Exiting Tech Stage Left: How Leaders Wake Up From Old Dreams to Pursue Their Purpose
Welcome to the Innovative Leadership Newsletter brought to you by the Innovative Leadership Institute, where we bring you thought leaders and innovative ideas on leadership topics each week.
This week’s article is written by Kvon Tucker, CEO and Founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven Executive and Leadership Coaching firm. It is a companion piece to his interview on Innovating Leadership: Co-Creating Our Future titled Leadership is Relationships, which aired on May 2, 2023.
|Short clip from the interview:||Link to the entire interview:|
Listen to the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-Creating Our Future via Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRADIO, and NPR One.
I quit! That’s right. I, Kvon Tucker, Fortune 500 Executive & Leadership Coach, have decided to leave Google. I am joining “The Great Resignation” and am leaving the job of my dreams.
Before I started working in tech, I admired the leaders from afar. Today, I get to be their leadership coach!
I came to Google with a purpose and now after building my coaching business and becoming a father, I’ve left on purpose. I’m writing about this because I want this to be a guide for anyone who has a sense that there is something else out there waiting for them. I want this to inspire anyone who might be contemplating leaving old dreams in search of new ones. I want more and more people to find greater experiences with purpose, power, fulfillment and freedom in their lives that I’ve been fortunate to find.
This does not mean you need to leave your job, but it might.
Making My Dream Come True
Working for Google was always the goal.
When I left SCE in 2015 to work with Netflix it was an opportunity of a lifetime for me. Not just because Netflix was a great company and I was a fan, but more because I knew it was a positive step towards working for Google. So I said yes. And what an experience it was. I learned so much about speed, scale, creativity, and coaching culture. I learned firsthand how freedom facilitates creativity and how important accountability & responsibility are.
The same goes for starting to work with Amazon in 2017. I never imagined what it would be like to work for such a large & well-known company, but I knew working with Amazon would increase my chances of working at Google. So I said yes. And similarly, I learned even more about speed and scale. I got to travel the world, facilitating leadership development with leaders from various cultures. I also got to learn how frugality facilitates a different kind of creativity.
Then in 2018, when Google offered me an opportunity to run my own Manager and Leadership Development shop for the recruiting organization – the answer was obviously Y-E-S!
And for three years working for Google was everything I imagined it would be and more. I was a leading strategy, leading culture, leading leaders, coaching, and my wife was pregnant. It was truly a dream come true. I got to create and experience life-changing leadership development programs for one of the most impactful organizations in the world.
And then – I went on paternity leave.
Waking Up From A Dream
Like many people before me, becoming a parent transformed me. It not only helped me learn more about my purpose on this planet, it helped me prioritize my time and energy in ways I never imagined I could or would. With that, I started looking at all of the things I had in my life differently and began to make choices.
While on paternity leave, I learned that:
- I loved being a dad.
- I loved executive & leadership coaching.
- I no longer loved being a program manager.
#3 might be the most important note. Becoming a parent and coaching more helped me realize that I had an entirely new dream and purpose for my life. Being a program manager at Google was no longer a part of the picture. While it was an amazing opportunity in 2018, in 2022 it no longer excited and fulfilled me. In fact, I began to find myself filled with dread.
And that’s how I knew it was time for a change.
What Waking Up Looks Like
The process of waking up can be challenging. It can be filled with insecurity, confusion, judgement, and fear. Imagine going to sleep in one place and then waking up in a completely new location. Waking up can be disorienting. That’s what waking up was like for me and similar to what many of my clients have shared with me.
Here are 3 signs you are waking up and ready for something new:
- Waking up with dread. If you are dragging your feet to the job, it’s likely time for you to start looking for something different.
- Large parts of your job drain you. While “no job is perfect”, finding rewarding work that is a better fit and energizes you is always worth the search!
- Your passion is calling you. Sometimes the shiny object in the mirror is closer than it appears. If you’ve found something fulfilling, the next step is to spend more time doing it.
The majority of people in the workforce are experiencing at least 1 of 3 of the above and while this is unfortunate, it also presents an opportunity for them to begin to discover their purpose and find the fulfillment they are seeking.
Pursuing Your Purpose
Now that I’ve left Google, I get to focus on stepping into the most important leadership roles I’ve ever had. Being a Dad, being an Executive & Leadership Coach, and being a business leader.
I want you to know that it is okay, normal, and natural to wake up from your dream and begin to want something different. Millions of people wake up every day dreading their jobs, but far fewer actually do something about it.
Leading and living purposefully doesn’t mean you have to quit your job. It doesn’t mean you have to turn your passion into a full-time job. We support leaders as they figure out what their bigger purpose is – and consciously take steps towards it. That journey looks different for everyone.
ABOUT THE GUEST:
Kvon Tucker is the CEO and Founder of Consciously, a purpose-driven Executive and Leadership Coaching firm.
Kvon is also a professionally trained Learning and Leadership Development expert. He has spent a third of his life dedicated to helping leaders, teams, and organizations learn, adapt, and transform.
His favorite tagline is, “All I know is how to help people grow.”
He has helped leaders at Netflix, Amazon, and Google adapt to hyper-growth and tremendous scale through experiential learning and leadership development coaching.
Kvon also holds a Master’s in Industrial-Organizational Psychology (M.S. I-O) and is a Certified Professional Co-Active Coach (CPCC), and Professional Certified Coach (PCC).
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Check out the companion interview and past episodes of Innovating Leadership, Co-Creating Our Future via Apple Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher, Spotify, Amazon Music, Audible, iHeartRADIO, and NPR One. Also, stay up-to-date on new shows airing by following the Innovative Leadership Institute on LinkedIn.
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