I officially started my corporate career on January 11, 1982, when I started my new job with Prudential in Sugar Land , Texas. I had no idea what would come next and that the next 35 years would be so extraordinary.
I worked for six Fortune 100 Companies during my career which were mostly in the healthcare insurance industry. The lessons learned in each company, allowed me to grow as a leader exponentially.
While I worked on five continents in 20 countries, I began to better understand the best practices for being a global change leader with a focus on the diversity and inclusion space.
During my corporate career, I accepted the riskiest roles that required massive turnarounds to operations that were in utter chaos.
When I came out as a gay man in 1982, I thought I was going to be terminated and instead I went on to to be an advocate for LGBT recognition in the workplace. I participated in the start-up of the Employee Resource Groups in several companies.
One of the proudest moments of my corporate career was when I was named National Employee of the Month. In fact, this happened on two different occasions and I was the first to be named EOM twice.
My corporate career started as an entry-level front line employee and ended as a president of a company.
The one thing that I was most known for throughout my career was my ability to coach others to achieve their career development goals. I developed an approach that was safe, inviting, empowering, and esteeming that seemed to work well for those who collaborated with me.
As a result of leaving my corporate career abruptly in 2017, I experienced some fallout.
I was diagnosed with clinical depression, not very day sadness but the kind where there are waves of sadness and doldrums. It was paralyzing, physically with the lack of interest to get out and meet up with people and emotionally with the frustration of feeling defeated and rejected.
In time, I was also diagnosed with PTSD which only made me angrier and more depressed. I let a life event take away my optimism and zest for life. I felt like I was in a plexiglass phone booth with no way out.
As if the diagnoses were not enough to knock me down, I also felt the loss of my identity. For more than 35 years, I had a corporate title to list among my roles in life. For the first time in a very long time, I did not have a job title.
I thought I would never come out of the depression or move past the loss of identity until I decided to create the second act of my life.
When I started to learn how to live with the depression and PTSD that was now a part of my life, I was able to start my second act of my career.
I pulled on every ounce of courage and strength that I had when I declared that I was going to write my first book in 31 days. I wrote and published in 24 days with the support of some amazing friends. Wings of Wisdom: Lessons Learned at 35,000 Feet launched as a number 1 best-selling book on Amazon in September 2018.
I took the self-confidence that I gained in writing my first book to go on to publish two more books in 2019. The first one outlines my leadership model and the second one shares my best practices for coaching. The third book focused on mentoring will come out in 2020.
As a result of publicizing my books, I have been asked to be speakers at various events and conferences. I get to share my passion for leadership and how I developed my unique leadership style over my 35-year corporate career.
I have presented workshops at conferences, association meetings, and non-profit organizations. The topics of the workshops range from the essential traits of leaders to the principles of business transformation.
I found a passion for writing and was asked to be a contributing columnist to The Good Men Project after having more than 30 articles published in under a year. Sharing my stories and insights on Seedlings is a labor of love.
The second act of my career has given me ample time to be a part of several nonprofit organizations. I am very proud to be a contributing volunteer for some nonprofits while serving as a board member on others. They all are instrumental in how I serve and support my community.
The one thing that has emerged as a theme for me my second act, is being a mentor. I have never been clearer about my role and the part I play today in being a part of building the leaders of today and tomorrow.
My career and life experiences give me a unique set of skills and competencies that only I can share with others. I have found purpose in my second act that involves sharing what I can with those who want to collaborate on achieving their career development goals.
Despite the challenges and obstacles that showed up in my intermission, I am forging forward relentlessly in pursuit of the legacy that I want to leave.
Have you read the original anthology that was the catalyst for The Good Men Project? Buy here: The Good Men Project: Real Stories from the Front Lines of Modern Manhood
If you believe in the work we are doing here at The Good Men Project and want to join our calls on a regular basis, please join us as a Premium Member, today.
All Premium Members get to view The Good Men Project with NO ADS.
Need more info? A complete list of benefits is here.
Photo courtesy iStock.