A 2014 article by Dennis Nishi in the Wall Street Journal, tells an anecdote about a school teacher, Eric Adler, who becomes a consultant, but doesn’t like consulting and then sets up the SEED Foundation to provide boarding schools for ‘at risk’ youth in urban areas in America. The message of the article is on making the time to define success for ouselves, rather than accepting society’s definitions of success, as illustrated by Mr Adler’s discovery that he didn’t like being a consultant.
What also interests me about this story is that even though Adler didn’t like being a consultant, the MBA and the year’s experience he gained at a consultancy firm were probably extremely valuable to him in setting up the SEED Foundation successfully and in giving him the credibility to raise funding.
This story could also be told in a very different way as a planned career path for Mr Adler – from teacher, to recognising a social issue, to getting the requisite qualifications and experience that enabled him to successfully do something about that social issue.
As with many life and career paths, they are obvious in retrospect yet we can feel like we are blindly following urges that we don’t necessarily understand at the time.
What urges are you facing that are persistent but don’t make sense today?