.

Entrepreneurial, bursting with business ideas, extremely smart, logical and analytical, Diane came to our coaching sessions with new, promising ideas about how she would establish her new business.  At each coaching session, she had a new idea and abandoned the previous one.  Eventually, I saw a pattern: develop a new idea, see barriers, abandon the idea, start something else.  There is nothing wrong with trying new ideas, but I sensed Diane was getting frustrated.  She was stuck.  Something blocked her from taking her business to the next level.

We also worked on healing from her previous corporate role along with managing her emotions and thoughts about being a new entrepreneur.  Diane, like many others, is a corporate refugee.  While she knew it was time for her to leave her company, she resented being downsized.  She cherished her freedom to build her own business, but was anxious that it was taking longer than expected.  An introvert, she did not like to sell and market herself.  She received good referral work, but it was not the kind that she enjoyed.  Her confidence was slowly eroding and she started to doubt her financial security.

Things were also happening internally in Diane’s transition and transformation.  The first year of our executive coaching was about healing and providing support to rebuild her confidence.  After about a year, I felt it was time to challenge her and invited her to come to my place for a visioning retreat.  While enjoying the lovely Monterey Beach, we worked on her vision for her next chapter of her life.  In between walks by the ocean, chats and nourishing food, we also worked on her values.  An overachiever, Diane not only identified her values; she also correlated and weighted them to ensure her choices were numerically sound.  We let that conversation rest as we drove along Pebble Beach to enjoy the Pacific coast.

After reviewing her list, I noticed there was one item missing.  Financial security wasn’t listed despite the numerous conversations we had on the topic.  When I brought this up,  she immediately acknowledged that she would add this as one of her top values.  Financial security was her hidden and unacknowledged value and identifying it unlocked a part of her that blocked her from achieving her ideal life.  Diane felt really good about our retreat and committed to finding projects that expressed all her values.

Before long, things started to move really fast for Diane.  Although she was financially astute, she sought the advice of a financial planner.  He validated what she already knew.  She made good long-term investments but she would do even better if she found another executive role to fill her short-term financial needs.  Diane’s corporate refugee healing accelerated with this news — to the point that she contacted former business associates about her availability for full-time work.

Diane’s transition was getting close to a happy ending. I was not surprised when she told me that she was being considered as a top candidate for a company she left 10 years ago.  She accepted their offer and was so excited to go back to work again.

I have no doubt that Diane’s new chapter is full of promise.  Her healing as a corporate refugee and deeper awareness of herself guided her next steps. She is starting a new chapter in her life renewed with a deep sense of peace and happiness.

I am so glad Diane did not just jump to her next job and instead decided to work on her transition.  Transitions are periods of discovery and shifts which can make us uncomfortable.  Rather than look inward, it is easier to ignore how we feel and jump back to the familiar.  If you are in transition, I encourage you to look within and rediscover yourself.

Define Your Non-negotiables, Align Your Priorities Part 1

woman working w familyWe create priorities all the time, shift and reorder them as needed.  Non-negotiables are those that are the top of your priorities, you fight for and keep them no matter what.

As you schedule your day and make decisions and choices, observe if your priorities are aligned with your non-negotiables.

My friend Lynda developed a very successful executive global career in Finance without the need to relocate out of the Toronto area.  It was important for her to be close to her family, keep her children in the same school while she took red-eye flights and worked all hours to accommodate multiple time zones.  Her non-negotiable is not relocating out of Toronto.

Georgia chose to live in Southern California and declined promotional roles that required relocation.  She instead chose to change careers.  She had a role in field sales with flexible time while her son was younger and moved to human resources with less travel when he got older.

As I look back at our family life & career, we have moved 17 times, across 3 continents over the course of our 30+ years marriage.  We relocated for promotional job opportunities, with a supportive husband, 3 children and my in-laws.  I love my career and chose to stay with it.  My marriage is my non-negotiable.

Aligning priorities with non-negotiables are important for work life success.  They are not easy to hold up and adhere to all the time, but they strengthen over time.

Are your non-negotiables clearly defined? Are your priorities aligned with what you say they are and how you choose to spend your time?


5 Ways to Create Your Lasting Legacy

applause peopleA few days ago, top senior influential human resources executives in Silicon Valley gathered at Juniper Networks to honor Aryae Coppersmith, the beloved founder of HR Forums ( ) which has been in existence for 15 years.  It was time for Aryae to move to on to his next big passion, but more about that later.  As the HR leaders honored Aryae’s contribution to the growth of our profession, I couldn’t help but reflect on how he brought extremely busy senior HR leaders and their CEOs together for conversation and leave a lasting legacy.

Maybe you have already figured out your legacy, maybe you haven’t even thought of it.  Here are 5 ways to get you started with lessons learned from my friend Aryae.

1. It was never about Aryae.  Aryae represented a cause – bringing HR leaders together informally to grow, share and support each other.  He was always the guiding force behind the movement but the spotlight was on the members, their guests and their contribution.

2. Build Community & Trust – the group fondly remembered dinners and breakfasts where top of mind issues of CHROs and key executives were discussed in confidence.  The CHRO role is a tough and lonely one to have and having an intimate group of peers who they could trust was just what they needed.

3. Ask “How I can Help?”  As networks were re-ignited and new ones built, people were sincerely interested in the other person’s life.  Aryae was always interested in others, he sincerely listened, and remembered well.  He kept in touch, even after people have moved on.

4. Emotional connection – As colleagues said goodbye to each other, I know they will never really say good-bye to Aryae.  There was a deep emotional connection in the air, a sign of a lasting legacy.

5. The bigger purpose will bind us together.  Aryae shared his inspiration for his next chapter.  Based on research, he said that in 10 years or so, there will still be poverty, homelessness and lack of education in the world for about 3B people.  He doesn’t want that to happen.  He is doing something today so our future will be so much better.  He created One World Lights,, an organization connecting people from all over the world who are doing what they can in their communities to make this world better and learn from each other.

More blessings and fun on your New Act Aryae!

Whatever your life situation is,  it is not too late to think about your lasting legacy.  What would yours be about?  Please feel free to share your thoughts.


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Why Hire a coach?

Top Reasons Coaches are Engaged:

(HBR Jan 2009)

    • Develop high potentials or facilitate transition: 48%
    • Act as a sounding board: 26%
    • Address derailing behavior: 12%