On our car ride home from the holiday with family, we talked about how just one conversation had turned our life in a particular direction. Two immediate flashbacks came to my mind:

  • In my sophomore year in college, I visited my high school basketball coach, Judy Kent, and her husband Tom for a weekend. I had declared my major as Psychology, but was talking about my uncertainty about clinical practice. Tom said, “Look into personnel administration in the business school. It’s a growing field.” I did and turned toward business and a wonderful career that blends my psychology and business studies. A 10-minute conversation.
  • When I was 27 and the Compensation Manager for an engineering and construction company, I became disenchanted with corporations and considered starting my own career counseling practice. Gary Tyler, my dotted-line boss at the time, stopped me on the way to lunch one day and said, “You would be a great entrepreneur. If that’s what you want, do it!” And, my first business was launched that year. A fifteen second sidewalk moment.

Just two recollections made me pause and commit to paying attention to the next opportunities to make a difference with the people in my work and life.

What conversations turned your life? Your leadership?