Wisdom and taking the long-view
Although Noel claims he lacks wisdom, he has a lot of it. He describes his career as “eclectic.” Starting his career in the 1980’s the environment around him (greed, money) influenced him to question what he was really trying to accomplish. He took a long-term perspective and tried to focus on what he did not want his career to be at sixty — which he put simply as not doing “the things he wanted to do”. Although on a more corporate track early on in his career, he tried to continuously reflect on what mattered — even if it raised some eyebrows in among his peers.
Taking the leap
A series of events including 9/11, a merger, a 12-week sabbatical and a health challenge led him to finally taking the leap to go on his own. In reflecting on some of these challenges, Noel wisely (see again, more wisdom!): “you need to do things to pave the way for the future but also make sure every day is a good day.”
One idea every organization should adopt: Stakeholder scorecards
If Noel had his way he would elevate stakeholder theory and force companies to assess at least twice a year how well they are improving the lives of customers and employees, impacting the environment and communities and also impacting investors.
His advice for someone starting their career and becoming a freelancer
- Building relationships and with people not like you: The richness of our relationships will strengthen personal relationships and also lead to commercial opportunity
- Do what you say you’re going to do: “98% of what we need to do is not that complicated, but we need to be reliable to be trusted”
- Be clear with your commitments
- Live below your means: It creates flexibility to do the things you want to do.
You can connect with Noel on Linkedin: Noel Boyland
Recommended books: Two of my favorites as well!
Additional Links From Our Conversation:
- Stakeholder View of Corporations (Conscious Capitalism)
- Managed by Q
- Edelman Trust Barometer
- Crisis at Work: Why Organizations Fail to Unlock Human Potential
- The Shareholder Value Myth
- Americans Three Times as Confident in Small vs. Big Business
Just published! The Pathless Path is Paul's book about walking away from a "perfect" job with a promising future and starting over again. Through painstaking experiments, living in different countries, and a deep dive into the history of our work beliefs, Paul pieces together a set of ideas and principles that guide him from unfulfilled and burned out to what he calls "the pathless path" - a new story for thinking about work in our lives. Learn More & Buy The Book Here