Career Scavenger Hunt: Navigating the Path to Leadership

Throughout this decade so far, organizations have been facing the challenge of staying ahead of the curve more than ever before. A key solution lies in fostering a culture of continuous learning. In a recent episode of “Coding Temples: Agile Leaders,” Evan Shy sat down with Sarah Alter, former CMO of General Growth Properties and president/CEO of Next Up.

In case you missed the podcast over on Youtube, or Spotify, or don’t have a moment to read ahead here are some of the key takeaways from Sarah Alter and Evan Shy:

  • How to treat your career like a scavenger hunt.
  • How to balance the need for specialization while maintaining a broad skill set.
  • The role of mentorship and feedback in building a successful career and making it to the C-suite.

In our conversation, Sarah takes us on a journey through her career, revealing valuable lessons learned along the way.

Sarah describes her career journey as a scavenger hunt, where each step forward is guided by clues provided by friends and mentors. From her humble beginnings as a truck dispatcher to leading marketing initiatives for global brands, Sarah’s path has been anything but conventional. Yet, she embraces the unpredictability, viewing each experience as an adventure.

One of the key takeaways from Sarah’s story is the importance of foundational skills. Whether it’s learning the intricacies of operations and logistics or mastering the art of selling, Sarah emphasizes the value of hands-on experience. She encourages aspiring leaders to focus on developing core skills early in their careers, highlighting the significance of sales and service roles.

As Sarah’s career progressed, so did her approach to skill development. She transitioned from a focus on IQ to EQ, recognizing the critical role of emotional intelligence in leadership. Learning to motivate and empower her team became paramount, as she navigated the complexities of executive-level responsibilities.

A pivotal moment in Sarah’s journey was her transition to the role of CEO, where she found herself managing a board of directors for the first time. Through this experience, she honed her communication skills and developed a deep appreciation for strategic thinking. Sarah’s ability to adapt quickly to new challenges underscores the importance of resilience and continuous learning.

In offering advice to those feeling overwhelmed by the prospect of learning new skills, Sarah suggests taking a focused approach. Rather than trying to tackle everything at once, she recommends choosing one skill or topic to prioritize. By setting clear goals and seeking support from mentors and colleagues, individuals can accelerate their growth and achieve their career objectives.

Sarah’s insights remind us that career development is not a linear path but rather a dynamic journey filled with opportunities for growth and discovery. As we navigate our own scavenger hunts, let’s embrace the challenges and uncertainties, knowing that each step forward brings us closer to our goals.

Thank you, Sarah, for sharing your wisdom and inspiring us to approach our careers with curiosity and resilience. And thank you to our listeners for tuning in. Stay tuned for more episodes of Agile Leaders, where we continue to explore the skills and insights needed to thrive in today’s ever-changing business landscape.


Sign up here to embark on this journey with Coding Temple and stay ahead with the latest in AI-driven learning and development.

Stay tuned for more updates and join us on this exciting path to empower your organization through accelerated skill development and business execution with Coding Temple!