Noel Boyland On Building A Career & Life That Matters

Note: You may be reaching this page after hearing the tragic news about Noel. This episode was my second episode recorded in 2018 and was one of the most meaningful conversations I’ve had. This is because Noel was one of my strongest supporters after quitting my job in 2017. He went out of his way over and over again to support me directly and we had many beautiful conversations over the years where he helped me see that I wasn’t crazy for wanting to prioritize my health and well-being instead of continuing to climb the corporate ladder. It is not a stretch to say that much of my success and my confidence to write my book and keep doing this podcast among other things came out of the spirit of love, support, and encouragement that Noel injected into me and I know is consistent with what to so many people experienced being around him as well. I’m leaving up this conversation for anyone who may find comfort in it.

Wisdom and taking the long-view

Although Noel claims he lacks wisdom, he has a lot of it. He describes his career as “eclectic.” Starting his career in the 1980’s the environment around him (greed, money) influenced him to question what he was really trying to accomplish. He took a long-term perspective and tried to focus on what he did not want his career to be at sixty — which he put simply as not doing “the things he wanted to do”. Although on a more corporate track early on in his career, he tried to continuously reflect on what mattered — even if it raised some eyebrows in among his peers.

Taking the leap

A series of events including 9/11, a merger, a 12-week sabbatical and a health challenge led him to finally taking the leap to go on his own. In reflecting on some of these challenges, Noel wisely (see again, more wisdom!): “you need to do things to pave the way for the future but also make sure every day is a good day.”

One idea every organization should adopt: Stakeholder scorecards

If Noel had his way he would elevate stakeholder theory and force companies to assess at least twice a year how well they are improving the lives of customers and employees, impacting the environment and communities and also impacting investors.

His advice for someone starting their career and becoming a freelancer

  1. Building relationships and with people not like you: The richness of our relationships will strengthen personal relationships and also lead to commercial opportunity
  2. Do what you say you’re going to do: “98% of what we need to do is not that complicated, but we need to be reliable to be trusted”
  3. Be clear with your commitments
  4. Live below your means: It creates flexibility to do the things you want to do.

You can connect with Noel on Linkedin: Noel Boyland

Recommended books: Two of my favorites as well!

Additional Links From Our Conversation: