• 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).

No one is useless in this world who lightens the burden of another.”

– Charles Dickens

That man is richest whose pleasures are the cheapest.”

– Henry David Thoreau

Challenge is a dragon with a gift in its mouth. Tame the dragon and the gift is yours.”

– Noela Evans

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

– Anthony Trollope

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which obstacles vanish.”

– John Quincy Adams

Whosoever knows how to fight well is not angry. Whosoever knows how to conquer enemies does not fight them.”

– Lao Tzu, Tao Te Ching

Happiness is an attitude. We either make ourselves miserable, or happy and strong. The amount of work is the same.”

– Francesca Reigle

But all the while I was alone, the past was close behind, I seen a lot of women, but she never escaped my mind, and I just grew, tangled up in blue.”

– Bob Dylan

You often meet your fate on the road you take to avoid it.”

– Goldie Hawn

Always look at what you have left. Never look at what you have lost.”

– Robert H. Schuller

Don’t wait for someone else to lead you to your right life; that privilege—and responsibility—is yours alone.”

– Martha Beck

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.”

– Ralph Waldo Emerson

Death is to lose the earth you know, for greater knowing; to lose the life you have, for greater life; to leave the friends you loved, for greater loving; to find a land more kind than home, more large than earth.”

– Thomas Wolfe

In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.

– Robert Frost

You take your life in your own hands, and what happens?
 A terrible thing: no one to blame.”

– Erica Jong

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 person who makes a success of living is the one who see his goal steadily and aims for it unswervingly. That is dedication.”

– Cecil B. DeMille

Don’t follow, lead. Don’t copy, create. Don’t start, finish. Don’t sit still, move. Don’t fit in, stand out. Don’t sit quietly, speak up. (Not all the time, sure, but more often.)”

– Seth Godin

As your desire is, so is your will. As your will is, so is your deed. As your deed is, so is your destiny.”

– Brihadaranyaka Upanishad

Don’t follow your dreams. Chase them.”

– Richard Dumb

The important thing is not being afraid to take a chance. The greatest failure is to not try.”

– Debbi Fields, Mrs. Fields Cookies

Practice kindness all day to everybody and you will realize you’re already in heaven now.”

– Jack Kerouac

Do you have the desire to create something new; the strength of conviction to believe your creation will be successful, and the reservoir of energy necessary to thrust it into the marketplace?”

– Steven Schussler

Entrepreneurs need to search purposefully for the sources of innovation that indicate opportunities for success.”

– Peter F. Drucker

If you do not tell the truth about yourself
, you cannot tell it about other people.”

– Virginia Woolf

You don’t go into a field that requires cracking people’s heads open or operating on something as delicate as the spinal cord unless you are comfortable with taking risks.”

– Dr. Ben Carson

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

– Andrew Carnegie

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity.”

– Ray Bradbury

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

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

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

– Leon Joseph Suenens

Letting go of expectations is a ticket to peace. It allows us to ride over every crisis—small or large—like a beach ball on water.”

– Martha Beck

The critical ingredient is getting off your butt and doing something.”

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

I find out what the world needs, then I proceed to invent.”

– Thomas Edison

The curious paradox is that when I accept myself just as I am, then I can change.”

– Carl Rogers

If you would create something,
 you must be something.”

– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

4oz tequila + 1oz TripleSec + 2oz lime juice + 1oz simple syrup (sugar=water), 1 cup crushed ice. Shake + dance around the kitchen.

– Avenida Margarita

If you think you are too small to make a difference, try going to sleep with a mosquito in your room.”

– A wisdomism

Outside of a dog, a book is man’s best friend. Inside of a dog it’s too dark to read.”

– Groucho Marx

As each woman realizes her power, she transforms the world.”

– Patrice Wynne, WomanSpirit Sourcebook

When I was younger I thought success was being a star, driving nice cars, having groupies. But today I think the most important thing is to live your life with integrity.

– Ellen DeGeneres

My task is really not to change myself but to become familiar with who I am.”

– Maureen Cook

Always bear in mind that your own resolution to succeed is more important than any one thing.”

– Abraham Lincoln

Friendship is the only cement that will hold the world together.”

– Woodrow Wilson

You only live once. But if you do it right, once is enough.”

– Mae West

You have enemies? Good. That means you’ve stood up for something, sometime in your life.”

– Winston Churchill

There are children playing in the street who could solve some of my top problems in physics, because they have modes of sensory perception that I lost long ago.”

– J. Robert Oppenheimer

Darkness cannot drive out darkness: only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate: only love can do that.”

– Martin Luther King Jr.

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

– Andrew Carnegie

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