Focus on Passion & Relationships for Success

Former Oil Industry Exec Says Passion & Relationships are Critical for a Fulfilling Career

relationships passion careerV., an Iowa farm boy, received his undergraduate degree in engineering and was immediately drafted and sent to Vietnam as a Seabee in the U. S. Navy. Upon discharge from the Navy, V. decided to follow his passion for business and received an MBA from Harvard. After about 5 years in real estate development, V. entered the gas pipeline industry where he spent over 20 years moving up the corporate ladder until he was President of a gas pipeline business.

V. says he was great at business and making objective decisions, but he began to notice that about 50% of his relationships with people were conflctual, difficult, or less than satisfactory. He began to wonder why until one a coach/facilitator at a performance enhancement workshop helped him to see that how others perceived him did not match up with how he perceived himself.

That insight was the beginning of a self-development process that continues to this day.

When asked what advice he would offer to those entering their career life today, he noted:

1. Passion – Do something you are passionate about. Passion will help you to excel at what you do and also drive your curiosity to keep expanding your knowledge and possibilities. Passion will help you lead a life worth living, one you won’t regret and, if you are lucky, one that will inspire others to do the same with their lives.

2. Relationships – I spent more than half of my business life undervaluing and not understanding the critical role of relationships in all aspects of life and success. I thought – “who needs feelings interfering with the right decision?” As a result, I left a lot of collateral damage in my wake. I’m sad to say, I made life difficult for some people. There is nothing that we accomplish strictly by ourselves. Everything in life, including success and failure, involves others. Save yourselves a lot of heartache while enriching your life – learn the value of relationships early in life.

In his retirement, V. is giving attention to being a better husband, father and grandfather. He is a volunteer with the Jerricho Circle Project working with incarcerated men.

One of the services I provide clients is help with seeing, understanding and changing the discrepancy between how we see ourselves and how the others actually experience us.