President & CEO, TUI University
I have had the luxury/opportunity to work with George Dow twice in the past 5 years. The first time during late 2005 and the second time in late 2008. In both cases George helped guide my transition into bigger roles with more responsibility and commensurately more compensation. He more than helped me land on my feet, he helped me catapult ahead. In both cases, finding the right role in less than 9 months even in a tough job market. George’s assistance was invaluable.
The second time around George’s assistance went well beyond that of your typical senior executive transition consultant. He was more of a life coach to me. In the spring of 2008 I was going through a CEO succession horse race at Capella Education Company, a for profit on-line university, where I was President & COO. I was an internal candidate facing a board level external search with numerous external candidates. It was a very difficult process for me. My expectations and beliefs as to what a CEO was were very different than what the Chairman and founder believed. So much so that I wondered if I really wanted the job at Capella as CEO. Even though he wasn’t engaged to help me at that time, George helped me sort through my possibilities in a very clear, rational way. Ultimately leading to me removing myself as a candidate and as a result leaving Capella. I was so thankful for George’s help that I asked Capella to allow me to use George instead of the outplacement firms they had under contract.
But George’s “life coaching” help went well beyond helping me sort through my CEO candidacy. At the same time as I was leaving Capella I was also in the midst of a separation and divorce. In our sessions together George realized that it wasn’t just about finding a job. I really was going through a life change and he was willing to blend that into his help for me. While George wasn’t the only friend/counselor I relied on during that significant period of transition, his help/advice/counsel were instrumental in me landing on my feet. Now very recently remarried and CEO of another for profit on-line university, I can look back and know with certainty that George truly helped me get to this great place today.
One last thing I appreciated about George. His help, the tools he used, the advice he gave was not cookie cutter. It was geared specifically to my needs. I know for a fact that how he handled my search/transition was different from other clients of George. In fact it was different from the first time to the second. It wasn’t about a particular way but about my particular needs.