Career Pathways Turns Experience into Effectiveness

Monday, May 21, 2018 - 12:08 pm
Steve Pearson

The Career Pathways program is designed for leaders like me. I have a proven track record of leadership, and I offer extensive experience in cultivating strategic relationships and implementing innovative solutions to advance the position, value and, reputation of a Fortune 50 company. While I have made meaningful professional contributions, I find myself at a juncture in my career where investing in my professional development will enable me to make a more significant impact as I look to transition into the executive leadership ranks with a foundation or leading the philanthropic arm of a major corporation.

The second convening of the program in Philadelphia, PA was excellent. The pre-work assigned for the session was intentional and thought-provoking. We spent time reading articles and case studies, such as Building a Foundation for the 21st century and on topics such as equity, ethics, and racial healing. We continued learning ways to communicate intentionally and effectively, such as presenting for impact and the different ways to tell stories.

As part of the program, all participants are required to create a home institution case study in an area of philanthropy we’d like to focus on and then implement at our organization upon completion. During our convening, we spent time with our cohort members talking through our respective case studies while asking each other challenging questions, providing insights to one another and offering resources from our own networks.

The most impactful part of the convening was having all cohort members give a five-minute presentation on their vision for philanthropy. Although I have worked in philanthropy for 10 years, this is not a question I’ve frequently asked myself. My mindset has always been to create innovative solutions to solve the systemic issues facing communities. This exercise allowed me to shift my perspective and create my vision for what I think the philanthropic sector needs and, more importantly, communicate this vision to a room of my peers who are leading similar efforts across the country. I was inspired by all the presentations, knowing that the future of philanthropy is in great hands with this group of leaders.

I’m excited to see my colleagues again in Detroit over the summer as we take the next step in our Career Pathways journey.

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