Non-Linear Career: Discover Your North Star in Curiosity

2023 career curiousity learning people podcasts Feb 16, 2023

Dana Williams: You got your MBA. you traveled, you went to these different countries and just felt at home. What was that inside of you? Was there somebody that was a mentor to you? Was there somebody inspiring you along the way as a young child? Was it just the curiosity you got from your parents who were intellectuals?

Claire Harbour: Yeah, I mean, I think, I think a lot of different answers. Lots of yes's. Lots of maybes and, and I've thought a lot about this. I mean, my parents taught me to be curious and to be never satisfied with just the answer. Always go and look for that answer as well. So I think that was crucial. And although I've described them as, you know, slightly scaredy people, then perhaps their curiosity and intellectual rigor did create some sort of framework for courage.

So, I definitely got that from them, and I got it from the experience of being in different places. But what I did discover is that having learned about politics the hard way, having joined one organization where I was brought in by the number two and the global organization, but he then got thrown out and I got really pretty badly treated by the number one and the new number three.

Having learned about things that hard way I got stuck into them. Not in the sense of playing politics. I don't do that. And I stopped my corporate career relatively early on before I was 40. But what I did do was try to understand the motivations behind the different ways people were playing each other in the workplace.

So I guess that's one of the results of the kind of mentoring or lack of mentoring that I had early on. But since I've been independent, which is now the case for almost 20 years, I've had endless, unofficial mentors.

Not least because I simply can't stop myself from being curious about things in people. So I ask questions wherever I go and end up being offered advice. Sometimes it's long term over a sustained period. Sometimes it's just one, you know, magic conversation. That changes everything. So I'm very much of the opinion that we've all got extraordinary depth and insight to offer each other.

And often all it takes is for the other person to ask the question that unlocks whatever it is that might be shared. I think it's interesting how. How much fear can be induced by words like mentorship or networking or all those kinds of things that we tend to put into the bucket of this is really important and it's rather heavy and difficult.

And in fact, I think my most favorite management or leadership theory is quite simply that businesses or organizations are simply groups of people making products or services for people who, which get sold to people for the good of people. And that's really it. We're just human beings doing this together.

And so the more we can humanize and descalate. The scariness of some of the things we're supposed to do in our career and turn them into interactions between two or several human beings, the easier life becomes.


Claire Harbour was born a people person… How come? Because she has always been fascinated by what makes each of us tick, and how to get the very best out of everyone. Her studies of language and culture at Cambridge, plus an MBA adventure at INSEAD, and her work across 4 continents, 17 countries, and 8 languages in multiple sectors, functions, and roles position her to support a broad range of clients through personal and organizational growth. 

In Episode 47 of the Dominate Your Day podcast, Claire Harbour didn’t resist the urge to explore her clumsy, sometimes intrusive childhood questions that resulted in deep, challenging adult explorations. Despite having a non-traditional career path, Claire embraces her desire to learn and uses her innate creativity to connect ideas, people, and opportunities. Her unique ability to simplify complex concepts and fearlessly share her thoughts sets her apart.

In this episode, you’ll learn… 

  • Navigating a Career Transformation: Cultivating a Non-Linear Path
  • Embracing Courage in Career Endeavors: Taking Steps towards Boldness
  • The Importance of Mentorship in Corporate Careers
  • Prioritizing Authentic Experiences over Sales Pitches
  • The Fundamentals of Cultivating Curiosity and Taking Action

Click here to listen to my conversation with Claire Harbour.

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Episode Overview: 

01:16 – Claire Harbour, a personal journey.

21:58 –An awakening with a series of ensuing transformations.

28:39 –  Deciding to start coaching as a business.

Episode Links:

Claire Harbour LinkedIn

Claire Harbour Website

The Strengths Journal

Dana Williams Co. Website


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