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Developing a Pay-It-Forward Plan, for Senior Executives

You’ve spent your entire career learning, perfecting, reformulating, and enhancing your knowledge base. You’ve gathered invaluable experiences, made amazing and impactful partnerships, and have crafted a name for yourself in your field.

Kudos to you for all of your efforts!

You are a huge asset to your professional community and considered one of the top Subject Matter Experts (SME) in your field. 

Now what? 

There comes a time in most senior professionals’ careers that they must decide where they want to take all of the experience and knowledge they have amassed and how they can now pay it forward to the next generation of professionals. Many have this yearning for more before they even realize exactly what it is. This feeling of wanting to give back to an industry or corporate community in a way that will make their life’s work have lasting meaning….a legacy, if you will. 

We see this a lot when we work with senior executives looking to take their life’s work and put it into a nice little package that can be delivered with impact. In some cases, when they come to us, they’re not even sure what they’re looking for, they just know there is a desire there to share, to pay it forward. 

There are many benefits to adopting a pay-it-forward plan into your career path. The obvious is the ability to inform and help others as they develop their own growth strategies. You feel empowered knowing that your career has meaning and seeing that your experience has an impact on others. As you delve into how your career has developed and the steps you have taken to get where you are today, you may find yourself re-ignited with a passion for your vocation. You may even find new paths to ponder in your own seasoned career journey.   

The next step is How.

Understanding that you want to pay it forward, to share your own revelations is a wonderful development in your career journey, but figuring out just how to do that, is another story entirely. 

As the newer generations of professionals start to make their mark, we are seeing that they respond to a different type of learning. They are excited and equipped to learn remotely, from the comfort of their own spaces, or even as cohorts, either in person or virtually. Gone are the days of large assembly-type lectures (at least for now) and although highly impactful, mentorships are rare to find these days.  Instead, professionals are leaning into the online learning landscape to truly share their path toward becoming an SME.   

Not only is online learning highly accessible locally, it also opens up the opportunity to reach people on a national or global level without the burden of travelling and seeking out speaking opportunities. For many, this has opened up a path that previously seemed unattainable.

Online learning and facilitating, however, do come with a unique set of circumstances and obstacles to overcome. To have impact, your content must be well developed, well vetted, offer lots of value and actionable items and be impeccably delivered. The online audience has many outlets vying for their attention and the ability to simply leave a training session or adandon a learning opportunity if it doesn’t immediately captivate interest is a large threat to online presenters. This can be daunting for many, but it doesn’t have to be! 

In a blog series I wrote a few years ago when online learning was really starting to gain traction, I noted that it isn’t so much about the technology, which was (and still is) a huge hurdle for many of our clients - it’s about the human learning experience.  

In that post, I identified several best practices to adopt when making the move to online facilitation, including: 

  • offering choice for your learners, consider developing both a self-led and instructor-led version of your curricula
  • inviting a group of pilot students to beta test your material 
  • levering the feedback from your beta group - if you choose them strategically, they add incredible value to the process


For more tips on optimizing your online learning experience, check out the rest of the blog series, Optimizing Online Learning, During the Event and Optimizing Online Learning, After the Event. 

Creating a legacy pay-it-forward program is a wonderful way to round out a life’s journey of learning and experience. It can renew your passion for your craft, help you access the part of your brain that made you fall in love with this vocation in the first place, and will give you an overall feeling of pride and confidence in knowing that your career had impact and continues to live on through the education of others. 

If you’d like to chat about how to bring your legacy to life, get in touch! We love helping folks just like you elevate your awesomeness! 


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