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Oh! The Places You’ll Go!....

Updated: Apr 22, 2021

My first blog: Thoughts on three months out of the corporate world. Stripped of the accruements of big company life, being free to consider possibilities has been - so far - a liberating journey.

I left a C-suite role in a good global company at the start of the year. In the middle of a pandemic. A bold/brave/crazy move? You decide. (I myself change which words I score out, depending on the day.) At the time, many peers asked about my ‘plan'. Truthfully, there wasn’t one. Well, there was. But it wasn’t a specific role I had in mind. It was more a gut feeling I wanted a break to focus on the type of work I wanted to do. To be available to do what I am good at/enjoy/love/can be paid well for (these aren't 'delete as appropriate' options...) In short, I got a little ‘ikigai’ into my life (Japanese concept around personal purpose). No regrets. I’d done over three years at the last place. A lot had been achieved. But I needed a reset. Something fresh to get my teeth into. But also to get the chance to think differently again.


Happy to say it's been an incredible few weeks. Some role suggestions have been coming in from search firms but none were quite hitting the spot. So, in the meantime, I got busy:

  • Took some much-cherished time off in Scotland caring for my folks (and a chance to walk the beaches of my childhood each day) as well as time with my own family (they grow up fast, etc!);

  • Reconnected with many colleagues and friends across my network; my ‘kid on gap year’ status providing a great opener. A genuine pleasure speaking with previous CEOs, line managers, mentors and friends. Common theme: more people are going through change than you think! Reassessing their situations, recalibrating their priorities. It was good to hear I wasn’t alone. Honesty has been a pleasant side-effect of this pandemic;

  • Had conversations with some established consultancy practices about joining their teams as an associate/advisor, as well as PE houses seeking support, and I look forward to that;

  • Provided a ‘personal brand’ marketing plan for an established author/executive coach (who, until now, had done much the same in reverse for me, so that was interesting...);

  • Started early discussions and plans with a handful of start-ups in various stages of development. Inspired to hear each partner or founder express a genuine customer benefit as their driving compass, with financial reward a close second. The sheer ’new-ness’ of the plans we’ve discussed, spanning all manner of sectors, has been incredibly stimulating; and

  • Signed myself up as a mentor to a growing network of young hospitality professionals. The poor souls don’t know what they’ve got coming...

And in-between all this, I’ve gone back to my independent consultancy that I started a few years ago, dusted it off, put some proper thought this time into the proposition, spoke to a few friends who would be willing to associate with the business and help as required, renamed the company, developed my own website (a learning experience in itself) and (drum roll) "The Vision Engine" is now ready for business.


For sure, it's a time of great uncertainty all around. But we’re getting through this...the world is opening back up, and I’m excited about fresh beginnings and making a real contribution. For me, the brain is never happier than when it’s learning, being challenged and stretched, introduced to new stimuli, and asking ‘what if’ a lot.


Stripped of the protective armour of a senior corporate role (resources, team, infrastructure...), it feels good to exercise this particular muscle in a different way again.


Bring on the adventure...








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