• June 2014

The Success Issue: How Will You Bloom in Act 2 of Your Life?

What happens when you are so successful in your business that you have all the financial security you worked so hard for—and now, anything is bloomin’ possible?

Sounds fantastic, right? But think about it. You can do anything you want. Literally, anything. What will you choose?

“The answer may be harder to come up with than you think,” admits Ana Dutra, 50, the former CEO of Korn Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, where she created a $300 million global business before retiring last year. “Now, I have so many options—I need to step back and assess where I want to go. Yes, it’s a great problem to have. But still, it’s a challenge.”

Dutra is not alone. As more successful execs retire, they report being faced with the same dilemma.

“All baby boomers will have reached age 55 or older by 2020, and a large portion of this population will continue to work,” according to a recent Department of Labor report. That may be due to financial obligation or desire, or a little of both, explains the 12th Annual Transamerica Retirement Survey. Conducted among 4,080 American workers, the survey results show that more than half (54 percent) said they intend to keep working once they retire from their current career, and 39 percent said they plan to work past age 70.

With “Act 2” on the horizon for so many, we dedicate the June 2014 issue of Be Inkandescent magazine to shining a light on this important next phase:

  • Our Book of the Month is The Book of Awakening, by Mark Nepo. The philosopher-poet and cancer survivor offers a summons to savor the beauty offered by life’s unfolding.
  • This month’s Self-Help column features 10 Guideposts to keep in mind for Act 2, courtesy of popular sociologist Brené Brown: The Gifts of Imperfection.
  • “To know your future you must know your past,” said philosopher George Santayana. So don’t miss this month’s featured History column by author and publisher David Bruce Smith, featuring Founding Father Alexander Hamilton.

We leave you with this parting thought from poet and musician James Taylor, who sang: “We could never have guessed, we were already blessed, there we were, where we are.”

Here’s to your Inkandescent success. — Hope Katz Gibbs, publisher, Be Inkandescent magazine • author PR Rules: The Playbook • founder and president, Inkandescent Public Relations

Photos by Anna Paige Gibbs See more of her work in this month’s Photography column.

Ana Dutra Asks: What Will Your "Second Act" Be?

ENTREPRENEUR OF THE MONTH: JUNE 2014

Former senior global advisor for Humantelligence Ana Dutra: Her Life After Corporate America

By Hope Katz Gibbs
Publisher
Be Inkandescent

When long-time corporate exec Ana Dutra retired last year on the brink of turning 50, she was ready for a new adventure.

For six years, she had been the CEO of Korn Ferry Leadership and Talent Consulting, where she created a $300 million global business using a combination of organic growth, multiple acquisitions, innovative go-to-market approaches, and incorporation of technology and digitization of products and services.

Prior to that, the Brazilian native—who holds an MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University, a Master in Economics from Pontificia Universidade do Rio de Janeiro, and a Juris Doctor from Universidade Católica do Rio de Janeiro, all summa cum laude—spent decades as an executive, consultant, and business leader in industries such as technology, manufacturing, and professional services.

“I had accomplished everything I’d ever dreamed of in the corporate world,” she explains. “Then one day, I looked at my life and knew that I needed a change.”

In 2013, she launched Mandala Global Advisors, and also became a senior global advisor for Humantelligence, a technology solutions company.

And that’s not all. A book deal is in the offing, as are other investments and ideas that Dutra hopes to pursue. “The problem with having a lot of options open to you is that it can be hard to know which one to choose,” she admits.

Dutra knows she’s not alone. In fact, she coined the crossroads as “The Second Act Dilemma.”

What does she mean by that? And what can business leaders do to gracefully find their way to the next phase of their career?

Scroll down for our Q&A with Dutra from her home in Chicago.

And click here to listen to our entire podcast interview on Inkandescent Radio: The Voice of Entrepreneurs.


Be Inkandescent: You have had tremendous success in the business world, so before we launch into what’s happening in your present life—let’s look back at the last few decades. Tell us about your career.

