"The Old Rules No Longer Apply"

Michelle Florendo

Founder & Principal, What if You Could
FWN100™ Global 2015

In this chapter, I recount the internal conflicts and lessons learned as I left behind the traditional roles assumed by my MBA classmates in order to build my own career consulting company. As the first-born child of Philippine immigrants, I initially took a traditional approach to my career and did “everything I was supposed to do. ” I studied hard in school, attended Stanford University, and earned a degree in Engineering, took a lucrative job in management consulting, worked in the corporate sector, and returned to school to earn my MBA from UC Berkeley. However, after spending years working alongside others who had also taken the traditional approach to career success, I realized that the old model of career advancement had become outdated in relation to the new, dynamic, and fast-paced nature of the business world today. For those seeking both fulfillment and financial security, the old rules no longer apply. I walk through a series of vignettes where I learned some of the lessons I now walk my career coaching clients through, including the importance of articulating a vision, seeking new insights, embracing flexibility, and having the courage to take risks. All of the lessons I share from my personal experience tie into a key principle I have integrated into my leadership style today: Successfully leading people to manage their own path in a dynamic world (where the old rules may no longer apply) is not about telling people what to do, but rather, it is about inspiring people to see differently and make good decisions accordingly.