Posts tagged #savvy young professional

Bill Cole on Career Pivots, Working with Ambiguity, and "Collaborative Decisionomics"

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One of the most beneficial practices I’ve used as a professional is talking to (or reading about) and learning from successful people who have a different perspective or background than I do. I met with Bill Cole in Kansas City a couple months ago at the recommendation of my husband, who has worked with Bill for a number of years through his consulting work. After an energizing conversation with Bill about his career pivots, creating structure from ambiguity, and his approach to making decisions, I was excited to finish up the seventh episode of The Savvy Young Professional podcast and not only share it with you but also listen to it to hear Bill’s ideas again. Along with a preview of our conversation below, you can listen here, on Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify. And, if you have not already, please leave a review either in your listening app or via the comments below. Thank you!

Bill has had an unconventional career, starting as a teacher and coach, migrating to the utilities industry, and becoming one of the most senior leaders at a large engineering and construction company (with no formal background in engineering, construction, or business) as a result of an opportunity that tapped into his love for teaching others. Bill currently runs his own consulting business along with investing in small businesses. His story showed me the endless possibilities available with respect to your career path when you combine natural talent, sacrifice, and hard work. Over and over, Bill has been excited to learn something new and get out of his comfort zone rather than continue on with an easier, comfortable path. This mindset required him to put in the time and sacrifice to learn all the time and travel quite a bit, as well as risk potentially failing.

One piece of advice I appreciated from Bill was his recommendation to “prepare for the things that are done to you”. Other people and their decisions or actions are out of our control, and the only things we can really control or prepare for is ourselves and our reaction to the situations we find ourselves in.

Bill is also writing a book which will include his approach to decision making that he calls “collaborative decisionomics” . His approach looks at the vectors that are part of the decision process and helps one reason and rationalize making a decision. For example, let’s say you are originally from St. Louis, attend school at the University of Missouri in Columbia, MO and receive an amazing job offer to go to New York. It sounds fantastic, but you are hesitating at accepting the offer. Why? While your career, money, and a New York lifestyle may be enticing factors or “vectors” in your decision, returning home to your family in St. Louis may be a more enticing vector that you value more than the job in New York. The point of the exercise, which goes deeper than this example, is to examine our values and motivators, and make logical decisions based on the criteria most important to us and our goals.

I hope you enjoy this episode!

Charity Balee on "Adversity, Taking Risks, and Finding Purpose in her Work"

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I had the opportunity to spend time with Charity Balee, a colleague and friend, learning more about the challenges she faced early in her career, how she was able to transition from real estate to healthcare, and her secret to implementing change. Charity has contagious energy and enthusiasm, and I hope you enjoy our conversation as much as I did. Along with a summary of our conversation, the full audio version is available here, Apple Podcasts, Google Play, or Spotify under “The Savvy Young Professional”.


Takeaways from our Conversation

Take risks - Growing up with a single mom, Charity saw her mom work hard and take risks to start businesses and support their family. Her mom’s example has inspired Charity to be more comfortable taking risks in her own career, knowing that hard work will pay off.

Keep going in the face of adversity - After the housing crisis ended her career in finance and real estate, Charity transitioned to healthcare sales. Despite high performance, she found herself without a job twice, both times after moving for her job and after receiving performance awards and sales commendations. While frustrating and discouraging, she never let the layoffs discourage her from finding an even better next opportunity.

Find your purpose - Charity studied real estate and finance in undergrad and originally started in the mortgage industry because she loved being part of the process of finding people homes for their family. After the housing crisis in 2008, she knew she needed to find another industry that could bring her the same level of purpose. While she is on the business rather than the medical side of healthcare, her role in supporting caregivers so they can focus on patient care has given her a tremendous degree of purpose.

Learn from others - In Charity’s current role, she is often charged with leading complex and sensitive change with physicians and nurses on medical supplies and equipment. Rather than focusing on the future state and what needs to change, Charity goes into each conversation with caregivers with one goal: to learn something. By listening and learning, she is able to empathize, find creative solutions, and balance the need for fiscal responsibility with patient care.

Be intentional with your family - Over the past five years, Charity has traveled full-time for work, with her husband and two sons living at their home base in St. Louis. While she is on the road during the week, Charity is intentional about connecting with her family via Face Time every night for bedtime, and spending dedicated time with them on the weekend. She has found that this structure works for her and her family, and has fostered a great level of appreciation for the time they have together.


About Charity Balee:

With over 14 years of account executive experience, 10 within healthcare, Charity specializes in leading cost reduction strategies, developing and fostering effective collaborations with executives and physicians, and developing long and short-term business strategies. 

Charity worked for a variety of organizations before joining The Resource Group and has an educational background in business with a Bachelor of Business Administration from the University of Memphis and a Master of Business Administration from Webster University.