Ana Dutra: I was brought up in a very global family. We spent our summers in different countries, and that made me want to be a diplomat. So I studied law and economics. And I shadowed a couple of people who are diplomats in Brazil at the time that IBM was starting to recruit. I got the job! Then, one day I was in my office and a colleague of mine walked in and said he was coming to say good-bye because he was heading to the US to get his MBA. I thought, what a great idea. I got into five schools, and chose Kellogg because I had a background in economics and knew the school’s program was based on collaboration and teamwork, and was also strong in marketing. I came to the US with my husband with the goal of staying for two years. And 21 years, three children, and five jobs later, we’re still going strong.

Be Inkandescent: Let’s talk about what led you to coin the phrase, “The Second Act Dilemma.”

Ana Dutra: This was born from not just my own self-reflection but from conversations with others who have finished up one big career, but refuse to say that they are “retired.” When you have the energy and the drive to keep working, being 50 (or 60, or 70) means nothing. More importantly, we are asking ourselves what is next. Believe me, everyone I’ve talked to about this knows that they are in a privileged position. But still, there is a challenge because you know that the Second Act might bring so much more ambiguity into your life. The other issue we all seem to be wrestling with is what defines ourselves as individuals and as leaders. I am hoping to figure out what my purpose is in life. That’s not easy, but to me it’s essential.

Be Inkandescent: Why do you think so many successful people are struggling with this phase?

Ana Dutra: I believe it’s because most people are taught what success should look like. It could be messages from family, parents, bosses, teachers, and mentors—or what they see in business or society. This recipe for success is usually based on achievements, promotions, and status. But I’ve come across way too many people who, despite all those achievements, tell me that they are miserable. That’s when they start to ask if “success” was worth the time and energy and sacrifice.

Be Inkandescent: Do you see a way around the dilemma?

Ana Dutra: In my new role with Mandala Global Advisors, I meet a lot of CEOs and I ask them: When you are gone from this world, what do you want the people who cared most about you to remember about you? Most people pause, not knowing how to answer. They think about it, and while the answers differ slightly, I’ve never heard anyone say, “I want them to remember that I was the best operator in my company,” or “I made more money than the other guy.” Rather, they want their kids, spouse, and best friends to remember that they were inspiring, caring, and devoted. The good news is that it’s never too late. The key is to create behaviors that match the legacy you want to leave behind. This Second Act is your chance to be who you want to be.

Be Inkandescent: Give us some insight into what’s next for you in your Second Act?

Ana Dutra: As soon as I cut the umbilical cord to my traditional career path, I enrolled in a yoga teacher training—not because I wanted to be a yoga teacher, because I’m not good enough at it, but I thought I’d get into the wellness business. And, to the horror of my children, I bought an electric guitar and took lessons. Then I started assessing my options. It turns out the list of things I do not want to do is pretty clear. I’m a very competitive person and since I no longer have the day-to-day responsibility to increase marketshare, I look for personal challenges. It helps me keep an open mind, and in doing so I have met fascinating people. I’m very comfortable with ambiguity, and I’m excited to see what’s next.

Don’t stop now! Click here to read Dutra’s Second-Act Tips for Entrepreneurs. And click here to download our podcast interview on the Inkandescent Radio Network.

10 Leadership Lessons From James Madison University President Jon Alger

“Change requires leadership,” writes Martha Graham, James Madison University’s Be the Change coordinator.

“Someone has to step up and draw others to help. But perhaps most important are leaders who roll up their own sleeves, reach out, connect, and do so in a spirit of gratitude,” she writes in JMU’s blog, Be the Change.

That’s servant leadership, Graham insists, pointing to JMU President Jon Alger who shared 10 leadership lessons from James Madison in a recent speech to the Massanutten District, Stonewall Jackson Area Council of the Boy Scouts of America.

Alger’s insights will certainly resonate with business leaders, as well.

