Episode 75 – How Joel Dobbs followed a path he loved, avoided a mid-life crisis, and based his retirement on mentoring.
In this episode, Marc interviews Dr. Joel Dobbs. Dr. Dobbs is an experienced life sciences executive, with over thirty years of experience in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. He has served in a variety of senior leadership roles in information technology, as well as general management, clinical research, regulatory affairs, post-marketing surveillance, academia, and consulting. Dr. Dobbs has served as a member of top-tier executive teams of dynamic organizations, in startup, rapid-growth, turn-around, merger, integration, and change phases.
He currently serves as the Executive-in-Residence at the University of Alabama Birmingham’s Collat School of Business, where he also directs the school’s office of innovation and entrepreneurship, teaches, and works with entrepreneurs within the UAB environment and the greater Birmingham business community to help them develop and grow their business. He is also the CEO of the Compass Talent Management Group, LLC, a consulting firm that assists organizations with the identification and development of key talent with designing organization strategies and structures to maximize their ability to compete in the business world of today and tomorrow. Marc and Joel discuss several topics, including Joel’s intentionally varied first half of his life, some of the triggers that started his pursuit of goals for the second half of his life, and how giving back through mentoring, from his extensive experience, is so gratifying.
[:54] Marc welcomes you to episode 75 of the Repurpose Your Career podcast. 75 episodes make a year-and-a-half. Marc invites you to share this episode with like-minded souls. Please subscribe wherever you listen to this podcast, share it on social media, and tell your neighbors and colleagues.
[1:39] Next week, Marc will team up with Mark Anthony Dyson of The Voice of Jobseekers podcast for a Q&A episode to answer some listener questions.
[1:52] This week’s episode is from the archives. It is an encore interview of Dr. Joel Dobbs. Dr. Dobbs was Marc’s first interview with a person who had made a career pivot in the second half of life. It was one of the best stories because Dr. Dobbs planned out his transition. Marc hopes you enjoy this episode!
[2:15] Marc welcomes Dr. Joel Dobbs.
[2:40] Joel majored in Chemistry, went to pharmacy school, and got a doctorate. He followed a purposefully varied career path, in three phases, until he retired five years ago. He was with GlaxoSmithKline when it was just Glaxo. In his time there it went from a startup to $3.5 billion a year. He helped the various business units develop.
[6:34] Another company recruited him and he spent the last 15 years of his career as a CIO — a completely unplanned path — until he retired five years ago. That was the first half of his career. Marc calls this a portfolio career or “a lot of different stuff.”
[7:44] Today Joel is a business school professor at UAB Collat School of Business. He also runs a leadership consulting business, teaching from the multitude of mistakes he has made over the first half of his life. He finds it tremendously gratifying.
[9:16] In his late 40s, Joel started considering his life’s impact. Around 50, he read Halftime: Moving from Success to Significance, by Bob Buford, and it set his path.
[11:11] The halftime of your life is a period to ask: how do I turn the second half of my life into one that leverages my success, but focuses on significance?
[11:42] Joel began really thinking about what did he want to do next? Was his ladder of success leaning against the wrong building?
[13:52] Joel was very interested in his company’s offer of a voluntary retirement when they extended it to executives. He talks about consulting work he did, and other companies that recruited him. He wrote the job description for one of them. He also attended The Halftime Institute, which changed his view of life.
[16:00] Joel put together in a notebook his plan for the second half of his life. He looked for opportunities to test concepts about working.
[21:16] Marc comments on how Joel drove his career agenda. He knew when to move on and he left, always with the goal in mind.
[22:03] If you know what you want to do, and you’re able to answer that clearly, concisely, and decisively, you’d be surprised how often you get to do that.
[22:19] Spend time thinking about the perfect life and writing it down. That very act sensitizes you to opportunity.
[22:54] When Joel checked his ‘perfect life’ list after years, how much had he achieved?
[24:45] Intentional achievement takes clarity. Usually, clarity does not come overnight.
[26:50] Marc’s final thoughts: Dr. Dobbs was very purposeful in planning out his second half of life.
[28:11] Marc invites you to check back next week when Mark Anthony Dyson and Marc answer listener questions.
Mentioned in This Episode:
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