Are you a “corporate refugee?”

Are you a “Corporate Refugee?”  

If you were a Senior Manager, VP or Executive at any level, what 3 things do you miss the LEAST and the MOST from holding the corporate title or your life in the corporate world?

What is better or different?  What do you miss the most?

Can my business run well without me?

I’m writing an article  on “life after the corporate world” and would appreciate your input.  Feel free to post your comments below or send me a private email – Your input is 100% strictly confidential (or not, your choice!).

About the Author Christina

Christina Haxton is the Chief Potential Officer & Founder of The Center for Sustainable Strategies, a business strategy & executive advisory company, assisting technology and life science entrepreneurs, business owners & CEOs to build a strong, purpose-driven company, achieve sustainable growth & avoid burnout. Contact Christina at (970) 387-8935 or to inquire about speaking, training, coaching and consulting solutions for yourself or your company.

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Leave a Comment:

Bob Baldridge says December 8, 2012

!. Corporate Politics
2. Emphasis on short term results
3. Self-centered leaders
1. Teamwork to achieve goals
2. Financial Compensation
3. Recognition and Status

    Christina says December 8, 2012

    Thank you for your thoughtful reply, Bob. The private emails I’ve received have been very interesting, too. I am looking forward to getting more input and see (as Richard Dawson used to say on The Family Feud)

    AND the SURVEY says …

    If you want to offer your input privately, send me an email to

Allen Abbott says December 14, 2012

What do I miss the most? Helping people win – the everyday challenge of providing my team with the tools, culture and strategic vision to be successful.

What do I miss the least? Cynics – people who lacked the enthusiasm to challenge themselves and the guts to go find something that would challenge them.

Arpad Bagita says December 14, 2012

= boring, endless (and many times useless) meetings
= planning/forecasting sessions
= bosses without talent/knowledge/charisma

= leading a team
= “industrial tourism” – frequent travels
= year-end bonus 🙂
=customer meetings

Joanne says December 14, 2012

Sabotaging Leadership
Office Politics
Long Hours

Team Dynamic
Steady Income/compensation

Randy Miller says December 14, 2012

What I miss the least:
1> CEOs and Owners who have unrealistic expectations on profit margins, and costs.
2> Senor managers more interested in building their empire instead of building a successful business.
3> Senior management meetings that drag on and on because managers want to CYA every minute detail of their department.

What I miss the most:
1> Developing an idea and implementing it.
2> Building a team focused on success
3> A steady paycheck – (without having to chase clients for payment)

Craig Rothmeier says December 14, 2012

Miss the least:
– Bureaucracy and reluctance of the corporate entity to make a decision
– The commute to the office
– The interpersonal squabbles and egos in a corporate environment

Miss the most
– Social interactions (I am now working from home)
– The paycheck!!
– The ability to affect change and coach people toward excellence

Stephen Fernando says December 14, 2012

Miss the most:
The adrenelin rush of deadlines and victories (As FD led bid teams)
Financial compesation including perks
Access to the right people
Travel (the good bits)

Happy to see the back of:
Long hours
Corporate politics
Travel (the bad bits)

Jeff Stocker says December 15, 2012

1. Worthless meetings and reactive expectations.
2. The good ole boy network that constantly is rewarded for failure and poor leadership.
3. The paper drill that gets in the way of you doing your job that some people use to justify their existence.

Christina says December 16, 2012

Corporate Refugee? 5 Strategies to go from head honcho to successful (& satisfied) entrepreneur

The grass isn’t always greener on the entrepreneurial side of the fence. Here’s what you need to know before you make the leap to have a successful and satisfying second career as you own boss:

If you’ve made the transition successfully, what is your best piece of advice to would be CEOs/CXOs to Entrepreneur or Business Owner?

What would you add or emphasize?

Betsy says December 16, 2012

Least: Feifdoms & silos
Politics and short term budgeting
Egomania and lack of vulnerability
(OK-that could be six)
Team: My favorite boss who was a collaborator, transparent and held others accountable
Steady Financial Compensation (yet I also love pay for performance which I’ve been on for the last 20+ years with tremendous upside for results)
ON the one hand power and influence and yet, sometimes I wonder if by working with multiple firms my impact is exponential… mmm.