10 Ways to Use Your Gifts, Talents, and Passion to Become a Servant Leader

JMU President Jon Alger says:

  1. Realize that leaders come in all shapes, sizes, and personality types. The president told the group of a friend who was quite soft-spoken. As a Supreme Court advocate, he would begin every argument by agreeing with much of the opposing counsel’s argument. “But,” he would say softly, “there are a few key issues.” At that point, everyone was listening, Alger said. “Leaders can have different types of personalities,” he said. They can be loud or introverted, but being “polite, honest, and respectful” is key.
  2. Be authentic. Early in his career, during an annual review by two senior lawyers in his firm, one reviewer got right in Alger’s face and told him he’d never make it. “You’re not tough enough. You don’t make people cry.” The other attorney countered. “Bob is Bob,” he said, referring to the first lawyer. “You need to be the best Jon you can be.” It is, Alger said, the best career advice he ever got. Be who you are—and be the best you can be.
  3. Use your gifts. “All of us have something to contribute,” Alger said. Find something you care deeply about and pursue it. And he added, look for mentors who can help you identify and make the most of your gifts.
  4. Realize that we are all interconnected, and express gratitude. It is important, he said, to “take that time to notice all those people around us who are making your life better—and thank them.” He made special mention of the people “behind the scenes,” those who don’t always get the accolades but whose work and contributions are valuable. People at JMU, for instance, who make the campus beautiful or who smile at students in the dining halls, contributing to a friendly campus climate. “We all need each other,” he added.
  5. Find the good and praise it. Quoting the late author Alex Haley, Alger said to “find the good and praise it.” Civil discourse is in short supply, and we need to “model and encourage constructive conduct.” Encourage, praise, be thankful—and say ‘thank you.’ Gratitude is powerful.
  6. Listen, and learn from others. “We don’t have all the answers,” he said. “There’s great strength and power in listening to the people around you.” Such listening is part of continual and lifelong learning. Citing his own listening tour—his first major initiative after coming to the university in 2012 —Alger reported the excellent comments and conversations he had as a result of taking the time to listen.
  7. Continue to develop critical thinking skills. Critical thinking, learning to ask the right questions, and especially refusing to assume that things can’t change are critical to leadership. He cited a program at Rutgers University, his former post, that looked at students in the neighborhoods surrounding the campus. “No students were [coming to Rutgers] from schools in our own backyard. … It wasn’t the easiest place to grow up,” he said, of the school districts with a 50 percent drop-out rate. The university created a program that identified 7th graders with academic potential, offered them mentoring, and made them an offer: If they earned admittance—on their own—to Rutgers, they would receive a full tuition scholarship. He reported that the first cohort graduated this year; of the group, 90 percent went on to college.
  8. Engage in deliberate ethical reasoning, and ask key questions. A key component of leadership is to “engage in ethical reasoning,” Alger said. He cited a 2013 report published by the Association of American Colleges and Universities. The survey of top CEOs revealed that 93 percent believe that a demonstrated capacity to think critically, communicate clearly, and solve complex problems is more important than [a candidate’s] undergraduate major.* He talked about how JMU’s new program, Madison Collaborative: Ethical Reasoning in Action, addresses that need. The collaborative seeks to teach every student how to apply critical thinking in every facet of their lives. It is an ambitious program, but an important one. When it was first introduced to the Class of 2017 in August, Alger said, they were “surprised to learn how many students had never gotten this before.”
  9. Don’t be afraid of failure. “You can’t be afraid of failure.” In fact, Alger said, “if you don’t fail sometimes, it probably means you’re not reaching high enough in the first place.” Failure is a great teacher.
  10. Dream BIG and give back. Alger talked about the importance of big dreams. “Those big dreams are important. They create vision, ” he said, remembering President John F. Kennedy’s dream to put a man on the moon by the end of the decade. Not only did it inspire us, the dream led to hundreds of by-products, he said. Along with those dreams, he added, it’s important to “constantly think about how you can give back.” One way is to create a legacy by passing on these lessons of vision and leadership and service to others.

Read more postings on the “Be the Change” blog at jmubethechange.wordpress.com.

Photo: by Jim Milham, BSA, of JMU President Jon Alger with Eagle Scout Hunter Morton (JMU 2017).

I’ve come to confirm that one’s title, even that of president, says little about how well one’s life has been led. No matter how much you’ve done, or how successful you’ve been, there’s always more to do, to learn, and to achieve.”

– Barack Obama

Remember that it’s okay to ask for help when you’re stumped, because sometimes you really can’t be expected to handle everything alone.”

– Martha Beck

That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

A people who mean to be their Governors must arm themselves with the power which knowledge gives.”

