Almost all senior sage leaders lived in several communities during their childhood, and most moved often during their careers—one 19 times—and one to numerous Asian countries, and three in Europe. About one-fifth were in the US military, one serving as a fighter pilot during WWII, another in the post-Korean War navy, several in the army, and one in the US Marine Corps. All experienced major personal or career challenges that greatly shaped them. Four were fired at some point, others worked for companies that failed or were acquired, and most experienced financial hardships during their work years. Many senior sages changed companies or professions—for example from minister to architect—and advanced their careers by taking risks, taking on new responsibilities, and being aggressive in pursuing new challenges. Each repeatedly made courageous career decisions, and many “moved on” when they were bored or saw their careers stagnating. Virtually all are, or have been, deeply involved as volunteers and leaders in community nonprofit organizations.
The 50 senior sage leaders represent a wide range of occupations and professions. Fifteen were or are employed in telecommunications and electronics; six in high level sales, music, or higher education administration; and about 29 represent banking, the ministry, the military, high school teaching and administration, retail and manufacturing, agri-business, county government, civil engineering, art, real estate, restaurant management, mortuary management, and homemaking. All held, or continue to hold, significant positions in their career including: US Marine Major General (retired), college president, national association president for private colleges and universities, Fortune 500 CEO and senior vice-presidents, vice-presidents of sales and marketing, business owners, city manager, and manager of marketing and public relations. Slightly less than one-third of senior sage leaders are still employed full-time. Less than one-fifth are semi-retired, and almost two-thirds are fully retired.
Other essays in this issue of Sage:
Histories of the 50 Emerging Sage Leaders:
Peak Life Experiences: The Beginning of Emerging Sage Leadership:
Peak Life Experiences: The Beginning of Senior Sage Leadership:
Interview Profile of Emerging Sage Leader Richard Baker
Interview Profile of Senior Sage Leader Barbara Thomas
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