Eduardo Gomes says December 17, 2012

Incoherent leadership (“do what I say, don’t do what I do”)
Long-run strategies frequently killed by short-run needs
Endless meetings and excess of appointments

Leading a team to meet challenging goals
Building relationship
Participating in international projects

Stephen Bavington says December 19, 2012

-Disingenuous leadership
-Problem denial
-Obvious paranoia – fear of losing

-Family of the team
-Sense of order and calm in a well run org

Dan Flynn says December 24, 2012

I have served in a couple of executive capacities in the corporate world. Since making changes in my own career focus a few years ago I continue to find there are a few things that I do miss as along with things I am happy to be away from.

In executive management you are generally working with other leaders who are decision makers not only by title, but also by nature. Though this is exciting and good there is too little of first listening to understand rather than listening to respond and too much push for the next great thing rather than perfecting the foundation before moving up.

The common thread of my work has been somewhat narrowed down two at least two areas. Firstly I promote efficiency through streamlining processes and eliminating waste, and second I am resource person; I bring resources to the table by way of people, money and vision.

For a time, I worked for an organization that specialized in gathering data and providing analysis to their clients on how that company could improve their bottom dollar. The facts are all too often lost on the bull-headed executive staff and therefore the bottom dollar is rarely all that it could be. If your employees have the vision and are happy they will take better care of your customers. If the customers are happy they will bring more revenue to your organization, and if the management genuinely sees the employees as assets and key drivers to the success of the bottom line the process will continue to perpetuate.

Deep Narayan says December 29, 2012

Great topic.

The most different part now is – There is no two days I do the same task.

What I miss- free business trips to Paris, free corporate lunch, nothing more

Peter McNair says December 30, 2012

Hello Christina

I do not miss the poor leadership decisions and the back stabbing/secret agendas.
I do miss the opportunities to teach the younger generation and mentor those that show promise.

As a newly retired Exec I still get calls from former staff – asking advice which I happily give.

Robert Smith says January 2, 2013

My refugee story began mid 2007 and was perhaps a little non-traditional, leaving the corporate world suddenly without any game plan.. After over 5 years when I look back the “things” I knw are better are 1) my health 2) my perspective on life and 3) my own creativity. What I miss now is nothing about corporate culture. Once you get rid of the bull shit we are all fed from the time we begin working in the corporate world (admit there are “some” good corporate cultures), you realize how manipulated we all are.

Here is a well told story that clearly defines (mine and a few others’) reality:
The Fisherman!

The American businessman was at the pier of a small coastal Mexican village when a small boat with just one fisherman docked. Inside the small boat were several large yellowfin tuna. The American complimented the Mexican on the quality of his fish and asked how long it took to catch them.

The Mexican replied only a little while. The American then asked why didn’t he stay out longer and catch more fish? The Mexican said he had enough to support his family’s immediate needs. The American then asked, “But what do you do with the rest of your time?” The Mexican fisherman said, “I sleep late, fish a little, play with my children, take siesta with my wife, Maria, stroll into the village each evening where I sip wine and play guitar with my amigos, I have a full and busy life, senior.”

The American scoffed, “I am a Harvard MBA and could help you. You should spend more time fishing and with the proceeds, buy a bigger boat with the proceeds from the bigger boat you could buy several boats, eventually you would have a fleet of fishing boats. Instead of selling your catch to a middleman you would sell directly to the processor, eventually opening your own cannery. You would control the product, processing and distribution. You would need to leave this small coastal fishing village and move to Mexico City, then LA and eventually NYC where you will run your expanding enterprise.”

The Mexican fisherman asked, “But senior, how long will this all take?”

To which the American replied, “15-20 years.”

“But what then, senior?”

The American laughed and said that’s the best part. “When the time is right you would announce an IPO and sell your company stock to the public and become very rich, you would make millions.”

“Millions, senior? Then what?”

The American said, “Then you would retire. Move to a small coastal fishing village where you would sleep late, fish a little, play with your kids, take siesta with your wife, stroll to the village in the evenings where you could sip wine and play your guitar with your amigos.”

Author Unknown

    Christina says January 2, 2013


    What a fantastic, spot-on story! Why wait? I can’t wait to share your post in my next newsletter – Touche! Thank you for taking the time to share it with us.

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