30 Nov

Will You Peer through the Peephole When Opportunity Knocks?


When career opportunities knock many people just peer nervously through the peephole afraid to answer the door. Others crack it open a little – but they leave the security chain on because of deep-seeded fear of success. But when yours comes around I want you to fling open the door and step across the threshold without looking back.

This month I heard a keynote speech given by Judge Glenda Hatchett, the author of the new book, Dare to Dream and the syndicated show, Judge Hatchett. As I listened to her story about changing her career path, it made me think about how true leaders can lead in any industry, regardless of title, position, or salary.

She tells of how she was the highest-ranking African American woman and senior attorney at Delta Airlines. During her career with Delta, someone asked her to become the Chief Presiding Judge of Fulton County, Georgia’s Juvenile Court. She struggled with this decision for some time, wondering whether it was an opportunity or not – until her inner voice asked, “What is your legacy?” She couldn’t answer that question.

Leaving behind a great compensation package and her familiar comfort zone was a big, scary step. But she wanted to reinvent herself as a leader in the judicial system in order to improve the lives of troubled youngsters. The rest is history – now her popular Judge Hatchett show is in its 8th season.


I highly recommend her new book!

When presented with a chance to change roles, accept more responsibility, or apply for a promotion do you sometimes question whether it’s the best career move? I think we’ve all experienced those moments of doubt and indecision. But natural leaders can feel when their work in one position is complete because despite the wealth and power something else essential is missing.

Glenda Hatchett knew that her ability to flourish as a leader at Delta was limited so she accepted it as a stepping stone to her real leadership legacy. Always listen to your intuition when opportunities arise. Don’t say “no” due to butterflies of apprehension. That nervousness is just excitement. Pay attention to your inner voice when it asks you to be courageous about broadening your scope and enhancing your career.

Have you ever had to make a lateral move that wasn’t on your career path the way I have done so many times during my career? Please share with me how you leveraged the experience to get you back on track for a leadership promotion.

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Sarah Hathorn is a professional image consultant, certified personal brand strategist, speaker, and author. Her company, Illustra Image Consulting, works with high-achieving future leaders and large businesses by enhancing their corporate and personal brand image to take their businesses and careers to the next level.

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Copyright © 2010, Sarah Hathorn, AICI CIP, CPBS

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Sarah Hathorn
Sarah Hathorn, CEO of Hathorn Consulting Group, is the go-to-expert in working with leaders and companies to create successful corporate DNA. As an executive coach, consultant and speaker she collaborates globally with clients and brands such as Kimberly-Clark, Sherwin-Williams, Home Depot and other leading organizations.
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