– James Madison

Be bold and mighty forces will come to your aid.”

– Basil King

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Ripeness is all.”

– William Shakespeare

Happy are those who dream dreams and are ready to pay the price to make them come true.”

– Leo Jozef Suenens

You may ask me for anything you like except time.”

– Napoleon

We are perfectionists. We are hungry to work all the time. We are entertained by every aspect of business and we never want to stop working.”

– Suzy Welch

History is a relentless master. It has no present, only the past rushing into the future. To try to hold fast is to be swept aside.”

– John F. Kennedy

Pain is inevitable. Suffering is optional.”

– Dalai Lama

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.”

– Charles R. Swindoll

A lot of people have ideas, but few decide to do something about them now. Not next week. But today.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Atari

The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes.”

– Marcel Proust

We need to learn to set our course by the stars, not by the lights of every passing ship.”

– General Omar Bradley

‎That which grows fast withers as rapidly; that which grows slowly endures.”

– J.G. Holland, novelist

Success is the necessary misfortune of life, but it is only to the very unfortunate that it comes early.”

– Anthony Trollope

There is little success where there is little laughter.”

– Andrew Carnegie

Almost anyone can start a community, but it takes real talent and commitment to get people to show up and keep coming back.”

– Andy Sernovitz

Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.”

– T.S. Eliot

I don’t do very well without fear. There needs to be a part of me saying, ‘That’s going to fail,’ so I can prove myself wrong.”

– Harry Potter's Daniel Radcliffe

The mind is everything. What you think, you become.”

– Buddha

The true entrepreneur is a doer, not a dreamer.”

– Nolan Bushnell, founder, Chuck E. Cheese's

The quality of your life is directly related to the amount of uncertainty you can comfortably live with.”

– Tony Robbins

There are risks and costs to a program of action. But they are far less than the long-range risks and costs of comfortable inaction.”

– JFK

The goal of Life is to make your heartbeat match the beat of the universe, to match your nature with nature.”

– Joseph Cambell

Inspiration and genius — one and the same.”

– Victor Hugo

‎The biggest flaw in our existing theory of capitalism lies in its misrepresentation of human nature.”

– Muhammad Yunus

You don’t love someone because of their looks or their clothes or their car. You love them because they sing a song only your heart can understand.”

– L.J. Smith

Instead of loving your enemies, treat your friends a little better.”

– Edgar W. Howe

Education is not the filling of a pail, but the lighting of a fire.”

– William Butler Yeats

There’s nowhere you can be that isn’t where you’re meant to be…”

– John Lennon

Think of yourself as on the threshold of unparalleled success. A whole, clear, glorious life lies before you. Achieve! Achieve!”

– Andrew Carnegie

The best reason to start an organization is to create a product or service to make the world a better place.”

– Guy Kawasaki

A man who strikes first admits that his ideas have given out.”

– Chinese Proverb

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

– Leonardo da Vinci

We never know how high we are
 till we are called to rise;
 And then, if we are true to plan,
 Our statures touch the skies.”

– Emily Dickinson

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.”

– Mark Twain

A diamond is a lump of coal that stuck with it.”

– Norwegian proverb

He who knows he has enough is rich.”

– Tao Te Ching

I was taught at a very young age that you can do whatever you want to, but you have to make it happen — not just talk about it.”

– Kathleen Jo Ryan

It is easier to fight for one’s principles than to live up to them.”

– Alfred Adler

We make a living by what we get; we make a life by what we give.”

– Winston Churchill

Permanence, perseverance and persistence in spite of all obstacles distinguishes the strong soul from the weak.”

– Thomas Carlyle

The dove descending breaks the air / With flame of inkandescent terror.”

– T.S. Eliott

Do you believe it is important to give back some portion of your wealth to support charitable causes?”

– Steven Schussler

The journey is the reward.”

– Greg Norman

Destiny is a name often given in retrospect to choices that had dramatic consequences.”

– J.K. Rowling

When we speak we are afraid our words will not be heard or welcomed. But when we are silent, we are still afraid. So it is better to speak.”

– Audre Lorde

Be Inkandescent Magazine's Back Issues

Don’t miss the great advice our entrepreneurs have offered in the past. Click below to view our back issues.