This week’s episode is a story of career agility, embracing change, and living with intention. Lisa Shalett is a former Goldman Sachs partner, now board director and startup investor/advisor. At Goldman, Lisa held numerous leadership roles, including Japanese Equities, Global Compliance and Brand Marketing/Digital Strategy. She shares with us her approach to these transitions or “reinventions:” the danger of viewing your skills in narrow contexts (such as your current job); controlling your narrative as you change roles; or simply, asking your boss “What’s keeping you up at night?”
We then discuss post-retirement life, driven in part by family considerations. Yet retirement isn’t as worry free as we perceive it to be, especially when identity and career are so intertwined. One must navigate FOMO, the (perceived) loss of relevance, maintaining one’s “edge,” and yes — even for retired Goldman partners — the emotional irrationality of negative cash flow burn of entrepreneurship. And her advice to those currently in the grind, make sure you carve out the space to call “time out” — so that a minimum you can reflect on the trifecta of life, family, and career.
More about Lisa
- Connect with Lisa on Linkedin and follow her on Twitter
- Reflecting on Career Challenges and Risks with Lisa Shalett (The Millennium Alliance Blog)
- Lisa on IBM’s thinkLeaders (video)
On Creating your Own Narrative
“You have to own the story and the way that you tell it when you’re asking someone to make that leap along with you. Because typically, people will default to the story of “oh here is what this person has done before, and thus this is what they will always do.”
On defining yourself skills too narrowly
“People tend to define themselves and their skills by the context in which they’ve used them to date.”
On Asking Good Questions
“[I was] surrounded day by day with a former prosecutor, defense attorney, CIA, FBI, people who have been trained in the art of asking smart questions and seeing things three derivatives out and anticipating risks.”
Calling a “Time Out”
A specific exercise:
“Put that date in the calendar … take a step back and ask yourself questions … make sure that you commit to do your own time out”
Accompanied by these questions:
1. Am I leading the life I want to lead?
2. How precious is time and am I respecting its value?
3. Is this the way I want to interact with the important relationships