Pay It Forward

This article was published more than 1 year ago. Some information may no longer be current.

I have to wear glasses to read my iPhone.  My body aches when I get out of bed and my dreams of playing in the NHL will, sadly, not be realized.  Recently, while navigating a career change, I debated major life issues, faced the possibility of a mid-life crisis and ultimately had to consider what I wanted to be known for in life.

During my deliberations, I recalled that a wise person once told me that I should write my eulogy today and then make sure I did everything in my power to ensure that someone could actually say all those (mostly nice) things about me when I’m gone.  It was amazing advice that I took to heart.

When searching for my new job I knew it was about more than just matching my skills to a position profile.  I was committed to finding the right type of opportunity with the right type of company. Through my search I had several moments of clarity but none more important than my “Pay it Forward” moment.

While on my way to lunch with the CEO of an organization I was considering joining, I was wrestling with how to describe the type of company that would align with my personal objectives and desires.  I couldn’t come up with the right words until the CEO posed that very question during the interview.

“Pay it Forward” I blurted.

At that moment I realized that I wanted to join the corporate equivalent of Haley Joel Osment’s character Trevor McKinney in the movie “Pay it Forward“.  Don’t get me wrong – I also wanted to have a thriving career and make a reasonable living but I felt strongly that this job had to be more than just an average job.  I wanted to be part of a company that had a social conscience, like values and was committed to doing the right thing for its clients.

As an executive in your organization have you considered what your employees want out of their careers and what their personal goals and desires are?   The more employees are aligned and engaged with the organization (and its executives) the better they will support their company, colleagues and customers.  Take the time to speak openly with your employees about these things and this small investment will be returned many times over.

My time to make a difference in the world is now.  I’m pleased to say that I’m now part of a team and an organization that are overwhelmingly living the “Pay it Forward” way.  I personally feel my legacy is in good hands and I’m in the right place to continue building the (mostly nice) eulogy that I want read for me some day far in the future.  What about you?


** with this post we welcome David Randall to Stratford Managers as VP Consulting Services